Sarah Curran, MBE, is a true inspiration. Having started her career as a sub-editor, Sarah then went on to set up the uber-fabulous My-Wardrobe in 2006 and has even been awarded an MBE for her services to British fashion...
We met up with Sarah to chat role models and her top secret plans for the future.
How did you feel leaving My-Wardrobe?
I’m really proud of the legacy I’ve created with My-Wardrobe. I’ve always said it’s been like a second child. I’m now the mum watching from afar. I’m feeling really excited about the future. I needed a new challenge and now I’m throwing myself into consultancy work, more TV and radio and working with a couple of charities. I feel really happy.
How is life different now?
What I love now, since moving away from My-Wardrobe, is that the days are so varied. I’m working on a few fashion projects and also meeting lots of new people. I feel a real freedom in terms of what I do next, and I’m not controlling things in micro detail as I used to do. This is also the thing I hate, as I’m a control freak and not having a daily routine is definitely out of my comfort zone.
Describe a typical working day.
My day is so varied. The usual routine would be: 6:30am waking up my son Jake, getting him ready for school, making breakfast and school run. Next it’s the train to London for various meetings about the projects I’m working on (top secret for now, sorry!). 5.30pm I head back to pick Jake up, prepare dinner whilst still on my blackberry. Then bed. The blackberry is the first thing I check in the morning, and also the last thing.
How would your workmates describe you?
Tough but fair. And always happy to share a glass of wine after a long day.
Your PA is dashing out on a snack run – what do you order?
Always a Starbucks Venti Skinny Latte. If it’s the morning, I’d ask for an extra shot… And make it snappy!
What’s your office soundtrack?
I love pop music if I’m in an office. I think it really raises the energy of the team. If I’m at home I listen to Classic FM. I find it really relaxing. Now I feel really old.
What are your workwear wardrobe staples?
A great jacket, statement shoes, chunky cocktail rings, big necklace and a great bag.
What’s your favourite way to spend a lunch break?
I’m lucky enough to have eaten at many amazing places in London, but Cecconi’s is still my favourite. It’s amazing for people watching and if you can get a seat outside that’s great. Alternatively, if I’m with Jake, it would have to be Nobu, he loves sushi.
Who inspires you?
My French grandfather was always my inspiration. He was an amazing man, and taught me to always look for the best in people. He also laughed every day and loved his life. He passed away a few years ago and I’ve never met another person like him.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If you have a problem, try and break it down in bite sized pieces. That way it’s not as daunting.
How did you get into your industry?
I was lucky enough to get a break working as a sub editor for The Times Online. That was really what set me on my online path. Luck has played a big part in my life. That along with always being passionate about what you do. It makes a real difference to how much you enjoy work.
What skills do you look for in new employees?
I always look for the right attitude and personality, much more than I do qualifications.
What’s your take on social media?
Professionally I use Twitter, obviously, and LinkedIn. Personally, I use Facebook. Twitter is key to online retail now. The key to the success is how you engage and grow your audience. Sometimes, businesses are so focused in growing the followers that they don’t care if they get the right audience. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to social media, unlike some friends, but it is something I use to stay in touch with friends, more than text or phone. Which is actually quite sad!
How do you unwind after a tough day at work?
Watch Coronation Street in my Ugg boots and with a good bottle of wine.
What advice would you give someone trying to break into your industry?
Don’t give up. It’s very competitive, but if you have the right attitude, and a great smile, you’ll get noticed and that could be your lucky break.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
When I was very young I wanted to be a vet, but I can’t stand blood, and even seeing an animal die on TV sends me over the edge! I was always fascinated with fashion, so I guess without really knowing I followed my dream.
What’s your plan B?
To have another baby and enjoy being a mum, which I never really had the chance to do when I had Jake as I was growing my business.