Melanie Gatewood ’10 is Target’s director of multicultural merchandise
It’s February and that means it is Black History Month, a time for the country to reflect on the historic struggles and contributions of African Americans. For many, this is also a time to support African-American owned businesses and enterprises with their wallets.
And no one understands that better than Melanie Gatewood ’10.
The director of multicultural merchandise for major retailer Target, Gatewood is one of the minds behind Black Beyond Measure, a curated collection of apparel (including extended sizes), beauty and home décor, toys, and more available in hundreds of stores and online. Designed to “amplify success stories and celebrate blackness,” the product assortment and its marketing campaign highlight items from black-owned businesses that Target carries year-round and shine a light on black entrepreneurs and Target team members.
“Black History Month is two things to me,” Gatewood recently shared in A Bullseye View, Target’s corporate e-newsletter. “First, it is a moment to take pride in the amazing accomplishments and perseverance of the Black community – especially those untold stories. Second, it is a moment to reflect on my role in furthering the legacy and impact of Black culture.”
It is a role for which Gatewood is well prepared. A lifer at Friends, she served as senior class co-president and co-head of the Upper School Black Awareness Club before heading to Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. A junior-year business analyst internship at Target headquarters led to a full-time position with the company in 2014. Since then she has steadily risen from senior analyst to sourcing manager and senior buyer before landing her present role.
Serving at the intersection of retail and inclusion is definitely Gatewood’s sweet spot.
“It’s true,” she says, referring to a stylish “I am Black History” t-shirt, one of the items included in this year’s collection. “I am a part of Black history every day.”