Tell us a bit about yourself
Growing up in the countryside in Devon lead to a love for the outdoors, adventure and sport, so still to this day I hike, play rugby and volunteer on an allotment patch & farm in my free time. Splitting my time between London and Ibiza I made the choice of quality of life and being closer to nature. During my 20’s I had a career at Nike U.K. across brand and marketing departments, finishing my career as a Catalyst Brand Manager. This role involved scouting, nurturing and developing creative and entertainment talent to strategically place across Nike's activations, campaigns and passion projects. I worked on projects and with talent such as Gurls Talk x Nike with Adwoa Aboah, Force is Female with Jorja Smith, Women's World Cup 2019 with Little Simz, Miss Banks & Lady Leshurr and many more focusing in on female and LGBTQ+ talent.
It was also during my career at Nike that I was scouted to become a model, where my first jobs included working for brands such as Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Jacquemus, Valentino, and more recently opening the JW Anderson SS23 show.
After leaving the city and looking for a new challenge and purpose I co-founded CogDis Studio an Ethical Consultancy for 2 years. This was a place to support brands that pushed themselves into unconventional spaces and to help them answer cultures biggest questions around ethics. Although short lived CogDis made an impact & created a shift across the consultancy landscape, especially through their inaugural guide “Manifesting Utopia” where community insights were gathered and shared on how to energise sustainability and ethics in fashion via spirituality.
Whilst returning to my roots I have started facilitating & speaking at schools for their LGBTQ+ students and projects. This started with the school I went to, Tavistock College, where the principal bought me on to act as a bridge between students and teachers for the ideation and creation of their gender-neutral changing rooms and LGBTQ+ safe space. A first for that area in Devon.
Most recently I have started to work on partnerships and production for ColourFeel a space where brands, businesses and individuals are journeyed through immersive, inspirational and introspective experiences. Providing sanctuary from the demands of daily routines, helping people to connect, reflect, strategise, and find solutions.
If you couldn’t tell already, I am finding and following a new path & life direction which has many routes and roads whilst being determined on not being put in a box or following just one thing.
What made you choose this career?
I went about choosing my initial career based on the companies I admired and were doing things I also took enjoyment in, like sport, the outdoors or things I found “cool”, that’s what led me to apply for intern/entry level roles at places like Red Bull and Nike where I moved about until finding the role I liked. There always felt like a bit of irony as I was often placed in more fashion than sport roles which at the time, and still now to a certain extent, I really wasn’t engaged or ever had the urge to be in. It was the same with modelling it found me and I just followed the path until I wanted a change.
Now I find it hard to say I have a career or even define what it is because I have so many threads going but perhaps that’s my limited view on what a “career” means. I think through my experience in the city I realised it's not the place or environment for me, yet there were parts to my careers there that I really enjoyed. Mainly being people and public reaction focused, helping others build and enhance their careers, upstanding others wants and needs, facilitating others passions and purpose and working across areas that are meaningful to me and that I can relate to. So I’m now fine tuning my career path around those things paired with what brings me joy and facilitates the lifestyle I want to live.
Did you go through formal education? If so, what did you study and where? If not please explain your journey.
Yes, I went to Leeds University and Studied Middle Eastern Studies. I chose this course as it was during a time where the Middle East was unavoidable on the news and in the public, I realised how ignorant I was to what was going on and opinions around me where sheltered and narrow-minded which I felt unequipped to challenge. I think I over intellectualised my decision and reasoning and there wasn’t much longevity in my choice yet I don’t regret it because it has helped me understand the political, cultural and historical landscape of the Middle East (not that I remember the majority of it now), and it was the first time I learnt about colonialism, imperialism, racism and quite frankly all the wrongdoings of the West.
Did this have a positive or negative impact on your chosen career?
It’s difficult to know how this impacted my journey to where I am now because they seem so far apart, perhaps just through having more understanding and empathy for others, I’m not sure but I think the main lesson I would take from it would be to not rush my decision to go to university and to try and be more relaxed and curious in not knowing what to do. The whole “fuck about to find out” graph comes in to mind, I wish I’d fucked around a bit more and not put so much pressure on having to know. Its a battle I’m still having today but glad to be challenging and discovering more about myself.
Who inspires you? I actually really dislike questions like this because my memory is so bad I always forget specific people or what inspires me. I think I’ve always been inspired by people who know what they want, who know themselves and follow their gut and take risks on how they want to make an impact because that’s what I’m trying to be now. If I had to choose someone at the moment then it would be my Mum. She’s in her 60’s and for the first time she’s discovering how to have the career and lifestyle she wants whilst doing what she loves. It brings me so much joy, happiness and hope to know she can do that at this time in her life and that she’s still growing and learning. Also YOU GUYS of course. I’ve honestly always had such admiration for anyone who works creatively in hands on physical jobs.
What’s the scariest thing about your job and how have you overcome it? Right now it's the unknown in how it will take shape and when my next pay check will come in. Am I going to be any good at this new thing I’m trying? Am I totally cringe? Do I have the credentials to be working in this area or giving this advice? What if I fuck up bad? The scariest thing is my internal demons. I’ve overcome many since leaving corporate life and moving into nature, and I try tackle any new fears through journaling, meditating, being present, telling myself compassionate things and trusting more and more in the world. I’ve been spending a lot more time by myself and getting to know myself in order to heal. What do you want to change about your industry?
For people to stop thinking that being mean and a bitch is acceptable or cool.
For it to slow down and people be less stressed.
For creations to be made consciously and with purpose.
What advice would you give someone who is starting out in your field? Try not to rush, compare, and worry so much. Question yourself and what you’re not bringing to the industry. Is it something new, exciting or actually needed? What are your true intentions behind it? What and who are you doing this for? Try and get to know the difference between what’s your ego and your soul. Try to make sure its something you enjoy and if you can’t be sure to be doing things you enjoy around and give it dedicated time. Work with friends and people you love, have that be the main enjoyment and let the work from it flow.
I think I’d heard all of this before from others advice and it only really started sinking in more recently because of the time I have taken to get to know myself and spent alone. It all seems so obvious but putting it in to practice does take effort, risks and trust. Everyone is on a different timeline, everything comes and goes differently to others, you can’t have everything planned out so don’t let fear ruin the fun, spontaneity and possibilities!