Meet Emma, our PR and Content Executive at HomeHero, as she talks life below deck and transitioning from luxury PR into the startup world.
A design eye
I’ve always loved everything design and was really passionate about fine art, painting and drawing. However, I quickly decided that I wanted to develop creative skills with a business minded edge. So I did a design degree at Loughborough with a very commercial focus and an emphasis on digital design innovations. I ended up specialling in digital design, printwork and embroidery, which I loved. I found the written side of the course so interesting, delving into art history and current culture. I wrote my dissertation on the colour pink, all 10,000 words. It became a fascinating gender study. I’m now completely obsessed with colours, the origins and the psychological effects they have. The world of Zoom meetings has uncovered the colour coded bookcase in my office.
Life Below Deck
I wasn’t quite certain which path I wanted to pursue in life when I graduated, so I spent a year working on yachts in the Med. On reflection, it was a fantastic decision. I did that on and off whilst at uni: Sailing, hosting guests, working with local businesses. It was hugely educational in terms of relationship building – from working with harbour masters and managing guests – and as a 21-year-old I was in at the deep end, it was a steep learning curve. It was a job that required me to wear many hats, from becoming an expert in the best restaurants to coordinating turnarounds and keeping up intense, and often demanding, customer service. The unpredictability and fast-moving nature of that role isn’t completely far removed to working in a startup; it certainly taught me a lot about staying cool under pressure and the power of resilience.
I then went onto a Marketing Internship at Oyster Yachts; a really exciting experience, where the yachts we marketed averaged £5million and the lead time to purchase was 3 years. It was a nice jump into the world of communications and one that lit a fire.
From luxury travel pr to homehero
I then worked in a Luxury Travel PR Agency, working with boutique hotel and restaurant clients around the world, from the Cotswolds to Greece and India. The luxury world is fairly traditional, with a focus on relationship building, long lunches and slow burns. Agencies across the UK and travel businesses saw an overnight decline so it gave me an urgency to shift my career focus and explore new opportunities.
How does this relate to a startup? For one, the demand on your time and often reactive nature of top end PR trains you for fast turnarounds in startups. I also got an enormous amount of experience working on launches, which is an exciting focus this year with HomeHero.
It was of course a huge culture shift going from a busy Regent Street PR office to working remotely, just me and a laptop in a small startup comms team. What made a real impact was the fantastic culture at HomeHero, even when onboarding remotely. People were reaching out from day one.
The independence and empowerment at HomeHero has completely widened my horizons. It’s really very exciting to be a part of such a dynamic team that are all working towards the same goal, launching HomeHero.
I’m looking forward to face to face time as the world gets back to normal, enabling us to start to build meaningful media relationships. I can’t wait to get in front of people and explain what we’re doing and what this launch year will look like for us. One thing I’m missing is events, so that will definitely be on the HomeHero horizon, as it used to be when we hosted our At Home events.
What is Home to You?
I love everything about interiors. I think they’re so important in making a house a home. We’ve recently done some such interesting work, exploring the significance of this, whilst defining the HomeHero mission. I’ve moved around a lot in the last year, in and out of London flats and at home in the Isle of Wight. So the concept of home for me is really more about having all your most important belongings around you.
An Interiors Insider
I’m a loyal SheerLuxe reader. Their daily newsletter is always on the latest trends – they’re always the first. I also love Elle Decor. One day, when I own a London townhouse that will be my go to. I worked with the Creative Director there – Amy Wong – and she has the best eye I’ve ever seen. Follow her on Instagram for serious inspiration. Looking forward, I’d love to weave more creativity into my career and I think the potential with HomeHero to crossover with the interiors world is there.
When in London I was a real food and drink fanatic. I love discovering new places. I came to HomeHero working specifically on the “Picks” project for the platform, sourcing local hotspot recommendations for HomeHero residents. The best bars, restaurants, local markets and fitness favourites. I worked on lists for cities across the UK, like London, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester. There’s been a lot of work around building this trusted recommendation tool and even offering perks and partnerships for our residents. At its heart, it’s about connecting people to their neighbourhoods.
My Literature List
My all time favourite book is Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. It sparked my love of Greece and prompted me to spend a lot of time living and working there. More recently I’ve loved Where The Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens, a fantastic book set in the marshes in Northern Carolina. It’s the amazing scene setting and imagery, completely transports you – it’s definitely on my travel list now.. I recently read Untamed by Glennon Doyle and loved it; a refreshing, honest and relatable book about womanhood.
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