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30 Under 30: Emma Nolan

Junior merchandiser, Miss Selfridge.

Emma Nolan

Emma Nolan

“Always have confidence,” advises Emma Nolan. “Quite often as you get more responsibility you are in challenging situations. I have learnt to always be confident in what you believe and your decisions.”

That confidence has carried her throughout her career. She took a two-year foundation course in Fashion Forecasting at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey. During a two-week work placement at House of Fraser in Bluewater in Kent as a visual merchandiser she was offered a job, which she took on completion of her studies in 2008.

But after two years, Nolan was itching to enjoy the London lifestyle within a retail head office and, although she had a creative background, she also had a good grounding in maths and Excel from school, so merchandising appealed.

She spotted an allocator job at House of Fraser on womenswear brand Linea. She got the job, and was poached by Miss Selfridge a year later, where she has worked her way up over last three years from merchandising admin assistant to junior merchandiser.

Nolan describes the last year as a rollercoaster, having only stepped up to her current role this year after gaining experience when her merchandiser went on maternity leave. She rose to the challenge during a pressured period, which also saw the successful launch of a clubbing and a premium range.

Head of merchandising Silva Hrabar is quick to heap praise on the rising star: “Emma has taken the opportunity to run three departments with open arms and given it everything. She is calm, collected, hardworking and a great team player. She has built two departments from scratch with limited resources and experience, but her sheer enthusiasm to do better has resulted in additional revenue for the company.”

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