Do what you love and love what you do

Posted on Friday 23rd January 2015

Bolton Business School students, alumni and businesses from throughout the Manchester area attended the University’s latest networking event with the CEO of N Brown Group Plc, Angela Spindler.

In the latest of the regular series ‘an evening with’, broadcaster Gordon Burns spoke with Angela about her journey from psychology student at the University of Manchester to transforming the clothing brand George at Asda, before most recently joining N Brown, owners of brands such as Simply Be, Fashion World and Jacamo.

Angela’s first break in the industry came at Cadbury Schweppes as a graduate trainee, doing door to door sales selling beverages to pubs and clubs in Stoke-on-Trent. This proved to be an important learning curve as she consistently achieved top sales in her region.

‘In all of the jobs I have had since then, the art of persuasion and selling have been the root of my success and consistently helped put me on the map,’ said Angela.

She went on to join Mars, where she worked in the pet food department. Her most notable achievement was turning the label of Whiskas purple. The company previously used different colours but settling on purple gave the brand strong connotations to a premium quality product; improving sales and status within the marketplace.

From there she went to ASDA, progressing through the ranks to become global managing director of the £2bn George label. Whilst there, she worked with buyers to help create a credible fashion line for the brand, revolutionising the supermarket chain’s brand.

Despite a short period at Debenhams, Angela recommended staying in any role for three years. ‘It allows you to take one year to learn, one year to analyse and one year to change whilst in a job.’

She recalled her time at the Original Factory Shop as some of the most memorable in her career.

‘As a smaller business you have to create yourself and build a network. I was able to leverage all the contacts, skill and experience that I’d picked up at bigger businesses.’

She also had sound advice for Bolton students as future entrepreneurs themselves. She believed a successful business needs to be three things: differentiated, relevant and economically viable.

Said Angela: ‘You have to do what you love and love what you do.’