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How I got here - Sue Gordon

She’s already a font of knowledge, but lingerie brand Chantelle’s trainer and fit expert never stops learning.

What does your diary look like today?

We’re recruiting for a new consultant, so I’m interviewing a candidate in our London showroom this morning. After that I have to visit a consultant in her store and do her appraisal. Later on I’ll be working on the training modules that I’ll be presenting in Dublin next week as part of the Chantelle Academy.

What task are you most looking forward to today?

Working on the training modules, because I get a lot of satisfaction when someone tells me they’ve really enjoyed the session. I need to ensure they find it informative and motivating, but also that the session is fun and relaxed.

What task do you wish you could postpone?

None. No two days are ever the same and I enjoy the variety.

How did you get to where you are today?

I started out as a lingerie consultant. I had a passion for what I did and I was always keen to learn more and be involved in areas outside my day-to-day duties. I worked my way up by rising to new challenges even when I felt nervous about them, and by trying to give 100%.

What has been your career highlight?

Becoming the trainer and fit expert for Chantelle, as the company has a great heritage, which has always focused on women’s comfort and wellbeing. There’s so much to pass on to others about the expertise of the brand, but then I also get to work in a variety of other areas too.

I can be training a group in a class environment one day, then be on the shop floor working with our consultants or an independent retailer the next.

If you could change one thing about your career path, what would it be?

When I left school I did a variety of jobs, but never found one that held my interest. I became a bra fitter quite by chance and I’ve never looked back. So I wish I had found this career path earlier.

Who is your mentor?

I don’t have one particular mentor. My role is so varied. I get to work alongside a great team of people and gain different aspects from each one of them.

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

When I first became Chantelle’s trainer I was told to believe in myself and trust in my knowledge and skill.

How do you see your career progressing?

Progression for me will be continually learning more so I can pass my knowledge on to those I train.

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

Learn as much as you can, not only in fitting but in product knowledge too. Be prepared to work outside your comfort zone.

If you could work in another area of fashion, what would it be?

I wouldn’t change anything. As a bra fitter you share so much with the women you fit. You help to build up their confidence, reassure them on insecurities with their body or support and advise them if they’ve had surgery. It’s the most rewarding job, and I don’t think you would find that in other areas of fashion.

Salary range: £30,000 to £35,000 (estimate provided by Bloom Retail)

CV

2011 Trainer and fit expert, Chantelle

2009 Store consultant, Chantelle

2008 UK merchandise trainer, Lepel

2005 Area manager for London consultants, Lepel

2004 Lingerie mobile consultant, Lepel

2003 Lingerie consultant, Lepel

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