My way: Pepita Diamand, founder of Wrapit, on how to succeed at work

'Create your opportunities'
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The Independent Online

Pepita Diamand is the Founder and Retail Director of Wrapit (www.wrapit.com), the wedding gift list website that was founded six years ago and now has a turnover of £7m



What did you want to be as a child?

Editor of Vogue. At six my nickname was "Voguey" because I was always looking at fashion magazines.



What did you realistically think you'd end up doing?

Editor of Vogue! Or if not, then a style pundit.



Did you go to university and was it worth it?

I studied economic and social history and international relations at St Andrews. I loved learning the social history of how people shopped, what they bought and why.



How did you get into fashion?

I was supposed to be studying for my finals when I entered a Vogue young writers contest. I wrote a piece about Paul Smith, as well as a scathing critique of Vogue, and presented it all as a magazine. Then I returned home to Canada and began submitting work to fashion magazines begging them to let me do anything. I came back to the UK wanting to get into fashion but a friend was working at World Telecom and I got a job as an operator.



What was it like working in telecommunications?

It was my first corporate environment and a shock to the system. But when I saw that the company wasn't really doing anything online I thought that was odd. So I said, "Why don't I set up a website for you?" I began working on the cutting edge of web development, but I was so bored in the telecoms world that half my brain was shutting down.



How did you get the idea for Wrapit?

One summer everyone I knew seemed to be getting married and I noticed a gap in the wedding industry. I thought, "This is it!" It was an epiphany. Although I wanted to do it all online, the Wedgwood's of this world wouldn't talk to me unless I had a storefront, so I rented an inexpensive unit in Wandsworth. The big investment and the risk was the website. It wasn't just a pretty website, everything was coded with technology that tracked each product.



Do you consider yourself successful?

Not yet, but I'm getting there.



What are your interview tips?

Don't be afraid of silences and don't be afraid to ask questions.



What are your CV tips?

It should be brief but expressive. I can't stand it when people write, "I'm a highly motivated self-starter." Come in to my office and show me!



What are your tips for getting on at work?

If you don't see the opportunity, create it.



What's the best perk of your job?

My best perk, and this sounds really superficial, is being surrounded by beautiful things.

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