As I moved to London last week, I had this entire week free to myself before I start my placement year with Coty on Monday. I couldn’t bear to sit around with so much free time, especially in a new city where I don’t know that many people. I knew I had to keep myself busy and focused.
Knowing that I had five free weekdays ahead of moving, I emailed my first #GirlBossMonday Rosie Davies who founded The London Fashion Agency in Brixton and asked if I could do some work experience with her and her company. Everything in place, my commute planned out, I battled my way through the masses of Wimbledon-goers every day to get the sweaty trains to LFA in Brixton.
Monday was my first time in Brixton, and even though the working day began at 09.30am, I arrived at 09.00am, afraid to be late. I went for a walk around the area as the office was only a few minutes walk from the station.
The first point of interest I came across was Electric Avenue. I saw the street sign, and then when I went to take a picture, I noticed the huge lettering on top of the first building.
In my first year of uni, a few of the boys from the next door flat and I watched the movie Pineapple Express which featured the song Electric Avenue. That was the first time I had heard the song, and since then it’s been one of the top played songs in my music library, so I couldn’t believe it when I saw the street sign – that an actual Electric Avenue exists.
I also came upon the David Bowie mural on the last day of my work experience week, where people had lay flowers and written messages of remembrance.
Brixton seemed like such an arty and hip place, which is right up my street. Full of music, art, culture and fashion, I will definitely be returning to source out some good eateries and drinking spots.
Five days at LFA
I met Rosie, Cecile, Shannon and Milo on my first day at LFA and they were so welcoming and gave me the background of the kind of agency LFA is, and what they’re about. One thing I loved about my time at LFA was that I was constantly working and working on something that was important to the business. It made me feel like I was an actual employee for the week, and that I wasn’t just the ‘intern’.
I was working on a new subscription service that Rosie is offering to brands so that they can actually do their own PR, instead of paying other agencies a lot of money to do it for them, when they can’t afford it. I was quite sceptical of this at first, as I thought it was surely the opposite of what a PR agency should be doing, but the more I worked on it, the more I could see how much of a great idea this is.
As London Fashion Agency mainly work with small fashion and lifestyle brands, there is definitely a need for a service such as this, as most start-ups and small companies just don’t have the capital to be spending on PR agencies, especially as they will be hoping for results within a few weeks, which in PR, is just not feasible.
LFA offer affordable PR, mainly aimed at independent brands who want to gain coverage to get their brand noticed. I loved working in Fashion PR this week, surrounded by so many magazines and journals. It has been quite a while since I worked in Fashion PR, and this week reinforced how much I love it.
Although temperatures reached 30 degrees this week, which for me is like sitting inside an oven, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with LFA and especially the office dog Milo, and visiting dogs that appeared for a while during the week.
Thoughts for the future
Anyone that knows me, knows that I am all about independents. You won’t find me at places such as Nando’s or Pizza Express, as my favourite thing is to find independent restaurants, where I can discover new, amazing foods. I also love to thrift shop, so that I can find unique clothes and handbags, that most people won’t have. It has nothing to do with my political stance or thoughts on capitalism, I just prefer to give my money to independents rather than corporate chains.
In my hometown in Ireland, most of the restaurants and bars that we have are family owned, so this may be where my love for independents came from. However, since there weren’t any chains to choose from, I wasn’t really aware of the independents vs corporate difference. I think my love of independents really came from my time in Liverpool, as the city is all about supporting your own.
With the vast amount of independents on offer in places like Bold Street in Liverpool, it was an easy choice to hit up these places instead of heading to Liverpool One where the usual Pizza Huts, TGI Fridays and Zizzis were located. I am always looking to try new things, especially when it comes to food and drink.
To round up, working with independent brands, no matter what sector, is what I definitely see myself doing in the future. I feel it would be much more rewarding to see independent brands gain coverage alongside market leaders that appear constantly in the same magazines and on TV. I could definitely see myself working somewhere like The London Fashion Agency in the future!
I start my placement job tomorrow, which I am very nervous but excited about! I met up with one of the other interns on Friday and went for a few drinks so that we can go in on Monday and already have a friend. For the next year I will be working in Beauty PR, a whole new sector for me, and the job will be much more corporate than I’m used to – working with big name brands (no independents here). I’m looking forward to seeing if it changes my perspective on my future career path – wanting to work with independents or very well known brands.
I want to say a massive thank you to Rosie and the rest of the girls for having me this week! I enjoyed my time so much, especially the lengthy chats about Love Island! I feel like I know every fashion, wedding and sports magazine inside-out but this will be very beneficial to my next job, I’m sure.
I will hopefully be back with the girls at LFA next year when I finish my placement year but will definitely be keeping in touch and following their success all year round.
Now, onto the next chapter at Coty!