Hey! I'm a fashion and beauty journalist, editor, copywriter, and content marketer by trade and experience... but that's just the stuff I've been paid to do over the past seven years or so, because I wanted to use my degree (fashion journalism, lol) and gain 'safe' employment opportunities that would look good on my CV. So, yes, I can do all those bread-and-butter jobs with my eyes closed, and I can do them scarily well. Hey, we've all gotta get that dollar... However, in 'real life' I'm a writer. A writer with a brain. An inquisitive, curious, analytical, and sometimes pretty smart brain, who enjoys putting interesting words together to provoke and inspire (and, let's be honest: vent). I generally love interviewing people, too (not really the transcribing part, but players gonna play). The best part is writing up a lovely long-form bit of gossip, all about the situation and subject. So, if you need an expert to spin some sparkly content marketing or write hundreds of tantalising product descriptions, I can do it, for sure. And it'll be good. But, equally, if you're looking for a journalist who wants to challenge ideas, write something provocative, personal, and informed, hit me up. I'm currently hopping around Europe, trying to live that digital nomad dream.Locked Pro Plan feature
This was a good job for my personal and professional growth. But, as is customary for large businesses, I did a lot more than my job description outlined (that awkward moment when enthusiasm and willingness are misconstrued as 'easy to exploit'). From day-to-day editorial scheduling, managing junior writers and graphic designers, writing, editing, publishing, creating interesting webpage layouts, maintaining the website's look and feel, and working with digital agencies and developers to create workarounds and new web designs, to shooting fashion editorials, liaising with external brands and partners (Disney, Stonewall, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros, Live Nation ), fully managing and executing campaigns end-to-end, and doing my fair share of creative concepts, styling, and art direction, this job juiced me for all I was worth and more. It was fun while it lasted... and before I woke up, like: why am I doing this? I want to go travelling.
Back in the salad days. I was brought onto the web team to help launch the brand's online presence (yep, the first iteration of Primark.com was only born 5 years ago!). At the beginning we would do whatever we thought was right for a non-transactional fashion website. There were A LOT of product descriptions to be written, but also plenty of creative freedom and time to play around with editorial ideas. From the off-set I realised an interest in the editorials and quickly got into the interiors side of things; shooting huge homeware set-ups every 3 or 4 months. Soon, what my team and I were producing rivalled the campaign shoots you'd see in the store windows, and POS. This was great for me, as it elevated my profile in the business (and all that yuck corporate lingo you care about when you're starting out). After two years, I was promoted to reflect the levels of responsibility and initiative I had from the start but was too young to be noticed for.
Yes, I only lasted 8 months here. It wasn't all it was cracked-up to be, tbh. The plus side: I honed the hell out of my product description and copywriting skills. Also got pretty good at crafting email marketing copy, and general content marketing, too. But this business suffered with a classic case of 'editorial team: who / why?'. Question, brands: How do you think your products sell if they aren't being marketed in an appealing way, online, yo?! (Consequently, the editorial team was completely disbanded a few years after I left... I guess they couldn’t do it without me. Jk.)
Oh, the WGSN days. What fun I had as a young, naive, and super-eager graduate, taking my first steps into the world of high fashion reportage and trend forecasting. This was the job I had envisioned as my dream sitch, back when I was a teen, desperate to leave my hometown and become a fashion journalist. I would go to fashion week with WGSN's catwalks department (Sue Evans <3), strut around taking notes and drafting trend reports, which we'd ultimately sell to clients like Primark, so they could rip-off designers in the name of fashion democracy (hey, I'm all for accessible style). I had a great time attending shows, parties, and events in the name of fashion. Seeing so-and-so front row, interviewing MUAs and stylists, drinking all the free champagne... It was great, for a year. But it was seasonal position and I needed something mroe stable. So I sadly departed, although secretly glad to be free of the circus. How do people do that for a lifetime???
Okay, so a bit of advice: freelancing is difficult, but freelancing as a complete an utter newbie, with no contacts or experience is even harder! After my amazing internship in LA, I returned to the UK determined to be an uncompromising journalist, like the real ones I'd met at FLAUNT. I landed some great gigs with a few independent magazines. I was the talent and fashion news contributor for No Cigar Magazine, which meant I got fashion week gigs, and interviewed a bunch of actors, actresses, musicians, models, and bloggers, some of which are still my favourite pieces of work. I also met my friend Natalie, who's a continued inspiration because she's constantly on the grind. I also worked as a stylist and journalist for a 'modest fashion' publication - an online magazine targeted toward Muslim readers - which was a huge learning curve for me. Again, I discovered a wonderful friend, Bella. I also landed a super fancy 'luxury lifestyle journalist' role at a website for London's wealthy and bored. It was great for me, I got to review super expensive restaurants all around in London, attend events where they served champagne with gold flakes in, and go on boat trips along the Thames before sipping and supping at the Savoy. I mean, Instagram was my honey and my life looked good on that shit. But, truthfully, it was a goddam hustle and I didn't get paid for a lot of the stuff I wrote. Still fun, though.
Okay, so this is probably the only position I won't be a sarky bitch about hahaha. Ironically, I had the BEST time of my career interning for FLAUNT. I was 21, fresh out of uni, I'd never taken a flight by myself, and here I was: living in LA for 3 months. I worked my arse off to afford it, and I hooked myself up with the gig from pure initiative, alone (and thanks to an editorial assistant at the mag who took a chance on me). The internship taught me more in three months, than my degree taught me in three years. Fact-checking, writing blog posts, content marketing, attending crazy-fancy parties, meeting fashion stylists, photogs, shooting high-end editorials, working in production, touring the city reviewing exhibitions and cultural events, “finding myself” and all that jazz. It was truly great.
WTF. I started uni TEN years ago?! https://www.uca.ac.uk/study/courses/ba-fashion-journalism/