November 1, 2023
In the busy world of fashion retail, where every clothing rack holds a promise of style, there is an often-overlooked gateway to limitless career possibilities – retail sales associate roles. Beyond the friendly smiles at the cash register or the meticulous organization of merchandise, these roles are the foundation upon which thriving fashion careers are built. Lauren Gaddy, now a regional director at Old Navy, kickstarted her career as a seasonal sales associate, using this role as a springboard to a number of career opportunities at Gap Inc.
From folding clothes to leading, developing, and inspiring a team of District Managers, seemingly simple tasks early in her career laid the groundwork for a future where Lauren’s passion for fashion evolved into a fulfilling and dynamic career. Learn more about her journey and why she chose to build her career with us!
Tell us about yourself.
Lauren: I'm a proud North Carolina native from a military family that found their home in the state. My journey led me to Fayetteville State University, where I met my husband, Jas. Now, we've planted our roots in Hampton, Virginia, with our four kids and our adopted feline friend, Leroy. Balancing the adventures of a college junior and a kindergartner keeps me on my toes.
When I am not immersed in family life, you'll catch me indulging in my passions for food, girl's trips, and, of course, all things Beyonce! Oh, and I might be guilty of re-watching old movies and TV shows, complete with reciting lines that may or may not annoy everyone around me – but hey, it's my thing!
Tell us about your career journey with us.
Lauren: I am what we call a Gap Inc. “boomerang.” It all began when I joined the company as a seasonal sales associate in Fayetteville, NC while I was still in college. After graduating, I decided to explore other opportunities outside the company. However, in 2014, I came back to the company, this time as a General Manager in the Raleigh, North Carolina market. I was drawn back to the company because I've always seen it as an aspirational, hip, and inclusive organization. It feels like the cool kids you can sit with!
I rejoined as a General Manager, then moved up to Area Manager, and further advanced to District Manager in Central Pennsylvania. After spending four years in that position, I transitioned to the role of Senior District Manager for the Richmond Market. Currently, I'm in my sixteenth month as a Regional Director.
My journey through these roles was made possible by valuable exposure, mentorship, and advocacy from my leaders who ensured I was included in significant visits within the market. I also had an amazing mentor who offered guidance based on our shared experiences and an unmatched ability to listen and learn.
What do you do today?
As the Regional Director of the Carolinas, I help people unlock their potential! I lead, develop, and inspire my team of District Managers while being a conduit between field and HQ, collaborating across teams to make fashion more accessible for our customers across the Carolinas.
Whether it’s guiding my team members to achieve better results, refining their personal leadership skills, or helping them overcome obstacles to reveal new possibilities, these moments truly energize me.
What brings you to work every day?
Lauren: My team of District Managers, peers, and amazing business partners are the catalyst! Their commitment to the brand, their team, and each other gives me goosebumps, and I count myself lucky to have the privilege of working with them all.
I’m also incredibly passionate about Equality and Belonging initiatives and serve as co-chair for our E&B group, Black @ Gap Inc.
Why do you choose to continue to grow your career with Gap Inc.?
Lauren: We are a performance-based brand. When you put in the effort and drive the results, you get the opportunities to grow and progress in your career and I am a testament to that.
I also love that you can bring your authentic self to work! There is not a mold to fit. We are welcoming and inclusive to all and have an incredible community of equality and belonging groups that add to the feeling of inclusion.
What do you believe makes Gap Inc. great?
Lauren: Our ability to change, pivot, and reinvent ourselves while holding fast to our stance on doing the right thing!
Our brands show the world you can take a stand for what you believe in. Our incredibly strong history of speaking out against social injustices, our philanthropy, and our commitment to creating opportunities and a safe space for all, while being a dominant player in the marketplace shows the world quite clearly you can do both!
How is creativity fostered within your team?
Lauren: Creativity thrives in our team, cultivated by a diverse group of individuals with varied experiences. Our environment encourages open sharing of ideas, free from egos or titles. Every voice is valued, fostering a safe space that sparks brainstorming, collaboration, and a limitless sense of what's possible.
What type of impact do your teams have on our customers and their worlds?
Lauren: More than we know sometimes! Our customers come into our stores, and we have no clue what may have happened before they walked in. Our kindness, expertise, and willingness to help make a huge difference in how they feel when they leave.
We are also deeply rooted in the community and constantly look for ways to foster relationships with local community partners. We don’t aim to take up space in a community without finding ways to give back through events and job opportunities. One of the ways we do this is through our This Way ONWard program – it makes me so proud to see the ways that our stores engage with underrepresented youths in their communities.
What are you looking forward to most at Gap Inc.?
Lauren: I am most looking forward to us reclaiming our position as the most culturally relevant company in the world. Across our portfolio of brands, we have so many moments like this to seize and I’m excited to have a front-row seat to see this vision and direction from our new CEO, Richard Dickson, come to life!
What’s your personal style?
Lauren: My style varies, but as this generation says, my sneaker game is pretty tight, so I love to incorporate sneakers into my wardrobe for comfort and color pop. I like to pair my sneakers with extra high-rise denim and love to mix textures/styles to produce a cool look. Two of my favorite looks right now are a leather bottom with a fleece top or a cargo pant with a velvet bootie!
We’re kicking off one of our biggest seasons yet and are hiring seasonal, part-time, and full-time roles across the country at our warehouse distribution and stores. Whether you’re looking for a part-time job to earn extra cash for the holidays or a job to jump start your career, our seasonal opportunities offer flexible schedules, merchandise discounts at our family of brands, and many chances to learn and grow.
Join our distribution centers and store teams this holiday season! Search and apply for a role near today!
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