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How I got here - Jasmin Lee

Carlo Pazolini’s Westfield White City store manager showed an eagerness to progress.

What does your diary look like today?

Today I’m reviewing all of the spring 13 collections [Carlo Pazolini is a footwear and accessories retailer] in store in order to give feedback to my merchandiser. This is also an opportunity for me to request the right stock from the autumn 13 collection. In the afternoon, I have a meeting with my assistant manager with regards to staff progression.

What meeting are you most looking forward to today?

My meeting with my assistant manager. Staff development is important to us. Each store employee undergoes training in the official company training centre in order to keep customer service at the highest level possible. We will be discussing each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and setting objectives in order for them to achieve their goals.

What task do you wish you could postpone?

I tend to check my emails first thing in the morning and always reserve an hour at the end of the day to ensure I’ve responded to each one. However, I’m often on call to Italy, which can be a challenge because it can get extremely busy on the shop floor.

How did you get to where you are today?

I think the key to my progression has been focus, determination and my passion for retail. Since joining Carlo Pazolini I always sought the next challenge from our chief executive, Simone Domenella, to show how eager I was to progress, and that definitely helped me get to where I am.

What has been your career highlight?

There are a few that come to mind but the most recent one was being given the opportunity to work in our new concept store in Westfield White City. As it’s the new flagship store for the brand, the entire management had to be restructured because I would be managing a much larger team.

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

Absolutely nothing.

I still enjoy the new challenges I am faced with every day. The most exciting part about my job is that it can be full of surprises. One day you can be having a merchandising disaster, and the next you can have customers coming in to buy the shoes [TV presenter] Laura Whitmore was spotted wearing.

Who is your mentor?

Our business development director for Europe Olga Bogacheva. She recognised my talent for retail and pushed me into retail operations. Olga knows how passionate I am about the product so involving me in the buying and merchandising process has meant that I can give a lot more input from my in-store experience.

What was the best piece of advice she’s ever given you?

A good manager is kind, fair and truthful to everyone they deal with.

How do you see your career progressing?

Carlo Pazolini has very ambitious plans for the UK. I hope to develop my role in the management team and one day become a regional manager.

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

There is no easy way. Be prepared to work long hours while maintaining your focus and passion. It can be challenging but rewarding at the same time.

  • Salaries for this position range from £40,000 to £50,000 (estimate provided by Le Pont)


2011 Store manager, Carlo Pazolini

2011 Graduated BA (Hons) Fashion Management in Buying and Merchandising, London College of Fashion

2001 Area manager, Far East, Topshop and Topman, - based in London and working with Singapore and Malaysia

1997 Senior supervisor, Versus by Versace

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