Name: Nicole Woodhouse
Job Title: Buyers Co-Ordinator
Name of Department: Buying Department, Dresses
Worked at Coast Head Office Since: September 2010
Favourite Event at Coast:
Christmas Parties are usually lots of fun at Coast HQ, everyone looks forward to it and we all tend to take ages picking the right dress!
Favourite Current Coast Piece:
The Sabina Spot Dress due in for September, I love the shape of this party dress the flocked polka dot fabric is gorgeous and the feathers and pleats at the hem make this stand out from other dresses.
How would you define your office style?
The office is quite casual, I wear a lot of black. A mixture of dresses, cardigans, jeans and smart tops throughout the week. I like to pick what I’m wearing the night before to save time in the morning.
What is your team responsible for at Coast HQ?
The Buying Team are responsible for delivering a balanced range of styles that meet the brand image. We ensure the fit and styling of the garments are appropriate for our customers. We also monitor deliveries ensuring we get our product into the distribution centre in time to go out to our stores.
Styles to come for A/W ’12…
What is your role within Coast HQ?
I am responsible for managing the dress samples at head office and making sure they are in the right place at the right time for meetings. As a Buying Coordinator, I also need to be on top of fashion trends and keep a track of what our competitors are doing.
What is a typical day for you like at Coast HQ?
I normally wake up just before my alarm goes off but snooze until 7.30 giving myself the bare minimum amount of time to get ready! I get out of bed, have a shower and do my make up, before getting dressed in time to leave the house at 8.15 am.
I get the Overground train and then walk to the office from Shoreditch High St, it’s a quick journey and I always get a seat…and its a lot more civilised than the tube! I usually get into the office for 8.45 just in time to get some breakfast at my desk whilst I go through my emails.
I get in and check my emails, and since I work closely with our Hong Kong office who have already been at work for a few hours, I will ensure I get back to any queries they may have first. I will then update the product reports with the correct weight of the garment, its country of origin and the fabric composition so that when the product arrives at our distribution centre all the paperwork is correct. I will then usually amend our ‘Critical Path’ sheets with any delivery changes or new cost prices, liaising with our Merchandising Team where necessary.
Product ranging plans…
Three times a week we ‘fit’ the dresses, I really enjoy attending these fit sessions as I like to see the progress of the garment, from 1st Fit, to 2nd Fit, to the sealer through to the final production sample. We work closely with the designers on the 1st fit samples and the garment technologists throughout the whole process to ensure the garments really flatter the feminine figure and are beautifully constructed. Since we specialise in occasion-wear, we pay huge attention to detail on quality and tailoring.
The ‘fits’ process…
I like to have lunch at 1pm, I bring in a sandwich or salad from home on days I know it will be difficult to get out of the office, but on a Friday the whole Buying Team like to go out for lunch as a treat. More often than not, there always seems to be a tin of biscuits or a birthday spread to keep us going through the afternoon in the office though!
The post normally arrives around lunch time and the Buying Department always gets a big parcel from Hong Kong containing new development samples, fabric and trim swatches. I sort through the samples and hand them over to whoever needs to see them in time for the fit session. I will then sit down with my Assistant Buyer & Buyer to go through any alterations which need to be communicated back to the Hong Kong office. I leave the office at 6pm most nights but depending on my work load I can stay later.
I get the Overground home, and a couple of nights a week I will go out to meet friends for dinner and a glass of wine, or go on the odd shopping spree. I’m normally starving by the time I get home so I try to cook something quick and easy to stop me raiding the fridge: stir fry’s, chicken salads and pasta dishes are hot favourites in my house! If I don’t have any plans I will usually just unwind watching TV…unless I’m feeling energetic and then I might just go for a run before getting in to bed for around 11pm.
What is your favourite trend for Autumn Winter ‘12?
One of my favourite trends for Autumn Winter 12 is the drop waist, it’s an easy to wear silhouette and we have lots of styles at Coast that fit the bill. The Daltoness Dress has a pleated panel at the hem and is in an Emerald Green so also nods to the jewel colours that are set to be big this winter.