Interview and photo by Florence Noble.
The multi-talented manager of Ted Baker London keeps herself pretty busy when she’s not welcoming shoppers at the Britomart store.
Are you from Auckland?
No, I’m from Sydney.
How do you get to Britomart?
I electric scooter.
A Lime or your own?
My own. I go from the top of the hill, straight down. I am the best-dressed person on a scooter, haha. I come in ready to go, ready to jump on the floor.
What do you do here?
I am the location manager. Basically, the face of Ted Baker for New Zealand. So I run their store, and I organise marketing events. I’m the first port of call for Ted Baker in New Zealand.
How did you get into it?
I’ve been working in retail for many years… we won’t say how many. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it any more, but I stumbled across this beautiful brand and I fell in love with the product, and the clients and the culture being new and fun. I really enjoy the ownership they give me to run here. It’s a beautiful store. Really special.
It does feel much more down-to-earth here than it is in the UK.
Yeah, definitely. We like it that way. I’m the type of person who will go into Prada and feel intimidated as much as I want to buy something. And I was really adamant when I started here that that’s not the feeling that I wanted. We’ve got a beautiful location, a beautiful square at our disposal of incredible people from different walks of life, from tourists to office workers to mums. It was important to me to cater for everyone, to have a more nurturing, relaxed environment.
What’s your idea of fun?
My idea of fun is probably singing live to people and entertaining them.
So you do that?
I do that from time to time, yeah.
What style of singing?
At this stage I attend an open mic night so it’s a little bit karaoke-ish, but it’s a really good outlet.
What’s your go-to song?
The song they make me do before I finish for the night is I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston. I am very much your 90s power ballad. I’m not allowed the microphone when I sing those ones. It’s very loud. A lot of projection.
Where do you do this?
It’s an open mic night at a bar called Sally O’Rourke’s, the last Friday of every month, sometimes it’s impromptu – one guy grabs a guitar, and it escalates from there. There’s a group of us and we go there all the time.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I like to do weird art pieces. Like, I have a mannequin in my house and I spray-painted her gold, and I got this Indian head dress, and did some bright Indian makeup. I also have a Statue of David bust, I gave him Bowie make up. I’m at one with my weirdness. It’s okay.
If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
I would probably run a doggy day care. I have two dogs and they’re incredible. I have griffons who are full of personality and mischief.
What would be your point of difference?
I would have it attached to a field that lights up at night, and you can have a dog park there. A facility where it’s all lit in winter, and safely have them off-leash.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes. I’ve seen one.
Tell me about this.
Well I was very young, and it looked like a big owl at the end of my bunk bed. It had its claws on the bar and big red eyes.
Could this have been a dream?
Yeah, I guess. We did also have a ghost in our shop in Sylvia Park. Sylvia Park was built on a Māori graveyard.
Best not to build on a Māori graveyard
It had been blessed. But I wasn’t the only one who had seen it. The girl I worked with was too scared to come to work. And I approached all the other shops about it, and asked if we should re-bless it, and they looked at me like I was an absolute nut case so I just left it.
Whats your favourite thing to spend money on?
Have you got your eye on anything to buy at the moment? .
There’s always a pair of Chanel sunglasses to buy. From Chanel over the road.
I’ve only got one so far, but I do have a pair of Pradas and some Versaces. Sunglasses are a bit of a fetish for me. And they have to be brand. Sounds really superficial – I’m not that superficial!