Dr Patsy Perry is a Lecturer in Fashion Marketing at The University of Manchester, a role which involves teaching and research projects in the areas of fashion marketing, sustainability and e-commerce. Her most recent research project was looking at how small fashion retailers might use new digital technology (www.shoogleit.com) to help consumers visualise fashion and textile products on their websites.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge so far was completing my PhD, a three year individual research project that eventually took 5 years to finish. Compared to working in an office with a project team, it was quite lonely and it was hard to keep my motivation and passion for the subject going for such a long time, especially with various setbacks and problems to overcome along the way, and at times I wasn’t sure I would ever get there. But I did it and learnt that nothing that’s really worthwhile ever comes very quickly or very easily!
How do you define success?
It depends what drives you as a person. It doesn’t necessarily mean being famous or making lots of money. Success to me is a combination of happiness and accomplishment in the field I work in and getting there in a way that fits with my personal values and with some work-life balance.
If you could give your start-up self one piece of advice what would it be?
Probably the most important starting point is knowing your customer. Without a customer there is no viable business, no matter how amazing the idea. Understanding exactly who this is will ensure you have a tangible market for your product or service that you can then plan to access in the most effective way.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I’m very partial to a chilled glass of white wine to wind down at the end of a working week!