Wendy, a luxury consumer goods and e-commerce independent consultant

Nicki Burns

With 15 years’ experience in large corporates in various management roles ranging from sales operations, strategy and PMO, Wendy has worked across key cities in Asia and Europe. Having started her career with tech blue chips, her experience managing global businesses led to a career-transitioning move to a luxury goods conglomerate in Paris. Her success managing luxury brands amidst the meteoric rise of consumerism particularly in burgeoning markets led to her eventual decision to work independently as a consultant, drawing on her knowledge of two of the biggest industries today - tech and consumer. Wendy brings both strategic and creative leadership to any business with a consumer touchpoint.


Most recent project:

I was recently hired as a COO for a Texas-based company to develop and launch a new, luxury shoe brand. The southern states of America are very different in consumer appeal, style and preferences to that of the east and west coasts. I had to very quickly size up the market potential, develop a GTM plan, and identify the right channel partners to work with. It also helped that the owner-client was a very gutsy Texan who placed her utmost trust in me to steer her visions forward. Together, we weeded out operational deficiencies in design and production, rebuilt the entire local team, ran high-profile events in a number of American cities, to finally launch the brand online and in high end retail outlets in Houston and LA. This was all achieved with miniscule budgets and tight deadlines. It was a yearlong engagement filled with all the exhilaration and pitfalls of start-ups, and operating in a highly-competitive, volatile environment. It was very rewarding to finally turn a client’s dream into reality when the brand officially launched.


What makes a project successful?

An unwavering, trusting relationship between client and consultant. The consultant must be able to envision both opportunities and challenges ahead and be astute to analyse and flag any potential risks at the outset; providing both strategic inputs to grow, and solutions to mitigate pitfalls. Shared commitment and focus to the client’s success, and integrity to a client’s purpose and goal are key. A successful project also relies on the formation of a great team to carry the torch forward when the consultant leaves. This requires time and effort, trial and error, but the outcome of having great people on board any business is second to none.


Best bits of being a consultant?

I am fortunate to work with clients and companies from varied industries and backgrounds, from start-ups to corporates. Each and every project has provided me further exposure to key consumer markets, enabling me to gain greater knowledge in different sectors from FMCG to industrial and institutional customers, to high-end luxury. My greatest accomplishment comes when I am hired for mission-critical work, such as strategic planning periods when clients/ companies seek board approval for ambitious growth plans involving new manufacturing facilities, extension of brand franchise, or soothing out operational kinks following a contentious M&A. The support I am able to provide them during such very tense times, and to be part of the camaraderie and celebrations when all ends according to plan, is pure joy.


Why work with an independent consultant?

Independent consultants are typically seasoned business executives with deep sector knowledge and applicable knowhow - skills which can be readily applied to any given situation. Many consultants also have diverse knowledge from work in various industries.   Forward-thinking companies and start-ups can also gain by hiring consultants from a different industry (albeit with similar core management skills), as they have proven ability to provide broader perspectives and different approach to problem-solving. Plus, their parallel industry insights can help identify new opportunities and shed light on challenges and deficiencies that weren’t recognised before.


If you are interested in Wendy’s profile or consultants with similar experience, contact Talmix today and see how we can help solve your company’s business challenges. Talmix – the home of independent business talent.


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