My alarm goes off at… the moment a cup of tea lands beside me, or the dog leaps on the bed and licks my face with far too much enthusiasm – whichever happens first really..
Before I leave the house, I… check overnight sales in Little Women and Taylor and Jackson, check WhatsApp in case of any communication relating to TABS®, check the teenager is out of bed (and if I’m very lucky, showered!) stroke the dog and line up any phone calls I need to make whilst I’m en route to the LW office.
As MD of two companies, my job role includes (for Little Women) observing trends and planning ranges with our designer and factories accordingly; obsessing over Google analytics and all the myriad data available to me to see what’s selling, what’s not, what’s low in stock and can be replenished; implementing marketing strategies for underwear and our handbag range Taylor and Jackson; organising the team in the office to deliver the best customer service experience. When I have my TABS® head on I am responsible for business development – identifying companies who are a target for contingent labour solutions; working with the operations manager and our development teams in Europe on support and development issues; meeting potential partners, customers, investors and resellers to get them engaged with the products, sell them and spread the word of TABS®
My typical day… starts by clearing as much email as I can – I’m always at my best first thing (post tea of course) so can rattle through the inboxes deciding what’s junk and what isn’t, and then organising appropriate responses either on my own or via my virtual assistant, Victoria, who is super efficient. If I’m in the office I’ll talk through the orders with the team and ensure that everyone is set up for the day and then I concentrate on whatever is the priority that day. Every single day is different – I’ve never been a fan of the same old same old so to have a such a varied couple of roles makes me really happy, if at times a little over stretched, but I’d much rather it was like that.
My favourite thing about my job is… hmmm – well, I love lingerie and handbags and I get to be involved with those every single day – trying to help women feel their best in lovely underwear that we offer and offering gorgeous handbags that are virtually unique in the UK. With TABS® I’m just delighted to be able to work in a tech start up that is so exciting and whereas it’s not exactly like ‘The Social Network’ it’s still a super exciting space to be able to work in.
The biggest challenge that comes with the job is… keeping every lingerie customer happy – difficult at times when they give us a bad review because (and I quote…) “your bras don’t fit me”. I’d also say that one of the biggest challenges is reaching our target niche market – ladies who wear small cup bras. Sounds simple, but there’s no demographic for bra size…
My proudest moment since joining Little Women… being shortlisted in the lingerie industry ‘Oscars’ for best online retailer. We didn’t win, but it made us want to be the winners next time around
In my spare time, I… bake. Bread… cakes absolutely any kind of baking. I am a trained patisserie chef and cooking and baking are my happy places. I also like spending time in the Peak District at our house there – my happy place and where I do most of my thinking and scheming…
In another life, I would be… a ballerina or a journalist – or maybe both? I was educated in a grotty North London comprehensive and raised by loving parents who were both war babies and I am afraid they were of the old fashioned opinion that girls just did a job until they got married and had a family. I went to ballet lessons and was apparently good, but they just didn’t have the money to spare and by the time I was earning my own money at 13 (paper round and Saturday girl) it was too late. When I broached the subject of journalism with my careers advisor at school I got flannelled with ‘you’re top set, you should work in a bank’ and going to uni was not countenanced.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is… sounds counter intuitive but it’s ‘if you don’t need to do anything, don’t.’ I’ve seen so many people do a knee jerk reaction to situations just because they feel they have to just ‘do’ something. More often than not sitting on your hands and taking stock before action often leads to much better, more well informed, decisions. I’ll admit it’s taken me long time to abide by this but it makes for a calmer life.
The most valuable piece of advice I would give is… Due diligence, due diligence, due diligence. Before something costs you money or an inordinate amount of your precious time do your due diligence.
Happiness to me is… The Bull’s Head in Tintwistle on a cold Sunday afternoon with the massive open fire roaring, the home cooked roast dinner in front of me, a glass of red and the company of my lovely husband and my dog begging scraps under the table…