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Polly Noel-Storr

Head of buying, Wish Want Wear

What does your job involve?

As head of buying [at designer dress hire website Wish Want Wear] I’m responsible for everything to do with product on the site. This involves everything from planning the budgets, sourcing new brands, building relationships with those brands and negotiating the trading terms. I also work closely with our stylist to produce the photography on the site. We ensure that we keep all of the imagery on brand and on trend. As part of our team I work on the customer’s journey to the site, and ensure their experience is second-to-none.

What skills do you need?

In any buying role you need a very thick skin and perseverance. I also find a good sense of humour is helpful. The most important skill is the ability to think creatively. Being both computer literate and logical is essential, as well as being numerate.

What do you like and dislike about your job?

I love being part of a new business. It’s really interesting to be a part of something so new and exciting, and I enjoy being part of a really open and collaborative team.  The only downside of the role would probably be catching the 5.40am Eurostar train to Paris, but the fact there is a day full of exciting buying appointments at the other end makes the early start worthwhile.

How did you get to where you are today?

I studied Fashion Design at Winchester School of Art, and after graduating went to New York to do some work placements. It was then I realised that buying was the perfect fit for me. On my return to the UK I persevered, trying to get my foot through the door of a buying office. I knew once I got my break I would be able to work my way up the ladder. It’s not always been an easy ride but I’m extremely proud of where I am and the roles I’ve held.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

I think my proudest moment would have been the feedback I received from the talk I did to the MA students at the Royal College of Art in 2008. I still receive emails from the students asking for guidance in the industry.

What’s your ambition?

I’m extremely passionate about making Wish Want Wear a success. I believe collaborative consumerism is the way forward for the industry as it offers such a unique platform to brands and a completely new experience to the end customer.

My ambition for the future is that in a year’s time Wish Want Wear will be every woman’s go-to wardrobe solution.

How do you intend to get there?

As a team we have a very clear business plan and I’m happy to say I’ve gained huge support from the industry. I believe that with these two elements in place we will achieve our goals.

What three words sum you up?

Confident, creative, charismatic.

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

Getting that first step on the ladder is essential, and then focus on what your goal is and work towards that in an open-minded manner. Any experience is good experience, and never forget who has helped you along the way. 

CV

2011  Head of buying, Wish Want Wear

2008  Womenswear buyer, Fenwick

2003  Buyer designer bridge, Selfridges

2001  Assistant selector, Phase Eight

2001  BA Hons Fashion, Winchester School of Art

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