Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got to the career you are at, and jobs you do now?
I am an ex-magazine beauty editor turned art director and my current role is beauty editorial director at the luxury department store Harrods. I also am the creator and maker of Katie’s Aroma Beads, which are crystal bracelets that you can scent with essential oils. Lastly, I am also the author of the newly published book, The Beauty Brief. I’ve often been called a ‘Jack of all trades’ because I do so many different things for work. And while some people would say ‘master of none’ I actually love how liberating it is to move between projects and try new things. I started my career as a makeup artist assistant in London working on fashion shoots and shows and from there got a job as a beauty assistant in magazines, working at Sunday Times Style, ES Magazine and InStyle.
Congratulations on writing your own book! Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yes, and thank you! It is so exciting, albeit a little strange launching at a time that no bookshops are open. Hopefully soon! So, The Beauty Brief is a beautifully illustrated skincare manual that helps you do all sorts of things from starting a simple yet smart skincare regime, shop product more wisely and understand that tricky and very confusing ingredient list called ‘the INCI list’ on the back of the bottle. I wrote it mostly on maternity leave while my baby napped and then had the chance to update it a little during the first Covid UK lockdown, which of course was essential since our skincare needs evolved so much during 2020 thanks to new routines, lifestyles and mask wearing.
At first it started as a little passion project. I had been collecting and blending my own essential oils for some time and I wanted to find a way to make them more accessible to people as well as more portable. Combining scented oils with a beautiful piece of jewellery seemed like the perfect solution. I hand make each bracelet from beautiful crystal gemstone beads and each one contains one pumice stone bead that you can scent. I have been amazed and delighted by how many people have really understood the concept and said they have helped them. Stress levels are high in people’s homes and I am thrilled to be able to help in some small way. Essential oils have such a positive effect on my life, and it’s nice to be able to share this.
Do you have a specific favourite part of your job or something you have loved doing recently?
I love directing on photoshoots. Being on set and not stuck at a desk is where I feel happiest, surrounded by new people and interesting creatives. Sadly, that has been much less than usual this year.
What is the toughest part of your job?
Writing. I love it and hate it at the same time. I am not a naturally great writer, so I have to work quite hard at it. I also find I write best at 5am which can be a gruelling habit to upkeep!
Is there anything you suggest for people trying to balance many different parts of their career at once?
Yes, always make time for you and your overall wellbeing however manic your schedule. For me that’s a Youtube ballet class, a walk on my lunch break, snuggles with my daughter, dinner or even a cuppa and a chat with someone I love. Whenever I work so hard that I miss out on those things, I always suffer.
How has the balance been between being a mother and a career woman?
Not easy. Never met a woman who says it is. Let’s be honest, being just one of those things is hard enough work. But I am driven on by people who tell me women can’t have it all and that something has got to give. I would like to prove them wrong!
How has Covid been? How has it impacted you? Whether it be career wise or personally?
Tough, like everyone. But taking each day as it comes and appreciating all the good things. The weather, the opportunity to explore the UK when we have been allowed, and the removal of the dreaded commute from my life!
Favourite place in the world/your happy place?
In a bustling crowd of people backstage at a fashion show or staring out to sea with my swimming costume on about to go for a swim.
What are your favourite activities? Can be anything.
I love running and have spent a lot of COVID/Lockdown life on runs, I enjoy being with my best girl friends and I love travelling for work. I also love food! Not cooking, just eating!
What is something you do to relax/care for yourself?
I fill my home with essential oils via diffusers and candles. I love Ho Leaf to destress, and I am obsessed with having long hot baths with lots of lovely oils in. I am not a very good meditator, but I do love yoga and a good stretch.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone for 2021?
There is always a solution and just keep on keeping on!
What is the piece of advice you hope to follow yourself for 2021?
Live your soul not your role. Advice given to me by tarot master and psychic Fiongal Greenlaw.
What’s next on your journey? Any goals you’re focusing on?
Expanding the bracelet business and maybe another book!