Inspirational Women at Work: Natalie Lake, Creative Director, Really Wild

My new label love is Really Wild Clothing.  It’s quintessentially British wardrobe is packed full of classic, great quality styles, which will  whisk you from Sloane Square to Hampshire with aplomb.  We love a female founded brand at the F Club, and are delighted to share our chat with Creative Director, Natalie Lake.  Hope you enjoy and do check the collection out here.  Love Marie Louise x


Name: Natalie Lake
Job Title: Creative Director, Managing Director
Job hours: 24/7

What does your typical work day looks like:
I rarely have a typical work day as my work is so varied, but I break my days down now to either designing with the creative team, which may be one day designing the brochure with our Graphic designer to designing garments with the design team. The other side of my job is administrative working closely with our Operations Manager/ Merchandiser which involves all aspects of running a business with regular meetings involving updates in marketing/ PR, Customer services on how we are performing in our retail outlets, feedback from our customers and on the financial side so that we are hitting our monthly targets!
I always get to the end of the day and wonder where it has gone……but I thrive on the variety of my role in the business.

What do you most enjoy about your job: Designing and working with the team bouncing off ideas together

What is your least favourite part in the role?
The endless keeping up with the admin and the bombardment of e mails but I suspect that goes for all of us.

Who has been your most influential mentor was or inspiring boss?
Joanna Lumley – her effortless cool style and her energy. She has a wonderful youthful nature and a lovely way with people – very natural and down to earth. She is an inspiration to us all!

What has been your biggest professional achievement?Having a Pop up up shop in the Duke of York Square, Chelsea. That has given me a quiet confidence that there is a demand for our brand in London. Exciting times ahead.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?
Design goes hand in hand with finance, managing stock, cashflow and sales.

Looking back on your career now, what do you wish you had known?
How to run a retail business and all the challenges that it encompasses.
I had to learn the hard way having not come from within the industry or having a background of designing clothes – this posed its challenges but at the same time has been a rewarding learning process – I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to build a brand.

What is the trait you most dislike in others and the one you most value.
Laziness. Most value: Trust

What is the trait you most dislike in yourself at work?
I dart from one job to another rather than focusing on one particular task – very annoying for the team!

What has been your biggest career challenge?
Understanding the manufacturing process and all its complication. It should be a simple process but always ends up not going accordingly to plan – the secret I have learnt is that everything is in the detail. The more prepared and organised you are you mitigate the risk of disaster!

If you could name one, what is your top tip for professional success?
You have to be passionate about you do.

What has been your luckiest break?
Having the Duchess of Cambridge wearing our clothes in the very early years when the company launched its first collection in 2004

What do you do to wind down?
Potter around my home and garden with the family and rather alot of dogs – so peaceful and relaxing!

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