Heidi Guenther: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m a buyer of women’s action sports apparel and swimwear for Sport Chek. We now have close to 200 stores in Canada and my job is to help provide the seasonal looks and styles that you see on the floor when you walk into the shop.

What was the inspiration for this career route?
Fashion and clothes have always been an interest of mine. When I started working in retail and realized I could have a career in fashion buying, I quickly enrolled in school to pursue this path.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is the fact that I see products so far in advance that it’s really exciting to see customer’s feedback when they hit the sales floor. 

The most challenging part is when people aren’t excited about the products you’ve picked out. It can be really hard figuring out what our customers are going to want so far in advance, but you learn from these experiences and it actually helps you get to know who you’re buying for a little better.

What season are you currently buying for?
We just finalized the looks for Spring 2015 last week, which meant doing A LOT of travelling to California to meet suppliers, product designers and sales staff that are presenting the line up.

What are some of the trends that are going to be big next year?
I can tell you that hammer pants are certainly making a come back in a big way.

What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I miss out on so much! Travelling all the time and deadlines mean missing birthday parties and special occasions during busy periods. During June and July I don’t have much of a work/life balance and Christmas is another hectic time.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Definitely doing the same thing but maybe buying a different kind of clothing style.

What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
No. Success is being happy and excited about what you do. It takes up so much of your day so you might as well love what you do.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Work hard and show initiative. Take on anything and show that you can make it happen. Never say no to an opportunity. I started as a purchasing analyst and I was a yes person, which helped me get to where I am today.

Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
That would have to be UNA (Calgary).

When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
Hanging out with friends or playing sports. I love running, riding my bike and I also like spending time with my family.

Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
California. I love being by the ocean and I it has such a good vibe. 

If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
That changes every week but this week my theme song is Good Mistake by Mr. Little Jeans. Last week it would have been Stolen Dance by Milky Chance.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Something with music or a brewery . It would have to involve something artistic or something to do with marketing. Good beer and music are my side passions!

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Movember is a huge one for me and I’m also very involved with Jump Start For Kids, which helps get kids active and into sports.

What to you is notable?
Doing one major music festival a year. That’s what I live for! Lollapalooza is on the radar for 2015.

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