By Lada Stauter
Riley Williamson knew from a young age that she was destined to do greater things than just moving back home town after graduating.
Williamson is pursuing her lifelong dream of starting her post-grad career in New Orleans. She is a recent IMC graduate from the University of Mississippi, Class of 2021.
She first got the idea from her father, Erwin Williamson, who had lived in New Orleans after he graduated from Ole Miss. From then on, Erwin has inspired her and it became her dream.
Williamson will now be working for Interior Designer, Rivers Spencer. She is so eager to move to New Orleans as soon as she can to start her job.
“I started packing the minute I arrived back to Oxford. It was the best news I have ever gotten,” Williamson said.
She had originally planned on staying in Oxford to pursue a career in fashion merchandising. Williamson took classes in the fall of 2020 for fashion merchandising to further her career in the industry. She never thought that she would find herself in New Orleans this soon or in the interior design world, but she is more than ready to take on this new position.
“Since I’m from Memphis, I always considered Oxford a small town,” she said. “I was apprehensive to place my hopes in Oxford to teach me about fashion on a large professional scale. However, my work at Neilson’s Department Store on the Oxford Square taught me something I value even more within fashion intellect, capsule collections. I was able to bring a few select pieces into Neilson’s expecting them not to sell out since they were so fashion-forward, but I was happily surprised by the response and renown Oxford gave them.”
Williamson has a great support system from all over the United States, from Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, even New York. Her friends and family are cheering her on all the way.
“I am extremely lucky to have the support that I do, they are the reason that I feel so prepared for this new journey,” Williamson said.
She will be greatly missed by her co-workers at the J.E. Neilson Department Store, where she had previously been the buyer for accessories and ran various social media accounts for the business.
“Riley is much more than just a co-worker. She has become like a sister to me and I am so sad to see her leave. I know she will do great things and I can not wait to visit her at her new job and home. She’s going to kill it,” said a former co-worker, Kate Wood.
Williamson considers herself to have been the perfect fit for this job and has remained incredibly positive about the transition she is about to make. She feels Ole Miss and her previous life experiences have prepared her for this moment.
Williamson is confident that she will do great things and has made it her main goal in life.
“I have always prepared myself for a job like this, but I never imagined I would get an opportunity to do it too soon and it makes it even sweeter that Rivers is an Ole Miss graduate,” Williamson said. “This is my dream job and I can not wait to make my employer, friends, family, and myself proud.”