Employee Spotlight: Jennifer Orr, Spanx Sales Associate
From the shores of Jamaica to the streets of London, Jennifer Orr's experiences helped her bring a world of talent to TPA's Airside C dressing rooms.
Growing up in Jamaica, Jennifer Orr's life took quite a turn when her family relocated to Ohio during her teenage years.
“I distinctly remember the first day I saw snow,” she said. “I was indoors at my high school and I was so afraid of freezing to death that I wouldn’t go outside.”
After some gentle coaxing by her family, she finally made it home that day, but it wouldn’t be long before Jennifer decided to leave Ohio behind. She held tight to her long-held dream of pursuing a career in fashion, which brought her a world of opportunities that led to not only an exciting journey, but eventually, a much warmer climate.
After winning Miss Debutante in Toledo, she took an internship at the iconic Harrods department store in London. After that, Jennifer found her way to New York City and worked on 7th Avenue in fashion merchandising. She grew in a number of management roles before finally relocating to Florida and joining her sister who lived in the area. After settling in Tampa, Jennifer looked for a new job.
“I ended up being on the team that opened the Spanx store at TPA's Airside C,” Jennifer said. “Back then, I honestly wondered who would even buy Spanx at an airport, but all these years later I now know!"
And to her surprise, she wound up loving it, calling it her “dream job.”
“I work hard to make women feel and look good in their clothes," Jennifer said. "That’s what this brand is all about. People often don’t know how to wear Spanx and we have products that smooth, shape, or sculpt. I work to teach them how to wear different things and look good while doing so. I often give customers a mini-seminar and help them leave this store feeling confident.”
Working at an airport is special, Jennifer said, and loves meeting the people that pass through TPA every day.
“It’s such a joy for me to help them get the right size, every time,” she said. “It's my job to help them find the perfect fit – you can’t just pull these clothes on! I’ll help them rock, wiggle and dance their way into their new clothes. I want them to be comfortable and feel good about themselves."
Jennifer also has a way of connecting with customers on a more personal level, sometimes even praying with travelers who are distraught or distressed.
“Once, a lady came into the store and looked really sad,” Jennifer said. “We began talking and I found out she had just lost her husband. We held hands and prayed together. Moments like that make my job truly special.”
Outside of the store, Jennifer loves spending time with her family, gardening and traveling. When she’s not spending time with her five grandkids – a sixth, she just found out, is on the way – Jennifer is often tending to the growing number of plants she keeps in her backyard.
“Oh, I have everything,” Jennifer said. “Pineapples, papaya, avocado, mangoes and so much more. And I make a mean jerk chicken if I do say so myself.”
Much like she did in her youth, Jennifer still has a passion for adventure and has her heart set on a trip to Jerusalem and Paris.
“Those are my top two bucket list places,” she told us. “My faith is really important to me, so I want to go on a faith walk in Jerusalem someday. I’ve also wanted to go to Paris, too, so I might have to combine it into one big trip.”
Jennifer had some advice for those who are looking for a career in her field.
“Come to your job with a work attitude each morning," she said. "When you arrive, put your game face on and leave all your personal problems at the door. Your goal at work is to take care of people and set goals for yourself. Learn the product you’re selling and you'll see your sales dramatically increase. And always keep customer service as a top priority … it goes a long way.”