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Tiffany Anderson-Hustedde: Mizzou Brand Leader

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How quickly do you recognize the University of Missouri’s brand? That speed is largely thanks to the work of Tiffany Anderson-Hustedde, associate director of brand management for University Stores, owned and operated by the University of Missouri, representing the four system campuses: UMKC, S&T, UMSL and MIZZOU.

Tiffany’s career with University Stores traverses a path from event coordinator and apparel buyer to her current position. Today, she works directly with the marketing manager, digital technology manager and director of university bookstores to ensure that all aspects of general merchandise support the total branding message of the campuses and the initiatives of the organization. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Tiffany has served on the ICBA Product Opportunity Task Force, presented at ICLA and the NACS conference. 

Outside the office, Tiffany’s family includes her husband, Blake, twins, Anderson and Edyn, seven, and Vivian, four. Add a new puppy to that group and it’s evident she has a busy life. “I have a passion for all things water and sun related and I adore spending time with my family. Inside the office, my team of buyers and I curate a collection of goods for our stores daily. We’re responsible for everything from hats, tees and fashion accessories to school supplies and fan souvenirs. 

“My job is to ensure we represent and brand the collegiate institutions we serve while adhering to licensing and university standards. I work every day to find amazing relevant products our customers want to purchase. We are constantly on the lookout for new trends and the latest in apparel, gifts and accessories for both collegiate goods and fashion ones,” she continued. “I enjoy working with students and showing them how to take their curriculum in school at Mizzou and apply it at work.” Tiffany has enjoyed working on the Official Mizzou Plaid and Official Mizzou Paisley projects, an interdepartmental effort. 

While very pregnant with twins, Tiffany brought to life the ZOUtique, a boutique within the Mizzou Store. “It was many months of long grueling hours and blood, sweat and tears,” she shared. For her, The ZOUtique has been an exhilarating and successful venture, but starting a pop-up store within a store, creating a product mix and building a brand within a brand posed numerous challenges. “Watching the ZOUtique grow and become its own identity has been extremely rewarding. It is definitely one of my babies. I hand select and curate our mix to cater to our black-and-gold-loving fans and sprinkle in fashion for the off seasons; we have just added the Tommy Bahama brand to our inventory. I pride myself on purchasing small quantities of unique things that can’t be found elsewhere in CoMo. I am willing to take risks and have been rewarded with a loyal base of amazing customers.”

Tiffany thoroughly enjoys being a buyer. “It is awesome to be able to create Mizzou styles for our fan base and diverse clientele; however, one of the most rewarding and inspiring parts of my career is working with Mizzou students,” she affirmed. “I cannot tell you how awesome it is to see freshmen become seniors, living and learning at Mizzou and evolving in their professional growth under my direction. They allow me to be part of their learning experience here and it makes buying those thousands of sweatshirts and finding the right gold or the hottest silhouette all the more satisfying. I try to complement what they are doing in the classroom and enhance their curriculum with powerful projects and meaningful core competencies. In my almost 20 years at Mizzou I have had some of the best and brightest individuals who have become Mizzou Made. Giving them real world experience of purchasing for The Mizzou Store and ZOUtique products, sitting in on vendor meetings with brands like Champion and Nike as well as selecting and helping to create an assortment gives them huge advantages when they begin interviewing and looking for jobs. They offer vital feedback to our core audience and they are our best field advisor.”

Her personal fashion leans to hats and animal prints; her favorite is leopard. These two are a staple in her daily wardrobe. “Throw a hat on and you have instant style,” she laughed. For the holidays, she’s looking toward metallics. “Putting on something metallic makes me instantly feel glamourous and ready for a celebration. You can dress metallic up or down and use elements that are full of energy but not too overpowering. Plus, I’m seeing a lot of dresses and skirts over pants. I think this is a fun spin on two wardrobe staples this season.” 

Tiffany’s inspired by women who are strong and passionate about their careers and have a drive to be a leader in their industry. “I am constantly juggling family and my profession; my one general rule of thumb is to give it my all during whatever moment is upon me,” she affirmed. “I truly believe my kiddos know that my career is part of what makes me happy and a good mom to them.” 

Tiffany quotes lifestyle icon Oprah in her advice to other women. “‘Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you,’ she says. I truly believe that if you love what you are doing and you are passionate about it, you are successful” she stressed. “To me, success is not dictated by your pay or title; it is about your happiness. Find a career you love and the other needs will follow. To find work-life balance, live in the now. Do your best in that moment and savor the joy of the madness, and chaos. Learn to thrive in it. 

Tiffany is considering furthering her education at Mizzou. “Teaching my craft appeals to me greatly. Plus, I would like to see ZOUtique hit the road and be more mobile. I feel it is one of Columbia’s best kept fashion secrets!

“One author says, ‘Behind every successful woman is herself!’” she smiled. “And I totally agree with Yves Saint Laurent: ‘Fashions fade, style is eternal.’”