Do you ever feel intimidated in business scenarios and, if so, how do you overcome it?
Yes, of course. But when you've been doing a job in an industry for a while, you know more than you give yourself credit for. You should have confidence in your experience and that is what you should be focusing on.
Name 3 skills you have that have made you successful?
I would say hard work, perseverance and vision…
I work 9-5 and get the job done – should I feel guilty about not doing enough?
This really depends on how hungry you are. If you finish at 5pm, you could ultimately push yourself harder, but not everyone wants that. However those who do push themselves harder do tend to stand out.
What are your top tips for a 15-year-old wanting to get into fashion?
Work experience. It's hard without financial support I KNOW. But we've had interns who have taken on bar jobs after a day’s work here, in order to get the fashion experience. And they've gone on to have really successful careers. Find out early on if you have the right eye for fashion though - it's competitive and a waste of time to pursue it (or anything else for that matter) if you don’t have the talent.
Any tips on how to get into fashion journalism?
Again, work experience. And be sure you really are a good writer – find someone who will give you an honest answer – because it's competitive, not that well paid and there are plenty of other great jobs in fashion which are both easier to do and better paid!
What steps can you take to successfully switch to a totally different career?
Once again…work experience! In fact, we often have older interns here wanting to make a career change. Before you give up one successful career for another, talk to as many people as you can. Treat it like setting up a new business and do your research. Have some money saved and be prepared to train.
Do you have to live in London to be successful in the industry?
Yes, I think you either need to live in London or close by. London is where the events are, the PRs are, and where most of the brands are. Despite this digital world we live in, so much is still done face-to-face.
Would you recommend going to university if you want to work in publishing? Similarly, do you think your university degree has helped your career?
Not necessarily and no. I'm very open to the fact my children might choose not to go to university. I know several successful people in the industry who were a few years ahead of their peers through doing courses and working their way up.
What made you want to start up your own online magazine?
People always asked me where to get things. I toyed with the idea of being a personal shopper, then decided to write a book and then an online directory of the best places to shop. The rest is history!
What is the first step in starting a magazine?
Be clear about exactly who you are creating content for - then create good content for them. Next focus on building your audience and finally concentrate on the revenue. In that order.
Was it harder to start up a business than you expected?
Yes. It took longer and was much harder work than I thought!
What are your top tips for starting your own business from scratch?
Firstly, do your market research, talk to everyone and anyone that might be useful. Ensure there is the demand for your product or service and then get on and launch the minimum viable product. You can refine, tweak and improve it once you're live and in business. Don’t waste time perfecting something or you'll never get anywhere.
What important factors do you look for when people apply for work experience or a role at SheerLuxe?
For entry-level roles, I always look for work experience. We'd never take a graduate without it. After that, it's industry expertise and good digital experience. Once someone is in for an interview, I know they tick all those boxes - so then it’s about their energy, a can-do attitude and the character-fit for both the brand and my team.
How do you deal with employees leaving your team? Do you ask the reasons?
We now hold exit interviews. Sometimes it's simply time for people to move on. And sometimes you're gutted. When it's the latter, you sometimes try & keep them, but ultimately, if they're not committed to their role, it won't be long before they decide to move again. It is part and parcel of running a business.
How do you stop your career stalling after having children?
By keeping your toe in. However, even if you don’t, there are always ways back in - but don’t focus on the salary and avoid viewing it as 'only just covering childcare so not being worth it'. You need to think of the bigger picture and the longer term.
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