Lingerie chain Boux Avenue’s marketing manager says hard work and determination will get you what you want.
What does your typical week involve?
No two weeks are the same and my role is very varied. I work with the senior team on brand strategies, with media agencies on various campaigns and with the creative teams on photo shoots. I’m involved with all aspects that go into print, press, TV and radio.
What task are you most looking forward to today?
We are looking to work with a new charity partner and I’ve been meeting various candidates that are relevant to us. Historically, we have worked with a number of breast cancer charities, but now we are looking to use just one throughout the whole year. We will be working on campaign proposals that are relevant for both parties, which will allow us to help them grow as a charity.
What task do you wish you could postpone?
We are coming up to the end of the quarter, and as I look after all the budgets I have to ensure all invoices and budget plans are on schedule and correct. As much as I love a spreadsheet, it can be very exhausting going through them all.
How did you get to where you are today?
When I finished my A-levels, I went to see a careers coach who told me I would be suited to a communications role. I decided to read about and research marketing and PR to establish it was something I wanted to do. When I was studying at Bournemouth University I did a year placement working for Mini at BMW, which was amazing as I met a lot of interesting people. Before going back to finish my degree, I was offered a job at [footwear retailer] Clarks in its marketing department. I accepted as it gave me an extra year to learn as much as I could. Leaving to finish my degree was a hard transition, but two years in industry gave me a more mature attitude to learning. After graduating I went to work at TRO, an experiential marketing agency, where my main clients were BMW and Mini. It was both physically and mentally demanding, while also being exciting and fun. Then an opportunity arose to work for Boux Avenue. It had only been trading for a year, so I knew it would be a slight gamble - but it was definitely worthwhile.
What has been your career highlight?
Probably working on the development of Boux Avenue. Seeing our spring 14 campaign, which was shot in South Africa, go live on TV this summer has to be up there.
If you could change one thing about your career path, what would it be?
I went straight from boarding school to university, and then into my career. I’m an avid snowboarder, so I would have loved to have had some time out working in a chalet or complex that would have allowed me to ski and develop more as snowboarder.
Who is your mentor?
Lots of people have inspired me, but the two that stick in my head are David Alder and Dave Williams. David Alder was my tutor at Bournemouth and he is one of the wisest people I’ve ever met. Dave Williams is a really successful business owner with his finance firm Open 4 Business Finance. He has always driven me to think of things from different angles and to challenge my decisions or the way I reached them.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
David Alder told me that breaking the rules often makes for the best outcome - but you need to know the rules in order to break them.
How do you see your career progressing?
I want to learn as much as I can, such as looking at how businesses develop and understanding how new technologies are being integrated. When I feel I’ve achieved this, I want to channel it into a leadership role that will allow me to inspire others.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Work really hard, and you will definitely get to where you want to be. I worked hard, put in a lot of hours and was determined. So many people get caught up in career progression and competition, which can cause them to lose their character, but this is what makes you different and allows you to shine in the workplace.
If you could work in another area of fashion, what would it be?
Probably design, as I’ve always been creative. I’d love to have learned about graphic design programs, which is why I love working with the designers at Boux Avenue. They make it all look so easy.
- Salaries for this position range from £40,000 to £50,000, depending on the size of the company (estimate provided by Henry Fox)
2014 Marketing manager, Boux Avenue
2012 Senior account executive, TRO
2012 Graduated BA (Hons) Public Relations, Bournemouth University
2011 Junior account manager, Clarks
2010 National communications assistant, Mini (BMW UK)