BABE #315: LAURA CAMPBELL - Store Manager, Lululemon
Three years ago, Laura was working part-time and didn’t consider herself as someone who would have a full-fledged “career”. The tables quickly turned in 2018 when she was presented with the opportunity to be the store manager for Lululemon, a yoga-inspired, technical athletic apparel company determined to provide high-quality items for women and men. Laura hustles hard to ensure each customer is satisfied while simultaneously managing and promoting her team of 20+ employees — all done with the goal of providing a positive culture and ensuring the company does its part in the Jacksonville community and beyond.
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Current city: Jacksonville, Florida
Alma mater: UNF
Degree: B.A., English
Very first job: YMCA
Hustle: Store Manager, Lululemon
How do you spend your free time?
Hanging with my husband and our golden retriever, my family and friends, running, CrossFit, at the beach.
Favorite fictional female character? Why?
Scout, from “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She stands up for what she believes in. She’s inwardly strong while appearing to be outwardly young and small.
Go-to coffee order and/or adult beverage?
Americanos, sour beers and really good wine.
What would you eat for your very last meal?
What’s something you want to learn or master?
I just want to get better at the things I already do. I don’t need more in my life right now.
Tell us about your hustle.
I’ve been the store manager at Lululemon for just over a year, and with the company for four years. Though it’s “retail,” my job is 100 percent about people—we just happen to use really incredible clothing to interact with the communities around us. Whether you’re coming into the store for something comfortable to lounge in, technical-wear to crush a goal in, or something practical enough to travel in, we’re going to get in your business and find the perfect thing for you. My role allows me to go even further beyond the guest and engage with my team so we can be partners in unleashing their full potential. We get curious together about our passions and identify the right tools and path to be on to ensure we’re doing what lights us up. I also get the privilege to spend a lot of time with community partners: ambassadors, influencers and other entrepreneurs who are engaging the city in a way I might not be able to.
What does your typical workday look like?
I’ll spend a couple hours at home or a coffee shop checking off emails, making a schedule, creating regional content and on conference calls. Two or three times a week I try to hit up an ambassador class for a good sweat, usually yoga or CrossFit. I then spend four to six hours at the store, on the floor to interact with guests or one-on-one time with my team to check in on goals and life.
How did you get involved with Lululemon?
I honestly just needed something to do while I was pursuing a running goal and coaching, so I started working part time with one of my friends. I stayed part time for four months before stepping into the “key leader” role, and then assistant manager a year later and store manager in 2018. I’ve also had a couple of really cool opportunities to work outside of the store through a collaboration with the MLB, and a West Coast-run project. As I’ve grown into different roles, I’ve mostly had to adapt my leadership so much as I have a touch on many more people and the stakes are higher.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I’m definitely a bit laid back and I try not to micromanage unless there is a real cost to the business. I try to capitalize on people’s unique strengths and passions by finding projects they can succeed at while also challenging growth. I ask a lot of questions and I don’t let people sell themselves short, which sometimes looks like a good push and saying the hard thing. I’m currently working on delegation and realizing I don’t have to do it all myself. I look for people who are organized, excellent communicators, connectors and I believe it's a leadership quality to know how to have fun.
As a manager for a wellness-focused brand, what’s your personal philosophy on wellness?
You have to practice self-care. If I don’t schedule my own sweats first then I’ll be out of balance all week, wondering when I will fit it in. I’m so committed to my off-days. I don’t check my work email and I often don’t see people from my team (even though my two best friends work for me) on those two days off. I have one day totally dedicated to what I want to do and one dedicated to what my family decides to do. Sure, things come up and that may change, but for the most part I make sure I take care of myself outside of the store, otherwise I’ll suck inside of it.
What’s been your biggest career milestone?
Becoming store manager in 2018. Just three years before that, I was working part time and didn’t even consider myself someone who’d have a career. Then, I wake up one day to running a $6 million business and developing 20-plus amazing individuals. I knew after that, the sky would be the limit for me with Lululemon. It has proven my worth, value, amplified my voice and is the inspiration for my confidence.
How has being a woman affected your professional experience?
Honestly, I’m super lucky to be in a company that has more women than men; we don’t have a pay gap. Across every industry, we need to provide a platform for women to use their voice. Hearing a woman’s unique perspective is vital to change the game. Trusting I have a unique perspective and bringing the “why” to how I will use my voice gives me the edge. We can’t be a voice without action, without a plan.
Career and/or life advice for other babes?
Don’t sell yourself short and don’t be afraid to fail big. Don’t settle; make a hard choice. I know I grew and learned the most from making decisions I was terrified to make that, ended up being the worst decisions to make. But the thing is—I had the courage to say, “Fuck, that was a really big mistake,” and then I did everything in my power to reconcile the mistake. It’s been the hardest and most life-giving thing.
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