If you’ve never ventured into the world of startups, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it looks just like it’s portrayed in the hit series, Silicon Valley, or that it’s as glamorous as it seems on Instagram. The reality couldn’t be more different. Larissa Andrianakos, Social Media & Community Manager at Mys Tyler, the body positive fashion app changing the way women shop, shared a day in her life working at a startup.
My journey into the world of startups
My late mum always told me when I was younger to “do something with the passion of your voice”, so I decided to study a Bachelor of Public Communications majoring in Advertising as it was the perfect path to achieving this dream of my mothers – entailing creativity and communication.
During my last semester of uni, I was only completing one subject which meant I had more time on my hands. My yiayia (grandmother in Greek) kept pestering me to “find a husband or a job!” so I thought I’d go with the latter.
Mys Tyler, a Sydney-based fashion tech startup, was the first application that I had applied to and I instantly received word that I had scored myself an interview. I dressed up in my most fashionable attire to impress, even though it was via Zoom, and then the next week I was in the office interning!
I hadn’t met the founder, Sarah Neill until two weeks later as she had just come back from New York and was in quarantine. After two months working as an intern with the intention of working three, learning the ins and outs of the startup world, Sarah excitedly pulled me aside and asked me to work full-time to which I happily accepted!
So, what is Mys Tyler?
When people ask me, “What is Mys Tyler?” I always answer with something along the lines of “It’s like a mix between Instagram and Pinterest; you have people on there that you know and can follow (Instagram) feeding you with style inspiration (Pinterest) but let’s make it relevant”.
You pop in your body data from skin tone to body shape and you’re matched with a variety of women (Contributors) across the globe who post body-relevant fashion inspiration just for you. You can use the app for its content or to ‘Shop the Look’ of clothing items you love, knowing that if it looks good on your fashion twin, it will most definitely look good on you!
What I’ve learnt working for a fashion startup
I can honestly admit that I had no intention of working for a startup, especially one that was all about fashion. I actually had no clue what a startup was… How the tables have turned!
Every day is different, whether that means the location of your office, the people who you’re with, the tasks you’re working on. You’re always on the go and are being tested with what you can do. Something doesn’t go quite as planned? Yep, let’s try it another way so we don’t make that mistake again. You’ve noticed other companies are doing similar things to your company? Take it as inspiration and do it better and move on.
At the end of the day, you have to have the mentality that you’re going to be a part of something so big, like the next Facebook or AirBnB, so every ounce of work that you do, do it with purpose.
A day in the life at a startup
As Sydney is currently in lockdown, my days aren’t as exciting as they used to be, but they’re still interesting! We’re not working in the office at the moment due to the current situation so I’ve been working from home, which I’m getting used to. The first thing I do to kick start my day is open an online document where I store my tasks for the day; from top priorities to low, with KPI targets, minute notes and more.
My day consists of approving new Contributors applications, content creation – which I love doing, giving some love on the Mys Tyler app and engaging and promoting our Contributors through Mys Tyler’s Instagram feed. Throughout the day, I’ll always schedule a walk to get out of the house and ease my mind.
We always have planned meetings during the week and also spontaneous ones – just to keep us on our toes. Out of lockdown I would usually be hosting the fashion events we run such as our Fashion & Flat Whites and photoshoots, but these are all on hold for the time being.
My tips if you’re thinking of working in a startup
You either love a startup or you don’t. You need to understand that this industry is like no other! Here are a few of my tips for working at a startup…
Don’t expect it to be a “normal job”
You might have a quiet day you might not! If the app is crashing and it’s a Friday night, expect yourself to stay online until that bug is fixed. I remember I was at the dinner of my best friend’s 21st at one of the most beautiful restaurants in the harbour and there was a task that needed to be done and it couldn’t wait until Monday. I was apologetically creating content on Canva on my phone and posting to our socials under the table, ensuring I was getting this task done.
Startups can be a 24/7 type of job, where you check to see if there are any customer service enquiries on Intercom or any missed Instagram DM’s, you’re always working.
Expect to fail
In startup life there are lots of wins and lots of fails, be prepared for both. Our founder, Sarah is very transparent about the business’ runway and always indicates to us whether we’re in a safe zone or not – hence why she’s a busy woman, always securing funding! So you need to come into work knowing that you might not have a job by the end of the year, so work hard while you can with ambitious goals to achieve this wanted success.
Learn from your mistakes
We have come across a lot of obstacles, especially in the fashion industry. If you make a mistake, apologise, fix it and move forward knowing you now know how to tackle a situation like this and how to avoid it in future.
Take advantage of your personal world
By this I mean, if you have hobbies or interests outside of work, use them to your best benefit when working on your tasks! For example, I do TikTok on the side and at the beginning of this role I was very hesitant to be my quirky self and do similar content to that, but then I did, and now I’ve become more confident in myself and my work and know my limits are endless.
I posted two TikToks to our work account and it resulted in nearly 10,000 likes in less than a week. All because I used my personal hobbies and merged it with my professional work!
A startup is always fun because it means they’re “starting up” with an idea that is targeting a specific niche in the market. This means new ideas, new people, new strategies and innovative ways to create the next “big thing,” so have fun while you’re at it! Make friends with people in the shared space, connect with people at work events, speak up in meetings about creative ideas you have, do and be everything you want to be!
By Larissa Andrianakos, Social Media & Community Manager at Mys Tyler – the body positive fashion app changing the way women shop.