Kerry Colda

Fashion Marketing & Management

Fashion Merchandising Instructor
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Kerry Colda

Take what you've learned and apply it to the business world. Kerry Colda , Fashion Merchandising Instructor , The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved the fashion industry. By combining my business and creative skills, I’ve built an exciting career in fashion merchandising and marketing.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I’ve worked in corporate marketing for large companies, and run my own boutique, which means I can bring many aspects of business into the classroom to share with students.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I try to make assignments as realistic as possible so students can take what they’ve learned and apply it to the business world. We come up with a strategic plan in my Fashion Business Management class to help them see the big picture. We establish long-term goals that are time-sensitive and measurable, and then develop tactics to achieve those goals.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

When Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design and Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising students work together, they’re able to meld the creative and business sides of fashion together. It gives each student a broader sense of the industry, and shows them how the two disciplines complement each other.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Take what you’ve learned and apply it to the business world. Whether you want to run your own business or work for a large company, it’s important to look for solutions to problems and keep learning.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I launched Trendy Traders, a clothing exchange that taught my students merchandising and social media marketing skills while giving back to the community. Trendy Traders let students swap gently worn clothing for new clothes, for free. All remaining clothing was donated to charity. It was a good way for students to give back to the community while learning sustainable ways to run a business.