With some of the most exciting nail launches that we’ve seen in recent times, style icon Olivia Palermo lending her fashion forward eye as Creative Director and a new makeup line set to make waves, Ciaté is one of our favourite beauty brands at GTG HQ for its innovative and always Instagrammable new launches. But what goes on behind-the-scenes to make a new product a success?
We caught up with Olivia Cavill, PR & Marketing Manager to answer that very question and to find out how she forged a successful career in the exciting and fast-paced world of public relations. From her degree to her job breakthrough, her top networking tips and advice for those looking to follow in her footsteps, these are the insider tips that future applicants and interviewees need to know.
GTG: Can you tell us about your background?
OC: I studied a combined degree of Business Management, Psychology and Media & Communications at Newcastle University. I chose every module I took and tailored my degree to suit my passions and chosen path of Consumer Marketing. I did a short course at LCF in Fashion Marketing in my second year and knew this was what I wanted to pursue, having always had an interest in fashion and making it a part of my everyday life.
The beauty side comes from my glamorous mum – she is a beauty therapist and so I grew up watching her doing makeup and hair and giving facials and body treatments; so much so that I took it upon myself to be the resident beautician at my boarding school. I literally cut the girls hair, waxed them and did all their makeup and hair. To this day this is still the case and I go to sleep every night thinking about outfits for the next day and how to do something different, from my clothes to my hair, makeup and accessories.
GTG: How did you break in to the industry?
OC: I interned in my second year of university for 2 months at Selfridges in its Events department and a month at New Look in its Press departments. The experience I gained there and the contacts I made were invaluable, and when my manager from Selfridges moved to head up the PR and Promotions for House of Fraser’s London stores a year later, she offered me the position of her assistant straight out of university. It isn’t easy to break into this industry and I worked for 3 months with not even my expenses paid for, but this time is crucial in order to gain experience and make contacts to take you onto the next step!
The key things I learnt were: don’t leave when the clock strikes, expect to stay later and work longer – this is when you will make those key relationships that will land you in good stead in the future. Network – always keep up with people you have met along the way, you never know when they might be a good contact again!
GTG: What’s a typical day in the life of a Group Marketing and Communications Manager at Ciaté?
OC: Every day begins with a coconut latte whilst answering some emails and creating some ‘white space’ in my inbox! If I’m not travelling, then my typical day would consist of a range of meetings with either the Sales team to discuss upcoming launches or with New Product Development to brainstorm next year’s trends and upcoming innovations and seeing how they might translate into our brands and products.
I go to the gym every lunch to get out some stress and refocus for the afternoon. My afternoon often involves meeting with our PR agency to discuss how to create a buzz around a new product, brainstorm potential collaborations or plan a product launch event. Between Ciaté nail and pending launch of Ciaté makeup as well as our new Beauty Accessories brand, Lottie London, there is something launching almost every month!
I am lucky enough to travel almost every month with my job, visiting our retailer partners and distributors to sell next season’s products, carry out press and desk sides and educate on the brand. Just this year I have already been to New York twice, Vegas, LA, Paris, Dubai and Australia and am even taking press to Coachella next month so it is go, go, go! Travelling is a great way to understand the global customer and it is so important to keep up with trends per territory and be able to adapt marketing and promotions to suit each culture.
GTG: What advice would you give to people who want to break into the beauty/health/fitness industry?
OC: A degree is always good as a foundation for further learning and is almost always compulsory for most job applications. However, it will not guarantee you a job anymore, as it is so common. The most desirable aspect is experience and the earlier the better – if you can get in as much experience, internships or apprenticeships while you are still studying, then it is much easier to go straight into a paid job. Get The Job is an engaging and inspiring platform for anyone looking to break into the industry or develop further in their current career, filled with motivational stories and advice, as well as advertising the hottest new jobs vacancies around!
Follow Olivia @oliviacavill .