Senior Sales Consultant
Did you always want to work for a fine jeweller?
No. I always wanted to be an actress. I studied English Literature and Drama, at Leeds University, and then trained at LAMDA. However, when I was at school and university, I spent my Saturdays and holidays working at a lovely family jewellers in Sevenoaks, Kent called Michael Whitcombe. This gave me such a strong foundation in terms of customer service and basic jewellery knowledge.
What first attracted you to Boodles?
I was first attracted to Boodles after spending time talking to the staff. I was attracted to the atmosphere and the various dimensions of the job.
Describe how your career progressed at Boodles.
I started as a part-time member of staff, doing anything from meeting and greeting customers to office administration. I gained lots of experience from working at all the different London shops in various capacities and watching how each store operated. I then worked as a full-time sales consultant in Sloane Street for three years, where I developed a good client base, before moving to become the assistant manager at Bond Street. This was a big step, but was a fantastic place to learn.
Under the guidance of the Manager I became competent at managing a team of sales people while continuing to enjoy selling and developing customer relationships. I was then given the responsibility of opening a new store at the Savoy Hotel in October 2010. This was yet another learning curve as it was a completely new trading environment for Boodles. It was the first time we had operated a shop in a hotel, and the location required a completely different approach. Setting up a new shop, and effectively a new business, has been a fantastic experience, and the location has provided us with some exciting opportunities and contacts, which have been hugely rewarding.
Describe your average day.
The average day always begins with dressing the windows and ensuring that the store looks luxurious and welcoming. We then have a morning meeting. After that I read through my emails to see if any stock movements need actioning, or if I need to respond to any customers’ questions. Large parts of the day are spent with customers or guests browsing in the hotel, and it is lovely to chat to people and introduce them to the brand, especially if they are international guests who are unfamiliar with Boodles. I also spend time speaking to the staff at our workshops, to ensure that any repairs or special orders are on track, so that I can update customers accordingly. We are currently organising an in-store exhibition and dinner, so I have been liaising with the Savoy regarding the menu and flowers. The day is always very unpredictable because we never know who will walk in the door and what they will want, but that is what I love about it!
What opportunities have you been given at Boodles?
I have been given fantastic opportunities in terms of sales and management training both on a group and one-to-one basis. I have been given exposure to all aspects of the business, which has helped me to, hopefully, be a more rounded employee who has a grasp of various aspects of the business. I have been given the opportunity to experiment with ideas and my ideas have always been considered.
Describe the Boodles culture.
The Boodles culture is very personal. This is a result of it being a family business that is founded on a passion for jewellery. Boodles care about the brand, the staff and their customers, and this is, hopefully, evident in the customer service. As a result, the staff are naturally hard-working, dedicated, and in tune with each other.
How does Boodles look after its staff?
Boodles seem to attract a certain type of staff, who are hard-working, but also have a sense of fun. Boodles look after their staff, and take a personal interest in their employees, which makes us feel appreciated. The directors take time to write to us personally. There are annual awards, as well as monthly awards. Managers enjoy an annual meeting abroad, and staff are treated to parties and events in the summer and at Christmas, which encourages staff at different shops to socialise together.
If you could swap places with another Boodles employee for the day, who would it be and why?
It would probably be the head designer Rebecca Hawkins. To experience a day in her creative shoes would be fascinating, but also pretty tricky. I wouldn’t know where to begin when it came to designing something, but that would be a complete contrast to what we do on a daily basis!
What advice would you give to someone who is considering applying for a job at Boodles?
Be prepared to do anything and everything and to learn all aspects of the business. Also be prepared to often work anti-social hours, for evening events and weekends to prove that you are dedicated. You need a natural flair for talking to all kinds of different people and you can't be shy. A passion for jewellery helps, but is not essential as this will come once you are surrounded by the amazing jewellery Boodles designs and creates! An aptitude for learning and a good memory for pieces of jewellery, prices and customers is key! As well as a natural sense of style!
Describe Boodles in five words.
Dynamic, social, challenging, personal, varied.