Head of sales and marketing, Sunuva UV Swimwear and Beachwear
What does your job involve?
As a growing business, my day-to-day tasks [at kids’ swimwear and beachwear brand Sunuva] certainly vary. I can have sales appointments one day, invoices to raise the next, or it could range from creating an online promotion or event, to forecasting our wholesale and online budgets for the year. I’m responsible for nurturing and developing the brand in the UK and internationally.
What skills do you need?
An open-minded and proactive approach, a passion for developing and nurturing a brand, product and market knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, self- motivation and time management skills. Speaking French and Italian has also helped.
What do you like and dislike about your job?
I’m never bored. I like dealing with our distributors and agents around the world and finding clients in places like the Maldives or the Caribbean, organising our trade shows, and gaining accounts like Harvey Nichols and Childrensalon. It’s hard when you are turned down [by a potential stockist], but you just have to brush it off.
How did you get to where you are today?
Hard work, ambition and working for great people. I worked my way up, starting from the shopfloor at Selfridges. When I finished university I was asked to join [kidswear retailer] Petit Bateau in London, where I was showroom and customer services assistant. I then joined kidswear licensee Children Worldwide Fashion (CWF) as brand manager and then distributor Fourmarketing, initially as a product manager before being promoted to head of kidswear.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
One is turning over my first million for D&G Junior, taking it from a very difficult brand to buy, due to price and style, to a key brand. I worked closely with the team at D&G and together we created a much more accessible brand. The other is seeing Sunuva build momentum and fantastic accounts, gain press and loyal online customers who constantly say how much they love it. I’m proud to be part of its success.
What is your ambition?
In the short term I want to take Sunuva to the next level, introduce it to the Far East, grow the business in the US, and see the brand in all the best resorts and department stores in the world. Long term I can see myself having my own kidswear agency.
How do you intend to get there?
By working hard, treating the business as if it were my own, keeping my relationships in the business strong and learning every day from my directors, Emily Cohen and Sabrina Naggar.
What three words sum you up?
Honest, persistent and results-driven.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Stay focused, build and keep relationships strong. Follow your instinct and don’t be demoralised by people turning you down. Experience is key, so gain as much as you can.
2010 Head of sales and marketing, Sunuva UV Swimwear and Beachwear
2009 Kidswear divisional manager, Fourmarketing
2006 Product manager, D&G Junior, Fourmarketing
2004 Brand manager, Nike Fashion and Kenzo, Children Worldwide Fashion
2003 Customer services and in-season sales support, Petit Bateau
1998 Part-time sales associate, Petit Bateau concession at Selfridges, London