Key account manager, Boardman Bros, aged 28
Laura Davies was lucky enough to be spotted when she was on a placement year with high street fashion accessories supplier Boardman Bros on her year out from her fashion marketing degree at Manchester Metropolitan University.
“I was in a very basic support role, but the managing director Philip Wright saw something in me.” She stayed on working for the business during her final year and joined full-time in 2004.
Six months in and she moved to the sales team as a junior account manager. Today, as key account manager she works as much on product development as she does on sales. “My job is to develop fashion accessory product such as hats, gloves and scarves for retailers including Next, Claire’s, Oasis, Debenhams, Tesco, Forever 21 and Arcadia.
I work closely with the buyers on developing their collections and I head up a team of in-house designers and merchandisers who control the critical path at order placement stage.”
Traveling extensively, managing production, buying textiles and trims, Davies says: “I absolutely love working at Boardmans. Sometimes it can be very stressful – the challenge is to get as much of the retail buy as possible. In meetings it can be daunting, but it’s like a performance and I’m good at it.”
Davies sees herself as part of the next generation of directors. “I’m going to keep doing the best I can, and become a member of the board one day.”