I recently re-connected with the lovely Ms Georgie Frew, who I actually went to high school with many moons ago, although we had lost touch until last week! Georgie works in PR at Melbourne company HotHouse Media and Events, where she handles the publicity for lots of great Melbourne events such at Art Melbourne and the State of Design festival. She’s so fabulously good at her job – mainly, I think, because she is so genuinely warm and friendly that you just can’t help but wanna be her friend! Don’t be fooled though, although a bubbly, sociable personality and winning smile goes a long way in the PR industry, it’s not all about parties and champagne – Georgie works super long hours and often finds herself managing very stressful situations and super-pedantic clients!
It was so great to catch up with Georgie last week after so long, and I was particularly interested to hear about her recent stint working in London. She spent a year working for well-known boutique PR firm Camron, who handle some incredible high-profile design events in the UK including London Design Week and Trash Luxe, an exhibition curated by Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs at London’s iconic Liberty store. It made me swoon a little at the scale of these international events… I do love Melbourne, but sometimes you can’t help but feel so far from all the action!
Thanks so much for Georgie for sharing her stories and giving us an insight into her incredible experience working in the UK!
Tell me a little about your background – what did you originally study, and what path led you to what you’re doing now?
I studied Business/ Public Relations at Swinburne in Prahran after I finished highschool. It took almost 18 months to get a job in P.R but I worked in retail and worked with stylists along the way, including the stylist from Bed Bath n Table where I assisted on shoots – learnt loads and really enjoyed it. I also did p.r work experience whenever I could.
During your recent time working in the UK, you were involved in some incredible events and design-related projects such as Trash Luxe for Liberty, and the London Design Festival. I am so jealous!! Can you describe some of your favourite projects whilst in the UK…
I was really very lucky to be able to work with such iconic and amazing events and clients during my time in London. Camron is a brilliant design agency that looks after some of the most high profile design clients in Europe. Some highlights would have to be the Yellow Veuve Clicquot event at the Wapping Project in the East End.
Veuve wanted to foray into the arts and commissioned various artists to create installations at the Wapping Project (it’s an old Hydraulic Power Station). These included a huge tree filled with yellow umbrellas and a ringing telephone in the middle of birch forest- quite mad.
Trash Luxe at Liberty was an exhibition that ran during the London Design Festival and was curated by Marcus Fairs (creator of dezeen) designers included Stuart Haygarth (love his amazing chandeliers created from found objects like spectacles and party poppers), Karen Ryan and Ineke Hans. The B&B Italia party to launch the outdoor collection held at the gorgeous Kensington store was pretty incredible as well.
Stuart Haygarth showed three chandleliers created from found objects for Trash Luxe. The Optical Chandelier is made from reading glasses (close up below)
It is a dream of many creative people to work overseas… How would you compare working in the UK, compared to doing similar work here in Melbourne? Was it difficult initially to find work in London? Has it been difficult to come home!?
The biggest difference would be the media, in the UK we would be working with literally hundreds of media – the opportunity to place your client in a huge range of media was really exciting. Also the chance to work with such world renowned clients is just not possible in Australia sadly. I was lucky that I was introduced to the MD of Camron from a mutual friend and I had my job as soon I got to London.
In terms of settling back home it’s been really hard- London gets under your skin and I miss it often. Melbourne feels VERY small in every sense.
Can you list some of your favourite designers or creative people who inspire you?
• Hecker Phelan and Guthrie do brilliant interiors- it was exciting to visit The Ivy when I came home also.
Where else do you find inspiration – ie books, magazines, your environment, travel, your family and friends?
Definitely magazines and books I think I spend a 1/3 of my income on international magazines – love Vogue UK, Elle Decoration and Teen Vogue (a guilty pleasure). Closer to home I love Rushh, Belle and Inside Out. Travelling is also a constant inspiration I am always thinking of schemes on how I can next escape – I love seeing how other people live.
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
Typical day would be reading the papers, lots of emails, speak to the media about clients I am looking after (goal- HUGE features), writing a press release or two and clients meetings.
What are you most proud of professionally?
Working in London has been my proudest moment so far. I also managed the publicity for a film earlier this year and that was something completely new for me and I love challenges.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Definitely the perks. I got to go to Stevie Wonder last year and I recently was given a pair of the Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Shoes.
And the worst?
The long hours.
What would be your dream project?
Managing the publicity in-house at Marc Jacobs in New York.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m working on State of Design which is coming up in July can’t wait to see the event and campaign roll out.
Melbourne Questions –
Which Melbourne event designers or other creative people do you collaborate with when organising PR events/launches etc?
We recently worked with Christian Wagstaff for the Stella Artois Portsea Polo in January, he created a fab space it felt like Palm Springs in the 1960′s.
What and where was the last great meal you ate in Melbourne?
I went to Giuseppe Arnaldo and Son recently and had the crab arrabiata in the paper bag- love that place.
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
Having breakfast at Las Chicas in Balaclava with friends.
Melbourne’s best kept secret?
Does Shag count on Chapel St?