Stephanie Dixon, 21, has been managing retail teams since she was 19 and now holds the title of Business Manager for Thierry Mugler Fragrance in Sunderland. The first thing you notice when you step into her apartment is the smell. Sandalwood incense was burning, surrounded by lit candles and an array of engagement cards. You could tell this was the apartment of a happy couple.
Firstly, picture a petite blonde sitting crossed legged on her sofa looking totally amazing even in sweats at 8pm on a Tuesday night. I know, unfair! A typical day for Stephanie will consist of checking over figures and setting targets accordingly, keeping the Thierry Mugler stand at Debenhams in Sunderland presentable and interacting with the customers. From time to time she will head to London for business meetings and she receives a bunch of Clarins skincare and make-up along with a Mugler fragrance every three months.
Thierry Mugler released their first best selling fragrance, Angel, in 1992. Later followed by Alien launching in 2005. Stephanie told us she wears Alien because she likes the note of Jasmine in the scent and it feels fresh and young.
She said: “I had to learn about the top, base and heart notes in the fragrances and it’s also good to know them in other brands too so you can compare the competition.” This was all part of Stephanie’s training for the position of Business Manager.
Stephanie said she planned on being a primary school teacher but whilst studying, she got her first job in fashion retail which is when she realised this was the area she wanted her career in: “I left studying for my job and became an assistant manager. I’m very independent and adaptable. I know how to deal with all kinds of people and I can see their strengths and weaknesses.”
Stephanie went on to say that her top tip to becoming a manager in beauty retail is to: “Trust your gut instinct and go for everything even when you think you might not get it. Don’t be afraid to put forward fresh ideas and something new.”
To be a Business Manager it’s not just about sales and fragrance, it’s also about knowing the brand. Stephanie lives and breathes the brand, following Thierry Mugler on Instagram, keeping up with the designs and who’s wearing them. By keeping up with the fashion aspect of the brand it’s a great talking point for Stephanie with her customers. When it comes to her own style she shops in TopShop and H&M.
As for high-end fashion Stephanie stays loyal to the Mugler brand: “I would love to own some of the going out dresses from the Mugler collection, they’ve become a lot more wearable recently and I loved Burberry at London fashion week.”
Wedding plans are in full swing for Stephanie and her fiancee Darren Hall, 30, who works in sales. “I’ve found my dress, it’s ivory, strapless and fitted.” They will tie the knot next year in Cyprus. She said: “It’s going to be a small family ceremony at a boutique hotel on the beach. We’re doing understated, simple style and want it to be really chilled and relaxed.” She is waiting to see what fragrances launch over the next year for the wedding, it needs to be memorable because she believes: “Smell is as personal as style.”