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Drapers 30 Under 30 2020: Megan Calcutt, buyer and manager, Cordelia James

Age: 24

An emerging star in the independent sector, Megan Calcutt was bitten by the retail bug at a young age. She grew up watching her mother, Zoe Calcutt, build womenswear boutique Cordelia James in Rye, East Sussex, and Hawkhurst, Kent. She recalls attending her first fashion trade show – Pure London – while still a teenager. Keen to learn as much as she could, she balanced school and university with attending buying appointments and joined Cordelia James full time after graduating from the history of art course at University of East Anglia in 2016.

Calcutt hit the ground running – the same year she joined the business, she was tasked with opening Cordelia James’s third store in Lewes, also in East Sussex. She combines working on the shop with merchandising, creating window displays and building the business’s social media presence by working with local bloggers, as well as buying.

Other key achievements include building Cordelia James’s ecommerce offer and developing an EPOS system for all three stores.

Hannah Jordan, sales director at agent MDA International, which represents brands such as Mama B and Mes Soeurs & Moi, says: “Megan brings energy, positivity and professionalism to every buy she does with us. She balances brilliantly both a commercial and independent eye, and is constantly looking to move the business forward by travelling tirelessly to exhibitions and showrooms across Europe to keep her customers excited.”

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