Store manager, Banana Connection, aged 30
Good personal service is what sets independents apart, and Dominika Sindlerova, store manager for Banana Connection in Waltham Cross, lives and breathes this.
Being nominated in the Young Fashion Independent category at the Drapers Independents Awards last year is her proudest achievement: “It was great that the UK fashion industry recognised our efforts. It was also reassuring that trade professionals think I’m taking the company in the right direction.”
She found her love for fashion retail while working as a stockroom clerk for north London independent 21, after emigrating from Slovakia to London to study for a Business Management degree at the University of Hertfordshire aged 21. She then joined Banana Connection on a part-time basis in 2006, and quickly rose through the ranks at the family-owned store.
Banana Connection director Shriti Sood says: “Dominika has a strong work ethic and is hardworking. She is proactive in finding new ways to do things.” Taking the initiative sets Sindlerova apart. For example, last summer, she tailored all unsold chinos and long sleeve shirts into shorts and short sleeved shirts, improving sell-through from what would have been dead stock.
Sindlerova has also teamed up with the London College of Fashion to allow its students to create a collection from the store’s unsold stock. “The economic climate requires a proactive managerial and buying approach. The objective is to create high-quality unique products without the designer price tag.”