Chloe Claus is the North American Brand Manager at Vancouver-based fashion label Brunette The Label, selling the brand to stores across Canada as well as the west coast of the United States.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I studied journalism at Macleay College in Sydney while interning at various magazines like InStyle and Vogue. My dream was to become a an editor at a fashion magazine, but I ended up on a different route.
When I graduated, I became an assistant agent at DLM, a creative agency that represented photographers, hair and makeup artists and stylists. We negotiated jobs with brands and magazines etc and helped organize photo shoots.
I then got offered a role in marketing at The Island and Darlo Country Club, a couple of venues in Sydney. I looked after social media, helped the events team and more.
In 2015 I went on a holiday to Vancouver, where I’m originally from. I fell back in love with the city and decided to move back the following year.
A local brand that I was a fan of posted a job opening on their social media for an online orders assistant. It wasn’t the role I was looking for, but I wanted to get my foot in the door of the fashion industry in Vancouver. The rest is history.
My role grew quickly over time, and three years later I’m the North American Brand Manager. I sell Brunette the Label to stores across Canada and the U.S, educate other sales reps on the brand and have a hand in the creative and design process in the office.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
There’s two types of days for me. I am either travelling and working at a trade show in another city, where I have sales appointments with customers, show them the new collections and they purchase the line. Trade shows I participate in include MAGIC in Las Vegas and Coterie in New York, where we shared a booth with the Australian brand MINKPINK.
If I’m at home in Vancouver, I go into the office every day for 9am, where I’ll catch up on emails, talk to customers on the phone, prospect new stores etc. I also might have appointments with stores at the showroom.
I will usually have a couple of meetings throughout the day. I’ll consistently have design meetings with the team to go over new styles and designs for upcoming seasons, do fittings, brainstorm ideas and develop new products.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
If I’m fresh back from a work trip, I’m usually able to work from home the next day. However a lot of my job is interacting and talking with people, selling and showing them products.
So there is not a ton of remote working where I can just be on my laptop anywhere! That being said, I do travel a lot, so I’m always moving around. I love to travel and experience new cities, their culture and their food so I enjoy this part of the job.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
I am fortunate to have a great team that helps me out a lot. Our wholesale assistant helps me with order entry, and our showroom assistant keeps the samples organized and the showroom looking presentable. I also rely heavily on Google Calendar to keep me organized. And I usually set a goal of how many emails I’ll have left in my inbox at the end of the day!
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance allows me to still have time for my social life and self-care, at the same time as achieving my professional goals.
This balance is hard to achieve sometimes during the busy trade show seasons! Getting a work out in, eating healthy and having time to hang out with friends is important to me and keeps me sane in day to day life!
6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
I’m a naturally ambitious person and career has always been important to me. I’ve also been taught some good habits by my parents who are extremely hard-working entrepreneurs who own their own business together.
They are the reason I developed a strong work ethic early on in life. I think some good habits I try to practice for success and balance are time management, developing a strong personal report with both colleagues and customers, a ‘kill them with kindness’ kind of attitude regarding difficult working relationships and not taking things too personally.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I really feel like I’ve made the most of it if I have time for a work out in the morning before work. I feel ahead of the day, energized and motivated.
8) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Try not to always take your work home with you. I find it really important to be able to switch my brain off sometimes and focus on other things, otherwise I burn out. Also working smarter isn’t always about working harder. Time management is everything and keep your priorities straight!
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