As the Senior Vice President, Merchandise and Marketing at Hot Topic, Cindy Levitt provides a unique understanding of the teen demographic and retail operations that has allowed her to develop novel licensing programs for Hot Topic stores. Levitt is responsible for the daunting task of ensuring the chain’s 655 stores are filled with fan- favorite apparel and much more. Hot Topic offers band-related apparel and accessories, licensed merchandise, fashion apparel and accessories at stores and online at Nearly 25 years since the store’s founding, there is still a passion for music and pop culture in everything Hot Topic.

The Hot Topic foundation understands how the creative arts can be instrumental in enriching the lives of children. Over the last ten years, the Foundation gave nearly $9 million in grants to non-profit organizations that create music and arts programs for young people across the country. Currently the foundation works with three different programs: The GRAMMY Foundation® provides ‘GRAMMY in the Schools’ programs to high school students and schools; Little Kids Rock® unleashes kids’ inner music-makers by building popular music education programs in under-served public schools; and Notes For Notes® provides youth with FREE after-school recording studio environments packed with instruments to explore, create, and record music. As a woman of achievement Cindy Levitt understands the importance of hard work, dedication and helping others in need.

  1. What is your job title and office location? Senior Vice President/GMM Merchandise and Marketing, City of Industry, CA (Los Angeles).

2. What is your hometown? Laguna Beach, CA
3. What is your Alma mater? Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa CA)
4. Name a woman whom you admire?

Christiane Amanpour because she is fearless… and also my mother Marian who loves life more than anyone I have ever met, she also taught me to be passionate about your job or career, she is 85 and still substitute teaches at an elementary school…simply because she loves it!

  1. What is the thing you love most about your job? My favorite thing is see the smallest glimmer of an idea become reality and then a success…there is nothing better! (And okay…I love how it keeps me young too!
  1. What advice would you give a young woman preparing to enter the workforce?
  • Immerse yourself and become an expert in the subject matter or job that you are interested in, if you don’t someone else will.
  • Volunteer for everything!
  • Write hand written thank you notes… People never forget when you do.
  1. With your busy schedule, how do you balance work/life?

It is not easy and a constant challenge but I always remind myself and others that when you leave your job nobody will remember that you never called in sick or took a vacation, only you and your loved ones will know. It also helps to have a patient, understanding, and supportive boyfriend too!

  1. In your opinion, what is the most important thing about the work that K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers does?

There is so much good and unused product in our industry that goes to waste due to old rules and red tape. K.I.D.S /Fashion Delivers raises an awareness that lets companies take a second look at where our excess or discarded merchandise is actually going and with a trusted and focused infrastructure gets the product in the hands of children and adults that need it the most.