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How I got here - Louise Foley

Fat Face’s retail marketing manager tells Drapers why it’s never too late to start a career in fashion.

What does your diary look like today?

Mondays start with reviewing the performance of last week’s sales and attending a wider trading meeting to understand the planning for the next four weeks. This afternoon, I will be working with the visual merchandising team to develop our spring 13 campaign, and then reviewing mine and my team’s performance for our quarterly objectives.  

Which meeting are you most looking forward to today?

The Monday sales meeting is what I most look forward to of a week. It’s the thrill of retail and understanding the performance of your product or campaign.

How did you get to where you are today?

I believe in trusting my instincts and having the confidence to try something new. I started my early career in the legal sector, then I made the decision to switch to retail and now into fashion. For me it’s about understanding what makes customers tick.

What has been your career highlight?

My career highlight has to be creating and implementing Fat Face’s first ever integrated marketing campaign. This was a real milestone for the brand’s history and it proved to be highly successful. Another highlight was my first photo shoot with Team GB windsurfer Bryony Shaw, who is Fat Face’s brand ambassador. Just getting to spend time with an Olympic athlete is a privilege and the sense of achievement when everything comes together is immense.

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

I wouldn’t change anything about my career path, as I believe there is no such thing as the wrong decision, it was always right at the time. 

Who is your mentor?

Rachel Osborne, the financial director at John Lewis. I met Rachel when we were both working at B&Q and we instantly clicked. At the time Rachel was director of strategy and customer insights within the marketing function. She really challenged my way of thinking and approach to analysis and measurement of campaigns to the point of perfection.

What was the best piece of advice she ever gave you?

If you can’t remember the last time you challenged yourself, then what are you waiting for?

How do you see your career progressing?

I see my next career move being head of marketing or a global marketing role within the clothing/sportswear sector. Overall, I’ve learnt it’s really important to work for a brand you are passionate about and really connect with. 

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

It’s never too late to get into fashion, but you have to be passionate and determined. Ensure you find a brand that you connect with and make as many contacts as you can in the industry to help you along the way.

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

It would have to be buying. I imagine it’s a great feeling knowing you are influencing the high street and making customers feel good in what they are wearing.

  • Salaries for this role range from £35,000 to £45,000, estimate provided by (Success Appointments)


2010 Retail marketing manager, Fat Face

2008 Brand manager, B&Q

2006 Customer research manager, B&Q

2004 Trainee solicitor, Denton Wilde Sapte Solicitors

2003 Masters in European and International Law, Metropolitan University

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