With a degree in European Studies and a summer scholarship studying fashion design in Milan, Katrina Dy started her career in Manila, where she was an account executive, magazine publishing assistant, fashion editor, writer, and stylist. She later graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Associate Degree in Fashion Merchandising Management in New York, and became a small business entrepreneur.
Now based in Montreal, Dy is an Accessories and Handbags Buyer for Aldo Group International, where she is responsible for stores in several countries around the world. Here is what a day in her work life looks like:
6:00am: I am a major snoozer, and I only really open my eyes around 6:30 am. I look at the monitor to check if my son, Sawyer, is awake. He’s still sleeping, so I do leg stretches in bed as prescribed by my chiropractor. I also squeeze in a ten-minute “Daily Energizing” meditation by Terri Cole.
7:00am: I go to the kitchen for my daily cup of hot lemon water. I splash some cold water on my face, spray a face mist and then moisturize. Sawyer is awake! While my husband Pat gets him, I do my stretches. I have a herniated disc and stretching has really helped me manage my condition. Sawyer toddles up the stairs, rushes into my arms, and I pepper him with lots of smooches.
8:08am: Mayhem ensues. I rush around the kitchen preparing my breakfast and my lunch. The granola accidentally spills, ack, so I have to take extra time to clean that up. Meanwhile, my husband is getting Sawyer dressed. I help tidy up and I take my daily multivitamin, probiotic and oil of oregano.
8:35am: We are leaving, finally! I drop off Sawyer at daycare then listen to Rich Roll’s podcast featuring Gretchen Rubin. She talks about the four human tendencies of how people respond to expectations. It’s a very interesting subject and I take a lot of mental notes to apply in my life.
9:30am: My butt is in my office chair, and I’m now going through emails. I write down my to-do list for the day then check my calendar to see how my day looks. I go down to the cafeteria to pick up a green juice to go with my granola breakfast. I am trying out intermittent fasting and targeting 12 hours, hence the late meal.
10:00am: My morning is spent updating recap reports. I buy non-jewelry for the European territory, plus accessories and handbags for our Call It Spring banner. Recaps allow us to see how each SKU that was bought for the season is performing every week. I take note of what the bestsellers are and what did less, as well as the SKUs that I can repeat for the week.
12:00pm: Lunch time! I always make it a point to not eat at my desk, and go to the cafeteria to have a proper sit-down meal with my co-workers. I bring my own lunch, and for today it’s a squash and bean curry cooked in coconut milk (a Filipino recipe), with quinoa. The weather is still nice so we sit outside in the terrasse.
1:00pm: I make myself a jasmine tea with a bit of milk. I notice the art hanging over the sink and am reminded how lucky I am to be working in such an inspiring office space. There is art everywhere in our office, ranging from paintings to installations. It’s like working in a giant art gallery. Emails from our franchisees have come in so I spend some time dealing with issues that have popped up.
2:30pm: I go into the product development room to look at samples for my bestsellers. Nothing beats seeing the products up close. I also take the time to look at my knitwear sales for Europe. I have a special knitwear project ongoing, so I’m monitoring sales very closely. I always get very excited when I get a new read on a product that’s doing amazing, it’s like a little high!
3:00pm: We’re about to start buying our Spring ‘18 Q1 handbag collection for Call It Spring so I pop into my product director’s office to ask some questions and give her an update on my bestselling styles for the season. Before a collection is presented, we buyers need to make sure that our product development team is aware of our SKU counts and product needs so that we are not missing anything when the buying begins.
4:00pm: In the afternoon, I pop into the cafeteria and ask for some ice for my tea. Have I mentioned that I love our cafeteria? Because it’s subsidized, prices are pretty reasonable, and we have a lot of options on offer for meals and snacks. My favourite are the cookies—I always have to stop myself from buying one every afternoon!
4:30pm: We are in the midst of quantifying hair accessories for our Aldo banner, so I go into the product development room once more and pull out all the styles that are being offered to us so I can examine each product up close and take notes. I also pick out my bestsellers for Europe, as well as those of North America that I did not buy to review and see what I can repeat for Spring ‘18. I also like to touch base with the buyers from the other territories to get their insight and feedback on what’s working in their respective markets.
5:00pm: I rush to leave the office so I can pick up my son. Traffic is horrible, but I manage to get to daycare on time. On the way home, I pick up some groceries and buy a Larabar for Sawyer so he doesn’t get hangry.
6:30pm: As I’m prepping dinner, Pat comes home with a bunch of flowers. How sweet! We had a little argument last night, so it’s a nice surprise and makes me smile. While we sit and have dinner, we talk about how our day went.
7:00pm: It’s bath time for our Baby Bean. While Pat takes care of bathing, I clean up and do dishes, then I take over for bedtime. I read Sawyer two stories, and put him down for the night. As I cuddle and sing to my sleepy baby, I recall his tiny newborn self, and get a bit wistful.
7:45pm: I take a shower to wash off the day’s grime. I realize we don’t have onions that I need for the pea soup I was planning to cook, so I run out to buy some.
9:45pm: Done cooking. I open my laptop to do some work. To be honest, it’s been very challenging to go back to work after I returned from maternity leave. I can’t do as much overtime in the office as I used to because I want to spend time with my son, but it has meant having to work later hours after Sawyer’s bedtime. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive and hands-on husband in Pat.
1:00am: Finally finished working and now I’m off to bed. I usually do a bit of reading on my Kindle app but it’s already very late. I set my alarm, put on lip balm, and slip into bed. Tomorrow is a new day!
Photos courtesy of Katrina Dy.