Top Women in Retail 2017: Natalie Marten-Fopeano, President, Chief Marketing Officer, Tumi Outerwear
To see the full list of this year's Top Women in Retail honorees, click here.
What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?
The process. I’m fortunate enough to work directly with the product from inception all the way through to the selling floor. I also enjoy how our business is constantly changing and evolving.
If you weren't working in the retail industry, what do you think you'd be doing?
Anything that’s creative and visual, maybe interior design. I think I would also make a great detective!
How would you describe your leadership style?
One of service. If you can’t serve your people and be in the trenches with them, it’s hard to get the best from them. I believe you hire great talent and give them freedom to create. I also believe in collaboration and transparency.
What's the best advice you ever received, and who gave you the advice?
The best advice I ever received was to become a great merchant. I started my career in design, and was so focused on product only. One of my bosses at the time pulled me aside and said, “If you want to truly grow in this industry, you need to be a great merchant. You need to understand not only product, but the entire process from product through sales.”
Do you have any mentors in the retail industry?
I’ve had many, but the person who had the greatest impact on my career was Bebe Habib. She was a true merchant and unbelievable talent, and the kindest person I’ve ever met!
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
The majority of my free time is spent with my husband and two college-age boys … and my doggies. I also exercise pretty regularly doing kickboxing. It’s an amazing stress reliever!