THE BIG QUESTIONS
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?
Well i’m running two businesses side-by-side so kind of different titles but I guess ultimately Creative Director.
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
It all depends on whether I’m having a Lauren Manville Style day or a Mother Rose day. If it’s LMS I could be doing anything from meeting with clients to do colour/ style consultations, Virtual/ personal shopping to writing blogs, writing pieces for publications, to networking, to spreadsheets and admin. For Mother Rose I’m currently in the sampling process so at the moment it can be refining designs, going to fits, sourcing prosthetic baby bumps for the fit model as well as pregnant women for the garment fitting sessions (a key part of the brand is understanding and dressing real pregnant women’s shapes and so it’s crucial to trial and fit all the pieces on a range of pregnant bodies), having meetings with sampling units, pleaters, sourcing fabrics and trims to meeting with PR and marketing geniuses to arranging costings for fabrics, working on pricing, arranging look book shoot, working on ideas for my website and social media as well as the launch so it is varied to say the least!
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
From about age 6 I used to design clothes and have notebooks full of (badly drawn) outfits. I used to do catwalks for my mum where I would fashion towels in to different outfits. I also used to sit with my grandma and go through her wardrobe - keeping and slinging pieces accordingly. So I guess this job makes sense! I also loved acting and spent a lot of my formative years on stage in various am dram productions.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I have a degree in history and a post graduate degree in speech and language therapy - I worked in the neurology team with brain trauma for a while before changing career. I’ve also taken a number of short courses for design, fashion illustration, garment construction as well as colour analysis training for my styling service.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
It’s never too late to do what you love.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
I think probably my mum. She’s kind and fun and positive and caring as well as very talented - she’s an artist and has written a book although is very modest about both. Whatever adversity is thrown her way she always picks herself up, dusts herself down, has a cry and is then resourceful, creates a plan and is loads of fun while doing it. Whenever we were going through sad or difficult times mum would put the music on really loud and we’d have a disco in the kitchen dancing madly and wildly.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
Being able to put on music really loud! I need music pretty much all the time and as I’m working in my own space I can turn it up and feel motivated.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
I wish I could get to bed earlier - being able to switch off isn’t a skill I have yet mastered.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
I hope that my brand is well established and most importantly women feel gorgeous wearing it. I hope that the styling service is going really well and I’m giving women confidence through both.
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
I think so yes. I’m not very good at not being myself - my face is too animated so i think i’d kind of struggle. I am a more professional version of myself though.
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
Well currently it’s a team of 1 so i guess in that way women form the backbone of the company!
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
I think it is so important that we celebrate diversity and this rich mix of cultures, genders, race, religions, we have in our great city and world. It is amazing to be able to have so many influences. I’m constantly inspired by different cultures and feel this is something we should celebrate.
Working with all different women for LMS is wonderful and gives insight into the reality that women at different ages and stages all experience common feelings of reduced self-esteem, feelings of not being good enough or feel stressed and tired with little time to plan an outfit. We aren’t as different as we think actually.
In terms of Mother Rose I am totally championing the idea that pregnant women should be a category we note and pay attention to. They should be able to feel strong, sexy, chic and powerful during their pregnancy and not marginalized. There is so much beauty in diversity.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
It’s a work in progress!
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Crikey….a few really!
I guess being organised - a skill that doesn’t come so easily to me
Empathetic and caring
Being good at researching whether that be fabrics, trends, shops or market research for business endeavours.
Having a commercial head