The head of retail at heritage brand Really Wild Clothing Company has grown with the business.
What does your diary look like today?
Today is incredibly busy. We’re hosting a charity event at our flagship store in aid of The Willow Foundation, a charity that supports seriously ill people aged between 16 and 40, so we’re expecting a good day in terms of sales. I also have to fit in stock orders and ensure I respond to any issues or questions that come from our retailers because they are in the midst of our spring 13 selling season. I’m also planning ahead for the autumn 13 collection. And I assist Natalie [Lake, founder of Really Wild Clothing Company] with manufacturing specifications. The days just fly by.
What event are you most looking forward to today?
I’m looking forward to introducing some of the celebrities that will attend the charity event to the brand. It’s great to help them get the look they are after.
How did you get to where you are today?
I began part-time when the company had just started, and as the company grew my role developed with it. I’m now involved with everything from the manufacturing process to stock control, invoicing and selling to retailers.
What has been your career highlight?
Meeting Prince William and Kate Middleton, when they shopped at our flagship store at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School.
If you could change one thing about your career path, what would it be?
It would be to have maybe started working in the fashion industry earlier, rather than starting in banking after I left school. Having said that, my first Saturday job was working in a boutique earning £2 for the day, so maybe that put me off. However, I love what I do now.
Who is your mentor?
Natalie Lake is one of my mentors. She’s the one that has put faith in me and allowed me to grow.
What’s the best piece of advice she’s given you?
The devil is in the detail.
How do you see your career progressing?
Hopefully as we take on more retailers and increase sales I can carry on assisting Natalie with the manufacturing process and brand evolution. We get bigger all the time so my role is constantly evolving. We also have the new ready-to-wear collection launching, called London, which should see us expanding into the capital, a new market for us.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Work hard and look after the customers first and foremost, because they are your bread and butter. Then always be as helpful as you can to the retailers, even your smaller boutiques, because you should never forget where you came from.
If you could work in another area of fashion, what would it be?
I’d quite like to be a personal shopper, because I like helping customers find outfits and clothing to suit them.
- Salaries for this type of position normally range from £50,000 to £100,000, depending on the size of the business (estimate provided by Success Appointments)
2004 Head of retail, Really Wild Clothing Company
2002 Shop manager, Really Wild Clothing Company
2000 Shop assistant, Royal Berkshire Shooting School
1998 Admin at Lane Fox Estate Agents
1986 Stockbrokers assistant, Charlton Seal
1979 Cashier/supervisor, Barclays Bank
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