Adrienne Mara McGrath works for international fashion house Bestseller, which created the brands JACK & JONES and VERO MODA, after making a complete switch from her former career as a daycare teacher. What advice does she have for other young professionals? Find out in today’s YPDaily…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
My philosophy as a marketer is that the word of mouth around a product that I represent starts with me. That’s why my strategy is to start by falling in love with the product myself first. It’s important for me to do so because then I can represent it without being disingenuous. In my fashion experience, it has been the craftsmanship behind a brand that engages me first. Then I just have to figure out how best to transmit my excitement to others. Showcasing and protecting the image of a product that I authentically care about is what I do.
Why did you start working at your company?
I started working for Bestseller, which is the fashion house that created the brands JACK & JONES and VERO MODA, because it is an international fashion house with responsible ethics.
Bestseller is a family-owned business founded in Denmark. They employ more than 12,000 people worldwide. The company has a commitment to creating sustainable products and they do incredible development work globally.
We are a real family internationally, and I have colleagues whom I consider good friends around the world thanks to working here.
What was the inspiration for this career route?
Honestly, I used be a daycare teacher! That wasn’t the right fit. The inspiration for this career path was the pursuit of happiness. How I got here would be best described by a saying I once heard about “The 3 Cs” – Choices, Chances and Changes.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a chatterbox, a creative type, and I hate to sit still! My job is my outlet for all that energy. The best part is working with a team of like-minded, passionate colleagues to figure out the best way to interact with our consumer and succeeding in reaching them.
The most challenging part?
Today’s market is inundated with fashion brands. Finding a way to stand out in a saturated crowd is incredibly challenging. I happen to think that it’s also the fun part. My first job was in PR, so I have never been a big believer in mass advertising. I always found that strategy just a cheat.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Not having to answer that question in a job interview I hope! In 5 years years, I hope to be leading a team of keen and clever individuals as our brands continue to grow and expand in market share. Seriously, with the speed of technological advancements in my generation alone, soon Twitter is going to look like your grandmother’s knitting club. Which is why I plan to stay current and on the pulse of the market to stay successful at what I do.
What does success look like to you?
I believe that professional success is reaching that point in your career where you are confident enough in your ability and have established yourself to the point that you call the shots in your career even if you are working under someone else. As long as you are appreciated for the passion and skill that you bring to the table, you are successful. Success is the ability to be at a point in your career that you can walk away if you need to because your demand is high.
Personally, if I can one day become known for being as good at what I do, as Paul Rand is for his graphic design work, then that would be my ultimate definition of success for me on a professional level.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Most recently my mentor and boss Manon Kimpton challenged me to create a magazine – as in actual fashion magazine – exclusively for our brand VERO MODA. It was something I had never done, it was an incredible challenge, but we have since published three issues on sale on stands in Quebec and our sales beat all forecasts.
The most publicized milestone was launching Parasuco’s first NYC location and having the party filled with celebrities like Lindsay Lohan in 2006, with the late DJ AM spinning; another brand having a party the same night tried to crash ours to shut us down! The best thing I ever did was hire the right security detail that night.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Yes. Stay humble and be loyal. Always.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support the Farha Foundation because I lost my father to AIDS when I was 19. Linda Farha and I happen to have a professional connection too. She’s a wonderful PR rep and she introduced me to the company that gave me my first real marketing job. There’s a certain kismet to everything in life.
What to you is notable?
One’s reputation for being solid, smart, honest and kind above all.
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