Sunday, 19 May 2019

LIFESTYLE | 5 things you'll learn about yourself and other people whilst working in retail

Working in retail is something most people have experienced, or will experience at some point in their career. For some people it's a job of choice and something they wish to progress in, whilst for others it's a job to get them through college or pay the bills as they search for their dream job. Whatever the reason I really do believe it's a job everyone can benefit from having due to the invaluable skills you learn from it. 

I am having my last ever shift today after 2 years of working in retail (+ a Christmas temp in retail and a weekly volunteer retail job when I was at school) and I thought looking at all of the skills I have acquired (and you can too) would be a fitting post for today!

1- Communication  

Retail is the perfect environment to learn this significant transferable skill. When I was a teenager I couldn't even order my own food, let alone chat to a complete stranger about their day! Now I'm confident to talk to people of all different ages and cultures and more importantly I'm happy to approach people and start a conversation. 

2-  Forgive and Forget / Patience 

I'm sure you've had one of those days where you've jumped out of bed, shimmied into your uniform, skipped into work and then a customer comes in and ruins your entire day..... The first few times you'll definitely take any small comment to heart but after awhile you know it's not you. You'll give the most fantastic service with a smile that by the time they've bought every up-sale in the book, they even leave smiling!

3- Initiative

Nobody wants a colleague that stands around waiting to be told every tiny thing especially on a quiet day in a shop. It's important to know a standard list of what you can get on with and just do it! They may not be the most exciting things to do but trust me when I say, they'll make the day go quicker! It's also a great day to suggest ideas to your manager and maybe if you're lucky you'll be allowed to get creative with the visual merchandising and window display for the store!

4- Organisation

Considering the only paperwork I touch is to give a customer an order form to fill in, I didn't think that this would be a skill which I would have enhanced whilst working in retail. However, keeping your social / college / other commitment calendar up to date in advance to be able to give your availability to your boss is a vital skill if you want to ensure you don't double book yourself and mess people about. 

5- Memory

In retail you need to know your products inside out, their codes for ordering them and where they are in the shop. In my current place of employment (dance shop) we get a lot of Dads on business trips come in with an image or code on their phone. I can then grab all their items quickly so they're able to seamlessly make their purchase and go back to work. In addition to knowing about your products to make customers feel special and enhance their shopping experience it's a nice touch to remember their names (if possible) or at least recognise their face and what they usually buy. When you get chatting to your customer you'll find you have a much more enjoyable day as you learn lots of things. I've had one customer who was buying character shoes for the Jane Austen festival in Bath, she came back in a month later to simply show me pictures on her camera of the event! I always love it when older people come into the store as they normally have brilliant stories about when they were younger and danced or they'll tell you all about what their grandchildren do!

Now here's what you'll learn about other people....

1- People don't understand vouchers / offers

No matter how obvious a discount will be there will be many customers who try to enhance the offer to work in their favour. We've had customers try to choose what 4th pair of tights they get free, so they can get the most expensive free. We've had customers try to get 20% off a leotard because another leotard has 20% off but they don't want that one.

2- If you close at 6:30pm someone will come in at 6:28pm, declaring they thought you shut at 7:00pm

Not only will they come in at 6:28pm they will touch every rail which you've just tidied, panic try on 3 pairs of ballet shoes, dramatically hop scotch out the store trying not to step on the mopped floor and to top it all of they won't buy anything.

3-  Customers expect you to know what size fits everyone in their family

Everyday, without fail, a customer will approach you holding a product and say what size will fit my *insert family member* ?!

4- Customers don't believe your answer when they ask what size they'll be

Nobody want's to hear they need a larger size than they thought they were but in a dance store our leotards run small, so we are mainly telling people to try on a larger sizes. Customers don't believe you and take a xs in the fitting room and then soon after are surprised that they do need the size you recommended and reveal in shock that you're right!

5- If you work in a dance store you will get west end wannabes who think they could be scouted

This could be the mums talking over the top loudly about how their daughter is at such-and-such school and has two auditions next week. Or a customer trying on socks and doing an entire dance piece in the store to check they fit, whilst simultaneously checking that everyone is watching them.

Whatever things you end up learning about yourself and other people whilst working in retail I can promise you it's worth the early mornings, late evenings and weekend shifts as they're all transferable skills.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

FASHION | How to style | White Jeans

I've wanted a pair of white jeans in my wardrobe as they make a brilliant alternative to your everyday blue denim - they look that bit smarter and cooler. I've created 4 looks from Topshop to give you some ideas on how to style this Summer trend.

Jeans £40 | Top Left | Bag £27 | Top £19 | Hair slide £10 | Shoes £49 | Bottom Left | Shoes £54.99 | Bag £25 | Belt £24 | T-Shirt £16 | Top Right | T-Shirt £14 | Belt £22 | Boots £89 | Bottom Right | Shirt £35.50 | Boots £89 | Belt £22

My initial thoughts were cowboy boots so I styled a casual weekend look with a print T-shirt and tan coloured accents and then I went for a smart work look with black accents. I also went for another casual look but with the main colour being black and finally a summer party outfit. I definitely think wearing neutrals and tan colours works the best with white jeans and pairing them with printed t-shirts looks effortlessly cool.


Wednesday, 20 March 2019

BEAUTY | Makeup Empties

I'm hitting your screens today with a good old fashioned empties posts, I've been on a strict spending ban which means I've been using the makeup I already have instead of being tempted and buying more things to try and of course, as this always seems to happen to me, all my base makeup has finished at the same time! Luckily I already have a few spares in my stash and my birthday is around the corner!

First up is the Maybelline Instant Anti Age under eye concealer and this is my first time having this, I think it lasted around a year which is amazing! As I just use this under my eyes I didn't mind keeping it for this long but if it was a concealer I used on spots I'd definitely change it more regularly. I bought it in the shade 'light' and I'm certain there was only a very limited colour selection to choose from, now they have 10 shades to choose from to suit a variety of skin tones.

Next I finished my second tube of the It Cosmetics CC+ cream in Light. This stuff is a miracle, I used to smother my face in foundation and for over a year I've only used this CC cream and it works so well at evening my skin tone and covering spots, whilst simultaneously showing my skin through it. It's so quick to apply just using your finger tips and gives a lovely glow.

I love the Urban Decay de-slick setting spray and I believe this is my third bottle, it doesn't last all that long as I love to spray a lot. I've had a few days where I've forgotten to wear it and my makeup does slide off my face and I look a lot shiner.

On the same lines I also love the primer in the same line and this is the second bottle I've finished. I use this everyday by patting on a tiny amount onto my problem areas. This is definitely for very oily skin so I don't put it on my cheeks as they tend to be a lot drier than my T-zone.

So there are my empties and they're products that I adore and use a lot! What product do you find keeps running out?