Whether you are just thinking about going into buying, or you’re currently a buyer for your own biz, it’s a competitive crazy field to get a head in. I entered into it with not a bean of experience. I mean, I have a good eye, which worked in the early days when I had a lifestyle biz and it was just me and a couple of staff. So, these days, it’s a whole other ball game, I’ve had to up my game big time and it’s paid off. We are definitely being noticed more, had way more amazing opportunities and taken way more spondoolies – here’s what you need on your radar:

UNDERSTAND THE RETAIL WORLD IN DETAIL

Retail is hugely influenced by what is going on in the big wide world. It’s influenced by tech, politics, finances, and culture. Subconsciously or consciously we weave what’s going on into our narratives and collections, so stay clued up and plugged in. Keep abreast of new developments in the industry; things are constantly moving and evolving. I read industry stuff on a daily basis if I can, if not, I skim daily and then pile it up for the weekend.

EMBRACE MATHS & EXCEL

Spreadsheets, data, facts and figures are everything. If you don’t drill into the reports and analyse them on a daily basis, you’re never going to move on and up.

You need both your left and right brain to guide you – its great to be creative but you also have to be data driven. Trust me, I’ve been there!

CAST YOUR NET WIDE

There’s a lot on your shoulders as a buyer, if a collection fails, it’s on you to fix it. This doesn’t mean you have to play it safe, take some risks, look further afield for products, work with artists, think outside of the box and make your curation interesting.

BALANCE

Buying is a balance between magic and reason. You have to be practical to a degree (I hate practical) but you also have to create magic and have your own point of view.

DON’T FOLLOW TRENDS OR HYPE

It’s easy to be a sheep in retail and follow the big boys, but I’ve purposely not gone down that route, and it’s stood us apart. When I first started banging on about dark hues I got a lot of  back lash on Twitter, Facebook etc, but I didn’t let negative comments put me off.

Firstly, I really don’t give two hoots if someone likes dark colours or not, I do they’ve transformed my home and my biz so as negative as it got, especially after the TV show I did, I stayed on track.

I passionately love them, I’m not saying you have too, I’m saying I did and do, and that’s the thing with finding having your own POV, you have to stick with it and passionately believe in it.  The rest, as they say is history – its one of our fastest selling categories.