As a full-time visual merchandiser for two Country Road stores, Rachel Soo Thow has a lot on her plate. Her day consists of liaising with store managers and going through daily reports in order to improve the store's appearance and hopefully increase sales for the weekend and the following week.
"Managers would discuss with you what was working and not working and it's up to me to find the middle man and come up with viable solutions that meet the needs of the company as well as the store whilst adhering to presentation standards," explains Soo Thow.
She studied a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) conjoint at Auckland University and graduated in 2013. Then continued on to pursue her passion for fashion at Country Road. Being able to visit the stores and meet the staff is one of her favourites parts of the job. She also loves the creative aspect of setting up for the new season.
"I mean we're basically tradespeople - we drill, paint, fixture, and fix a store's appearance in a day! It's a physical job but I love it," she said.
Outside of work Soo Thow is a freelance illustrator and painter, she loves to produce fine detailed works of art.
"I've always been the creative type I guess," said Soo Thow.
With various art projects and commissions on the side, Soo Thow is not one to just have one job on the go. With over seven years experience in retail and dabbled in showroom merchandising for a PR firm, she says she has always had time to create artwork of her own.
Finding inspiration from her day-to-day jobs and others around her in the field.
Soo Thow says the most important thing she has learned while being in this role is teamwork and the skill of letting go. As a perfectionist at heart, she finds it easy to become quite attached to what she has produced in the fast paced environments.
However, Country Road has helped remind Soo Thow that it's all about what's next and a new set of goals.
Moving forward Soo Thow hopes to one day get into the buying sector or even manage a few art projects. "It would be amazing to see where this job could take me," explains Soo Thow.