I had been working in merchandising and buying at companies like Tiffany & Co. and Burberry. While I loved working with products and the creative aspects of these roles, I was always interested in what was next in retail, and understood that digital commerce was a large part of it. Understanding and driving digital is essential to any brand’s ability to ensure that their beautiful product is bought by customers that may not be able to experience it exclusively in person. Through digital channels, brands can capture new customers and deepen relationships with existing ones.
I love the dynamic nature of digital. That is a key driver of why I wanted to be here at the very beginning. You have to be excited by the concept of what you’re doing, and you have to believe in the brand that you are standing behind. Tibi is a privately-owned company that has succeeded in places where other fashion companies have not. We create beautiful products that everyone can be proud to wear, own, and be a part of. Being in a space that is always evolving and changing, for a brand that I love, really makes me happy.
You need to be open and curious. You can’t just accept any single answer as the answer. Even if everyone says, “This is the future of retail, you have to do this,” You should still be thinking, “Is this true or not?” Expanding your understanding of what the industry is doing will put you in the best position to be successful in your career.
From a development standpoint, that means talking to people and making sure that you are not afraid to ask questions. You need to develop relationships, and have mentors or get involved in programs. Something that has helped me is talking to different people and understanding what they do, and then figuring out what that means for my immediate future as well as the global picture of what’s going on.
You have to answer that question by getting to know your customer the best that you can.
Instead of following trends, follow the customer. Think about what the customer wants and what the customer is going to need, and how they can understand and experience a brand. That’s how you create an experience that makes them satisfied, fulfilled, and inspired, online and off.
There are so many women in the industry that I admire, so it’s really hard to name any single person! There are a lot of women out there who work to bring a brand and customer experience to life, online and off. Those who can do it while juggling family, personal lives and career is something that I deeply admire.
Katherine Prime, who I worked with during my time at Spring, really sets a standard for getting things done. I also had the chance to cross paths with April Uchitel, the CEO of Violet Grey, while at Spring. She is so generous with her time and a champion of other women. At Tibi, I have the privilege to work for a company founded by a woman, Amy Smilovic, who built this brand and this company from the ground up, along with our President, Elaine Chang, who really does it all.