Thalia Rodriguez, Store Manager, Florida Dec 18 2014
Through all my 4 years with American Apparel, I’ve always looked up to Dov Charney as a role model. I’ve never met someone more hard working and dedicated than him, and never have I been part of a company where a CEO is so in tune with his company and employees.
I first met Dov in 2012, when I was a key holder at the Lincoln Road location. I attended a brief meeting with Dov that included a store manager from Miami and my district manager at the time. During the meeting we spoke about many ideas we each had for the company. I am always thinking of new ideas that we can put into play, so this meeting was a great way for me to vent all those ideas. Being from a big store like Mi1 with many employees, I never thought that my ideas would matter or that my hard work would be noticed, but that night they were. I couldn’t even believe I was sitting in front of the man that turned selling t-shirts out of his college dorm into a company with over 200 stores world wide! I used to drive my dad’s car and pick him up from work right after I left work. When my district manager asked me if I could attend a very important meeting with Dov, I remember calling my mom, explaining to her the situation (she was also in shock) and then begging her to pick up my dad for me. She wasn’t too happy and was kind of mad that she had to cancel her plans, but it was all worth it.
Now, 2 years later, I am so proud of what that meeting made of me. A few months after that meeting, I was flown out to L.A. to help Dov with a special website project. During my time working with Dov in L.A. ,I helped out with re-organizing the format presentation of the website/ deciding what would be the items that we would feature most, I helped decide what would be the best fabric for new products and audited some low performing stores. My favorite part about the trip was getting to know where our products came and seeing the day to day routine of Dov.
My most memorable experience working with Dov was in New York. That’s where I learned that he wasn’t an average CEO. You will never see Dov in a suit and tie, and that really says a lot about him. On one of my many audits with Dov of the stores in New York, what really impressed me was when he got on his hands and knees to clean up gum from the floor or when he taught me how you really clean windows without leaving streaks. He’s not the type to just bark commands, and I think that’s what makes him such a great leader. It’s very motivating to see that he is so humble after all his success, we would walk into stores and he wouldn’t mind helping customers, or having to get dirty. He cares so much about his company and his employees and that’s what makes him so special, that’s what makes all of our proud to work at American Apparel. Working at American Apparel having Dov as our CEO, we were always given the opportunities to express our ideas, we are not one in a million.
I thank him for all that he has taught me, for teaching me that to get things done, you have to start by doing them yourself and not letting anything stand in your way. Dov started from the very bottom and worked his way up, and I see my way heading up the same path. I started off as a sales associate and now I am store manager of the flagship store in Miami, and I know that’s not where my journey ends.
Dov continues to be my mentor and I know I can always count on him. He has taught me that to succeed you don’t necessarily have to have a degree, you just have to be dedicated. Without the plentiful opportunities Dov has given me I would not be the young professional I am this day.