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Inside Missguided- Natalie

In case you missed it, we are on TV. The Channel 4 documentary, Inside Missguided: Made in Manchester, goes behind the scenes in our Salford HQ. The 4-part series explores the highs and lows of the fast fashion industry. From the design and production of clothes, to staff parties and a few photoshoots thrown in there too, the series dives deep into our every day lives. One of the team members featured in the show is our Buying Manager, Natalie. We chatted to her to find out more about her role and experience on the show.

Natalie Q+A

Name:
Natalie Barker 

Age:
36

Hometown:
Ramsbottom

Job title:
Buying Manager

Natalie

How long have you been at Missguided?

5 years

Where did you previously work and how did you land the role at Missguided? 

I worked at Simply Be (NBrown) for just under 10 years. I grew up there and never thought I would leave. My best friend Samantha Helligso worked at Missguided and when we were organising my 30th birthday trip to Ibiza, the only date that Nicole Scherzinger could shoot her new Missguided collection clashed with the dates. We came to the decision that we had no option but to shoot Nicole’s collection in Ibiza so Samantha could “kill two birds with one stone”. Whilst I was out there I met Nitin.

We had a chat over drinks where he said we should have a chat about buying opportunities at Missguided. At the time the buying team was a crew of young relevant but fairly inexperienced buyers. He was keen to extend his senior team. After meeting with Nitin a few times I decided to take the plunge which to be honest felt like a risk. I had grown up in a traditional corporate buying office and was walking away to join a fairly new start up online fashion brand that was still not on the map for some. It was the best risk I ever took and I have been on a journey of Missguided’s highs and lows. There has been fun, mischief and tears on the way but happy to be on this crazy rollercoaster.

“It was the best risk I ever took and I have been on a journey of Missguided’s highs and lows. There has been fun, mischief and tears on the way but happy to be on this crazy rollercoaster.”

Natalie

What is a day in the life like for you at work?

On paper I would say we monitor sales, maximise on winners, trade and plan. We meet suppliers, negotiate and range build. But that job description sounds too easy. We are reacting daily to everything, everyday is a different focus, and curve balls are the norm. You think you can plan your day but what our customer wants she gets and that means dropping everything to be reactive and rapid.

How did you find being on camera?

Weird at first, but as we built relationships with the crew everything felt more natural. At first I thought they were out to make good TV, I would freak when asked certain questions and was so conscious on how they could make me look, but it became obvious that their aim was to show the real Missguided and the real me.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Social events! Ha ha! Joking! I love the first few hours of a day…we get sales reports through and see what sold the day before then it’s trade and react, getting on the phone to suppliers and trying to beat BP on speed to market.

What keeps you motivated?

My team. Just a good bunch of humans. Arguably motivation comes top down but seeing them thrive and grow in their careers makes me motivated to do right by them. Life is good when we are all winning! 

“Arguably motivation comes top down, but seeing my team thrive and grow in their careers makes me motivated to do right by them.”

Natalie

What was the trickiest project you’ve worked on and why?

It’s not a particular project but a particular year. The year that Missguided went through such tricky times and we lost focus. I don’t think we were on the same page as teams across the business and we would review and review and change prices and target customer and we became so confused. It’s hard because we were always the market leader and for that time we were left behind. Today’s news is tomorrow chip paper so I’m pleased that we are now moving onwards and upwards. 

What is your favourite Missguided Campaign and why?

Gosh, I love all our campaigns for different reasons. The Vegas bridal shoot as it included some familiar faces. The Pamela Anderson campaign because of the Pamborghini. I loved the “Love Thy Self” shoot as it bought diversity and was game changing. The dogs collection and having the office full sausage dogs. Every campaign brings a new dynamic to Missguided.  

Catch Natalie on Inside Missguided

Make sure you watch Inside Missguided to spot Natalie in action as our Buying Manager. Find out more about the Missguided documentary and other cast members here.