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.
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!