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A day in the life - Sue Tebbitts

The brand manager for accessories labels Fiorelli and Nica says organisation is a must in her role.

I wake up at 6.30am with the alarm and quite often with my eight-year-old son stomping around. I’m quite a morning person so I’m up, showered and then it’s a bit of a military routine to get the two kids ready. We’re out the door by about 8am. There’s no uniform as such at work, because it’s a very young environment, but I like to be smart casual.

I live in Battersea but I walk to Clapham Junction where I jump on the Overground to Victoria, before catching the District Line to Hammersmith.

I get into the office for 9.30am, switch on the computer and have breakfast I’ve brought from home - usually Greek yoghurt and fruit.

I work across both Fiorelli and Nica [at UK distributor TLG Brands] and oversee five people on each brand, which includes three designers, two graphic designers, product managers and a marketing co-ordinator. I check in with the team first thing.

TLG is quite a meetings-centric company, so I’ll meet with the web team, the sales team, meet for product reviews, and go out for external meetings.

Fiorelli is sponsoring Cancer Research UK’s fundraising initiative Race For Life, so I’ve been working with the organisation on the brand’s 25th anniversary and we’ve hosted pop-up stores at the London events. PR has also become much more important to Fiorelli’s strategy. Two months ago we appointed Fearnhurst PR and I’m spending a lot of time working with them on things like product placement and events.

I also meet with the licence holders for Fiorelli sunglasses and jewellery, because it’s important for them to know what we’re doing and for us to know what they are doing, and for me then to relay that back to the team here.

At lunch I’ll pop out to Hammersmith, or if I’ve been extra busy I’ll have bought some salad in. Then in the afternoon I take a couple of hours to complete my own jobs like writing copy for launches or proofreading copy that the press team have written so I can make sure it fits with the tone of the brand.

You need to be very organised to do this job and think strategically without getting too involved in the detail. I left university with a maths degree and began my career at Dorothy Perkins as a merchandise assistant, before making the switch from senior merchandiser into buying while at Debenhams, where I then bought for a number of departments. I bought handbags for my last five years and felt that having bought for just about the biggest handbag department in the country

I couldn’t top it. So to move to TLG and the supplier side seemed like a natural progression. It’s very entrepreneurial here but the big corporations such as Debenhams give great training, and I would advise anyone that wants this type of role to first work in retail buying because that’s the best way to really understand the consumer.

I leave the office by about 5.30pm and I’m home for 6.30pm to 7pm most evenings, when it’s back to mum duties. I live just off Northcote Road, which is really buzzy, so I go out a lot for dinner or drinks with friends and my husband. I try to get to bed for 10.30pm, though it can be later, but I like to get my eight hours.

  • Salaries for this position range from £35,000 to £45,000 (estimate by Michael Page)


2012 Brand manager for Fiorelli and Nica, TLG Brands

2011 Head of division, private label handbags, TLG Brands

2006 Buying manager, handbags and small leathers, Debenhams

2001 Senior buyer, cosmetics, Debenhams

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