merchandise planning intern turned meticulous milliner

As a Target intern, I wear many hats. Or I should say, create many hats.

That’s right—this past week I transformed from merchandise planning intern into meticulous milliner (that’s the word for a female hat maker). I know what you’re thinking… there’s a word for that?! Yes, there’s a word for that! And there should be, too. My hat designs were so great I’m confident I could beat Picasso in a puffy paint contest. However, I never would have discovered this hidden talent if I had not volunteered with the beauty department at Lyngblomsten Senior Care facility last Thursday.

Our volunteer event was coordinated through United Way for our floor, but honestly felt more like a FFF (Fast, Fun and Friendly) event than anything else. The entire beauty department, suited up in jeans and white cotton tees, flooded out of the building at lunch, armed with energy and high spirits. When we got there, we could choose to volunteer with the residents in three different ways: 1) Playing “Bunko,” (still don’t know what that is…) 2) decorating sun catchers, and 3) puffy painting boat hats. Naturally, I gravitated toward puffy painting-my inner child was more than anxious to retreat to the days of camp crafts and messy fun. However, the resident I sat next to, Eloise, told me my nail polish color was ugly (thanks Eloise! I work in cosmetics), but she did love my squiggly floral designs. She requested that I paint flowers all over her hat, and shortly thereafter, the rest of the women at our table wanted my flower designs on their hats too! Soon, volunteers from other craft tables were asking me to come over and paint flowers on their resident’s hats. My designs were in hot demand!

And that’s when I realized- I was appreciated. Not only by the volunteers, but also by my co-workers. It sounds silly, but the appreciation went deeper than for my above-mediocre artistic ability with art supplies-my time and presence were truly valued by those around me. And I, in turn, truly valued the stories and sincerity that the residents provided. Whether I continue to milline(?!) hats or not, I am confident volunteering will always be a big part of my life, and I am grateful to work for a company that integrates something so wonderful into the lives of employees.

Post by Rachel, Merchandising Business Analyst Intern


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