Buying director, Millets
What was your first job in retailing?
Management trainee with Harrods.
Which retail company do you admire most and why?
Anthropologie. It has a fabulous USP with its eclectic mix of quirky fashion labels and homeware. As a customer walking in to its store, the shopfit is inspirational and the visual merchandising is witty. The fitting rooms are well staffed so it is very easy to ask for alternative sizes. I always purchase when I visit.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
Impatience, it’s a constant surprise to me that not everyone can, or is able to, move at the pace I do.
Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?
Gill Hinsbey, an extraordinary buyer from my Burton Group days who taught me as an assistant buyer the importance of supplier relationships, working as a team, range building and negotiation skills.
What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?
Don’t do it unless you have a real passion for our industry. This will never be a 9am to 5pm career.
What keeps you awake at night?
Gladys, my English Bull Terrier, barking at the moon.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Working with great people at all levels on a daily basis, whose passion for fashion and the outdoors is unparalleled.
What’s your proudest achievement?
A team parachute jump for cancer research.
What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?
I would have renovated old buildings or been an interior design.
What’s your favourite shop and why?
Cologne & Cotton on Marylebone High street.
It’s full of things I never knew I needed.
What was your last purchase?
New Peter Storm walking boots - Gladys ate the last pair.