Website coordinator and general merchandise buyer helps keep Inver Hills Bookstore running smoothly during pandemic
Kim Capocasa, 34, serves as the website coordinator and general merchandise buyer for the Inver Hills Bookstore at Inver Hills Community College. Kim started working at the college five years ago. Her previous career experience includes positions at Target and TakeAction Minnesota, the latter a nonprofit membership organization.
Kim handles myriad duties in her dual role. As website coordinator, she manages the bookstore website, making sure accurate information is available, putting up images on the homepage, creating video tutorials and more.
“I also process, approve and ship out all online orders,” Kim said. “I am the go-to person to ask questions about the website and how to order online. If you are on the phone with someone about ordering books online, it is probably me!”
Her duties as general merchandise buyer include selecting, helping design, and ordering clothing as well as gifts, school supplies, food and beverages throughout the year.
“Basically, if it is not textbooks, I’m probably the one who ordered it,” she said. “I try to make sure we are stocked on all items that people may need. I also try to put out some new items and brands that people may not know about.”
“Kim is a very savvy and innovative employee. We rely greatly on her technical and creative skills in designing both the Inver Hills and DCTC Bookstore websites, as well as coordinating the marketing materials for each. She is a shrewd general merchandise buyer as well.
During the pandemic, the Inver Hills Bookstore pivoted from processing 21 percent of its textbook orders online during spring of 2020 to filling 74 percent of its orders online in spring term 2021 (3,374 total books).
Thanks to her exceptional attention to detail and organizational skills, Kim managed the entire process efficiently and effectively. We could not have nimbly made this change without her exceptional management of the web order process!”
Auxiliary Services Director
Inver Hills Community College
Dakota County Technical College
More about Kim…
Originally from Oakdale, Minnesota, Kim graduated from Tartan High School, Class of 2005. She has culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu.
“I love to cook and definitely use what I learned in cooking for my family and friends,” Kim said.
Kim and her husband, Guy, have been married three years. Guy is the locksmith for Anoka County. Their family includes one dog, a 14-year-old, “super old gal” named Sam, one rescue bird, a green-cheeked conure named Rue, and one reptile, an 8-year-old corn snake named Peach.
In her free time, Kim very much enjoys reading all kinds of books—particularly fantasy and mystery novels.
Kim resides with her family in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Kim family gallery
One word that best describes your time at Inver Hills:
Kim Capocasa • Q & A
What do you like most about your job at Inver Hills?
I love getting to work directly with the students and be able to be helpful to them. I like going out of my way to make sure students have a good experience when they come to get their books, supplies or even just snacks between classes.
Why did you choose the retail sector as your career field?
I think it is just something that I stumbled into, but I very much enjoy it! I get to work with all kinds of people, students, parents, faculty and vendors.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your life on the job?
COVID-19 has had an immense impact on my work. Because I handle our online orders, our volume for outgoing shipments tripled in a very short amount of time. It has also made life in-store a bit glum. I miss seeing everyone on campus.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of coordinating the Inver Hills Bookstore website?
The most challenging part of handling the website is the cyclical nature of my work. For weeks on end, we have no online orders. Then, suddenly, we have 100 orders a day for six weeks. And then we go back to none. It is the nature of the beast, but it certainly challenges my time management.
The most rewarding part is being able to walk students through their online order. It keeps my day varied and makes me feel in touch with the student body and what they’re thinking about as they move through our website.
Three words that describe you as a retail professional:
APPROACHABLE. FRIENDLY. DILIGENT.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of purchasing merchandise for the Inver Hills Bookstore?
Oof! Purchasing merchandise in general has always been something that I have found challenging. Trying to predict trends and if there is a certain style or design that will do well in a particular year is always such a guessing game.
But getting a style or brand right is always so rewarding. I like trying to bring in new vendors and styles to keep things fresh. When people come in, buy it, and talk about it all the time, it’s really rewarding to hear that my efforts are enjoyed to others.
What is one thing every retail professional needs to know?
Listen to your customers, even when they are upset.
What person has influenced you the most in life?
My mom, Shari.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
If this year has taught me anything, it is that you cannot predict the future. Perhaps on a hoverboard—on Mars!
Kim Capocasa • 12 Answers
- Favorite sport or physical activity: Walking around the neighborhood
- Place you would most like to visit: Greece
- The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Visited Tokyo
- Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Travel as much as possible 2) Eat all kinds of exotic foods 3) Donate a bunch of money towards criminal justice reform
- Favorite TV show you’re watching now: Sherlock
- Best movie you’ve seen lately: Message from the King
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: To be 100 percent debt free
- Your national bird if you were your own country: Hummingbird
- Dream occupation: Voice actor
- Person you would most like to meet: Helen Mirren
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: American Sign Language
- Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Climate change
Learn more about the Inver Hills Bookstore by contacting:
Auxiliary Services Director
Bookstores, Copy/Print Services,
Inver Hills Community College