Women executives in retail #9: Beth Mayer, chief operating officer, The Deck.
Beth Mayer, chief operating officer, The Deck.
Women who have reached senior positions in the retail world are (all too) rare, not to mention invisible, which is why we decided to get to know them better by inviting them to tell us about their career paths, the challenges of the past and those of the future.
Q&A with Beth Mayer, chief operating officer, The Deck.
Can you tell us about The Deck?
Founded in 2019, The Deck is a women’s-only, made-to-measure tailoring brand located on Savile Row in London. Our focus on sustainability, quality, and individualised craftsmanship sets us apart from fast fashion and seasonal fashion trends. We have made it our mission to offer tailoring that is unique to women’s individual needs and tastes. We are designed to stand the test of time.
What attracted you to joining the business?
I was drawn to The Deck’s groundbreaking presence as the first women-only tailor with a storefront on Savile Row. The focus on quality and sustainable, made-to-order craftsmanship resonated not only with my personal beliefs, but also aligned with shifting customer intent on purchasing items that are timeless and sustainably produced. The Deck focuses on tailoring, providing size and fit options not available through mass manufacturing. It’s a brand by women, for women.
What experience from your previous roles have you been able to bring to this current position?
From my previous roles, I’ve gathered expertise from the initial design concept to final delivery to customer via omni-channel distribution. These skills, along with my global experience successfully scaling businesses for sustainable and profitable growth, have been invaluable to help develop the team, the product and align it with modern consumer expectations. It is an honour to help develop talented, passionate teams that dedicate their professional talents to create a relevant, lasting wardrobe for our growing list of loyal clients.
What advice would you give a young woman who’s about to enter the world of work and is the fashion sector truly embracing diversity?
Ask questions, continuously learn, and build a supportive network. Be focused on being the best you can be. As evidenced by our mission at The Deck to redefine a traditionally male-dominated craft, the fashion sector is making strides in diversity. At The Deck, the team is built with a talented diverse group of female experts. It is The Deck’s mission to support each individual employee to achieve their professional goals. We hope that the diversity and commitment to excellence that we strive towards sets an example for others to emulate.
What business/personal challenges have you faced in your career?
Balancing work-life commitments, particularly while moving from New York to Los Angeles to London, at times has been challenging. Managing this with a family wasn’t easy, but the rewarding moment came when my son thanked me for providing him with diverse experiences and opportunities from each move. Hearing his appreciation and watching him grow and thrive with each experience has made the challenges worth it.
You’ve worked in various countries, has this been a challenge as well as an opportunity?
Working internationally has been both enlightening and challenging. The experience of working in different companies in different countries has helped me understand various nuances and needs, teaching me the importance of listening very carefully to better understand what I don’t understand and know. Even 10 years after living in London, I’m still learning the subtle differences between American English and English in the UK. The culmination of these experiences has allowed me to bring global opportunities to The Deck’s made-to-order business model and customer experience.
What are the biggest opportunities for The Deck?
Our biggest opportunities lie in expanding our sustainable product offerings and leading the industry towards manufacturing for the individual. Technologically, we see great potential in integrating small batch production, 3D solutions, and a proprietary ERP system that streamlines the complex workflow of made to measure. As the industry evolves, we believe there is a significant opportunity to maximise the use of tech solutions further enhancing our bespoke personalised experience for clients and bringing it directly to their home.
Will we see more competition in its category?
Absolutely. The demand for high-quality, sustainable, and individualised tailoring is rising. This will naturally attract more competitors. We see this as a positive evolution that will make us all stronger together.
How do you see the fashion market developing in the future, especially with sustainability rising the agenda?
Sustainability will become making made-to-order and waste-reducing models like ours, an industry standard. Brands will need to be both timeless in quality and forward-thinking in social responsibility. ESG goals are high on our priorities, and we are currently in the process of applying for B Corp certification, which we hope to secure by the end of the year.