I’ve been doing a little bit of traveling around the great state of Texas, and last month I had the opportunity to meet the lovely Kelsey Elledge of Cream Vintage in Austin. Check out the interview below, and know that any girl who can use the word “rad” eloquently, is alright by me.
1. How did you get started in PR (undergrad, internship, etc.) and what company did you work for?
I have always enjoyed communicating with anyone and everyone- people from all walks of life. Maybe it’s an Aquarian thing but I tend to get along with mostly everyone I meet. It’s easy for me to find common ground, I guess. I’m a people person and I suppose that’s what got me interested in public relations. Plus, I dig the lifestyle of PR Practitioner- random projects, outside-of-the box thinking and multi-tasking… a day in the life is never the same. So that draws me in as well.
While in New York last summer, I had the pleasure of working at Red PR, a boutique style public relations agency which specializes in lifestyle and consumer branding for reputable companies in the beauty industry. Creative Nail Designs (CND) and Peacekeeper Cause-Metics are some of the bigger names. The internship program I was involved with included approximately 10 other interns from various boutique style agencies in industries ranging from technology, to publishing, to real estate.
2. What were your responsibilities on a daily basis?
Aside from the mundane administrative responsibilities, I was in contact with the media every day convincing them to check out what our clients had to offer. Whether it was a local news channel, a mommy blogger or the beauty editor from Glamour magazine, I was pitching the latest of our clients’ products and sending the appropriate press material alongside. I created press kits and media folders, helped with event planning, wrote press releases and constantly maintained a positive relationship with clients and co-workers alike. And of course, I can’t forget those numerous trips to the bank, or to get coffee, or whatever else those talented ladies needed.
3. What’s the most interesting/exciting experience you had while working in PR?
I’m gonna go with the big CNDproduct launch event. I helped execute a beautiful meeting space in a fourth floor warehouse in NYC’s hell’s kitchen. CND President and co-founder Jan Arnold and her team of nail techs brought their new line of 100 mix’n’match nail lacquers to treat all of the beauty editors of big time magazines to a manicure. I had a lovely chat with Nylon Magazine’s Holly Siegel and even talked music with the hottest DJ I’ve ever met… wish I could remember his name. Meh. In the end though, the event was a hit and a huge success for everyone involved.
4. Why did you choose to work at Cream Vintage and what makes this boutique so special?
I think it was more of a right place at the right time kind of thing and I happened to be just the right fit. Sure, sure, there are a lot of rad vintage boutiques in Austin but only one is concerned with how your vintage fits you.. and by that I mean, alterations! Vintage fashion is fun and certainly fashionable but doesn’t always create the right fit. Cream has seamsters who not only customize garments for customers but also design looks for their very own line, whipped cream, which is totally in-house, totally 100% recycled vintage clothing. We also do music and have quite the extravaganza when South by Southwest (SXSW) rolls around in March. Good tunes and hip clothes- a win win situation if you ask me.
5. What is your personal style aesthetic and why do you love vintage?
Vintage is great because it has a past… some sort of history paired with every piece. That creates mystery and to me, that’s fun. My personal style, however, is a bit mosaic(ish). My style reflects my mood and generally, I have a bohemian, eclectic thing goin’ on. I love the ethnic vibes, loud prints, flowy skirts, big scarves, rich textures, soft layers, skinny jeans and lots of jewelry… the more the merrier, right?!
6. What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in fashion PR?
The fashion industry has a bad rep for being cut throat or pretty intense and a lot of the time, it is… but it’s never a bad thing to have fun, stay true to yourself and keep that smile shining in anything you do. That way you’ll always come out on top.
Thanks to Kelsey again for taking time to share with us!
All photos courtesy of J.E. Franklin.