We visited Push PR co-founder Emma Hart at the Push PR office and showroom on Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, to gain an insight of her daily life and find out more about her inspiring story.
Could you give us a brief background into your career before starting Push PR?
I ‘fell’ into fashion journalism and suddenly found myself doing international catwalk show reports and writing columns for a newspaper 17 years ago. I realised I had a passion for brand building and business so – applying my contacts and knowledge of the media – switched to PR. I gained invaluable experience working for a London based fashion PR agency representing clients such as Calvin Klein, FALKE and John Smedley.
What has been your biggest milestone since you started?
Whilst I didn’t realise at the time, I think starting a business was a huge milestone – I was 24 and whilst I have a fierce ambition and independence (not to mention staunch optimism) I had no experience of running a business. I very quickly learnt. Within the first 12 months I had worked with Louis Vuitton, launched a magazine for Condé Nast (publishers of Vogue) and got married. It was a busy year. My second milestone was Push PR’s tenth anniversary in 2012. Within ten years the agency has become a strong brand with a global presence and a client portfolio which is almost 60% international brands/business. Within that time we have also become a fully digitally integrated agency which sees all our clients benefit from a 360 comms strategy.
Emma wears the Russell dress in black
What was the best advice someone gave you when starting your own company?
Be selective with whose advice you listen to. Trust your gut – always.
Show us a bit around your office; what are the things you always keep at hand?
My diary – of course I do digital too but I love my Smythson diaries. Art – I’m a creative and visual person; I need to feel inspired. We have a wonderful relationship with John Jones museum standard framers who are the very best in the business – art is my passion. We have built a collection of beautifully framed pieces which we’re lucky enough to look at every day. It’s so important for the team to be surrounded by creativity. A notebook, tonnes of magazines and of course the daily newspapers. There’s also usually an iPad and phone too – I’m never usually more than 10cms away from my phone!
Working in the heart of Exmouth Market, you must have a lot of great places around. Any favourites?
So many good places in the area! Moro – an all time favourite and the very best robust flavours. Morito is fantastic too for informal tapas and tumblers of Rioja. My day always starts with the best Flat White from Caravan. The Townhouse is a great haven for an afternoon meeting and Easton Regal do a blow dry like no other – I work a lot of evenings and attend many events so a killer blow dry always perks me up after a long day so I can feel refreshed and ready for the evening.
How does a typical day in Emma’s life look like?
Goodness – ‘typical’ – that’s an interesting word. I do travel and having international clients means that it’s very easy to start with an early morning conference call to Singapore, then a late night call to NY. I spend lots of time in meetings; meeting press, brainstorming digital strategy or meeting clients – there’s a huge amount of meetings. It’s bad but it’s easy to realise that it’s 4pm and I haven’t had lunch. We also have a lot of evening events to host or to go to so the days can be very long but of course I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Emma wears the Milner dress
Do you have any tips for maintaining a good work-life balance?
Wow, the ‘holy grail’. I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that there is a huge part of me that could be considered a workaholic. I do think this is a very outdated and negative term. I am just very passionate about what I do and the nature is that we cross so many territories and we work in digital so therefore I do find myself pretty much always ‘on’. I do love cooking and entertaining and being a mum keeps the work life balance in check – my first role is as a PA to a 5 & 7 year old!
Tell us about dressing for work in such a varied role: How to you make sure your outfit is always appropriate for your different engagements?
I am so very lucky to have brilliant clients who want me to wear their collections, but more importantly – I really enjoy wearing the collections. My rule is; if in doubt go too smart – overdressed is always better than underdressed. Heels are always a must and red lipstick for me is always my go- to as an instant pick me up. Research is also key – research who you are meeting, where you are going. Always ask for a dress code if it’s an evening engagement.
What are your ultimate workwear wardrobe staples?
Givenchy handbag, Manolo Blahnik black patent stilettos, The Fold crisp white shirt, perfect short square painted nails, simple and chic jewellery, leather jacket or wool coat dependant on the day ahead and Le Marais black wide leg trousers.
Emma wears the Russell dress in black
And finally, what is your favourite piece from The Fold AW14 collection?
This is hard!! There are so many great pieces and so many different looks you can create with the new collection. The piece I keep coming back to is the Russell dress in black. I keep trying to ‘rest’ my one but it’s just too easy to reach for it in the morning – it’s become my safety net. I definitely have my eye on the Claremont coat too, a classic camel coat is something every woman should own.
Photos from Amelia Allen Photography.