Thursday, 26 February 2015

Interview with Fiona Minett - Founder of Peachy PR

you lovely lot are in for a real treat today! i managed to get a few minutes with Fiona Minett, the founder of fashion/beauty/lifestyle PR agency Peachy PR, to grill her all about how she got to where she is today, what she looks for in potential candidates, and the wonderful (and crazy) world of PR. it's amazing to see someone so young achieve so much, so sit back, relax and enjoy! ps. you might want to grab a tea + biscuit for this one, it's long (but VERY interesting!)

How did you initially pursue your career in PR?
I had done a History of Art degree, but decided that I wanted to work in Fashion.  I was in the process of applying for an MA in Fashion History when, in some downtime between jobs, I secured a some  work experience with a local PR agency and loved it.  It felt to me that I had found what I was good at as well as finding something that I enjoyed doing and could be passionate about.  From there I continued to work in agency and worked in-house before setting up Peachy PR.

Did you feel that experience was vital, or that your degree/education helped you?
My degree, although unrelated to PR, gave me the right foundations in perception, written communication, research, time-management, analysis and self-motivation; all essential tools for PR professionals.  I have read a number of PR directors say that students coming from a History, History of Art or English degree background often have a good aptitude for PR.  Work experience then gave me the practical tools and knowledge to really start to understand PR, how it works and how it benefits businesses of all sizes.  I think the most crucial thing for anyone stepping into PR is to remain motivated, keen to learn and really embrace the opportunities that come your way regardless of education and experience.

How did it feel to take the scary leap into creating your own business?
It was a leap that I always knew I wanted to take; it was just a case of when.   I got to the stage where I had learnt and honed the skills that I needed and decided to take the plunge.  Initially I was planning on working freelance but decided that I would eventually want to take the route into a business and to build a team, so I created Peachy PR.  It was daunting and overwhelming, it can still be in some respects, but I’m glad I made the leap of faith (most of the time!).

What’s a typical day like at Peachy PR?
I can be going to/from networking sessions, trade shows, meetings with clients or pitching to new business anywhere in England, ideally stopping into the office at some point during the day to catch up with the Peaches and what is going on at HQ.  A normal day in the office can be varied, depending on what client events, campaigns and launches we might be working on but would typically consist of vast amounts of emails and phone calls for all the team, whether this is to journalists and stylists or clients.  We try and take time out to read up on what the magazines are talking about at any given point; this allows us to research opportunities for our clients and understand who to pitch to and what they’re looking for.  We do a lot of writing; press releases, pitches, web/blog content as well as social media output.  Most of the girls work across nearly all of the client accounts, providing a nice variety in their work and also, allowing for a variety in the type of coverage that they can achieve for the clients, our agency and, ultimately, their portfolios.

How do you tend to look for new talent?           
It can be hard to take the time out to scout for new talent so I often have to rely on people coming to me in terms of coming across the various job adverts that might be posted online but also those who follow/spot our updates on social media and our website.  We will always post opportunities here, so if Peachy PR is of interest, just keep an eye out or send your CV across for us to keep on file for when the opportunity presents itself.  It can only be a positive if someone is proactive enough to seek out the agency and understand what we do.

What traits would you look for in a potential new employee?
There are a lot of character traits that make a good PR professional, but that doesn’t mean to say that different characters won’t thrive in the industry.  General attributes include: Self-motivation, being a self-starter, initiative, creativity, strong communication (both written and verbal), patience, persistence and a conscientious approach.

What’s been your favourite campaign to work on so far?
We have a couple of exciting campaigns and launches in the pipeline, but two of my favourites are Langs of London and Florrie & Bill.  Working with Langs of London allowed us to plan and execute a launch event in London, inviting key wedding press including You & Your Wedding, Wedding, Wedding Ideas and Your London Wedding as well as working on the follow up placement and a continued press campaign. 

Florrie & Bill has been a pleasure for all of us to work on; the press have absolutely loved the unique collaboration between the brand and fabric label, Flock.  This was a low key launch to press with no event, just product, samples and information and the pick-up has exceeded expectation to include placements in many of the short lead supplements and numerous long lead interior titles including Grand Designs, Period Living, The Observer Magazine and The Sunday Times Style.  We’re looking forward to launching their next collaboration this month…

Any pet peeves that you find?
Grammatical errors on CVs and cover letters/emails are frustrating.  Maybe I’m a bit too pedantic about this but I have seen it all.  To the extreme, I have had applications sent with a cover letter for a different job at a completely different agency.

Favourite new fashion trend?
I am not so much one for trends but I am currently obsessed with polonecks, Capes (blanket and otherwise) and faux fur.  I love to layer.  I always find Spring/Summer trends enchanting with the scope of colour palettes from pastel to neon, florals and embellishments but I’m definitely an A/W dresser.

We have to stay on the pulse for our clients though, so we will try and get out to trend forecasting events in order to be best positioned to share upcoming trends with clients and also to capitalise on them when it comes to pitching and communicating with the press.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to gain a career in fashion PR?
Everyone has to start somewhere, so do everything you can to secure work experience early on.  It doesn’t have to wait until you finish Uni, it can be summer placements or part time opportunities.  Don’t doubt that passion shines through and someone will offer you the break or the right opportunity if you can show determination and a motivation to succeed and learn.  Every placement you take is an opportunity to learn and gain further insight into a face paced industry, so use this as a competitive advantage and make the most of every situation.

It definitely also helps to be savvy and aware when it comes to new trends, celebs of the moment, new designers and fashion influencers; this is something that you can work to your advantage and can be offered as part of the value that you would bring to an organisation.  Also, (it sounds obvious but it is surprising how many people don’t do this) if you want to work in PR you have to read and understand magazines and traditional media.  It’s so easy to focus attention on blogs and social media as a means of keeping ahead of the game and it’s completely valid and crucially important in PR today, however, there is a lot to be said for a true understanding of traditional print media.  Not just for your own demographic, but outside your interests to encompass interiors, men’s or monthlies such as Woman & Home or Good Housekeeping for example.   Broadening your experience and understanding in these ways will help to make you a well-rounded PR professional.

We never stop learning.

Until next time xo 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

going out-out make up

so i hope you all know what i mean what i say 'going OUT out' make up. the face you paint when you're going out on the town in a skirt and crop top, and intend to spend the night singing along to the top 40...well, that's my nights out anyway. i thought i'd give y'all a glimpse into my classic going out make up look, and trust me, if i can do it - you can!

eyes: i always start with the eyes, ever since i had a mac make over and saw that's what they did (copy the professionals...) to create this smokey eye look, i used naked 3 palate from urban decay, bobbi brown black gel eyeliner, gesso eyeshadow from mac and roller lash mascara from benefit. firstly, using the brush that came with the palate, i covered my lid in the gesso colour from mac, and then using the other side of the brush, tapped in dark side in naked 3, into the corner of the eye, creating a wing. i then used the real techniques blending eye brush to blend it all in. then, using the real techniques silicone brush, created a feline flick with the amazing bobbi brown eyeliner. then, with a quick slick of the mascara, i'm ready to flutter my lashes!

face: this is pretty simple i will admit, i am pretty boring with this. i simply use the real techniques expert face brush to cover my face in bourjois healthy mix foundation. i have only been using a make up brush for about 3 months (don't shoot me...) and it's DEFINITELY the way forward. i then set this with mac studio fix powder, which is my life life. i then use a, you guessed it, real techniques bronzing brush, and suck in my cheeks to apply the rihanna for mac bronzer. i have to be really careful with this as i can look a little orange, as i am super pale :( i then use the mua undress your skin highlighter to just perk up my cheeks and give the illusion of cheek bones. magic.

lips: my bottom lip is pretty large, and sometimes lipstick can be a bit annoying as you can see my gum.... i know, attractive. but with the mua red lipliner and mac ruby woo lipstick this is all forgotten! i tend to put the lipstick on first, and anyone who owns ruby woo will agree this is a bit of a task as it is SO matte you literally have to push it on. but when it's on, it's on. that sucker is not going to rub off. perfect for a night out!

hope you enjoyed :) i'm no tanya burr, but i like to think i'm getting better :)
until next time xo 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Interview with Alexis Knox - Stylist

so i am VERY excited to share this with you all!! i was lucky enough to grab the INCREDIBLY busy Alexis Knox for an interview about her amazing career so far. Alexis is a top stylist, and has worked with publications such as Notion, styled the one + only Miley Cyrus, and also is an absolute machine on the decks - having recently come back from Paris DJing for the Katy Perry party with Claire's Accessories. Oh, and did I mention she's the first ever 'selfie stylist', teaching us how to perfect our selfies - let's face it, we all love a good selfie. enjoy!

What made you decide that fashion was a career you wanted to pursue?
I've never had a big interest in fashion as such, I've always seen my interest as an interest in style, I care for all aesthetic, coming from a fine art background. Getting dressed and picking my outfits was my favourite thing and so styling was a natural evolution of that. I loved using my fine art background for art direction in my editorial styling and my love for meeting new people and communicating worked well in my styling with artists.

Did further education help you with this path?
Yes having a degree in illustration have me a real "picture making"eye. It also forced you to work to a dead line and break your back to complete a project!

Did you intern? If so, did you find it helped?
Interning totally helped me and is 100% necessary. It's not only teaches you the trade but teaches you the etiquette of the business.

When did you decide to choose fashion styling?
I feel it chose me to be honest, people would presume I was a stylist from how I would dress and conduct myself! When I first moved to london I was interning in television as well as fashion, and because fashion has a lot more freedom and no set path of career progression it moved really quickly.

What excites you about styling celebrities?
I just love meeting fellow artists and creatives. Celebrity or not it's a wonderful thing to have access to collaborate with such great talents. And then being able to communicate that work to a greater audience is a dream.

If you can, talk us through how you would style a celebrity for a big event:
It's always a process of communication and collaboration. Often and artist has in mind the type of thing they want to wear, ie a dress,long or short, a two piece etc.
Me and y team then source multiple options and present them to the talent in a fitting with a seamstress preset as pick our top three favourites.

Have there ever been any real star-struck moments for you?
When notion magazine the magazine I creative direct was on the coffee table of Eddie Monsoon in absolutely Fabulous I nearly cried to my mum!

What do you feel has been your biggest achievement so far?
I feel when my work communicates to people outside of london and outside of the fashion community that's the list rewarding thing. When someone's mum or dad or a stranger in another country comes up to you and says they love something you did or has been inspired by it, I find that rewarding.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a fashion stylist?
Make sure it's a million percent you biggest dream and ambition. It's no half hearted career move. It's physically hard andan emotional ride but it's a fabulous one!

What's the biggest misconception people have about your career?
That it's easy! That it's always glamourous. That it doesn't cost anything to do it. The outgoings on being a stylist are huge and no one ever appreciated the cost of the career.

Does your own personal style influence how you style others?
It influences who asks to work with me. As a stylist you can. Choose to be a walking billboard and I've had styling jobs from my personal Instagram alone, they like the way I dress and want a bit of it. However I don't choose to or wish to make anyone a mini me, my styling work on my website and in the course of my career is extremely varied, but often the work most on brand to me is the work that gets shared the most.

Who would be your dream client?
Madonna and Britney. Madonna was the queen of reinvention and I would love to work with her on a reinvention. Britney is a pop legend. So that for me is huge! 

And lastly, what's the best career advice you've ever received?
Think big.

Until next time xo 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

benefit rollerlash mascara

benefit are the queens of mascaras. i've followed them from being 13 and in love with 'bad gal', because i was definitely a bad gal. i then progressed to 'they're real', and was amazed at the length of my lashes, and now they've won my loyalty again with their amazing new 'roller lash' mascara. this month it's free with elle mag, so i had to test it out! (note: i realise every man and their dog have now reviewed this, but one more for good measure won't hurt!)

as you can see in the first photo, i am sans mascara or eyeliner, and then once applied, i am full of a fluttery lashes. i purposely didn't apply eyeliner so you can see the full effect.

the mascara is a deep black, and has a thin brush with a slightly curved shape. this is the 'hook and roll' technique that relates to the name. the trick is to gently roll the mascara onto your lashes, and then be bowled over by the effect. i absolutely love it, when i first used it i was amazed at the length of my lashes. another winner from benefit! i would DEFINITELY recommend, and will now have to buy the proper tube!

until next time xo

Friday, 6 February 2015

comb - the app of dreams

i'm not a heavy technology girl. i don't really have that many apps on my phone, just the basics. i didn't even get that into angry birds. so imagine my surprise when i found an app that i actively sought out, and downloaded. comb is the new fashion app of dreams, and you'll want to know about it. perfect for fashion week when you're stalking peoples outfits...

it's basically a way of sifting through all the rubbish you find online, for that one special thing. if you see a dress on taylor swift you fall in love with, you can find it. if katy perry is wearing a pattern that catches your eye, you can find a dress/top/skirt with the same or similar pattern. still with me? ok, i'll show you........

so ACTUAL first steps are you log in make an account blah blah blah. it's all FREE so you have no excuse. anyway...........SO for arguments sake, i chose this gorgeous skirt i got from primark. i love the pattern, and it's pretty unique, so i figured it would be a great example. the app is laid out a lot like instagram, so it's super easy to follow. you snap a photo of the pattern....

once you've taken a photo (not as blurry as mine, i hope...) you zoom in on the pattern that you want to try and find in another garment.

once you've clicked next on step three, the app combs (see????) through the millions of clothes online to find one with the same pattern as the one you desire. it takes about 1 minute to do this, which is super clever, then, once you've waited, it comes up with lots and lots of options for you! they can range from designer to high street, which is great to show the variation. now, you can't be shouted at for buying the same thing over and over again, because it is basically different right...?

i actually super love this app, i was really surprised at how well it worked. this pattern i chose was quite obscure, and it came up with a really pretty dress in the exact same pattern for only £21!!! you can then go on and buy it, or save it in your account. this is a great idea, and allows you to kind of build an 'i wish wardrobe' as well. it lets you have a bunch of clothes that no one else has either, as let's face it, what are the chances of someone picking EXACTLY the same pattern and then the EXACT same product, when there's so much choice???

the app is free + on iTunes/android now! until next time xo


Sunday, 1 February 2015

kylie jenner lips

ah miss kylie jenner, what have you started? since her plump pout started springing up all over our instagram feeds, we've all become slightly obsessed with creating the same look. there has been a lot of speculation as to whether kylie has had surgical enhancements, and this may be true, but damn is she good with lip liner. i bought into the craze, and bought one of the combinations that she uses - mac lip liner in soar, and mac lipstick in velvet teddy.

so here is the results! the first photo is without any lippy, and then the final is with. i think what you gotta remember here is that i have a mighty big bottom lip in the first place, so i don't think it would make much of a change there anyway...

ANYWAY. i absolutely love the combination of the two products, the slightly darker lip liner allows you to deceptively draw on your lips and create a plumper pout. the lipstick is absolutely gorgeous, perfect for everyday wear and such a lovely neutral shade. the two together are a match made in heaven. i don't usually wear neutral colours, opting more for reds/dark purples if i'm going to wear lipstick, but i have definitely been converted. 

the best way to apply this is to have completely soft lips prior to application, i recommend using a lip scrub from lush to scrub away pesky dead skin. then, outline your lips lightly in the lip liner, not going too crazy. then, apply your velvet teddy. once your lips are looking lovely and coloured, reapply some of the lip liner, going over your natural lip shape to make you look like ms. jenner herself. then smack those lips together and take a selfie, coz girl you look fab.

i also am starting to believe kylie does genuinely just draw her lips on, because the combo definitely did make me feel a little poutier. so if she's having that applied professional everyday, the possibilities are endless.

until next time xo
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