Head of marketing, White Stuff

What was your first job in retailing?

I worked for Topshop in Brighton when I was at university to supplement my student grant money.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

Probably Apple or Innocent. Apple have absolute understanding of their customer. Innocent is a great product, but I admire them most for their brand values.

What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?

I try to please everyone and never have time for myself.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

Sally Bailey our chief executive – when she first started at White Stuff she was my line manager and taught me to understand the customer. She inspired me with her vision for White Stuff to be more than a clothing brand.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

You need to be prepared to work hard and be incredibly passionate about the product.

What keeps you awake at night?

My cat when he wakes me up for food.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

We don’t just sell clothes; we raise money and make a difference to many charities. We have a White Stuff Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children and young people in local communities. We raise money through fundraising in our shops and at head office.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Winning Drapers Best Marketing Initiative Award in 2008.

What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?

A teacher or a journalist.

What’s your favourite shop and why?

Anthropologie on King’s Road. I love the sensory experience you get in their shops – the living walls and the art gallery.

What was your last purchase?

A flight to Marrakesh – I’m off there on a yoga holiday in October with White Stuff’s yoga club.