Esther Wilson is the Marketing Manager at luxury global fashion brand Camilla Australia, where she is responsible for the communication channels across 55 countries.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I began my career with a decade in media trading (TV, print, outdoor, direct & performance digital, radio) which evolved to scaling brand experiences – TV sponsorships, events, and editorial partnerships.
Until late 2019 I ran as General Manager the content & creative division of awarded advertising agency HYLAND, working on incredible global luxury and beauty brands.
After almost 15 years in agencies it was time to live and breathe one brand everyday so I wrote a list of five I’d love to work with. They were all Australian but global, aligned to my values, and iconic. CAMILLA was top of the list so I truly felt it was manifested when the Marketing Manager role came up.
My role is to ensure the connection point between the brand and customers (our incredibly passionate Tribe) is mutually rewarding. Also that our communication channels across 55 countries, including online, wholesale, retail, social, experiential and advertising, are aligned to the creative and commercial vision of the Brand.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
The Villa (CAMILLA HQ) has a bustling energy with so many talented people working together – from artists and designers to tech gurus and financial wizards – it’s a real melting pot of skills.
Marketing is a net that supports a lot of projects, so every day is about meeting with these clever people so we can articulate their vision properly when we go to market.
This week for instance, we were focussed on launching our muses-inspired I Am collection, as well as auctioning our one-off Rebirth Collection pieces, uplifting our Tribe in lock-down countries and states, and launching an iconic new store in Westfield Bondi Junction.
It’s quite the juggle to manage the communication around it all, but that’s what makes the brand so special.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Absolutely! I have taken Thursdays off to spend with my young children for over 6 years and CAMILLA happily embraced when I joined the company. Our #thursdayswithmum adventures have taken on a life of their own over the years as a simple nod to career and mum balance.
CAMILLA Flex has also been a company policy for many years where everyone is in control of when, where, and how they work. Communication is key to working flexibly and remotely though so we’re all equipped with the right technology, we focus on regular WIP & Wins updates, and maintain a constant flow of information.
My pre-COVID routine was to go in to work two days a week in the office, and play the other two by ear but these days it’s essential-only at work.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I’ve always believed work is one of the best parts of life so I don’t separate the two. To find balance though, for me it’s about allowing enough time to nurture my five happy-life priorities – my family, my friends, my work, my self, and my world.
So every week I try to ensure quality time is spent tending each. There’ll be some weeks where family, or work, or travel will take more focus and energy of course, but as long as I’m finding time to enjoy each, I feel balanced.
Life is fluid so my focus isn’t rigid, I don’t have a structured way to maintain the balance. But I feel it when the balance is off, and make time for what’s missing.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
The last 12 months have been a whirlwind. I’ve had a career change, am commuting by car for the first time ever, now have the school and daycare double-drop, and am trying to maintain regular exercise windows.
Just as I got in a rhythm, lock-down happened! So it’s fair to say everything is new and unchartered. But my husband and I are true partners and we just navigate change as it comes, together. It’s really the only things that’s stayed the same – having a great support system that can take the load.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’m a sucker for female trail blazers. It’s no accident I’ve always worked with female founders including the late Sharron Meissner, Virginia Hyland, and now Camilla Franks, so the books I read tend to be written by strong women.
I keep my favourites beside my bed, hoping the energy pours into me at night. In this instance a picture is worth a thousand lists, so I’ll send a pic!
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My laptop. It goes everywhere with me so I can work effectively anywhere. Importantly, it also means I don’t have work on my phone, which I keep for personal.
My laptop is all set-up for remote working with Zoom (CAMILLA backgrounds of course), Teams, Basecamp, and all the programs that make work flow. Most of our work is done in dynamic documents in file share formats which saves the chaos of versions.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Anyone who looks like they have fun doing it!
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Design the life you want to live, and chase it. It’s not upto your friends, your partner, your workplace or the world to know what balance looks like for you – only you know what your “thrive” vs “survive” looks like.
Once you know, make time for things that are important to you. For me it’s Thursdays with Mum, for others it’s a morning surf, or cooking at home each night, or walking in the dog. Don’t skip it, build the layers of your life around these essentials. You’ll be happier, more productive and appreciative.
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