Joe is of the many buyers who brings the things that you’re totally obsessed with into Hot Topic stores. Love WWE? Yeah, this is the guy who should get those thank you fruit baskets.
How long have you worked for Hot Topic?
I just had my 15 year anniversary in October. I’ve been here long enough that I feel I can start calling other people “kid”.
What’s your role within the company?
I’m the buyer for men’s novelty tees and I plan birthday parties!
What got you interested in working for Hot Topic?
I had been buying Metal shirts from Hot Topic since I was like 13, and I always thought the people that worked there were so cool. Funny thing is when I came to HQ many years later and joined the buying team, the former store Manager of the store I used to shop, James Semense, who has been with HT for like 20 years, was our Planner. I think I’m much cooler than him now and taller.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned while being here?
Just like the U.S. Marine Corps I’ve learned out to improvise, adapt, and overcome because a lot of the time things don’t go as planned and you have to be ready for any situation.
Describe working at Hot Topic in three words.
It’s a lifestyle.
What are you totally obsessed with?
WWE and cats.
Marvel or DC?
Marvel, even though I love both. Spider-Man was the very first superhero I recognized as a kid so my parents would buy me anything that him on it.
Doctor Who or Sherlock?
I like them both, but If I had to pick one I would say Doctor Who because I find time travel fascinating.
If you could have any kind of tail, what kind of tail would you have?
A cat tail.
What’s your most played song on iTunes/Spotify/etc?
Even though I’ve probably listened to “Number of The Beast” over 666 times, I would say “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica.
What’s one piece of advice you have for anyone who is thinking about working for Hot Topic or would like to in the future?
Just get your foot in the door. I started as a sales associate. I came to HQ as a Customer Service rep, and then got into Merchandising in a clerical role. So many people here started in the stores, Office Services or even the DC (distribution center).