Meet Lucy Robins; Buyer for Redcurrent

Welcome to our first article in our Women in Retail blog series! A career in retail can take you in so many directions. We’ll be catching up with inspiring women who work in retail, across a number of different roles in our Women in Retail blog series.

Let us introduce you to Lucy Robins, the talented buyer behind the beautiful brand, Redcurrent. Her journey began when she started working at Redcurrent straight out of high school! So, if you have aspirations to become a buyer one day, then you’ll especially enjoy Lucy’s inspirational journey.

Here’s what Lucy had to share with us;

How did your career start: I started working for Redcurrent when I left school in 2005. I was always passionate about interiors and studied interior design in Wellington before moving back to Christchurch. It has been a natural progression for me, moving from retail assistant to store manager and then supporting the former buyer in an assistant’s role before moving into the buyer’s role in 2016.

Tell us about your first role and how you got to where you are now: As I mentioned, I started working for Redcurrent in 2005 as a retail assistant. I had no idea what a buyer was but all these beautiful wares and accessories would arrive in and there would always be some exciting story of how and where they had sourced the product and I knew I wanted to explore that role.

Did you study or learn on the job: I studied Interior Design in Wellington before finishing it in Christchurch at the Design & Arts College. I wouldn’t say that I needed to study for the job I am in now and I have learnt more on the job than I would’ve ever been able to while studying. I definitely learn best by doing and applying knowledge to real-life situations.

Did you always know you wanted to be a buyer: It was a dream job that I knew didn’t come around very often so I was trying to be realistic that it might not have worked out, hence studying Interior Design. I dappled in a bit of Interior Design for a commercial furniture company which I thoroughly enjoyed but unfortunately (or fortunately) the earthquake hit and a lot of the jobs I was working on were in the central city. We had no idea when we might, if ever, get back in so when I was offered the manager’s role back at Redcurrent in 2011 I jumped at the chance and here I am.

What do you love about your job: I love that I work with the most incredible women every single day, I get to travel, design, develop ranges and shop for a living, what’s not to love!

What don't you love so much about it: If there was one thing I don’t love so much is that sometimes we don’t get something right and I would’ve had a gut feeling that I haven’t listened to, but we’re always learning from our mistakes and I have learnt to trust my gut more often.

Who inspires you: Our co-founder Audrey McHardy inspires me, I hope that I am still travelling and applying my incredible wealth of knowledge and creativity when I am her age.

What advice do you have to people who are just starting out in their careers: If I have any advice it would be to not think that you’re going to go straight into the role that you want. I think the most valuable knowledge I have is from working on the shop floor for many years and knowing exactly what and who our customers are.

Thanks for sharing Lucy! Tune into our blog next week to meet the brand manager of Taylor, Kerri Lelievre.