At what point did you decide you wanted to run your own business? I spent 12 years working my way up the retail career ladder, from a part-time sales assistant through to store management, area management and then onto Operations & Buying Director for French Connection franchises. During this time I discovered a real passion for the industry and eventually decided that it was time to do it for myself.This was back in 2004, and The Dressing Room opened in May 2005.
What was your original vision for The Dressing Room, and how has the company evolved over the years? The company has evolved hugely over the past 9 years, however my original vision still remains. This is to offer affordable to aspirational product in a laid back yet luxurious environment with a team trained to be the best in the business. I started the business back in 2005 in a small store in an off the beaten track location. Now The Dressing Room is a large store, stocking over 80 brands on the High Street in St Albans and with a market leading website. It’s been quite a journey getting there – but we have gone from strength to strength and just keep on evolving!
Which key events have been your proudest moments? I am very proud to say that there have been many! Winning 5 Drapers Awards in such a short space of time is high up on the list, as is being voted the UK’s number 1 most inspiring Independent Business. Last year I was awarded the Specsavers Retail Ambassador title which was an amazing moment for me as I am so passionate about girls building careers in retail, so to be held up as a role model for young women is very humbling. Also, it may sound a little silly but sometimes my proudest moments can just be looking at the business on a really busy day and seeing what myself and my team have achieved!
If you could choose, which brands / pieces are your favourites? Now that’s a tricky one – I suppose the right answer is to say I love them all the same! However, I do have a weakness for niche brands like Ba&sh, Virginie Castaway, Becksondergaard, ChloBo and Olivia Burton.
Can you give us a sneak peek of any Summer diary dates or new exciting stock coming to The Dressing Room? Well of course! First up is the launch of the ChloBo jewellery Rainbow Wave range which will arrive at the beginning of June. These are gorgeous brightly coloured tassel necklaces, perfect for Summer and Festivals. Next would be the launch of the Olivia Burton Exclusive Watch in July – we are all really excited about this. Other than that we get new stock in every week, so just keep on checking the New arrivals on the website – there are plenty more gorgeous Summer pieces to come!