I had a dream...

My Story

I’ve always had an innate passion for business and retail – as a young girl I’d make perfume and sell it to my neighbours! So, when my dream of becoming a figure skating champion didn’t work out, I moved onto the next best thing – retail.

Born and raised in Yorkshire, I went to University in Leeds and graduated with a BA Hons in Retail Marketing then began my career as a Buying Assistant for Damart Thermawear. I sourced ladieswear for a brilliant buyer who immersed me into the wonderful world of textiles, supplier meetings, stock management and sales budgets!

Over the next 20 years, I worked for Jeff Banks, Next and Tu Clothing at Sainsbury’s, travelling the world and creating beautiful clothing ranges for children and women with multimillion pound budgets. As a Fashion Buyer, I led a team of buyers, merchandisers, designers and product technicians to source and create products that contributed to annual turnovers in excess of £1bn.

Those years of experience with successful high street brands gave me a fabulous insight into how to support independent business owners with commercial and strategic plans that will grow their sales, profit and confidence.

My Story

A time for change

I was thrilled to become a mum in 2012, but it became more challenging to juggle my career with a healthy work life balance. I had to spend weeks overseas and the guilt was real, so I moved into the retail and customer facing side of the business (where the magic happens) and became a Retail Coach.

In 2015, my life turned upside down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Going through such a tough period taught me so much about my inner strength and what I was capable of, but I was fortunate enough to be given a second chance, where many others haven’t. I realised the value in living my life with less stress and much more focus on how I spend my time.

I returned to work in a role that combined my coaching and buying experiences, collaborating with The Fashion Retail Academy. I coached apprentices to develop trading skills and commercial knowledge, within an ever-changing marketplace and digital-led environment. 

Making the leap

Co-founding Illuminate Retail and setting up a coaching consultancy gave me my first exciting taste of running my own business. 

I was thrilled when Illuminate was chosen to deliver the Warwickshire County Council Survive, Sustain and Grow Programme, meaning we could provide over 70 retail and service-based businesses with coaching and change management support throughout the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

We mentored business owners in building thought leadership, using bespoke coaching programmes to improve commercial understanding, drive growth, and guide success. 

Everyone I work with is amazingly gifted, creative and driven, and my passion is to empower them to grow. I can’t wait to expand my work with local business owners and support them in where they want to go next!

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