Welcome to the JAG Collective Member Spotlight featuring Adrienne Shelton.
Growing up in Amityville, NY, Adrienne was one of six brothers and sisters.
Adrienne attended Hampton University - a historically black college in Hampton, Virginia. She always excelled in math, so she decided to pursue a major in accounting. She enjoyed her studies but noticed how passionate her peers were about the program, yet something was missing for her.
While waiting to interview for Arthur Andersen she had a chance meeting with a recruiter of Rikes Department store which changed her trajectory completely.
Her first job was as an Assistant Buyer with Rike’s Department store in Dayton, OH. She refers to her career as one of many “firsts and onlys” and in this role she was the first black assistant buyer at the company.
Throughout her career she has been associated with 16 different companies or brands from Federated to May Company to Lane Bryant to Montgomery Ward. She’s also moved to 15 different cities for job opportunities - from Chicago to New York to Cleveland to Columbus.
During the 90’s Adrienne was receiving her “PhD in buying,”merchandising, sourcing and marketing because back then the role was all encompassing. She worked for Lane Bryant, a subsidiary of Limited Inc and really learned what it was to be a great product developer, a great merchant, and to really understand sourcing. She spent 10 years there.
Her next step was as a Divisional Merchandising Manager at Montgomery Ward. And in 2010 she stepped into her first role as a VP, Divisional Merchandising Manager at Catherine’s. Throughout her career she always aspired to get to the next level and it was through consistently showing up as her best self, and leaving a memorable impression.
In 2017, Adrienne would continue to forge a path towards breaking down barriers and holding the door for other Black Women to enter the executive arena. Catherine’s was now owned by the Ascena Group as well as Lane Bryant. Ascena relocated Catherines HQ to Columbus, Ohio from Bensalem, PA to join Lane Bryant and formed the “Plus Segment”.
She was faced with a difficult decision, to move or not to move. The decision to move was made easier when Adrienne was promoted to the SVP/GMM of Merchandising and Design for Catherines. The culmination of everything she had worked for!
Most of the design and merchandising team did not relocate. She had a short period of time to move, hire, train and set up a new team in Columbus.
Adrienne formed a talented team, and the most diverse one in all of Ascena. No stranger to change, but after two years of constant change with Catherines and the Plus Segment she reached the point in her life and felt it was her time to retire.
She was part of Catherine’s glory days and helped lead them to achieve 17 quarters of comp sales and margin growth. In June 2019 she retired from the corporate world.
While she has left the corporate world she is now using her business acumen and expertise to partner with Jordan Alliance Group in an executive advisory role.
Her core beliefs have always been centered around transparency, authenticity, family, and her spiritual connection with her Grandmother. Throughout her career she has recognized the importance of sharing her story to inspire others and this has also driven her passion for mentoring. A trailblazer, a leader who was one of many “firsts and onlys”, Adrienne has proved that through perseverance, hard work, and a strong belief anything you want is attainable.
Today you’ll find Adrienne gardening, traveling, discovering new Florida beaches near her home in Palm Coast, spending time with family and friends and walks with her fur baby Ebony.