Meet the Boss: Boutiques owner Anna Park adapts to changing fashions

Anna Park

Anna Park - Credit: IAN BURT

IN THE latest of an occasional series of Q&A profiles, the focus falls on Anna Park, owner of ANNA boutiques.

: : Name:

Anna Park

: : Age:

48

: : Job description:

Owner of ANNA boutiques.

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: : Where are you based?

London and East Anglia.

: : What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Running – I exercise every morning.

: : What was your first ever job?

I worked in a pub in Henley on Thames

: : What was the most unusual task you have been asked to carry out at work?

A child was once sick all over me whilst at work, so cleaning this up was quite unusual.

: : Do you remember your first day at work and, if so, what was it like and what did you do?

In terms of fashion I worked at Warehouse – it was quite surprising as we were asked to stand in one spot and not say anything unless someone spoke to us.

: : How did you get where you are now?

You always learn from others – listening and learning. I learn something new everyday that helps me in both my business and life.

: : What was your best day at work and why?

Opening my first shop in Burnham Market with my mother by my side – it was the start of something brilliant.

: : What was your worst day at work and why?

It was March 28. 1997 – in some ways it was one of the best days of my life (eventually) however, I went into labour with my second son Jack – it was unexpected – I almost had him in the shop – but managed to wait another 20 minutes.

: : What impresses you most on your own CV?

The fact that I’m a cordon bleu chef.

: : Do you think you are a good employer, and if so, why/why not?

Yes – I would say I’m a good employer. I think the proof is in the pudding and most of my staff have been with me for over five years. Even holiday staff – such as University students – generally come back and work for me in their holidays – some come back and work for me after Uni – and I have even helped some graduates get jobs as buyers for other brands.

: : What do you think are your best attributes at work?

I’m fair – I work on the shop floor and I’m one of the team. I listen to what people have to say and take it on board. I adapt to change and work hard.

: : What are your worst failings?

I worry about not worrying.

: : If you weren’t doing the above, what would you be doing?

I would have a lovely little café / restaurant serving healthy food somewhere in the UK – I’d make it special and then open a few more and make them equally special.

: : What are the attributes in work colleagues in general that you admire the most?

Loyalty and commitment – my colleagues are so loyal to me and they understand my philosophy.

: : What are the failings in work colleagues in general that you hate the most?

A lack of loyalty and commitment.

: : What’s your biggest work worry?

It’s got to be the future of the independent shops against the muscle of the multiples. That - and the downfall of shopping in town centres.

: : What’s your best stress-buster?

Yoga and running.

: : Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

Spending time with my family.

: : Tell us something people might not know about you.

I’m a domestic goddess.

: : If you had the power to do any job in the world, what would it be and why?

I would bring the high street back to the independents. I would help stop it (the high street) being taken over – I’d like to bring the shopping experience back to people and have malls outside of town centres.

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