• Melissa Bell

    I have been within the fashion buying industry for around 7 years now, originally dedicated my time to a life of law, studying law and practicing as a paralegal in my early career. This however was not a passion of mine and as cheesy as it sounds my passion was ALWAYS fashion.

    When I completed my studies to becoming a practicing Solicitor, I finally plucked up the courage to make the decision that I was no longer going to peruse a career in Law. As stupid as this sounded to some, I knew my heart was not in Law and I needed to follow my burning desire to make a career out of something more creative.

    At the age of 23 I decided to make this career change starting from the bottom working my way up. I applied for every BA (buying assistant) role in Manchester and was constantly rejected. I finally managed to secure an interview at PLT by emailing the CEO direct who finally passed my details on to the buying Manager there. I went for 5 interviews in total, yes 5! I was told I was overqualified for the role and that I would be extremely bored, but perseverance paid off and I was finally hired in April 2016.

    I stayed at PLT for 6 years working up the ranks from BA to Experienced Buyer. In October 2021, after gaining all the knowledge I felt I could learn, I made the leap to go freelance and consult for a variety of brands, which leads me here today.

  • Heather Lockett

    I am now 11 years into the industry, finishing Sixth Form and heading straight to The Fashion Retail Academy for a one year Buying and Merchandising course.

    I skipped a lot of the university time strains and loans! I was fortunate enough to get 2 lots of work experience at Next Head Office which confirmed I was in the right career that suited me down to the T!

    It was daunting to say the least, starting in one of the biggest cooperate business’ in the UK working under people that had been there 10 years+ and starting from the bottom – but oh so worth it!

    For personal reasons after 4 years I made the move to Manchester and never looked back! I also got a promotion with this move as sometimes you find yourself stuck in a position you do with your eyes closed if you don’t leave a company you’ve worked so long for.

    Making that change from cooperate to Fast Fashion was like changing to a completely different industry but I understood the Buying process and that’s all I needed to dedicate myself and move up the ladder. 6 years on I’m managing teams of 10+ and feel ready to consult for companies that really benefit from your previous experience.

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