Sadie’s office was at the back of her flagship shop in Sunderland. To get there, I had to walk past Sadie’s always-bustling fitting rooms.
The fitting rooms were to my left. So the bag I carried was always balanced on my left shoulder, obscuring my view. My desire to be polite and do the right thing trumping my… well… desire.
Here are 5 things that Sadie taught me, that Sadie doesn’t know she taught me. So this is a thank you.
1. Sadie taught me about Purpose. 85% of women wear the wrong sized bra. Sadie was set on rectifying that. And, no bullshit, she really was. She was driven.
2. Sadie taught me about Business Naming. Sadie was gifted her business name by Alan Robson, the most popular radio DJ in the North East in the 2000’s. Alan, quite randomly, introduced Sadie on his ‘Night Owls’ show as ‘Sadie the Bra Lady’. On hearing how it rhymed and chimed, and how it tripped of people’s tongues, Sadie was not too proud to pick it up and rename her entire business in line.
3. Sadie taught me that Doing It Before Saying It is the right way round in business. Just once, I said to Sadie that I’d do a thing, before I’d done the thing. I can’t remember what. Then, I missed the deadline. Sadie, looking me in the eye, politely advised this young business man to only tell her what I had done, not what I was going to do. That way (she advised) you’ll never let anyone down. ‘Understand?’ she asked. ‘Yes,’ said I. And I have never forgotten.
4. Sadie taught me about Story, Simplicity and Consistency. Sadie, when allowed (which was almost always), measured boobs with her hands. She unashamedly stated this. Over and over and over. To anyone. Simple. Memorable. And a neat, contentious (which is useful) and visual story. All brilliant brand assets and brand aspects are.
5. Sadie taught me about Brand Enemies and Unashamed Ambition. Sadie really disliked Marks and Spencer. With their tape measures. Their untrained teenagers. Their undeserved scale. Exacerbating the problem she was born to eradicate (see 1.) Sadie wanted to be bigger than M&S. And she’d let anybody know, without a flicker. She was fearlessly ambitious.
Big respect. Big thank you.
(And by the way. Your cup size is probably too small. And your strap size is probably too big. I remember that, too).