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Byron  Bay-based  clothing  brand,  THRILLS  welcomes  their  new  Sales  Manager,  Willie  Marshall  to  the  team.  Willie discusses key focuses for the company and how they’ve adapted to COVID-19.

Tell us a little bit about your history and career progression. Where did it all begin? 

I’m  lucky to have worked with some of, in my opinion, the best brands and best people in the game. I studied  journalism at school and started my career in Southern California as an Editor for Happy Magazine which later morphed  into  BLISSS,  then  to  a  ten-year  stint  in  marketing  at  Volcom  during  the  golden  years  of  unlimited  marketing budgets, travel and tradeshows. I then jumped ship to chase down a beautiful Aussie girl, have kids and  to  relocate  to  Byron  Bay;  I  was  working  for  Nixon  in  Burleigh  Heads  for  almost  seven  years,  and  then  pandemic took hold. At a time when most brands were furloughing staff or making redundancies, an amazing opportunity  presented  itself  and  I’ve  now  found  myself  as  Sales  Manager  at  Thrills  in  Byron  –  I  couldn’t  be  happier.

What made you want to join the team at Thrills? 

They have a rad vibe, are all a bunch of legends, work hard and like to have a good time. It’s the perfect mix. The office  location  is  right  in  the  heart  of  the  Byron  Bay  Industrial  Estate  which  is  surrounded  by  a  ton  of  small  brands that are doing cool shit, and tons of great cafes. It feels like a big family. Not to mention you can bring your dog to work.

Tell us a bit about your new role. Is it similar to the work you’ve done in the past? 

It  is  and  it’s  not.  I  come  from  a  marketing  background,  but  in  an  industry  as  small  as  ours  there’s  plenty  of  overlap between sales and marketing, so I feel prepared for the role. I have existing relationships with the majority of our retail partners, reps, and most employees. These days, and in especially these times, it’s best to be a “jack of all trades”; especially with an emerging brand where everyone is doing whatever they can to make things work. I’ve always liked that attitude and you can definitely feel that at THRILLS. Plus, I’m learning lots in a new role which is the beginning of an exciting chapter, and hopefully not making too many mistakes along the way.

What are you looking forward to bringing to the team? 

Looking ahead, we’re definitely eyeing the business as a whole (not just wholesale) and fine-tuning to optimise efficiencies. With the current state of play, there are many opportunities for THRILLS to explore and I’m excited to be part of the team to discover and implement them in both the short and long term.

How have THRILLS been adapting to COVID-19? Have there been any big changes? 

I think the biggest thing we did was to adapt quickly to what was happening by not making any crazy knee-jerk decisions. The team made the decision early on to not let go of any staff, moved everyone to remotely working from  home,  gave  extended  terms  to  accounts  who  needed  help  and  doubled  down on the things they could  control; like launching a new marketing campaign based off life at home during the pandemic. We also recently announced  our  partnership  with  1%  for  the  Planet  where  we  donated  over $11K to local organisation Seed.  We’re more passionate than ever about our efforts to move to sustainable products and practices with our supply  chain  and  manufacturing  processes.  We’ve  also  hired  additional  staff  during  this  time  to  help  where  other brands were cutting costs and making redundancies. We’re not through it all yet, but I can definitely see that things are moving in a positive direction right now which is something the company is very proud of.

 

Any exciting plans for the future? 
I’m excited to be working with such a great group of dedicated, creative people and the opportunity ahead – will be  good  to  get  more  face  to  face  interactions  and  travel  for  work  once  all  of  the  restrictions  are  lifted.  Pre-COVID I was just about to book a surf trip to Samoa with my partner Shannon, so we’ll see what’s in store for 2021?

 

Thanks Willie…