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How did you get that job? 126 THE LIST 2–9 Aug 2012

Name Erica Stahl Job title Gift boutique owner

Company Pippin

When did you start your job? Pippin launched in October 2011, but there were many months of planning and preparation in the run up to opening.

So what does your job actually involve? Searching for original and beautiful design-led products to sell in the shop, trying to support as many British designers as possible and finding something that little bit different to bring to my customers. I run the shop itself five to six days a week, and do battle with a mountain of paperwork and a To Do list longer than my arm! I’m also a silversmith and have my workshop on-site at Pippin, so when I get a chance I make jewellery to sell in the shop, or take on commissions.

Best / Worst Aspects? Best Finding brilliant new products to stock, unpacking them onto the shelves and seeing them sell within hours. Telling a designer their work has sold out. Seeing customers leaving Pippin thrilled with their

purchases, and hearing so many kind compliments about the shop.

Worst Never finishing the To Do list. Paperwork in general. Having very little time off, and worrying about money. I knew all of these things before I started though, and I was prepared for a lot of hard work. If you’re self- employed you only get out what you put in, so you just have to knuckle down and hope that it all pays off in the end! Looking back, what advice would you give to a young Erica at the start of her career? Believe in yourself, and trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help you can’t do everything by yourself. Listen to your mother… she’s usually right! You will make mistakes, it’s inevitable, just make sure that you learn from them and move on, don’t beat yourself up about it.

and finally . . . what has been your biggest achievement in the past 12 months? Opening Pippin the run up to the opening was the most exhausting and stressful time I’ve ever known, but the end result was the proudest day of my life.