As I was growing up and trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a living, a career in the food industry or a creative profession never screamed out at me. As I went through life taking on all the experiences it had to offer me, I arrived at a point in my career where I was fortunate to be part of a year's intensive course, as one of Jamie Oliver's Apprentices. While on the programme, I realised that food styling was what I wanted to explore. Before I knew it, I was an assistant food stylist for online content, magazines, books, TV commercials and somehow ended up at the O2 arena with Jamie Oliver in front of 12,000 people talking about my journey. As time went on, I wanted to understand the concept of indulgence and how other sections of the industry operate around this incredible buying power. That's when I came across a job opening at Selfridges to be their Food, Home and Restaurants, Visual Merchandiser and Creative in head office. The creative direction and fast-paced environment of Selfridges have taught me so much about myself as a creative and how I can transfer these skills into commercial value.
Visual Merchandiser & Campaign Coordinator Selfridges
London, United KingdomFull Time
Selfridges’ annual operating profits for 16/17 increased by 18% to £180M. Home, Food and Restaurant divisions account for 30% of the business and are worth 2.5M of the total operating profit. I have always been fascinated with Selfridges’ contemporary approach, in-store activations, and brand collaborations. I was drawn to join the creative team to apply my style to Selfridges’ high standards and the sizable creative space within my divisional remit. Responsibilities • I successfully manage allocated budgets and develop concepts and deliver installations for new schemes and calendar events such as Christmas, Easter and Eid. Including; fixture development, store sites, ceiling treatments and innovative ways of displaying products. E.g. sourcing new materials such as recycled yoghurt pots which can be transformed into merchandising kit or used as cladding. While helping reduce the company's plastic footprint and supporting our Project Ocean campaign. • Working alongside concessions and pop-ups enhancing their brand identity while ensuring it is aligned with Selfridges’ guidelines. Summer 2017 saw the launch of the WastED pop-up in our concept space - Restaurant on the Roof. Alongside assisting in the delivery of its installation, I was chosen due to my experience to style the front page and spread on the WastEd pop-up in the Guardian's food supplement. My work was accredited, and this was a very proud achievement outside my job role. Other pop-ups I worked on include; Blondies Kitchen and Pan-n-Ice. • Working in partnership with buying and operation teams regarding new products, promotions and researching consumer trends by analysing data on trade and then adjusting our focal points, marketing collateral and merchandising accordingly. Implemented visual merchandising guidelines during store renovations – The Body Studio & The Accessories Hall.
Visual MerchandiserMarks and Spencer
- London, United KingdomFull Time
Marks & Spencer was my first taste of visual merchandising. I got given the interim role to be the team leader of a team of three. I managed the department through methods such as one to one training, introducing contemporary styling techniques and organising training events for the sales team on necessary merchandising skills. The store was trading down - 4% in comparison to the previous year. Over the course of my six-month placement, my team and I improved standards across all departments and the overall store effort saw a year-over-year sales increase of 11%. Responsibilities • Adhered to strict implementation guidelines produced by head office. My responsibilities were the organisation of the store’s window dressing, welcome zones, focal points, shop floor installations and marketing collateral. I delegated tasks to my team in order of priority and departments. • Arranged and remerchandised new arrivals and worked in partnership with internal and external managers and sales teams to meet targets. I did this by presenting garments and products attractively - silhouette & shape, layering & texturising, accessorising & lighting and height & risers.
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- Event Management
- Production Management
- Event Design
- Film Production
- TV Production
- Advertising Production
- Interior Styling
- Brand Management
- Retail Design