Today on Fashion Profiles we are featuring my good friend Allison Biner of Sephora. She is going to tell you about working in Planning- which is good news for those of you who love beauty and fashion, but tend to be more comfortable with a calculator than with a sketchbook. Read on for tidbits of how she landed this job, and some of her favorite new beauty products!
Tell us a little about your role as a Sr. Planner at Sephora.
As a senior planner at Sephora, I am responsible for the financial health of the Fragrance business. I partner closely with my merchant counterpart to grow and drive the fragrance business. Examples of responsibilities include creating pre-season Brand budget plans, owning monthly in-seasonforecast of sales and inventory needs, own newness/launch forecasts and buys to support all merchandising and promo strategies, and develop new brand strategies.
What kind of experience did you have in Planning before working at Sephora?
Before working at Sephora, I started as a Distribution Analyst at Gap Inc. After being in distribution for a year and a half, I was promoted into a planning role. I stayed in planning for Gap for 4 years and was able to experience planning for three different departments: Women’s, Men’s and Accessories. These different departments all taught me different ways to look at retail financial businesses. I was able to leverage these learnings of retail planning from the fashion world to the beauty world of Sephora.
Working with cosmetics and fragrances must be fun! What is the next big trend in makeup that we should all be ready for?
Working in the beauty industry is fun!! As a planner, I am not the best at spotting the next big trend, but I am great at stating some of my favorite products! Some of my new faves include: Ciate Caviar Nails, Sultra Bombshell hair curler, Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder, Algenist Reconstructing Serum, and my all time favorite Narciso Rodriquez ‘For Her’ perfume.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I have always been a numbers person, so planning is a natural fit for me. My favorite part of the job is that I get to use the analytic and strategic side of my brain and apply it to really fun products with fabulous cross-functional partners.
What is the toughest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is managing over 50 different brands and thousands of different items. Prioritizing and managing many different needs and personalities is both the best and hardest part of my job.
What advice would you give your 22 year old self?
SOAK IT IN! I would tell 22 year old Allison to listen to all of her mentors, try not to rush into the next chapter of her career before soaking in every nugget of information from teammates and supervisors.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
As much as I love retail, I would like to take my financial skill set and outgoing personality into the real estate world. My sister is currently in law school and we have a dream once she graduates to start a real estate company together!