Name: Natasha Cobham
Job Role: Assistant Buyer and Merchandiser
What does you current job involve?
During buying season it involves a lot appointments which means a lot of travelling. We have around 60 brands at Donna Ida so it’s becoming more and more of a full time buy with each season that goes by!
The merchandising aspect of my job role also involves calling in deliveries, replenishing stock, maximising the sell throughs and liaising with our suppliers to ensure we have the best stock possible all year round. We have a weekly trading meeting every Monday which kick starts the week.
Out of season it’s important to keep on top of trend research and an eye out for the next big thing. I am constantly in contact with new suppliers and brands, as well as browsing stores and online for great ideas!
What are your biggest achievements?
Landing my job – I couldn’t wish to be doing anything else right now.
When/what was your big break?
I guess whilst I was interning Donna saw something in me – I’m not sure what that was! But she decided to keep me, and I guess if I’d never stepped into her office, aged 19 ready to work my internship, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What is the best part of the job?
I love seeing new collections, and it’s so exciting when you discover something really good. It’s great to be one step ahead of the seasons and finding trend patterns as I go.
To see the entire buying process through - from viewing the collection to ordering it, to calling in the delivery 6/9 months later and watching is sell, as well as hearing customers reactions, is amazing. It feels like an achievement every time you get it right.
What is your past experience?
I worked on the shop floor as a sales assistant at Next for 3 years as I was going through school and fashion college. I then interned with Donna Ida at their old Head Office for 3 months, which led to a permanent placement in our Guildford boutique where I was Assistant Manager. I then came up to Head Office just over a year ago to do the buying.
What are your everyday essentials?
My iPhone – essential for photos/emails/maps … I’d be totally lost (literally) without it! Fat Coke – Keeps me going! My converse – (not so sexy) but essential as I’m constantly on my feet!
What is your best industry advice?
Believe in yourself, if you don’t, no one else will - and work very very hard!