Meet the Team - Edinburgh & Glasgow Interview
Julie-Mae Ward is the manager for our Glasgow store
Julie-Mae Ward knows our Glasgow store better than anyone owing to the fact she’s been at the helm since the very day it opened, back in 2008. Situated inside the Silverburn Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Glasgow, the store has undergone all manner of changes since it first threw open its doors to the public.
Most of the changes have come in the product range, with Julie-Mae seeing a major shift towards more fashionable collections and a slimmer fit. A lot of the drive has come from customers too. “Our customers are so much more switched on than perhaps they were a few years ago,” she explained. “They are more aware of the fabric, the fit and the general trends. In many ways they are thinking more about each purchase, but when they see something they like they are very decisive. “The biggest shift for men has been in body shape, with our extra slim and slim fit ranges selling like hot cakes. Very few of our customers fit into the classic range now.”
Away from the store, Julie-Mae, a Kilmarnock girl born and bred, is something of a gym bunny. “I have a personal trainer,” she admits. “It sounds very grand but it isn’t really. I’d be no good going to the gym on my own so I have a trainer twice a week to keep me disciplined and motivated. “In truth, managing the store is completely full on. It’s non-stop so I have to have some time each week when I’m out in the fresh air or in the gym doing something purely physical.”
With six years under her belt and with three members of the team who have also been at the store since it first opened, Julie-Mae says a lot of the customers have become good friends. “You get to know a lot about a person when they come in a couple of times,” she explains. “You get an insight into their life as well as their wardrobe and we’re proud of the fact that many of them come back again and again and have become great friends. They’re always popping in to say hello and pick up a shirt or two.”
Having worked for Arcadia and Jaeger in the past, Julie-Mae is retail through and through. Yet she feels at home at Hawes and Curtis and is particularly excited about the new range of handbags that have been introduced.“They’ll take us to another level,” she adds. “And I can see myself with one or two at least!”
Dave Watson is the manager of our Edinburgh store
You could say that retail runs through Dave’s veins. He’s worked all across the city working for the likes of 3 Mobile, Boots and The Body Shop. Dave’s also an Edinburgh man through-and-through, living in Leith with his wife and two children.
Yet while he’s retail by day, Dave’s a different animal by night – playing guitar in blues/indie band The Vennels. While he shrugs off any suggestions of a number one or a world tour, they have a very loyal following. And given Dave’s performance on the mic as he introduced the Hawes and Curtis fashion show in April, he’s not remotely phased by being on stage. “We probably gig every six weeks or so and I love it,” he says. “We’re a tight bunch and while I play guitar I also do some backing vocals too. It’s great fun.”
Like Julie-Mae in Glasgow, Dave has been at the helm of the Edinburgh store since it opened in April last year. With a mix of locals, tourists, business folk and retired country gents, the store has to offer something to everyone. “We have such a broad mix of customers but that’s mainly because we have such a fantastically diverse range of products,” says Dave evangelically. “The quality of our products is what really stands out again and again. It’s what brings our customers back for more.”
With Harris tweed, high collar shirts and the trademark Hawes and Curtis prints combining heritage with fashion, Dave says he has noticed a younger demographic coming in to store. “We have definitely started to attract a more fashion conscious customer,” he reports. “Our range is expanding all the time to enable us to cope with the demands for brighter prints, more expensive fabrics like merino and cashmere, and our famous silk touch finish. “But the customer also wants great service and speedy delivery so we have to be on our game from the moment they step into the store. That’s a great challenge for our staff and they rise to it every time.”
To de-stress, Dave’s a huge fan of football (a Hibs fan, although he asks you not to hold that against him) and is big into his cycling. “I’m definitely not one for the gym so I’ll do anything else other than that,” he laughs.