Getting a foot in the door at a successful, internationally renowned fashion label is a dream for many aspiring creatives, but opportunities to break in to Australia’s fashion community are so rare that for most of us, they remain just that: a dream.
Georgie Mercer has been lucky enough to turn that dream in to reality at Willow, the Sydney-based purveyor of elegant, whimsical womenswear.
Proving that the ability to work your way up from the shop floor is not just a myth, Mercer worked in the company’s retail stores in Melbourne for three years while at university, before moving to Sydney, and Willow’s head office, as their marketing co-ordinator.
“Willow show a real belief in their team, nurturing people and hiring from within” she says. Our visual merchandiser, Kristjana, also started as a retail assistant before being trained and developing skills for her new role.”
Starting at Willow on the shop floor gave her valuable perspective and insight.
“Having experience with Willow from the shop floor makes me stronger in my role. I’m able to see things from a commercial perspective, and a customer one.”
With just 20 people in Willow’s head office, Mercer wears many hats, working over both ecommerce and online marketing. “Under the marketing umbrella I direct the weekly mailouts, manage the Willow customer database, create styling guides and send them to customers, communicate with store personnel, liaise with key marketing personnel external to the business and improve, update and develop the VIP program.”
But it’s not just working the phones and keeping on top of spreadsheets. Mercer is also able to exercise her creativity while organizing photo shoots and merchandising.
With Willow currently using Broadsheet’s Scoutjobs.com.au to find an assistant store manager in Sydney and various other positions on offer within the APG&Co family (Willow's parent company), the chance to break in to Australia’s fashion industry with one of our leading brands is closer than you think. And, according to Mercer, the reality can be pretty close to your dreams.
“The biggest perk would be seeing the fabrics and designs come to life right in front of your eyes. The works of the design and production team is spectacular and working in this atmosphere is exciting,” she says. “Seeing something evolve from a simple sketch into a complete garment is pretty special. It’s a really beautiful process to be a part of.”
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