Earlier this year Tracy Ann Turner was appointed as the new Manager of Rowcroft’s Boutique in Ilsham Road, Wellswood. In 2016, together with Rowcroft’s other 15 shops, the Boutique generated £350,000 to help support local families living with life-limiting illnesses in South Devon. In 2017 that figure is expected to grow even further, as Rowcroft’s shops continue to establish themselves as destinations for savvy shoppers across the region. We recently met up with new Manager Tracy to find out about her background, what attracted her to her new role, and where she loves to shop.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
My background is mostly in retail; I started as a ‘shop girl’ for a concession in Debenhams and worked up to become a Team Leader, then on to become a Supervisor in other roles. My first Manager’s position was with Eastex and Alexon. I then took a break and worked for Aston Villa as a Personal Assistant for the Charity Director. It was a fantastic experience and gave me so much confidence to bring back to my retail career.
What attracted you to the job of manager of Rowcroft's Wellswood Boutique?
The feeling of giving something back to the community; coming away from a corporate background was like a breath of fresh air.
Why did you want to work for Rowcroft?
To be part of something I can feel proud of.
What have you enjoyed most about working in the shop so far?
I've enjoyed the diversity and that no one day is the same, I also love working with the volunteers - they are an amazing bunch.
How would you describe the Wellswood boutique's style and stock?
Wellswood style is very chic and classy. We are very fortunate to have some fantastic labels donated to us, which means our customers can get their designer labels at an affordable price.
What trends do you think are happening in charity retail at the moment?
I think charity shops are moving away from that quite dated look, where you walk in to a charity shop and the staff are very quiet. We now offer a more personal shopping experience. We aren’t afraid to chat to our customers about what we have in stock, and help them with their style; for me it’s all about that customer experience.
Where are your favourite places to shop and why?
My favourite shop is New Look because I get on well with their sizes. They are always current with their trends, and they are affordable.
What's your favourite city for shopping in the world?
Birmingham; it’s diverse and exciting.
What would you say to tempt people in to visit the Boutique?
I would say to remember you’ll be getting unique designer labels at a much more affordable price, and that every pound spent in-store will make a huge difference to local people and families.
To find out more about Rowcroft’s 16 shops across South Devon, visit www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/shops.