Top Women in Retail 2017: Traci Milholen Inglis, Chief Marketing Officer, Fast Fashion at TechStyle (JustFab, ShoeDazzle)
What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry?
The fast pace. Most industries craft a strategy, execute and read the impact to the business all over a quarter, or even a full year. In retail, we can do all that in a day. We get real-time feedback and can course correct or dial it up accordingly. And it’s fashion, so obviously we get to look fabulous while we do it.
If you weren't working in the retail industry, what do you think you'd be doing?
This has me stumped. I’ve never really wanted to do anything else!
How would you describe your leadership style?
Calm, collaborative and empowering. I like to encourage my team to think outside the box to come up with realistic and creative solutions to problems. I usually have a point of view, but it’s important to be truly open to hearing new ideas. Steve Jobs put it well when he said, “it doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
I like to plan ahead so we’re ready for the unexpected. And when the unexpected happens, I can feel the room waiting for my reaction. Staying calm relieves the team’s anxiety and leads us to the best possible resolution in the quickest manner.
What's the best advice you ever received, and who gave you the advice?
“Assume positive intent.” An executive coach said it to my former boss many years ago, and it stuck with me.
Do you have any mentors in the retail industry?
I’ve worked with a lot of great people and have had several amazing mentors over the years, but the leadership at TechStyle has been most influential on me.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
Hiking in SoCal with my husband and our son.
To see the full list of this year's Top Women in Retail honorees, click here.