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LIMA UK Rising Stars: Eloise Jones

We find out more about the buyer for George @ Asda’s baby girls department.

Eloise Jones,

Baby Girls Buyer, George @ Asda

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

After graduating from London College of Fashion I worked as an assistant buyer for a couple of high street retailers, until I joined George in 2012. I have worked on the baby and older girls departments during my time at George, developing both own brand and licence product working with Disney, Warner brothers, Hasbro, Mattel, Nickelodeon and Carte Blanche. I am now buyer on the Baby Girls department where licence product plays an important part in our ranges and is recognised and loved by our customers.

How long in the industry?

6 years.

When I was growing up, I had no idea that ‘licensing’ was an industry, so I wanted to be…

I had to ask my mum for this… I wanted to be a journalist. This was before I discovered fashion and clothing and that I could essentially convert shopping into a career!

Biggest inspiration in the licensing industry?

Jonathan Tillery, mens & kidswear senior director at George – his engaging personality, passion and enthusiasm for licence product opened my eyes to the opportunities and sales potential of the industry and how much fun it can be along the way. He has always driven the importance of licence product on mens and kids at George and always wants to be the first to market with the newest, most unique product for our customers and you just can’t help but be motivated to deliver that.

Best thing about your current role?

Working with my team to create beautiful baby ranges for our customers newest and most precious additions to the family. The conversations we have at work are the most entertaining part of my day, whether it’s learning the names of all the Shopkins characters to decide which to feature on our latest t-shirt, whether we have enough glitter, sparkle and sequins on our My little Pony outfits or discussing in great detail the length of Minnie Mouse’s eyelashes.

What are you most proud of within your licensing career to date?

On the baby department we work on a long 28-week lead time, so it can be very hard to react to new things and trends for our customers. When the height of Frozen was kicking in at George, I identified an opportunity while on a supplier trip in Sri Lanka and set our supplier the challenge to manufacture, print and deliver a Disney baby Olaf bodysuit in time for Christmas on an eight-week turnaround time (which has never been done before). It involved not only working closely with Disney but almost every department in George in order to speed processes up, and ensure the smooth route of this bodysuit all the way in to store. We did it in five weeks and secured extra sales on a licensed product for our department. The customer loved it too and the product sold out in less time it took to get to store!

Licensed character you can most identify with (and why)?

Minnie Mouse – she’s fun, always smiling and has considered co-ordinating outfit choices.

What were your first thoughts when you were revealed as a nominee for the LIMA UK Rising Star Award?

Completely honoured.

The adage goes, once you enter the licensing industry, you never really leave… what are your short-term goals for your career in licensing?

I definitely want to continue my career as a buyer at George. I love working on kidswear and the beautiful, fun licensed product we create for our customers.

The LIMA UK Rising Stars award will be presented as part of the Licensing Awards, which take place on Tuesday September 13 at The Grosvenor Hotel, London.

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