Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Sally Brown and Chrissy Biasotto, ‘Chief Maids’ and directors of fashion and beauty PR agency Tailor Maid Communications
Tell us about what you do? What do you get up to on a day-to-day basis?
What don’t we do! Let us tell you, it’s not all long lunches and Jimmy Choos! It’s a lot of hard work, no day is ever the same at The Maids Quarters. It’s fast paced, high-energy and lots of fun! We try not to take ourselves too seriously we have a motto we follow ‘It’s PR, not ER’!
What are your backgrounds? How did you two meet?
SALLY: After school I went to Business College, then worked in finance and realised the corporate world just wasn’t for me. I then studied at FBI Fashion College, after my studies I got a job at a Beauty PR agency where I worked up the ranks all the way to the top. I then moved to London to travel and based myself where I became a celebrity agent for just over a year, when I returned to Australia I worked in house for a fashion brand and then opened Tailor Maid Communications.
CHRISSY: I am a Uni drop out! I worked up the courage to tell my parents that another few years of studying, it wasn’t on my priority list and that I wanted to get into the fashion industry. Doing what in the fashion industry I didn’t know, I used to sit and watch hours and hours of FTV and was memorized by the fashion industry. After a stint in NYC, I came back and studied the Business Course at FBI Fashion College and part of their curriculum was work placement. My first work experience role was working as Sal’s assistant and stayed on at that agency for a year of unpaid work until they offered me a role. I earned my stripes until eventually Sal and I took the plunge into opening Tailor Maid Communications
When did you know that you wanted to do this as a career?
SALLY: As soon as I started fashion college and interning at PR Agencies I knew I had the PR gene in my blood!
CHRISSY: I am the same as Sal, it wasn’t until I gained knowledge through my work experience that I knew PR was my calling.
Why and when did you two decide to begin Tailor Maid Communications?
It’s a bit of a bittersweet story actually. We made the decision at one of our close friends funerals, we were standing at his wake when we realised that life was too short and we had nothing to loose to go out on our own.
Tailor Maid is almost 10 years old, congratulations! What where your initial expectations? How has Tailor Maid evolved over the years?
Thank you, we are so proud of ourselves and all that we have achieved. From the day we opened the doors with just two of us sitting in the driver’s seat, we have now grown to a team of 12, and we’re still expanding. We are no longer thinking small, we are dreaming big and are much more strategic in our approach, both with clients and media as well as in our business practices.
What have been the stumbling blocks, initially getting started and since then?
Starting a business for the first time, you are entering into a lot of unknown and new territory, we have learnt a lot through trial and error along the way. We are constantly learning, evolving and reinventing ourselves.
How did you overcome these?
Courage, believing in ourselves and a love for what we do. We have found that you have to surround yourselves with a great team, people who are supporters and back your decisions. People like our family, our Staff, our Accountant, our Bookkeeper to our Business coach and mentors – they have all played integral parts in advising and guiding us through any roadblocks we have encountered and came across throughout the years.
Where do you find your inspiration?
SALLY: I meditate daily, I feel so full of beans and motivated every morning. Lots of reading and I also think Chrissy and I inspire each other all the time.
CHRISSY: Nothing inspires me more than females starting their own businesses. I just finished GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso who started Nasty Gal and it was an incredibly motivating read. I was just given Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, she is Facebook’s COO and is a crusader for female empowerment in the workplace, I can’t wait to get stuck into it. I am constantly searching and getting fresh ideas from social media and blogs. There are so many creative people in the world and the Internet has helped with exposing that.
What are your goals for the future and the future of Tailor Maid?
To be the number 1 PR agency in our field – watch this space!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
SALLY: Hard work, Grit and Determination. Also It’s important to point out that you may be a dynamo in PR, but when opening your own venture it’s imperative to have a good understanding of business. I strongly suggest a business start up course at minimum. Also if you can go into business with someone else I would strongly suggest it for support, Chrissy and I are very lucky that we compliment each other perfectly and bounce off each other daily. Without Chrissy there would be no Tailor Maid, I couldn’t run this ship without her!
CHRISSY: Work experience got us to where we are today, not a uni degree, not a college course, but practical, on the job experience. I’m not saying to people, drop out of uni, follow in my footsteps and you’ll eventually fall on your feet. There have been many hours spent dedicating myself to my work and to Tailor Maid and I have loved every minute of it. You want to be able to get up out of bed each morning and want to go to a job that you love, be surrounded by people that you love working with and most importantly, have fun doing it. From a professional sense, knowing the ins and outs of running a business is integral. From staff management to financials to organizing and planning, Sal and I always ensure that we across every element of our business and the day-to-day happenings at Tailor Maid Communications. Be knowledgeable in your field, communicate and network!
Isabelle is a writer who has a hundred-and-one side-splittingly funny stories about growing up at an all-girls boarding school, with a chocolate habit that requires constant monitoring. Follow Isabelle on Twitter.