1. What has been your proudest career moment?
Setting up The Tape Agency with my friend, mentor and just the other half of me, Camilla @camtstagram. I am proud of its resilience every day but also that we have created something that is forever changing and evolving and that it is ours and we have the ability to say yes or no to things without anyone else’s say so or approval.
2. Who has been/is your biggest mentor?
My mentor is a super human individual called Quita Davis @quitadavis1. She was my boss at Smashbox Cosmetics and took me with her on the journey to launch that brand into the UK, including me every step of the way. She taught me to fight for myself, that I could be creative but also could have an eye on the business and financial goals and that strong women are necessary in work and that is nothing to be shy about. Our relationship has evolved and we are now working together in a new way in both our evolving careers, but she continues to be my guiding light and someone I know I can always ask the “dumb” questions to.
3. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received?
When negotiating for yourself - Don’t prove to me you are already doing the job I hired you for. Show me all the ways I can’t and couldn’t live without you, that is where your incomparable value comes from. That is a Quita Davis special!
Also, one from my partner Camilla – to value yourself first and foremost and not feel you have to say yes to everything and everyone if it means making yourself feel less.
4. Which training body would you recommend for someone wanting to enter your area of the industry?
This is actually a big one as I don’t know of any I would really recommend right now, I think that PR and Talent Management (the two main parts of our business I am involved in, we have experts driving Podcast Production too) is so relationship based it kind of gets forgotten in terms of where to learn. If I could I would go back to Solent University and do the PR and Marketing BA Hons course that my dear friend Nicola de Burlet @silverstylepages is currently leading, it is such a well rounded and fascinating course for anyone looking to get into any facet of PR, Marketing or Management.
5. How do you make sure you stand out from the crowd e.g. up-skilling, research, social media?
I like to think the thing that makes me stand out is being interested in so many things. My creativity comes from being interested in a lot of stuff; art, music, people, celebrity, fashion, theatre, movies, podcasts and listening to what other people are interested in. Someone recommended a documentary the other day about mushrooms, can’t wait to give that a go! That is a general unifying thing about Tape, all of our team are inquisitive people who take inspiration from a real variety of places and we all compliment each other that way. I also love to use social media like a bit of a pin board, Instagram in particular because it’s so visual. I still find it really inspiring.
6. If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their own business, what would it be?
Don’t do it alone. I will always advocate for a partner, because having someone to talk to and talk things out with is essential, but if they aren’t a full partner in the business, just arm yourself with the right cast. One of my favourite people, Jimmy Iovine said in an interview once, “cast your life right. If you do that then everything becomes easier” (something like that anyway) but basically, if you put all the right people in the right positions of power and authority around you, then when it comes to making decisions or asking advice, they’re all there for you.
7. What’s the best and hardest thing about your job?
Best thing – The freedom and the spontaneity of being able to say yes to any random thing that comes to us, if we choose.
The hardest – making the financials of running a business work. You want the best people, the most interesting clients (who often aren’t the big money clients) and want to make it a success so your accountant isn’t cross. It’s a lot to juggle.
8. How do you switch off after a difficult day?
My kid. He has this incredible ability, as all children do, to say something silly or tell me something that is so monumentally important to him that it just wipes the day away, he also gives amazing hugs. Oh and Schitt’s Creek. Always. I am on about my tenth watch of the entire show.
9. Desert island 3 course meal?
Prawn Cocktail (Berners Tavern one, no measily prawns!)
Sushi – ALL the sushi rolls and rock tempura shrimp with ponzu dipping sauce
My mum’s carrot cake
(Can I have a Philadelphia street pretzel as a side)
10. Which 5 people (dead or alive) would you have at your dinner party?
The cast of Hackers (I need them all)
Cher (I need six, sorry!)
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