Wednesday, 14 September 2016

#InFocus: Alison Lowe, Managing Director, Felicities PR


For this week's InFocus interview, I talked to a lady I have admired for quite some time now, who is fiercely in the know about everything to do with PR when it comes to the Music, Fashion and Art industries. I know that I for one, am in awe of the way she handles her impressive client list not only on a daily basis, but during the manic pressures of London Fashion Week.

Read on to find out what's so impressive about Alison Lowe...
__________________________________________

1. What is your official title and what does it entail?

Alison Lowe
I am the founder and managing director of Felicities ltd. My role is to direct the company to achieve it's strategic goals, provide consultancy services and support to our clients and manage our relationships with press and buyers

2. How did you come to work with Felicities, were you familiar with the brand?

I started felicities in 2003 after finding a gap in the market for support for emerging fashion labels. Young designers were struggling with a lack of honest support, unsure of the value they were getting from pr and were not business focused. I set up Felicities to support young designers by providing them with pr, business and sales support - we work closely with the brands to ensure they have everything in place to make a sustainable healthy business.

3. What training did you undergo to prepare you for your role, and how did your experience help?

I have a business degree and as a serial entrepreneur who has setup several businesses, I have a good understanding of the issues people face when running a start up business. Prior to setting up Felicities, I had been a business consultant for several years supporting a broad range of creative businesses and through this gained experience of how designers struggle to balance creativity and commerciality.

Headwear by Felicities client Little Shilpa
4. What are you most passionate about when it comes to your role and why?

I am passionate about supporting anyone who starts up a new business - I get great pleasure out of seeing the brands I work with grow and flourish. It is very satisfying to help people and show them that they are not alone, and enable them to understand how they can overcome some of the challenges.

5. What is the toughest part of your role and why?

The toughest part is seeing a brand fail - often through no fault of their own. Sometimes no matter how great the idea, how fabulous the product, how unique the design - the business just doesn't make it due to the market, lack of funding, or just bad timing. In my role, I sometimes have to say to a designer or entrepreneur that they have to give up before they get into more debt or go bankrupt, and that is always a difficult conversation.

Designs by Felicities client Imogen Belfield

6. Can you share some career highlights?

Career highlights have been seeing any of our businesses succeed, being named one of the Maserati100 - an award for entrepreneurs who support the next generation - named alongside people like Richard Branson; celebrating Felicities' 12th anniversary, and being invited to speak at international conferences and fashion weeks.

7. You're very supportive of smaller brands like myself - thank you, first of all, but why is that?

I understand how difficult it is to start up a business - you feel isolated and not sure where to find information or who to trust. I feel passionate about giving honest, valuable advice and supporting brands to achieve their goals.


London Fashion Week catwalk collection of Felicities Client BasharatyanV
8. What would you like to achieve in your role next?

I am currently setting up a new business: Start Your Fashion Label - as Felicities is restricted in how many businesses we can work with, and we have numerous enquiries everyday. So with start our own fashion label, we will launch an online platform that will have a range of resources for designers, including video and podcasts, interviews, and guides to provide basic information on a host of subjects, along with networking and mentoring.

9. What are you most proud of in your Felicities career?

I have had so many proud moments, including when designers showcase their new collections at fashion weeks around the world, when they win awards, and every time they get a new stockist.

10. What advice would you give a boutique agency like mine on how to succeed?

Alison with Yours Truly
My advice to any entrepreneur or start up is to build your network - you need people around you who will mentor and support you. Don't be afraid to ask for help, and finally, enjoy the successes, too often as business owners we are too busy worrying about the next steps to enjoy what we have already achieved!


_________________________________________

Wow. Thank you so much, first of all to the wonderful Alison for taking the time out to talk with me; as mentioned earlier she's a lady I have admired for quite some time, who I am forever indebted to, for inviting me to attend my first ever Fashion Week. I don't know about you, but I've learned so much from her answers, that I am even more grateful for her sharing her time. The word 'Guru' is too often bandied about, but anyone who draws this lady as a mentor is truly Blessed. The only question I have is where can I apply - and I think that's a first since this blog began originally!


To follow the works of Felicities PR, you can connect in any manner of ways, just try one of the following:


If you have any questions or comments, your stage is below, ready and waiting for YOU to shine, so get to posting - I look forward to conversing with you! Come back next week for another thrilling talk with an expert in the Fashion field.

Until the next...
ES










(Photo credits: EricaSharlette for ES Promotions Ltd. except first of Alison Lowe)