Meet Francesca, our Buyer and Visual Merchandising Manager

Francesca describes the Hospice as ‘warm, passionate, and professional’


Meet Francesca, our Buyer and Visual Merchandising Manager at the Hospice! She loves making, making and making! 

On most occasions, you will find Francesca sitting in front of the computer scrolling through gorgeous products or scouting for talent on socials. However, Francesca’s full energy is unleashed when it comes to refitting shops or creating window displays! You will often find her transforming one of our hospice shop windows or merchandising the shop floor. 

She has a dab hand with the drill and wallpaper paste, and gets to do all the handy person jobs that come with getting a shop looking good!  She loves lists, the longer the better and her work is not over until all those boxes have been ticked. She loves her job even if at times it leaves her flat out! 

Describing the Hospice as ‘warm, passionate, and professional’ – we caught up with her to learn more about how she became involved at the Hospice… 

“During the recession as my client base diminished, (I was running an Interior Design consultancy then), I found I had some time to give back to society and so it was that I walked into the then Hospice charity shop in Southdown, Harpenden.  I knew this was a charity shop like no other as the strong sense of aesthetic rang through all the displays and the windows and I have to be honest that really appealed. 

Shortly after that, the role of Manager at Returned to Glory was advertised. Armed with my interior design knowledge but lacking any retail experience I attended the interview in trepidation.  I have to admit I did consult a far flung cousin, master in retail, and learnt all about “eye line is buy line” and “retail is detail” so I was able to hold my own! 

Returned to Glory was a fabulous challenge and I really loved almost every minute of my seven years there.  

After five years of trying things out for myself (fine-tuning my merchandising skills and learning, all about marketing myself on line), a bit like a fly to a light, I was drawn back to the fold of the Hospice, taking on a new role.” 

Asking if she had a favourite shop… Francesca responds,  

“Each shop is so individual that I really don’t have favourites. Because I do all the buying for number twenty, I love planning how I will create a coherent look in the shop.  Amersham owned is quite an extraordinary space and the windows are just a fabulous means to grab people’s attention as the casually drive past.  Chapter Two is such a special shop, the community absolutely loves this shop and whenever I am working in the window, I get a ton of thumbs up! It’s a real joy!”