Heleena Trahanas is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Dinosaur Designs. She took up this position at the Australian accessories and homewares brand in late 2012. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to go from intern to employee (AND layer bangles like a boss) take some cues from Heleena.
We recently caught up with the 30-year-old to learn those vital life skills, among others:
The most important verb in the get-your-dream-job lexicon is…
I landed this job by…
I studied a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney, majoring in Advertising and Promotions Management, and Management. During this time I did work experience at Pulse Communications, and at Gourmet Traveller as well as Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine. While still at university I was fortunate enough to be offered a part-time job supporting the advertising team and assisting at their events.
In total, I worked in publishing for five years across sales, events and marketing. I really enjoyed my time and gained lots of experience working across titles such as Gourmet Traveller, Vogue (my first full-time role was Advertising Coordinator at Vogue Living and Vogue Entertaining + Travel), GQ, Inside Out and Country Style. This gave me great insight into how magazines operated, from editorial to sales.
There came a time where the world of publishing started to change. After quite a few years of working in the magazine world, I left and applied for my role at Dinosaur Designs. I’ve loved Dinosaur Designs since I was 14, and always wanted to work in-house for a company that I believed in.
A typical day for me involves…
When my alarm goes off, I’m awake and check my emails (keeping an eye out for ones that have come through from New York and London), scroll through Instagram, and mentally start planning my day. You’ll often find me jogging or walking the Bronte to Bondi coastal track or at Xtend Barre. Recently, I’ve been enjoying early morning swims at Bondi, it makes me feel quite composed. During this time, I often think about what outfit I’ll wear for the day – I’m not too sure how I’d cope with a corporate dress code!
Then I’m back on Instagram and posting on the Dinosaur Designs account. By 9am I’m in the studio perfecting my outfit for the day. It’s a morning ritual, I feel naked without jewellery, so I’ll layer on more if my own collection of Dinosaur Designs isn’t enough.
My inbox is quite full first thing, so I’ll try and action as many emails I can and catch up with my fabulous assistant Stephanie. I’m always on the hunt for social media content; I never stop thinking about it. Morning light is always best at the studio, so I try to allocate some time to shoot content for social media and a walk down to NEIGHBOURHOOD is a must – I’m addicted to their coffee.
I’m in constant conversation with Louise, Steve (the co-founders and creative directors of Dinosaur Designs) and our general manager throughout the day. There is always something on the agenda: press opportunities, photo shoots – in addition to those organized by press, Dinosaur Designs shoots their new collection four times a year and this involves a lot pre production work – new collections, upcoming events and retail… it’s never ending.
You’ll find me spending a lot of time in Louise’s office; we have lots of conversations about collections and wider chats about the fashion and design worlds.
I like to keep informed about the industry I work in and enjoy reading blogs and websites that feature content on design and fashion.
Late in the afternoon, I’ll catch up with my assistant Stephanie and we’ll discuss social media and see where we are at with planning, we like to have at least two weeks of content scheduled in.
I aim to leave the studio by 7, some nights I’ll be at industry events, if not you will find me enjoying a wine at 10 William or dining with friends at Icebergs or Brown Sugar. Before bedtime I’ll check Instagram and emails, by this time I’ll start to receive correspondence from London.
The highlight of my work day is…
…arriving at the studio and being surrounded by beauty and creativity in all shapes and forms. I love working and connecting with all the creative people I’ve met from colleagues to stylists, journalists, photographers, and designers.
The most rewarding part of my job is…
…being given the opportunity to spread my passion and love for Dinosaur Designs to the world.
On the other hand, the most challenging aspect is…
I see challenges as opportunities.
My workplace is…
I don’t think there are many places quite like the Dinosaur Designs studio. People who have been through the studio say it has a similar feel to ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory‘.
I love being surrounded by beautiful pieces; creativity gives me adrenaline, it keeps me alive.
The love and beauty, which Louise and Steve have created, means I have much respect and great appreciation for what it is to run your own business, let alone running a creative one in this day and age. I think having a positive attitude and mutual respect is key in establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with colleagues.
A perfect workspace is…
…creative chaos balanced with list making – it works for me!
On ‘Job Day’ at school, I dressed up as…
I always wanted to be an athlete when I was young! I loved aths and netball.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received…
‘Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore,’ Andre Gide. Risk nothing, be nothing.
Over the years, my role has…
…changed; the media landscape is no longer what it used to be. The rise of the digital world has changed the way people consume content. No longer do consumers need to buy newspapers or magazines, so much of it is available at the touch of a smartphone, and it’s free!
This brings me to my next point: the rise and importance of bloggers and influencers in today’s society and media landscape. They are now also creators and curators of content, which many companies wish to connect with. The traditional forms of advertising are facing competition.
Social media platforms have given organisations the opportunity to communicate to their targeted audience. There are so many more eyeballs that have the potential to connect with you.
The world of retail has also changed significantly with the growth of e-commerce. Last year Dinosaur Designs started stocking on NET-A-PORTER, this presence has provided us with another level of exposure.
In the next five years I’d like to…
Oooh this is tricky! I’d love to be working for Dinosaur Designs in some shape or form as it’s pretty addictive, I love it, and find it hard to switch off, but I also have other ideas brewing inside.
Eventually I’d like to be working for myself pursuing something creative, I love the balance between the creative and commercial, you might find me dancing between New York, Europe and Sydney, I’d love the opportunity to work overseas, the energy is invigorating and so inspiring.