Meet Emily Davis! I first met Emily at the end of 2020 when we both worked for the same company, on the creative team. Not only was Emily an amazing work colleague, she was a mentor, an inspiration and now one of my best friends. Whilst working with Emily, I learnt so much about her experiences around the world, and the amazing career she has already had at such a young age. She now, very deservingly, is in a top creative role for one of the most sought after Bikini labels in Australia and the USA. I'm so excited to chat with her and be able to share it with you all. I hope this leaves you feeling as inspired as it has left me.
Q. At what age did you first get Instagram and was it an instant connection?
Emily: I think I was about 15! I LOVED taking pictures and sharing the exciting moments of my life with people! I do remember even at that age feeling like it was a 'bragging' platform, I wouldn't spend long there.. I'd post a holiday pic and then go about my day again! Today, I use instagram in a very different & positive way! One main use is to stay connected with friends, as I have travelled all over the world it has helped me keep and build on friendships. Whilst travelling people wouldn't ask for your number to meet up and go on a day trip.. they'd ask for your instagram handle, it was such an incredible tool whilst travelling. Other ways Instagram is a way to keep up to date with the world, for styling inspo and I personally use it as a positive, motivational channel. I actually have post notifications on for all my favourite positive quote accounts which is such an amazing reminder that I wake up to every morning!
Q. What is your favourite part about working in the social media industry?
Emily: I love how every day is different, you are always having to learn and adapt to stay relevant. It's fresh and of course FUN! I couldn't think of anything worse than a very corporate job. (I wouldn't know what to wear for starters haha!)
Q. How has your career journey been? A lot of people enter the industry doing one thing and learn that they love another. Did this happen for you or was it always social media?
Emily: I have always been in Social Media & Creative Content since I started my career, it's been such a natural progression! I remember in college when I was studying ALevel Art & Textiles, I was looking at all the Fashion Universities and courses across the UK. I was SO excited to learn more and develop my skills in fashion but I was always SO passionate about how to show the product and it didn't fascinate me as much about the production. My Textiles lecturer suggested a 'Fashion Communication' Degree to me and I could honestly just feel the butterflies in my belly!!! The course description was just a dream come true and everything I absolutely loved doing, I couldn't quite believe this was University! This consisted of studying Fashion Photography, Styling, Marketing, Graphic design, and many more topics. This even included spending 6 months/1 year understanding pattern design and garment production. A lot of my career is down to the amazing wealth of knowledge I learnt at 'Leeds Arts University' as I achieved my 1st Class BA(Hons) Fashion Degree (Specialising in Communication). I had access to world class resources and the most incredible, well known lecturers in the Industry. Nicola Knight, who has worked with US Vogue & Versace and Paul Luke who has had an incredible creative career with the likes of Adidas, H&M, Arcadia, Dior and Sony Music. I was so inspired by them both, they taught me so much and helped to fuel the creative fire in my belly! The degree really taught me so many aspects of the industry so I had such a well rounded view as a creative. In 'Social Media' you can often be expected to be the graphic designer, photographer, copy writer so it is really amazing to be a good all rounder.
Before I had even graduated I landed my first job as 'Social Media Executive' at UK fashion brand 'In The Style' which had over 1 Million followers. After this role I joined 'Shrine' which will always hold a special place in my heart!! It is a young, creative, energetic team.. which I left to go pursue my dream of living in Australia.. I learnt so much from CEO Jenna Meek & the team. I will be forever grateful for my year as 'Creative Content & Social Media Executive' at Shrine! Since arriving in Australia, I have also worked at McoBeauty/ModelCo & Hello Molly which both helped to expand my knowledge and industry experience.
Q. What does a "normal" day at work look like for you at Kulani Kinis?
Emily: No day at Kulani is ever normal haha but that's why I love it!! I schedule Instagram, brainstorm with the team & plan future launches. A lot of my day consists of connecting and planning shoots all over the world. This sounds glamorous and I love every aspect of it but you have to be so dedicated. Imagine planning a 5-day holiday for yourself and a friend, but then add an extra 25 people with all different itineraries!
Q. What is your favourite thing to do at work for Kulani Kinis?
Emily: Organising the photoshoots! From Byron Bay to Hawaii to Mexico... nothing is out of reach! If we want a vintage motorbike in the middle of a desert for 2 hours, I am finding that motorbike and making sure it's on the shoot! It's such an incredible feeling seeing the first initial ideas of the collection turn into a 30 person shoot with a world class creative campaign as a result. Dani & Alex who founded 'Kulani Kinis' are incredibly hard working, inspiring people. It really is amazing getting to work so closely with both of them every day and I learn so much from them.
Q. A lot of people who work in the social media industry, either know, or learn very quickly that it is a "24/7" job. How have you learnt this over the years and how have you learnt to separate "work" with your own "personal" life and discover the right balance?
Emily: @workinsocialtheysaid has given me a few giggles over the years haha, it is very relatable content about a Social Media Managers Career!! I do feel extremely lucky that I work for such an incredible brand that really acknowledges self care & down time! It actually makes me want to work even harder for them. "You can't pour from an empty cup. So look after yourself first" It is really easy to burnout in this career and of course, social media never sleeps so it can get quite addictive to always be online!
Q. What are 3 things you cannot live without while you're at work?
Emily: 2 screens, coffee & good snacks!!! Fuel & organisation is key to keeping you sane whilst juggling so much in a social/creative role!
Q. What is a piece of advice you would give someone who wants to begin a career in the social media industry?
Emily: You need to be passionate, determined and resilient! Take any role and work your way up... build on yourself and constantly learn! Use the amazing creatives around you!
Q. How have you enjoyed working in Australia in comparison to the UK? Has it been an easy transition, harder, easier?
Emily: Ah the work/life balance is INCREDIBLE in comparison to the UK! I honestly couldn't believe it as I am always willing to go above and beyond for a company but the way of life over here is very different. Of course, a little overtime here and there is normal but it isn't expected like it is in the UK.
Q. Would you recommend internships, volunteering and work experience in the social media/fashion industry? why/why not?
Emily: Absolutely!!! I love the quote/reminder "You are living the life that a few years ago you never thought possible. Be grateful.. Keep going!" It is SO true, if you sit back and reflect on the journey I have taken since my first year at University. One big pinch me moment is all the travel I have got to do for work, from London, LA, Byron Bay and many other beautiful locations. I went to Los Angeles with Shrine for around 2-3 weeks and it was the most amazing work trip, I am very grateful for the incredible opportunities.
Q. Do you find it difficult when people tend to look at social media roles/careers as "easy" or "just another day on Instagram"?
Emily: Ah! I don't fight it anymore. I am too busy to haha! I stay in my lane, love my job and keep thriving! I feel people will never fully understand what it is like until they are in the industry or even in the exact position. I do tend to find I have lots of friends within the same industry as me which is really nice.
Q. What is the most memorable part of your career to date? Do you have any pinch me moments?
Emily: Absolutely!!! I love the quote/reminder "You are living the life that a few years ago you never thought possible. Be grateful.. Keep going!" It is SO true, if I sit back and reflect on the journey I have taken since my first year at University. One big pinch me moment is all the travel I have got to do for work, from London, LA, Byron Bay and many other beautiful locations. I went to Los Angeles with Shrine for around 2-3 weeks and it was the most incredible work trip. I am very grateful for the incredible opportunities.
Q. What advice would you give someone who wanted to come work for you or anyone in the social media/creative industry? What kind of things do you want to see/expect from them?
Emily: Positivity and genuine willingness to learn goes such a long way! I am so passionate about what I do so it makes me so happy when other people feel the same way. Going above and beyond to stand out on an application is so important, as if you can't do this for yourself then I know you won't be able to go above and beyond for the brand.
Q. What is your favourite social media channel and why?
Emily: Ah this is sooo tricky! But Instagram. I honestly love it as a friends platform! I love @Quotesbychristie (fave positive quote page!), I love following small clothing/uk fashion businesses as they always have the best style & then I also love following travel accounts.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Emily: I really do picture myself in 5 years' time really settled in Sydney & thriving within creativity at Kulani! I would love to build out our Social & Creative team to expand on the amazing work we are doing taking Kulani to the next level.