Denim indie Donna Ida’s client services director left graphic design to pursue her fashion dream.
What does your diary look like today?
I start early with a meeting with all the boutique managers and head office staff to review trade and plan the weeks ahead. After that I check in with chief executive Donna Ida before I look at new deliveries for our VIP clients. My afternoon will be
spent liaising between Donna Ida boutiques, head office and customers in store to deliver the best level of service.
What task are you most looking forward to today?
I love being in store; especially the floor walks where I get to see the Donna Ida girls, customers and of course the new deliveries. I enjoy helping people and making them feel good about themselves. There is nothing better than a customer coming in disheartened by denim shopping and then leaving with a big smile, having thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I also love being surrounded by gorgeous denim and fashion.
What task do you wish you could postpone?
Going through my emails is always a big task as I’m the point of contact for a lot of people. I have to be organised to prioritise urgent queries and deal with day-to-day issues.
How did you get to where you are today?
I originally studied graphic design and worked for five years in the industry. I started to realise it might not be the right direction for me and I wanted to do something
I was truly passionate about – which was fashion. I took the plunge and have never looked back. I have six years retail experience and I started at Donna Ida as manager of the Chelsea boutique in 2010 when I moved to London from Sydney, Australia.
What has been your career highlight?
Being successful in the retail industry. I’ve worked my way up over the years and am proud of where I am. It was a big deal for me to move to London.
I was leaving a job, friends and family. I’m glad I did though.
If you could change one thing about your career path, what would it be?
I wish I’d studied fashion so I had a greater understanding of fabrics, trends and the history of fashion.
Who is your mentor?
I’d say Donna has been incredibly inspiring. She’s worked so hard to build the business up and is just about to launch her own denim range Ida, which will finally deliver a high-waisted denim collection, which our customers can’t wait to get their hands on.
What’s the best piece of advice she’s given you?
If you work hard then you’ll be successful.
How do you see your career progressing?
I’m happy working at Donna Ida because my job is so varied. I can be on the shop floor one minute and working in head office the next. I’m lucky I get to be involved in all aspects of the business and introduce customers to their perfect pair of jeans.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Work really hard. Dedication and commitment will get you to the top.
If you could work in another area of fashion, what would it be?
I’d probably be in product development so I could use all my knowledge of what customers are looking for.
- Salaries for this position range from £30,000 to £40,000 (estimate provided by CVUK)
2011 Client services director, Donna Ida
2010 Chelsea boutique manager, Donna Ida
2008 Retail manager, Deseo
2006 Graphic designer, Waiheke Marketplace
2004 Graphic designer, Life Magazine