When Sofia Carpentier started her first job six years ago as a window decorator at H&M in France, she had no idea where her career would take her. Today she is an Area Visual Europe South at & Other Stories.
Sofia Carpentier, & Other Stories
Name: Sofia Carpentier
Brand: & Other Stories
Title: Area Visual Europe South
Years in H&M group: (Years as Leader): 6 (6)
Previous roles: Window decorator at H&M before moving to & Other Stories to become a visual merchandiser at the first store in Paris.
“In the beginning, I really enjoyed just being creative and doing windows and some styling. But I was also given this extra responsibility, for training sales advisors,” Sofia explains.
At her yearly dialogue session, Sofia received feedback that she had potential to become a leader. “When I saw that they believed in me I thought, maybe I do want to grow into a leadership position,” she says.
It’s part of the culture, the sharing of knowledge and wanting to help you grow
It was the year that & Other Stories was being launched. Sofia decided that a move to a new brand would allow her to try new things and to see how far she had come.
Today Sofia is the leader of a large team spread over several countries, and she wouldn’t be where she is today had it not been for her previous managers believing in her.
“I was one of the first visuals hired and I worked really hard to prove to myself and to prove to others what I was capable of. ”
Trust and freedom
“As a leader at & Other Stories we get a lot of trust and freedom to stay ourselves. When I speak to my friends about their positions in other companies I can see the difference in our experiences. Here, they give you a chance straight away,” Sofia explains.
Today Sofia and the team are responsible for South Europe which is made up of 4 markets and about 20 stores “I am lucky to work for such an international brand and I meet colleagues from a lot of different cultures and backgrounds. I find that super inspiring,” says Sofia.
We are all linked to the same jobs, with the same challenges and successes
What advice would you give to a new leader in the H&M group on their first day?
I would tell a new leader on their first day, that it is important to be yourself. If we have put you in this position, it’s because we believe in you. Trust in yourself and in your knowledge and you will be fine.