Today as a part of our Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk's series, we would like to introduce you to our Social Media and Communications Specialist, Sarah Dudinetz. Sarah is one of the latest hires to round out the team at A.K. Rikk's. If you engage with us on social media then you are seeing how she keeps us connected to our clients with updates on new merchandise, event information and changes in store hours so we can best serve you!
What initially drew you to A.K. Rikk's?
I was looking for something local that would utilize my Public Relations degree. Before applying, I did some research on A.K. Rikk’s and read all 80 reviews on Google, looked at every page on the website (and read some Behind the Seams blogs) and checked out their social media. I could immediately tell that these people held themselves to a high standard and they cared deeply about their work. I got a vibe for the A.K. Rikk’s culture just from their online presence, which says a lot about how intentional they are.
What is your favorite brand?
One of my favorite brands at A.K. Rikk’s is Alice + Olivia! They have some super fun and lively styles that just make me smile. They’re definitely styles that I’d want to wear out with friends for dinner or drinks. I can’t wait to treat myself to some Alice + Olivia!
How would you describe or explain the store to someone who has never visited?
This place is so challenging to explain to someone who’s never been here because it’s so different from anything else--especially in Grand Rapids. The service that you’re going to receive from our personal shoppers is unmatched and whether you’re getting ready for an event, buying gifts for someone, searching for outfits for a trip you’re taking or anything else, you’ve got an expert shopper who won’t stop until you’re satisfied. And not only that, I think many of our clients start to see us as close friends, and of course, we see them the same way. It’s not rare for them to just stop in at our bar, have a drink and hang out for a little bit.
When you're not at work, what could we find you doing?
I’ve competed in pageants since 2013 and have fallen in love with the personal growth and development opportunities they’ve given me. I was first runner up to Miss Michigan 2019, have gained over $7,000 in scholarship money and am constantly training and finding new ways to be better in competition!
Who would you say is your number one fashion inspiration?
To keep with the whole pageant theme, I love when fashion serves a purpose and makes a difference. A lawyer and former Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst, was competing at a high school law competition when a male judge, instead of offering her feedback on her legal argument, made a sexist comment on her outfit. This inspired her to start a women’s workwear blog called White Collar Glam that gives inspiration and tips for women who want to dress professionally without feeling like they’re being put in a box. I love her looks and her mission!
What is your power color?
I’ve definitely always thought of black as my power color. There’s something so elevated, timeless and no-nonsense about it and I think everybody looks great in it. My favorite pageant evening gown of all time was black with gold accents!
What’s a talent you wish you had?
I literally just wish I could play one sport. That sounds so sad but I’m sure you’ve caught the vibe by now that I’m a little (or a lot!) more of an artsy person and sports were just never a thing in my family so I never got into them. I’d especially like to get decent at volleyball so I could join a casual beach volleyball game with my friends and not fear for my life.
If you were able to relive a day in your life, which day would that be and why?
Honestly, I’d probably want to relive the day that I was named first runner up at Miss Michigan! Like any other competition or performance, it’s so easy to get caught up in all the adrenaline and excitement and you feel like you don’t remember a single thing. It was a crazy and exciting day full of lots of hugs, tears and butterflies in my stomach and I wish I could go back and soak it all in one more time!
Can you recall your earliest memory that relates to who you are today?
I remember my first dance recital ever when I was four years old. I didn’t know much about what was going on but I knew that I loved getting all dressed up and getting to be on stage doing something fun that I loved with my friends and getting to perform for people. That performance still has me in love with the stage, even 18 years later!
What is the most embarrassing piece of clothing you own?
I’ve had to buy a lot of strange costumes or themed outfits for dance recitals, musicals and pageants over the years. I don’t even know if I still own it but for one pageant-closing number years ago, we were required to dress like different holidays or seasons. Mine was Christmas, so I paid someone a crazy amount of money to make me a custom Christmas-themed dress. It was tacky and itchy and looked like Christmas threw up all over it and I have no idea what happened with it after that night!
This concludes our Behind the Seams interview. The next time you stop into the store make sure you say hello and make Sarah feel welcome. Feel free to ask her questions and chat over all our social media channels.