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Nalini’s Bluewater Diary




My life was about to have a major make over! I was making the move from my university town, to move back home and start as a Manager in a brand new exciting company – The LFF Bluewater boutique.



When I went for the interview I had no idea of the huge opportunity that was waiting for me at the London Fashion Forum. What started off as just a job hunting day almost two weeks ago at the Bluewater learning shop ended up being a whole new career path for me.


When I saw the job description for the LFF it sounded perfect for my line of experience and work. So I put my name forward and sure enough the next day there was a telephone call from the lovely Tracy Robinson.


I conducted some market research about LFF on both www.fashioncapital.co.uk and www.lffonline.com and on the day of my interview I was strangely nervous and with great anticipation I went into the shop.  I had been up all the night before with my boyfriend raving about the company and how nervous I was going to be.  Despite how intimidating it felt, I knew I had to show I felt competent to take on the major challenge of what lay ahead.


I arrived very early at Bluewater on the day of my interview as I had no idea where the unit was situated.  Fortunately it is brilliantly situated opposite the Cinema entrance on the top floor next to a very busy Kite shop. I nervously knocked on the door and waited. 


When I first entered the unfinished shop I meet with Tracy who explained the current situation and I could easily assess that a lot of work needed to happen before the doors finally opened. Straight away I loved the whole concept of the company and I was very enthusiastic.   However, the shop still needed a lot of work and with hardly any stock it looked very bear.  But the space was amazing and pristine with wonderful white marble ands, and white with loads of space for customer movement.  I was impressed by the very spacious too. It seemed an ideal outfit.


I first meet Jenny who was buzzing with ideas and tasks that needed to be put into order.  She told me about this diary entry that I would need to complete and I thought maybe this would be quite useful for the designers, consumers and company to grasp exactly how myself and my team are going to be working together for the benefit of the designers.


After my interview I could not wait to get contact my boyfriend on my mobile to explain that the job was just perfect working for a unique company and the excitement of being part of a new project.  He was thrilled for me and now I had to wait patiently for that all important call from the LFF to see if I had managed to get the job.


I phoned Tracy the following day and I literally jumped for joy when she said she wanted me to be part of the team.  The following Tuesday was the big day and the deadline for opening was Thursday for the opening launch.  There were so many activities to be done in order to open in time at times I seriously worried how we were going to get all the jobs done.  WE had to merchandise the unit with the right stock, finish the shop fit, literally buy the equipment, paint, buy the tills, finish off the changing room ………the list went on and on and on!  I was thrown in the deep end and I loved it – I was totally busy the whole time and the time just flew.


I met some of the designers who explained their products to me. I met two guys from ‘Natasia’ who were very nice and have THE ‘must have’ bags of the season.  Tuesday and Wednesday flew by in a haze and miraculously the shop opened for the launch on time Thursday pm.



On the morning of the launch I met with the full team who consist of Alice Phillips, Nikki Wilson, Pia Zan white, Rachel and then later joined my team were Melvine Maden and Ruth Healey. They are just a fantastic team and we all get on so well together. We opened at 1.30 pm with Champagne corks and balloons flying!





The launch was great!  The shop was buzzing I was totally hyperactive. The designers needed entertaining and we shared information with the staff and the designers and head office. Staff started to get organised and the customers started to roll in. We clapped the first lady to buy a top. Everyone was so excited. It was crazy but what a brilliant first day.


After that hectic first day I needed to get totally organised with daily routines and complete unfinished bits and pieces from the day before – this kept us all busy.  There was so much customer interest about the designers and who the LFF are it was inspiring. The staff we were getting to grips surprising quickly with all the new designer labels and this helped make the shop extremely efficient.



On Saturday, we had a new starter Rachel Skinner, who has fitted in very well with everyone and the company’s philosophy. It is incredible how Rachel got the job. On the night of the launch Rachel bought a Forest outfit and what’s that line…..she was so impressed with the company……well she ended up working here. Rachel loved her outfit and the concept of the LFF that she wanted to be apart of our team.  Saturday, was so busy the shop was heaving with customers loving the stock and almost squealing with delight. The highlights were Actar Actar, Forest, Natasia, Tanya Dove and Nadia Ivanova, Mani to name but a few.  The customers gave us an extremely positive response and I know that we made such a good impact that we know have regulars already.









Rachel and Pia are very really efficient and I was impressed with my team. At this point I realised how fortunate I was to have such a great job with such great people to work with.


Sunday was another successful day but as we had been let down with an assistant manager I am glad to say that Sunday was a short day. But despite these initial long hours I was enjoying getting to know the shop and organising it in my kinda style!


Monday came and I hit a couple of staffing problems.  However, this ended out turning for the better, as I now have two great new girl working with for me; Ruth Healy and Melvine Maden; one full and the other part time.  They grasped our concept and were so enthusiastic toward customers that I was really happy by the end of the day.


Tuesday, Bluewater was not so busy, but we still had a great response to the merchandise from the customers that entered.  We moved some of our best sellers Actar Actar to the front of the shop and their beautiful hand embroidered sequins were eye-catching for passing foot fall.  The staffs were very excited at the prospect of re-merchandising the entire shop and their ideas and input was impressive, their experiences really showed through.


Wednesday – panic – all the paperwork and stock check had to be in order, money counted, designer phoned, on top of all the other jobs that go with the daily running of the shop.  Jenny came in and we went through the paper work together – it’s a simple system but one that must be adhered to efficiently every day.


So that’s the first week at the LFF boutique. Altogether it’s been an exciting and productive week. I love my team and I love my job! My first week was very varied and extremely interesting. I have lots of responsibility and the feedback I have received makes me feel privileged to be offered such an opportunity.


Here are a few words from my team on their first impression working here this week.



The following are quotes from my team:-



On Tuesday Nalini, Ruth, Nikki and myself had a staff meeting and agreed it was time for a little change around with the stock.  I love visual merchandising; I couldn’t wait to get started!  The change proved successful with the new, bright, trendy clothes at the front of the shop, attracting more customers – it looks great.

I never thought I would say this about any job but I love working here – it’s all new and exciting.



Upon entering LFF for the first time, my first impression was that this was defiantly not a high street store, the design of the clothes is very individual and the attention to detail is amazing, with many items having hand beading.

My attention was immediately caught by Nadia Ivanova’s work, especially her Victorian inspired (in my opinion) skirts.  My favourite is the tweed skirt which reminds me of leisurely time spent in the countryside and has a lady of the house type feel.




I start on Tuesday; I met new customers and new staff.  It’s a “clean”, tidy and really bright place to work.  The designers have so much great “stuff” and they have so much potential.  The brief about the designers is so well explained and clear. We do understand their target.  In one word it’s great!  It’s a lovely environment.  I think more of these shops should be in Knightsbridge or Sloane Square.




On my first day at the London Fashion Forum I had a great day, the opening of the store was good fun and the more I work here the more I enjoy it.  I love looking at the designers clothing, I am so impressed with the individuality of it all.  I am going to really enjoy working here and hope the shop has a permanent place at Bluewater,


Nalini xx


Footnote from Jenny Holloway (Project Manager London Fashion Forum)


Nalini just fell into place at the Bluewater boutique. When we read Nalini’s CV we were quietly impressed but at the end of the day a CV is only a piece of paper with words on. As soon as Nalini walked through the barricaded door of the demolition site of the boutique we knew she would be perfect. Actually she has surpassed our original expectations and has been off to a flying start in the first week alone.


Nalini’s strength are her aptitude to change, her “can-do” approach and attitude. She has worked long and hard in the first week and managed to make a complete success of the boutique in a short period of time.


Naturally Nalini has great staff too to support her. What starts off as a dream and an idea quickly gains momentum and becomes a reality! Nalini and the crew at the LFF Bluewater boutique are literally the biz!


Many thanks to them all for their hard work – long may the success continue!  


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