Monique Lewis took up the newly-created role of managing director at ethical lifestyle brand Celtic Sheepskin in April. Here she talks to Drapers about her priorities for the brand.
Q: What are your priorities for the brand?
A: The brand has had a fairly narrow product focus up until now. The feedback we get from our customers is that they love our products and they are hungry for more of it. I want to develop our assortment so we can give them more variations of the products they already love.
Q: How will you go about doing this?
A: At the moment, I am looking at whether we have everybody we need to position for growth. With this in mind, I will be looking to strengthen the product team in terms of the design, buying and merchandising functions. By doing this we will have the resource to move into new areas in terms of additional product categories.
Q: How will you expand the product range in keeping with your ethical credentials?
A: Celtic Sheepskin has a very strong message on provenance and we definitely want our ethical position to remain high on our agenda and want to ensure we expand the product range in an ethical way.
Q: Will you look to expand the wholesale side of the business?
A: The prize for us right now is the customer we contact directly (direct-to-consumer through mail order and online channels) and so, because of that, we are not looking to expand the wholesale side of the business. The wholesale customers we already have are important to us and we will continue to work with them.
Q: Are you introducing any new product for autumn 12?
A: One of the biggest opportunities for the autumn season is our footwear business. We are introducing a luxury Italian leather footwear range for the first time for autumn 12. In clothing, we will be bringing in more seasonal product and more better and best product including luxury yarns.