We love the thought of you getting to know our Dear Rae family. Whether it’s our designers, manufacturers or the people who just make our lives a millions times easier, we’re super proud of our little powerhouse team and we’re certain you’ll love them just as much as we do.
First up is Natalie – Our In Store and Online Coordinator.
Images: Kate Mcluckie
How and when did you get involved with Dear Rae?
Having worked in retail and part time in marketing and events, I was considering freelancing when I just so happened to stumble across an employment ad on Dear Rae’s Instagram feed. I was already a big fan and loved all their branding, so when the idea of coordinating the online store came up, I was pretty keen to apply for the job! This month marks 1 year of being part of the Dear Rae family and it really has been the best decision I have ever made.
You recently got engaged… YAY! Tell us about that incredible diamond ring your fiancé and Karin created for you.
Ah yes… What a sneaky team I work with. Everyone knew well before I did about my ring! Neil had an idea of what I wanted, but he always played it so cool/totally ignorant that I really didn’t expect him to get it so right. Apparently he got chatting to Karin at a Dear Rae event (with me totally unaware!) and they then met a few times away from the office to design and finalise my dream ring, together.
My ring has an ombre effect and is a classic 5 diamond claw setting. The centre diamond is a cognac diamond, the two on either side are yellow toned and the ones on the end are white diamonds – All brilliant cuts. Sometimes I am gobsmacked by its beauty and that it actually belongs to me. Neil proposed to me whilst we watched the sun rise over the sea in Arniston at a rocky outcrop that separates two beaches – A really special spot for us both.
What does a day for Natalie look like at Dear Rae?
I am currently the retail and online store coordinator, so a typical day involves wearing many hats! I process in store and online orders, liaise with customers and assist people with queries and feedback. I am also in charge of making sure the shop is in good working order, that it feels welcoming and that it’s well stocked. Improving the overall customer experience is probably at the top of my list. Other than that, I get to work on special projects with our branding manager for a few hours a week, which is something I’ve really come to love.
What about working at Dear Rae inspires you the most?
I am truly inspired by the team I work with. I am lucky to work in a space that allows me to be analytical and detailed but also have a sense of creative play and the chance to work on exciting projects. Dear Rae has an amazing company culture and whilst we work with a diverse group, we have strong sense of female leadership which is truly encouraging. I don’t ever feel micromanaged and I have never been told “I can’t" or “shouldn’t” try something. Everyone working here is incredibly driven and motivated, and I always come to work feeling excited.
Who is your ultimate #GIRLBOSS?
That’s a tricky one! I am currently feeling super inspired by Women in general. I go online and constantly read powerful, game changing articles about women dominating in life and their industries. And let’s not forget that I work with an entire company of badass women who are a constant source of motivation. I have found since starting at Dear Rae that we interact with a lot of incredible women doing amazing things in South Africa. So right now it’s difficult just to pick one GirlBoss figure, because women in general are doing all kinds of amazing things.
I do also follow some great websites for female inspo: Ok Real, Lenny Letters, Create Cultivate, Refinery 29 and a whole host of badass babes on social media who are carving a new path for female voices.
Tell us about your studies, we hear you studied Performing Arts and Brand Communication?
Yip, that is correct. I pretty much danced my whole life and after school I studied performing arts for 4 years – Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre. As cliche as it sounds, I had a really terrible spinal injury in my final year which sort of dashed my dreams of going into musical theatre. I went on to work in retail for a while and then decided to study Brand Communication at Vega. This is where I truly found my passion for all things branding. I am a big nerd when it comes to brand strategies and never pass up the opportunity to present an idea – So I guess it’s a good thing I have a background in drama, haha! Everything happens for a reason, right?
What are your future goals within your position at DR?
I’d love to create new and exciting customer interaction programs through various campaigns. I am really passionate about digging deeper and creating experiences and retention programs that are impactful. Overall, my biggest goal is to work alongside my manager Amy who does all our branding and marketing. She already mentors me and my aim is to be more involved in our brand development and strategy. I would also love to grow our shop team so that we can really amp up our customer service experiences, both in store and online. And last, but definitely not least, I’d love to get more involved in Corporate Social Responsibility.