Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Kylie Radford, creative director at Morrison
Tell us what you do? What do you get up to on a day-to-day basis?
Whilst every day varies, it almost always revolves around my boys, Baxter and Louis. I take them to school and then head straight into the office. A typical day at work involves research, creative sessions with the design team, fabric selection, designing, fitting samples, approving styles and meeting with my management team.
Baxter and Louis have sport every day after school so most weeknights we get home around 7.30pm. This doesn’t leave time for anything else other than homework and dinner. Life is really busy and so we really appreciate weekends where we can chill together and spend time cooking yummy food.
How/when did you know this is what you wanted to do as a career?
My career as a designer was not a conscious decision. I have always adored fabrics and have often been described as tactile. I actually designed a pair of pants that were hugely successful and that was it – that was the start of my career in fashion. Whilst I didn’t consciously make the decision to become a designer, since the label has taken off, I’ve loved the challenge of designing ranges as well as being part of an incredibly gifted team.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from primarily from the fabrics that we source, my team, my customers, and travel. I am constantly inspired by my diverse and creative colleagues. I also feel blessed to be able to travel extensively as part of my role.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground? Over the years there have been many mentors, some from within our company and also from outside sources.
I have always thought it is invaluable to listen to others who have experience and expertise in any area of a business. I also think it’s important to remember your own goals and values and only take from others what feels right for you.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
Oh! More than I care to remember. Having two small children and running a growing business will always be my biggest challenge.
The GFC was certainly our biggest stumbling block. It felt as though our industry, in particular retail, was turned upside down overnight. Whilst it was also my biggest lesson, I do feel that I grew immensely as a business woman having experienced this period.
How did you overcome these?
Every avenue of our business became tighter and every member more accountable. We made tough decisions together as a team. Apart from the changes, we worked very hard with more determination than ever before.
What are your goals for the future?
I would love more work/life balance! Just like everyone else! I want my brand to be admired and respected and looked upon as a brand with integrity.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
I always encourage people to follow their dreams. There is so much advice that I could offer but probably the most important is to believe in yourself and work hard to achieve what you want. Be kind to people and motivate people – you have to have a dynamic team surrounding you.