LDC Top 50 2021
“I’m a bra fitter who is living her dream,” says Rachel Jenkins, “I love helping women to feel amazing.” Rachel has spent her whole career in the apparel industry, working for brands like Wonderbra and Zoggs. Now managing director of Curvy Kate, which specialises in larger cup sizes, she has helped quadruple the size of the brand in nine years.
Curvy Kate has an extraordinary following. “We have an army of girls on our side,” says Rachel. Her latest challenge? “Turning our pink brand, green,” she says. “We’re reducing waste and using recycled materials and those that need washing less frequently.”
I’m a bra fitter who is living her dream. I love helping women to feel amazing.”
What are your ambitions for the business?
Steve Hudson founded this business and I feel like I’m the Roy Disney to his Walt Disney. He’s the visionary and I make the ideas happen. Our 10-year goal is 4x revenue and 8x profit. The UK is our dominant territory, but we now ship to over 30 countries; 30pc of our business is in the US. We want to keep pushing our international business.
Tell me about how you overcame a major challenge?
We implemented a whole new back-end system last October and re-platformed our websites at the same time. We had to endure four weeks of huge challenges. I’m really proud that, during that time, only 5pc of deliveries were affected but that’s hard when you aim for 99pc success. Thankfully, we’ve moved past that now and the systems are thriving.
How have you got to where you are today?
My career started in Beatties, the Worcester department store. I got a job there after my A-levels as a bra fitter and I absolutely loved making women feel amazing by getting them into the right size bra. Later, I worked for Wonderbra and Zoggs, the swimwear brand. That’s when Steve approached me and said, ‘This is my vision for Curvy Kate, roll up your sleeves and let’s do this’. I’ve been here nine years now, going from managing sales to Managing Director, and I am still loving every minute.