Mary Portas is widely known for her impact on the retail industry, having worked for top retailers such as Harvey Nichols, Harrods and John Lewis throughout her career. An expert in consumer needs and behaviour, Mary has also become a popular icon of the LGBT+ community happily married to her wife Melanie and is often booked as an LGBT speaker.
Initially starting her illustrious retail career with a Saturday job in department store John Lewis, it wasn’t long before Mary was working amongst the staff of luxury department stores. She was later given the opportunity to design the window displays for Harrods, spending three years displaying the current trends in the iconic department store windows. She later became the Creative Director of Harvey Nichols, a role in which she claimed a D&AD Gold Award and featured in the BBC programme Absolutely Fabulous.
Highly regarded as one of the foremost authorities in retail in the UK, Mary later went on to found Yellowdoor. Yellowdoor, now named the Portas Agency Ltd, is immensely successful and has seen Mary work with clients such as Louis Vuitton, Swarovski and Mercedes-Benz. She has also authored several books, including the titles of Windows- the Art of Retail Display and Work Like a Woman, and featured in various TV programmes such as being the presenter of Mary, Queen of Shops and Mary, Queen of the High Street.
Outside of her illustrious retail career, Mary has become an icon of the LGBT+ community. In 2014 when the law was changed to allow same-sex couples to be married, Mary and her now-wife Melanie were the first couple in the UK to be married under the new law, converting their civil partnership into a marriage. Expressing how important the change in law was to allow marriage, Mary is passionate about raising awareness and acceptance for the LGBT+ community, ensuring that they are given the same freedoms as everyone else. When booked as an LGBT speaker, Mary is able to speak on her famed retail career and the need to silence LGBT+ hate.
Mary Portas is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“Perfectly pitched for an audience of our background and experience”
“She was excellent and was fab she did not talk about being a woman but showed what a strong businessperson is about!”
“Mary was an excellent speaker. She spoke with great enthusiasm and humour and personalised to our company”