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I’m currently working for the 'Best department store in the world', Selfridges; overseeing visually one of its stores, making it as engaging and creative as possible. Previously I was part of the Harrods Windows Team during which time we won 3 prestigious titles at the VM Awards and I was on this team after being headhunted. Years of artistic education developed a natural finesse for colour, layout and composition, which are invaluable in designing and styling. Whilst my concept planning experience; such as designing an exhibit for Harvey Nichols and winning a window design competition whilst freelance, enabled me to develop a variety of valuable transferable skills, from planning to sourcing.
• Create and execute a revolutionary retail environment that aims to surprise, amaze and amuse our customers. • Leading and coaching a team of 5 VM’s. • Managing creative projects; seasonal, trend, scheme, store interiors, brand launches and events. • Deliver commercial solutions for product presentation and events in a creative environment, working closely with retail operation functions. • Problem solving and working to short deadlines in a reactive environment. • Building relationships with internal functions and key contacts and suppliers. • Accountable for working to budget, which was strictly managed, creatively working with small budgets when necessary. • Ensuring consistency of store layout, branding and ticketing.
• Window creative direction, coming up with concepts and designs. • Largely responsible for some of the most successful campaigns in which we received outstanding praise or awards, such as ‘Stealing Beauty’, both interior designed ‘Harrods is Home, Christmas window and LFW ‘Divine Inspiration’. • Project Managing up to 30 multiple overarching window installations and de-rigs, to strict Marketing calendar deadlines. • Lead in presenting ideas in technical drawings, visuals and mood boards to management and luxury clients, negotiating and influencing results. • Dressed windows to theme; styling in product from across the whole store. Aiming to surprise customers, advertise and ultimately maximize sales. • Communication: liaising with several production companies, brands and external suppliers, as well as leading and delegating tasks to the Visual and Production team. • Budget management; getting competitive quotes, but also being resourceful. • Choosing/designing mannequins, selecting hair/makeup and styling all fashion. • Other; floristry design, sourcing and prop making. • Co-ordinate logistics on samples and props; I digitised the files. • Ensuring both Harrods internal and legal requirements are fulfilled. • Site surveying and problem solving as to how an installation will work. • Creating guidance packs on schemes; access, samples, technology, etc. • Responsible managing all long-term contracted windows. • Worked with Buyers, PR, Marketing, Media and Retail Operations.
- Trained all shop floor staff on merchandising guidelines after creating the standards pack. - Designed and dressed the store for events, seasonal and themed promotions such as: the Gift Bureau, Gatsby and the ‘Gourmet Chef’ events; carefully selecting appropriate product. - Presented ideas in technical drawings, visuals and mood boards to management and clients. - Liaised on shop fit, layout of the floor and designing fixtures. - Project Managed Christmas World; I managed a large team and the logistics on the installation. - Skills: Interior Design, layout and Home styling.
• 5 floor department store with 16 sizeable windows; I managed this solely whilst having the same deadlines as smaller stores. I also covered the area manager’s maternity leave, supervising and working in 7 stores at once. • Planned shop floors, supervised refits, implemented all POS, printed and applied all vinyl, trained staff and identified ways to improve sales. • Proactive in concept design and installation; creating theatre in eye-catching windows and shop floor display areas; being resourceful with a minute budget. • I covered maternity leave, splitting my time across 7 stores for 8 months.
- I won the competition from hundreds of window design entries; a Christmas concept for a Mortgage company. - I worked with 3 independent businesses to create inspired but practical windows on 3 different budgets and a 6-month action plan. My work achieved media coverage. - Ran a workshop for several stores demonstrating ideas and training on Visual Display.
- Digital merchandising websites; editing images, theme stories and designing adverts. Learned software very quickly. - Dressing the studio collection and store. - I handled all aspects of accounts, resulting in my excellent analytical/communication skills.
- Dressed Homewares, Furniture, floristry displays, gift wrap and Christmas department. - Won ‘Best Garden Centre’ and GCA ‘Best UK Christmas Display’ awards.
- I lead in presenting the proposal to Management. I was confident liaising with both clients and 12 mill owners. - Organised a photoshoot, film, made sculptures, commissioned garments, and dressed the store. - The exhibit was extended from its success.
Visual Merchandising Awards - Stealing Beauty
Visual Merchandising Awards for the Harrods Express