“We have a great team spirit at Coast which makes a huge difference in the day-to-day role.”
Why did you apply to work for us?
I had just graduated and wanted a job that would challenge and excite me. I was keen to get into buying and the product at Coast alongside the fast-paced nature of the boohoo group was something I knew I would enjoy.
What’s the best thing about working for us?
The people and the openness. The support from my team is amazing; there is a true ‘no idea is a bad idea’ culture and from the start I was encouraged to give my opinion and try new ways of working. We have a great team spirit at Coast which makes a huge difference in the day-to-day role. As well as this, the freedom the team is given to build a range while being reactive to new trends and trading conditions is amazing. Not being overly restricted to set options or having to go through multiple rounds of intensive sign offs makes the job so much more dynamic and creative for the whole team.
How would you describe the culture?
The culture is very fast-paced and demands hard work, but you get out what you put in and there is a real sense of determination within the London teams. When things are challenging the ethos is very much ‘let’s get stuck in and see what we can achieve,’ which makes for a really supportive environment. It feels like everyone at boohoo genuinely wants you to succeed.
What do you get up to in your role? What makes it different compared with other similar roles you’ve had?
My day-to-day role is always changing, which makes it tricky to describe a typical day. One of the biggest parts of my role is communicating with suppliers, whether this is about new styles they are sampling/ costing or critical path management. I am solving problems alongside the suppliers on a day-to-day basis, and it really is a collaborative relationship. If I am not confirming new orders, I may be attending fit sessions, helping co-ordinate products for a marketing campaign shoot, catching up with admin or developing/ sourcing accessories, which is the part of the occasion wear department I manage independently. There is definitely more freedom at Boohoo and a lot more responsibility within junior roles. The workload among the team is high so everyone gets stuck in and perhaps does things that may not be in a usual BAA/ AB job role. However, this has helped me to learn so much and allowed me to really make the role my own.
How has your career developed since you’ve worked here?
Working at Coast has really been a catalyst for me. I started as an entry level BAA less than 18 months ago and now I am an Assistant Buyer on Coast’s largest department, looking after areas of this department independently. My job role has continually changed since I joined Coast, from adapting as the brand went through changes in direction and being involved in pretty much every product area/ dealing with each and every supplier at some point during my time as a BAA. I was promoted in September last year, after being in the company for just under a year. Since I’ve been promoted, I have travelled within the UK and overseas multiple times which has been incredible for my development and helped build my confidence in the role.
Have you been offered any training, networking, workshops etc?
I think part of the buying role is that you learn on the job so there hasn’t been a huge amount of formal training. However, I have had the opportunity to visit factories which has taught me so much about garment production, costing and fabrics. Meeting as many suppliers as possible face to face is great for networking and has taught me a lot! There are also “breakfast with the boss” workshops, where someone senior within the business chats to junior members of the team about their career path and any pearls of wisdom they have. These have been really inspiring to attend.
What’s been your biggest achievement/proudest moment so far?
My biggest achievement so far was probably travelling to India with the team. Meeting suppliers face to face, developing the range with them and touring their factories was incredible and exactly why I wanted to get into fashion in the first place. The trip was a huge learning curve for me and I feel so proud seeing the developments we actioned while on the trip arriving back in the UK- I can’t wait for all of the styles to go online and hopefully be best sellers!
What makes someone successful here?
Being resilient, agile and determined. Priorities change quite a lot within the boohoo group so you need to be able to juggle a lot of different things and be able to mix up your day to day in order to tick off the priorities of the week. I think it’s also really important to be passionate, a real love for the job and wider industry definitely makes a huge difference in how you take on new challenges and demanding nature of the job. Being a team player is also key. We work at 100mph, so having the same vision and always sticking by your team is a must.
What do you think makes us unique as an employer?
The youthfulness of the brands and the ‘no idea is a bad idea’ approach to the way we work. I think this amount of collaboration encouragement to get stuck in makes boohoo really unique.
Describe working here in 3 words.
Youthful, dynamic, collaborative.
What would your advice be to someone starting out?
Ask as many questions as you can and make sure you understand the wider picture for all of the tasks you are doing. Everyone’s role makes a genuine difference to the product online and ultimately the sales of the business and I think understanding that made me a lot more passionate about the job. Definitely use the people around you and the suppliers to learn as much as you can, people love to share their knowledge so definitely be inquisitive. Also it really helps to get involved with the brand and really understand the customer- stay engaged with competitors and always be on the hunt for new things that would work for the brand.
Why should top talent join us instead of a competitor?
You aren’t treated as a graduate, just another member of the team who is encouraged to get stuck in and make a difference. You can really make the role your own, which is amazing for career progression! Also the team are fantastic, working with like-minded people who support each other makes a huge difference day to day.