THE WAY WE WORK

This month we caught up with Jenna Dale, our Retail Operations Assistant at Topshop HQ to bring you another exciting glimpse into the world of Topshop HQ. Read on to find out her tips for students breaking into fashion and the three things she just can’t live without…

Name: Jenna Dale

Hometown: Birmingham

My job title is… Retail Operations Assistant

And that means… assisting stores with operations, researching and implementing new technologies, systems and processes to improve store life for our teams. Store teams are my customers – their needs and workloads are my top priority.

I studied…  Fashion Retail Management at Birmingham City Uni

I got my job by… hard work, determination and a bit of fate! After working as an Administration Assistant in Topshop Birmingham Bullring for 6 years, through college and uni, I was set on gaining a HQ position. I was accepted into the Arcadia Talent Pool for Buying Admin Assistant roles, but my Store Manager still encouraged me to apply for a six month secondment position in Retail Operations for Las Vegas and Olympics support. I was offered the position and loved it so much I accepted a permanent position in March.

In a typical working day I… deal with a variety of store queries having to liaise with pretty much every department to find solutions. I assist in creating and uploading internal store communications, manage our internal social media and researching new and innovative ways to communicate with our store teams.

The best thing about my job is… the variety, It’s insane! One minute I’m dealing with transactional issues and the next I’m running down to 214 to film a team engagement video. I am constantly learning and every aspect of the role is interesting.

When I was growing up I wanted to be… a wedding dress designer! All my childhood designs featured a flamenco style train… so as you can tell my career definitely took a better path.

I couldn’t do my job without… my team. The whole of the retail team are amazing and are always a massive support. Problem solving is handy too! Not forgetting several ‘brews’ throughout the day.

My advice to students hoping to crack the fashion industry would be… don’t give up. It can be demoralising getting knocked back but behind every experience there is a handful of lessons learned. Be versatile and enthusiastic; take every opportunity you are offered, even if it’s not necessarily what you had in mind. Most importantly make sure you make your mark and are irreplaceable!

My signature style is… effortless chic, nothing too complicated or overpowering. There are many people’s style I aspire to; Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller, Olivia Palmero and Rosie Huntington Whiteley and a few of the girls round the office too.

And my hero piece for this season is… a chunky knit! It’s a bonus if it has studs, crosses or is monochrome – I’m instantly sold.

When I’m in London, my hottest hang-outs are… I’m still exploring London but to name my fave’s so far would be: Aqua Bar, Sketch, B@1 and pretty much anywhere in Hoxton.

And when I’m in my hometown I love hanging out at… anywhere in the city centre be it The Mailbox, Face and GLAS at The Rainbow or Bushwackers.

I can’t live without… my iPhone or Topshop Louise Gray Mascara – it is THE BEST! Oh and Halloumi!

My favourite magazine is… I have had a Vogue subscription since high school – I’m truly addicted. I like Dazed and Confused and Harpers Bazaar too, they always have a good runway roundup. My weekly must has to be Stylist.

I love grabbing my lunch from… Pret or M&S they never fail me!

On my iPod right now is… a real mixture; r’n’b, dance, house even a bit of old school garage! I was raised on Motown and The Beatles, but my summer’s wouldn’t be complete without my annual visit to Ibiza! My driving album at the moment is The XX.

As a special treat, I love to… buy shoes! My next purchase is the Topshop Gambit Courts.

In five years I’d like to be…  still at Topshop as Retail Operations Manager and will have hopefully implemented some ground breaking technologies for our store teams.