Meet The Team: Reena (Returns Coordinator)


First name: Reena

Nickname: Ree

What is your role at BlackMilk? Returns Coordinator

How long have you been working at BM? Nearly 6 years now!

What does a typical day at work look like for you? I have unsuccessfully tried to maintain a routine each day, but there’s no predicting returns. A quick look at the Returns Forms that have been submitted on the website overnight and the US Returns that have come in while Australia was asleep do set the tone for my day. 

I usually have some time to attend to these – and fit in a quick quality check on the previous day’s returned garments – before a mid-morning visit from our friendly postie who delivers return parcels from all over the world. It’s crunch time after this, and I only leave my desk if I need water, food, a quick chat or break – usually I stay put until I’ve completed processing the day’s returns. It’s great when I can do all of this in my work day, and I take personal pleasure in making sure it’s so \m/.

How did you get into Returns? I started out as part of the incredible QC Team at BlackMilk, and then moved into the Warehouse where my Manager at the time figured I would be the right person to combine my QC skills with my communication background to handle BlackMilk Returns.

How did you start at BlackMilk? I was at the end of my rope with being unemployed after being laid off at my last job and I answered a job advert for a clothing company in the neighbourhood – which just happened to be a brand I’d recently discovered. It was a SIGN.

What’s your fave thing about working at BM? I appreciate good tailoring and gorgeous clothes, and I am surrounded by beautiful creations and the people who bring them to life. Some of the most talented seamstresses and designers in the country work on the clothes we sell and that’s such a marvellous thing!

What BlackMilk work achievement are you most proud of? Returns works closely with our lovely Customer Experience and Warehouse teams, and upon assuming this role I made it my goal to ensure there were processes and tools put in place that made everything seamless and transparent for everyone involved. BlackMilk Returns is a well-oiled machine now and just needs an occasional fix to keep things running smoothly!

What’s your fave BlackMilk piece? Clothes that feature art, either subtly or overtly, are special to me. So pieces like the Klimt Collage HWMF Leggings, Tsuneo Sanda’s Ornamental Droids and Ornamental Yoda on the very clever inside out dress that BlackMilk devised many years ago, and the talented artists who design the NAIDOC pieces (my fave this year was Bobbi Lockyer’s Buriya Birra piece on the wifey top) have my deep love. I often pair colourful maximalist pieces like these with cleverly made BlackMilk designer pieces in black like the Push It Cuffed Pants, Night Stalker Corset Bodysuit, High Waisted Leggings, etc.

Describe your style in three words Striking, colourful, glam.

What do you love to do in your spare time? Explore museums and art galleries (especially with my favourite companion, my 10-year-old), doom-scroll news feeds, research heritage and culture, watch C/K-dramas, shop, and stress out my husband with many impulsive outings and activities – I keep it balanced.

Fave food? Will do anything for you if you brew me some masala chai and feed me vada pao. Fried Bombay Duck, crispy-spicy prawns and American chop suey all fight equally in my heart for first place. 

Do you have a hidden talent? I can do jugaad on basic things to make them fun and interesting – I consider the jalebi-soan-papdi Cheesecake Shop hack I devised for my child’s Communion Cake the epitome of my mad jugaad skillz \m/.

What can’t you live without? Good food and food company.

What are three items you’d take with you to a deserted island? A cross-stitch project, an epic romance/fantasy novel, and a stash of junk food of the savoury and spicy kind

What book should people read? Oh goodness, I can go on here! Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, the Katy Keene comics, Terry Pratchett’s entire Discworld series, Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series, Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series, ALL the Sandman graphic novels, and Roseanne A. Brown’s duology – A Song of Wraiths and Ruin – have all been impactful in one way or another. 

What was the last show you binge watched? I recently watched the One Piece live action and the last season of Henry Cavill as the Witcher. And all the drama and realms-spanning romance of Love Between Fairy and Devil is currently keeping me sane and happily obsessed. 

What are you listening to at the moment? I don’t get to listen to much music during my day, but I do love podcasts that critique politics, pop culture, romance, etc. like Fake Geek Girls, Fated Mates, The Seen and The Unseen, and Desi Geek Girls. I’m a happy gal if I can squeeze in some Lizzo, Beyonce, Nazia Hussain, Kendrick Lamar, Bappi Lahiri and Harry Belafonte amidst all this.

If you could go anywhere on your next holiday, where would you go? Rio de Janeiro at Carnival time.      

Anything else you want to add? The use of plastic is inevitable when returning garments, but I do love it when customers get creative and find ways to get garments to us safely and hygienically without going crazy with sticky tape or excessive use of plastic bags. Thank you, you clever Sharkies!

Just for fun, show us your pets! I recently lost my beautiful greyhound Cinder-Elvis, but here’s a photo of my goodboi from a couple of years ago trying to figure out the best way to swallow a bone without putting in the effort to chew it up.