Staff Profile: Ruby

Meet Ruby, the Store Manager for our Victoria St, Wellington site. Ruby is a friendly, creative individual with a dynamic working style and supportive leadership approach. Outside of running a smooth operation in-store, she reflects all of the pillars ILU was created on – curating a life filled with music, art and self-improvement.

Read on as she takes us through the store to learn more about her time with us, favorite aspects of the job and how she incorporates personal expression into a retail environment.

How long have you been working at I Love Ugly, and what drew you into the brand in the first place?
I have been with I Love Ugly for two years. I remember walking into the Old Bank store several years ago and feeling intrigued by the branding. I loved the service & the energy in the store and loved the attention to detail. I wanted to be a part of a local New Zealand brand with a cool history!

What do you enjoy most about your role, and what makes it unique compared to other retail positions? 

Our two Wellington stores work really closely together, and I love the supportive relationship Logan (Lambton Quay Manager) and I have. We’ve created a shared culture where everyone has each other's backs, and we are all really focused on offering the best retail experience we can.

My background was in large retail environments that were cliquey and unsupportive. The team and I work really hard to support each other inside and outside of work! We have lots of fun while providing an excellent retail experience.  

I really enjoy maintaining relationships with our loyal customers as much as building them with first-time customers experiencing the brand.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I think the most important job of anyone in retail is to manage their energy, so they can be of service to the customer. I do that by starting my day with coffee, writing poetry and curating playlists.

Once I arrive at the store, my priorities are meeting with Logan, checking in with the team, keeping in touch with head office and regularly re-merchandising the store.

The vibe of the store is so important – creating a welcoming space where customers feel comfortable. The music, the welcome, the energy and the effort are all so important.

I try to fit in lunch or a coffee date with people I love a couple of times a week. The end of the day is about making sure things are done and prepped for whatever is happening the next day.

What is your personal fashion style, and how do you incorporate it into your work? 

I love heavy eye makeup & chunky jewelry. My style combines vintage feminine with contemporary streetwear. I love collecting secondhand clothing and altering the garments to work into my wardrobe.  

I live in black, but I am always playing with different textures and fabrics. I love green too; khaki & forest.

I wear equal amounts of men's and women's ranges at work. Some days I wear a men's shirt and a short skirt and other days tailored pants and a sweet top. The contrast between dark & romantic fashion has always been what I have loved.

What have been your favorite pieces of clothing from the recent Womenswear releases?

I live in the Riley Wrap Skirt and the Mica Wide Pant. I also really love all of the Brooklyn Shirts! I can’t wait to see the next collections!

Can you share any tips for customers looking to enhance their shopping experience in your store?

You should come in and have a chat with us, ask for what you want. We have a really relaxed but attentive service style and we are here to help you! A lot of people are scared to ask for retail assistance. Telling retail assistants what you are looking for is the best way to start - we often know what is coming in next, new colours or silhouettes that are on their way.

What does life outside ILU look like for you, and where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 

Life outside I Love Ugly is spent drawing, painting, writing and spending time with friends.  

I am currently learning floristry. Any spare time is spent working on commissions or some form of art. My paintings are inspired by songs. I include lyrics and colours based on how the song makes me feel. My drawings are usually black and white, done with bold markers.  

Collecting records and watching movies are two other passions. I feel like I am constantly creating myself. My future will definitely involve art, people and creativity.

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