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Welcoming Sara

In our last blog we introduced you to Eileen Holroyd who has taken over the reins as Centre Manager, we also briefly mentioned that Sara Hassan has joined us as Marketing Manager.

Marketing Manager, Sara Hassan

Marketing Manager, Sara Hassan

While Eileen is a familiar face around the centre having been with us since the first foundations were being excavated in June 1981, Sara is a new Ridings team member, so we thought you might like to find out a little more about her. We grabbed five minutes with Sara to talk all things fashion, Yorkshire and The Ridings. Here’s what she had to say.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A doctor but I soon realised I wasn’t quite cut out for it as I’m pretty squeamish!

2. What was your first job?
When I left school I worked in a shoe shop. I loved it but spent most of my time trying on shoes and most of my wages buying them!

3. What’s your favourite shop?
Feather’s Confectionery –I love chocolate and it’s packed full of delicious handmade creations. I go in under the pretence of buying a gift, which often end up being for me. I love trying out their new flavours and literally can’t leave without buying a bag of treats!

4. What’s your favourite item of clothing?
I love statement necklaces, I think they can totally transform any outfit and take you from day to night really easily.

5. What’s your top fashion tip?
Always think of long term style over a short-term trend. It’s great to follow fashion but I love it when people take a trend and really make it their own. I’m always looking at fashion blogs and Instagram to gather ideas for wearing a certain look. I think true style comes from making something your own, while dressing for yourself and shape.

6. How do you like to spend your weekends?
I love getting out and about around Yorkshire with my friends and family. Whether it’s checking out a new bar in Leeds, a restaurant in Wakefield or having a Sunday walk around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Yorkshire has lots to offer.

7. What’s your guilty pleasure?
I have no willpower when it comes to chocolate or shopping (as you can already tell from my previous answers!) but I feel less guilty about shopping as I work in retail and it’s partly a form of research! (so I tell myself!)

8. Name one person you would most like to have dinner with and why?
Sir Phillip Green – I’d ask him lots of questions about his career and hugely successful retail empire. Hopefully some of his expertise would rub off on me!

9. What is your favourite time of day?
I love lunchtime as the centre is at its busiest with lots of people enjoying all of the lovely food on offer from our shops and cafes. It’s always nice to see our cafes full of people enjoying lunch too.

10. What would you do if you won the Lottery?
I would firstly make a big donation to local homeless charities. Then I’d sort my family and friends out by treating them to special gifts and a holiday or two. If there were any of my winnings left, I’d go travelling in style, before settling down in a nice villa in Ibiza.

11. What do you love most about Yorkshire?
Yorkshire’s really awesome! There are so many things to list but for me it’s the friendliness of the people. You get called ‘Love’ wherever you go and people are always so welcoming. You don’t get that just anywhere!

12. What attracted you to a position in marketing?
What I really enjoy about marketing is that it is so varied and requires lots of different skills. It’s all about being creative and innovative whilst at the same time being extremely organised and measured to ensure objectives are achieved. I also love how marketing is all about people and what they want – there’s nothing better than planning a campaign then seeing it come to life and witnessing people getting involved and enjoying themselves!

13. What’s your favourite thing about The Ridings Shopping Centre?
This is a hard question as The Ridings is great in so many ways. Firstly, I love how we have many independent stores siting alongside big name brands and that you can discover unique, handmade gems in shops like Created in Yorkshire. There’s also a great atmosphere in the centre, especially when we’re hosting an event and everyone always makes you feel welcome and at home – it really is the heart of Wakefield!

14. What are you most looking forward to over the coming months?
We’ve got so many exciting things planned for 2015 I’m literally looking forward to the whole year! In the next couple of months we’re launching our new Ridings website and in-centre WI-FI. We’re hosting lots of events including a style event in May, then we have a great summer campaign planned that includes a kids’ club and lots of other exciting events, then we’ll be gearing up for Christmas and our famous Light Switch On!

We’re thrilled to have Sara join The Ridings team. I’m sure you’ll join us in welcoming Sara and wishing her the best of luck!

Easter Fun

We had so much fun hosting our Easter Egg Hunt over the holidays and it was great to see so many children on the hunt for the hidden eggs! We were helped along the trail on Saturday 4th April by a very special egg, Humpty Dumpty, who was just adorable and loved posing for selfies with our thrilled shoppers!

Our Easter Egg Hunt ended with a prize draw and Billy Shea-Jackson, aged 9 from Wakefield was the lucky winner of a hamper and £100 worth of shopping vouchers. Congratulations Billy!

We’ve got lots more fun planned so keep following us on Facebook and Twitter and don’t miss out!

Meet our New Centre Manager – Eileen Holroyd

The past few weeks at The Ridings have been very exciting as we have welcomed a new Centre Manager. Well when we say new, we mean new to the role because Eileen Holroyd who has taken over the reins from Barbara Winston, is actually our longest serving member of staff! (more…)

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

If you’re looking for some Mother’s Day gift inspiration, our shops have everything you need to treat your Mum or Special Person. From snuggly sleepwear to tasty treats and handmade mementos, there’s something to suit every taste and budget and you’re guaranteed to make Mum smile this Mother’s Day… (more…)

Counting Down to Christmas

It’s not long now until Santa Claus comes down the chimney and in preparation for the big day we have hosted a range of exciting activities for all our shoppers to enjoy.

Shop Local and Support Small Business Saturday

Saturday 6th December is not only one of the busiest shopping periods in the calendar, but it’s also marks Small Business Saturday. Following hot on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, takes place across the UK and is an initiative, highlighting small business success and encouraging consumers to ‘shop local.’ (more…)

Talking Monochrome #fashionfix #humpday

Love this time of the year when trends and fashion styles are in abundance in the stores, lots of choice to satisfy every taste. Black and white statement pieces are everywhere – available in dresses, trousers, skirts, tops and shoes leaving us with decisions, decisions, decisions – what to choose? Monochrome has always been a wardrobe staple and long may it continue….. (more…)