Roz Irwin is the Centre Manager at Fashion Island in Papamoa covering all centre operations including tenancy and leasing co-ordination, marketing, financial budget, forecast planning and accountability. Operating as a one man band at Fashion Island, Roz juggles many balls which at times can be challenging. But on the flip side, she says she is fortunate to have the most amazing leasing and property management company, Comac Retail Property Group based in Melbourne, who offer tremendous support and have taught her so much. The most rewarding part of her job is being an instrumental part and driving force behind the huge transformation of the Centre over the past 24 months, introducing and implementing effective marketing strategies that have achieved fantastic sales results, having exclusive brands to the Bay of Plenty and winning the 2018 Retail Excellence Westpac Business of Year Award.
Roz is driven by sales and success! She says the beauty of our digital age is that a lot of marketing can be done on digital platforms – where analytics are at your fingertips, success is measured through conversion into store sales – and this is something Roz thrives on! With the BOP being such a fast growing area, Roz says there are many spin off benefits to being based here in retail – especially when you’re doing it right!
Roz has held a variety of previous roles, all of which have involved tackling something totally left field and conquering many new challenges. Prior to Fashion Island, she was working for a marketing company in an admin/operations role. She put into life some weird, but wonderful designer concepts. She loved the challenge and brought to life some really cool retail activations and displays. Before that she was a stay at home mum to twins for 5 years (by far the easiest role to date) and then 8 years prior to that she and her husband opened and ran a successful restaurant/bar in Auckland. Neither of them had been in hospitality before, so it was a quick learning, sink or swim challenge (fortunately, they achieved the latter). However, Roz says probably her most rewarding job was her first – a 19 year old receptionist/office junior at Turners Car Auctions. All her schooling life she wanted to become a police woman and had to go to Technical College for 1 year to learn how to type. She then had to do a year’s work experience before she could apply for Police College and this is how she started at Turners. But that career dream all changed once Roz heard her first ever auction – she then had her heart set on becoming an Auctioneer! Five years on from that first day and many, many obstacles later, she smashed down the male only criteria and rules and Roz finally took to the podium with gavel in hand and became NZ’s first female auctioneer.
To get her in the right headspace for the day’s challenges, Roz does a 4km run most mornings before her family awake. She has 10 year old twins – one who does competitive dancing (however, Roz is quick to point out that she is one of those dance mums that is totally not a dance mum) and does many road trips to competitions. The other twin is cricket mad, so Saturday mornings Roz can quite often be seen somewhere at a cricket pitch in the Bay for 3-4 hours sitting on a deck chair, laptop in hand, hooked into her hotspot working.
She has an amazing group of friends, who she meets regularly, to drink lots of wine and eat amazing food platters and they do a lot of family outings and trips together. She also travels to Melbourne a lot for work, which she loves.
Her advice to other women looking to conquer new challenges is “Never say never! Never undervalue yourself or have someone tell you, you can’t do something. Plan your dive, then dive your plan so you can achieve that end goal/result”.