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A day in the life - Suzanne Pentland

Lingerie label Freya’s sales manager enjoys a hands-on role.

What does your diary look like today?

Jam-packed. Each day is so varied and completely different from the next. I’m constantly on the road, travelling all over the country to visit our customers. We have more than 300 stockists in the UK and more than 5,000 worldwide. Today I’m at our head office in Northamptonshire attending an internal fitting meeting, but tomorrow I’m jetting off to Ireland to do in-store training. I work closely with our sales consultants and representatives, providing any support and training they need. When in store I need to assess merchandising and retail standards, as well as general trading activity. It’s also a great opportunity to gain insight into what is selling well. We always take feedback on board so we can continuously push our brands forward and keep ahead of the trends.

What meeting are you most looking forward to today?

I work closely with our design department and today we’ve got models coming in, all of whom are fuller busted and a GG-plus cup - so I can’t wait to see the collections on them. Because some of our brands are designed specifically for the fuller bust and fuller figure we have to take a lot into consideration to ensure collections offer optimum support as well as the perfect fit. We believe that one size does not fit all and that every woman is different. Elomi, our brand designed for the fuller figure, has seen double-digit growth over the last few seasons. Consumers are starting to understand the importance of being correctly fitted.

What task do you wish you could postpone?

The admin waiting for me at the end of the day.

How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve always been a fan of [Freya parent] Wacoal Eveden’s lingerie brands. They are market leaders and have a fantastic reputation for amazing fit, great design, support and high-quality collections. I started out as a department store lingerie consultant, where I gained sales experience as well as bra-fitting skills, and I caught the bug. I was working closely with the collections, so the minute an opportunity came up in 2005 to become a consultant for the brand, I jumped at the chance.

What has been your career highlight?

I’ve made a few TV appearances where I was a spokeswoman for the brand. Recently I got to meet and fit a few VIPs through the Mobo Music Awards, which I attended with our PR team. I met celebrities such as Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and girl groups Stooshe and the Sugababes, and invited them for a professional bra fitting in our exclusive bra booth. It was amazing to give them a fitting and to get them in the right size. Eighty per cent of women are wearing the wrong size, and it makes such a difference to the way you look and feel.

Who is your mentor?

I can’t really name one - but I’m really lucky to work with a fantastic team and have the support of our UK and Republic of Ireland sales director Nigel Addison.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Nigel has given me a few pieces of advice, one of them being “Quality will prevail”.

How do you see your career progressing?

Wacoal Eveden’s portfolio of brands is constantly expanding - we now have 13 lingerie and swimwear brands - so there are many opportunities to progress further, which is exciting.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

You’ve got to be passionate, hands-on and totally dedicated to the job. This is not a 9am till 5pm role and you have to be prepared to get stuck in.

  • Salaries for this position range from £25,000 to £30,000 (estimate provided by Michael Page)

CV

2011 Sales communication manager and fit specialist, Wacoal Eveden
2008 Retail sales representative, Wacoal Eveden
2005 Sales consultant, Wacoal Eveden
2003 Sales adviser, Debenhams

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