London's Best Spots to Instagram 2018

Around five years ago, I went to a conference that looked at the rise of online and confidently predicted that shops would essentially become ‘showrooms’ in the future. It made me think that we would be throwing out all the merchandise and creating art galleries where about 3 handbags would be displayed in a glass case with a security guard.

The decline of retail is well-documented with stores closing or condensing their offering to instead have one or a few flagship stores (instead of stacks of smaller ones) and using online to be their global shopfront. The ‘showroom’ idea has become so much more than it even intended to be, and in the age of Instagram, everything has become so ‘EXTRA’, retail has embraced the idea of treating their store or cafe as a living, breathing, art installation to maximise social media reach and give people a reason to visit. Big department stores (with department store size budgets) have long used their windows as a key part of their marketing calendar, but now we’re seeing everyone from independent designers to old fashioned pubs carving out a PR story and point of difference using visual merchandising to max out their place on the High Street.  London is the perfect place to experiment with pink cafes, floral shop fronts and artwork ensuring more footfall and therefore more cash in the till. Here I’ve rounded up my favourite retail Instagrammable hot spots for 2018.

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Dalloway Terrace

Getting Naked With Stylist SulkyDoll Donna McCulloch

Getting Naked With Stylist SulkyDoll Donna McCulloch

Donna McCulloch is better known to her followers as stylist SulkyDoll who shares her daily fashion choices, London events and styling updates on Instagram. Life is glossy on the outside with stints at Fashion Week, press days and parties, but don’t mistake that for an easy life. Donna is a hard working stylist; building enticing wardrobes for clients, dressing red carpet events, writing for Riddle Magazine, attending back to back events for her job, and she does it all with a smile on her face! Donna also recently hit the styling jackpot by flying to the Oscar’s to style the cast and crew of the Silent Child film for the red carpet…which actually won the Oscar…so that pretty makes her award-winning right?! Let’s find out how she got there and meet

NAKEDPRGIRL: Where are you from originally? How did you come to be in London and what do you like about the city?

Donna McCulloch aka SulkyDoll: I’m originally from the Wirral in the North West and came to London to study

NakedPRGirl: How did you get your job as a stylist? What did you study?

Donna SulkyDoll: I studied at London School of Styling and once I qualified I just worked VERY hard, often unpaid and slowly but surely the work came in.

NAKEDPRGIRL: What was your big break?

Donna SulkyDoll: Bare Minerals was my biggest campaign but lots of people along the way have been good to me, DONNA IDA was a dream to work with, plus Jaeger and Riddle offering me the Fashion Editor post were all key moments but the Oscars was the biggest gig of my career.

Donna SulkyDoll

NakedPRGirl: You recently styled the Oscar winning Silent Child film and travelled to LA to style the attendees at the ceremony – what was that like?

Donna SulkyDoll: It was the experience of a lifetime – I’ll never forget it – I was so proud to be a teeny part of what was such an incredible project and I’ll continue to work with the team on their next project.

Current mood ☝🏼🏆🤩🏆I cannot tell you how proud I am to be a teeny part of @silent_child_film – it was, is and always will be, a winner in every sense. I must say a HUGE thank you to all the PRs & brands that generously gifted or loaned pieces, this was a small budget film with a BIG heart & you all paid it forward, believing in me when I told you this film would win big and win big it did. Here’s to the ones who dream…🙏🏼🤩🤸🏻♀ . . . #oscars #la #potd #redcarpet #style #stylist #styleinspiration #look #california #mywork #mylife #lovemyjob #happy #grateful #academyawards #winners #thesilentchildfilm #sulkydoll #theuniversehasyourback #dreambig #workhard #payitforward #dogood #monday #awardceremony

A post shared by Donna/Sulky @Sulkydollstyling (@sulkydollstyling) on

NakedPRGirl: Where did the name come from and who did your logo/branding?

Donna SulkyDoll: It was my nickname as a child and I spoke to a friend in branding and she said the name had to be memorable and mean something to me so SulkyDoll was born.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP?

Donna SulkyDoll: Good question. That I can Style any man or woman of any age, shape or size.

NAKEDPRGIRL: What’s your personal style? Have you had to look at marketing yourself as a brand?

Donna SulkyDoll: Edgy glam, I’m very influenced by the 70s as a child of that decade but I like to mix it up. I haven’t taken any advice re: marketing myself – maybe I should? But it’s been clear from the outset that on social media people are more interested in what I wear than my work…

NAKEDPRGIRL: How can styling build an image and how does that impact on our work and personal life?

Donna SulkyDoll: You are judged on the way you look the minute you enter a room so make it a good one. I think about looks for clients all the time…

NAKEDPRGIRL: What helps you to be creative? Is it magazines, books, art, a favourite cafe?

Donna SulkyDoll: I’m a big fan of print journalism and still get a thrill when I get my magazines through the door. I like to do mood boards old school style with cutting up images and putting them together.

NakedPRGirl: Do you have a favourite shoot that stands out?

Donna SulkyDoll: Bare minerals, I felt like I’d finally made it.

NakedPRGirl: I’ve been on shoots where small things have gone wrong and big things have gone wrong, how do you deal with that?

Donna SulkyDoll: Me too! To an extent it’s all part of the creative process and these things are often organic so sometimes you end up with something better, but it’s frustrating if it doesn’t go as well as you’ve put your heart and soul into it.

NakedPRGirl: How do you use social media as a stylist? Do you have a strategy?

Donna SulkyDoll: Er no! I just post daily if I have the content and engage with my followers! If someone has bothered to comment (in a nice way) I will always respond.

NAKEDPRGIRL: What is your favourite social channel?

Donna SulkyDoll: Insta!

NAKEDPRGIRL: What photography tips would you have for others?

Donna SulkyDoll: Portrait on my iPhone has changed my life!!!

NAKEDPRGIRL: How important is networking for you? Do you have a gang you love working with and socialising with?

Donna SulkyDoll: It is important but the whole going to 55 press days a week is tedious and if you have an actual job, not even possible but I try to prioritise the brands I work with as much as possible. I do have a lovely bunch of Insta buds that I hang out with who champion me and tell me when I’m being daft but that whole “girl gang” thing can feel very mean girls and “you can’t sit with us” and isn’t very inclusive so I try to hang out with genuine folk who are my actual mates. My main crew are a mix of stylists, bloggers, mua & models Pascale Banks aka Style Mum  Emma Carr @thefashioncraver @_s.a.s.h_  @ashlingrosehttps://www.instagram.com/ashlingrose/ – @bohemianevergreen https://www.instagram.com/bohemianevergreen/- @mercer7 https://www.instagram.com/mercer7official/?hl=en – @mamastillgotit https://www.instagram.com/mamastillgotit_/?hl=en – @sjfroommakeuphttps://www.instagram.com/sjfroommakeup/ – @helenwilsonbeevers https://www.instagram.com/helenwilsonbeevers/

NAKEDPRGIRL: In your career what changes have you seen between print and digital media?
Donna SulkyDoll: Sadly, print is dying but I still love it. Riddle magazine is online and it’s easier to get the content out quickly but I do love an actual magazine.

NAKEDPRGIRL: You must have a jam packed diary for Fashion Week for both men and women – what changes have you seen over the years? Which shows do you most look forward to and what’s your failsafe fashion tips for the week?
Donna SulkyDoll: I still love it but It’s much more of a circus than it used to be and it’s got harder to get tickets from PRs to shows, as unless you have a good relationship with them -they focus on Instagram following (regardless of if it’s real and organic or not) & this is disheartening when those with zero fashion credentials get access to shows you want to write about.

NAKEDPRGIRL: What advice would you give to others just starting out in the industry?
Donna SulkyDoll: Work hard, be nice and pay it forward.

NakedPRGirl: What’s next?
Donna SulkyDoll: I’m working closely with the Silent Child team and I’ve got an actor client who needs a restyle so I’ll keep you posted…

Find out more – http://sulkydoll.co.uk
Read Donna’s articles on Riddle
Follow Donna on Instagram

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Stylist Sulkydoll Donna McCulloch

Getting Naked With Carl Thomson

Getting Naked With Carl Thomson

NakedPRGirl: I know you’re a Londoner from your London Morgan interview, but I was surprised to find you started out working in IT, how did you get into that? Do you miss having a 9-5 job?

Carl Thomson

Carl Thompson: I miss the holiday pay. Never really stop to think about in truth. I think there is a common misconception about having 9-5’s versus going self-employed. That somehow you leave this womb of security when you venture out on your own. A lot of my close friends balked when I told them I’m going solo into the fashion world. But you’re not indispensable, no matter the person, no matter the job.

NakedPRGirl: What prompted the career change? Did you seek out the fashion world or was it organic?

It just felt like it was time for a new challenge in my life. The job itself was quite autonomous; I never had a controlling boss, was never asked to clock-in. However, I wasn’t entirely satiated with my place in the world at that point. It was a lateral move into the fashion world. I was buying suits for work and I wanted to know why some suits were entry level and others cost a king’s ransom. I became quite fastidious in all things tailoring, shirt making in particular.

NakedPRGirl: What process did you go through to get your clothing brand Hawkins & Shepherd off the ground?

It was a lot of travel initially, sourcing the right manufacturers and fabric. The quality was so important. Then I pondered on whether to go bricks and mortar or just online. One of the biggest decisions I made was price point. It’s a tricky one and determines everything. If you go in too low, then it’s difficult to start bumping prices up. If you go high then you need to justify why, and are people going to invest in a high-end shirt from a company that’s not a marquee name?

NakedPRGirl: Where did the name come from and who did your logo/branding?

Hawkins & Shepherd carries both my parents’ names. Hawkins is my Mother’s family name born and bred in London, whereas Shepherd is my Father’s family name from Guyana on the Caribbean coast of South America. I wanted a shirt that we could all be proud of; I didn’t think twice about it. Logo and branding was all completed by the incredibly talented individual Neil Calcutt from brand76.co.uk

NakedPRGirl: You say Hawkins & Shepherd is London’s best shirt makers, all handmade and exceptionally crafted with care using the finest cotton fabric. Did you feel it was important to have a USP?

Yes, because it’s a tough market. Especially in London, it’s not enough sometimes to say you’re a shirt maker or else you’ll fall into the same stalls as some of the more commercial outlets. I feel like my USP is also augmented by the fact that I wear everything I make. I am Hawkins & Shepherd, I represent everything you see. I remember Paul Weller saying the same thing about his brand Real Stars Are Rare, he’s not going to perform in front of sold-out stadiums wearing something naff.

NakedPRGirl: How did you find going from IT to being a designer/retailer? Has your IT background helped your new career? Or did you need to skill-up in Ecommerce?

Yes, immensely. Building websites is all about coding, even the E-commerce sites. Luckily I’m a code guy so this wasn’t a huge leap for me. Then it’s a case of doing your research, making sure you know consumer rights, returns policies etc. Once you’ve wrapped your head around that, established ‘gateways’ where people can purchase stock, then a system that regulates stock control, you’re flying.

NakedPRGirl: The lovely David Gandy has been spotted in your gear, that must have been a proud moment?

It was awesome yeah. And he’s such a likeable guy. Talks to you like you’re the only person in the room. Never looking over your shoulder. He doesn’t judge people on their style and he’s got a huge breadth of knowledge in the fashion world. I’ve heard people try and corner him in interviews and he just a guy that knows his onions.

NakedPRGirl: You now have a huge range, has it been easy to grow the business?

It’s been a slog, but worth it. Imperceptibly it’s grown over time, the blogging has helped and it’s fuelled more traffic to the site which was the original idea. I’ve learned not to try and sell everything. I’ve had to cull a few sub genres and streamline a few ranges. Some people were getting overwhelmed with options, now it’s a lot easier to navigate and hopefully, the site and the collections look more appealing. I’ve got some amazing improvements for 2018 to look forward to, including a new sleek website design and a new made-in-Britain shirt collection so it’s forever evolving.

NakedPRGirl: How did you grow your social media audience? Was it from the success of your social channels that you decided to start a blog?

In my case it was a slow burn, but I made sure all the content I uploaded was clean and congruent. I am overly anal about what I upload. If I have an inkling something is off, not quite right, I’m not precious. I scrap it, move on or reshoot.
I started out with a few style tutorials on YouTube which gathered some good momentum and bled into other channels like Instagram.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your favourite social media channel? Do you have any social media tips?

I have to say INSTA. Again with tips make sure you have a voice and give people a reason to come to your channel. If you’re too diverse and start posting pictures of your cats, then you’ll confuse and lose your audience. Although you will find pictures of Charlie on my feed, that’s different. He’s better looking than me haha. I always send my pictures out to other brands, magazines and social media accounts and just ask them to tag me. A lot of street style and men with class social accounts are always looking for quality imagery.

NakedPRGirl: How do you split your time between your retail business and blogging business?

At the start of the week I try and schedule what the priorities are. Customer is always number one. If it’s a case of blogging and I see deadlines coming up, I openly liaise to clients and brands and ask for the latest publishing dates. I’ve never missed one but knowing deadlines, keeping customers happy, isn’t hard if you’re willing to get up early.

NakedPRGirl: Are your business branding and blogging persona symbiotic? Do you ever feel like they are out of step with each other?

No, which is why you’ll never see a blurry selfie of me on the feed. I’ve been tempted to retweet and repost pictures on Instagram to help get the word out on other bloggers or other photographers. I see other bloggers do it and I commend that. I have to be selfish though, my feed needs to be congruent with my brand at all time and it needs to adhere to a certain level of quality.

NakedPRGirl: You seem to be a natural at creating content, who have you enjoyed collaborating with this year? What are your favourite pieces of content?

I’ve been really lucky this year, the offers for collaborations have been coming in thick and fast. I’ve actually enjoyed the lifestyle element more this year with the car reviews, cocktail classes etc. I recently teamed up with Mini, test driving their Cooper D Hatchback and I’ve done some work for Mazda. I’d probably say the Morgan 4 Plus is the tip of the spear just because it was a pure head turner.

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Carl Thomson

Getting Naked With Interview Ghostwriter Shannon Kyle

Getting Naked With Interview Ghostwriter Shannon Kyle

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of ghostwriting; it holds a kind of mysterious glamour that I find intoxicating. How it works and what it REALLY means is often the source of discussion in the media so I am thrilled that a real life ghost has agreed to be pinned down to reveal all in my latest interview. Shannon Kyle is journalist who has had work published in pretty much every publication under the sun including Fabulous, Metro, The Telegraph,The Pool, The Guardian, Mirror and Daily Mail with real life stories and often, her own personal pieces. She was also the writer behind Jade Goody’s Forever in My Heart which sold 100,000 copies (bet you’ve read it, I know I have!) and more recently she’s been the woman behind Katie Piper’s Things Get Better and Emma O’Reilly’s The Race To The Truth which was shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year in 2014. So how do you become a ghostwriter, and how does it work? Here’s my interview with the interviewer, let’s meet Shannon Kyle!

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Chatham, one of the Medway towns in North Kent.

NakedPRGirl: What did you study? When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I won a competition when I was 15 to write a ‘Letter to the future’ for my local paper, the Medway Reporter. The prize was a ride in a helicopter over my house, £50 and the letter was buried in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years time under a building. I doubt I’ll live to see the day that happens! I went to Salford University to study English language and literature, although I regret not doing journalism as that was all I was interested in.

NakedPRGirl: How did you get your big break?

Working for the Staines and Egham reporter after University, I managed to get an interview with Ali G, aka Sacha Barron Cohen. His TV show was very popular at the time and put Staines in the public eye. I asked to interview him as his character and Sacha agreed. We got the exclusive story and it went on the front page and was re-printed in the Sunday Telegraph. The former Chilean dictator General Pinochet who was under house arrest on my ‘patch’ also provided a few good stories and shortly afterwards I was nominated and became a runner up for the Press Gazette’s Young Journalist of the Year. Then I got headhunted by the Nationals.

NakedPRGirl: You also write stacks of real life stories, how did you get into journalism? Do you enjoy getting to know people from different walks of life?

I am fascinated by people and their lives. It’s never boring and it’s a privilege to hear so many touching, funny, and emotional stories over the years. I have listened to stories about the best and worst of humanity.

NakedPRGirl: Have you always been a ghostwriter or how did that come about?

I was a journalist first and my next big break was being offered the chance to write Jade Goody’s last book. I’d never written a book before and I was only given a three week deadline to do the interviews and write the whole story. Crazy.

NakedPRGirl: That book, Jade Goody’s Forever in My Heart, sold 100,000 copies, how did it feel to tell such an important story?

I’s always an absolute privilege for people to share their stories with you. On Amazon the book was announced as number one bestseller before it had even been finished. Jade’s story proves life is stranger than fiction. She was incredibly brave.

NakedPRGirl: How do you go about working with a celebrity when writing a book with them?

I don’t really see celebrities as any different from anybody else. They’re just people who have a story to tell like anyone else. I try to keep all interviews very informal. It’s important people are comfortable and relaxed otherwise they won’t open up. It’s important to be honest during book interviews otherwise the story won’t feel authentic when it’s on the page.

NakedPRGirl: I spotted you’ve also set up United Ghostwriters to help people searching for ghostwriters – what prompted you to set that up and how does it work?

United Ghostwriters is a collective of leading UK ghosts which was set up to help bring ghostwriting into the public consciousness. We are all busy ghosts with strong back catalogues and not only support each other but provide a ‘one stop shop’ for someone who needs their book ghostwritten.

NakedPRGirl: Do you think people are quite naive about the role of ghost writers? I remember the furore when Zoella released her book (ghostwritten by Siobhan Curham)!

Yes I think the public are often surprised most books are ghosted and not written by the authors. But I don’t think it really matters as without the author there is no book. Putting it bluntly the author is still the one telling the story, it’s just the ghostwriter is the one spending hours sat at a desk writing it into chapters.

NakedPRGirl: How do you get into the ‘voice’ of your author? Does it come easily?

I spend a lot of time with each author, which helps me soak up the voice! Each book takes around 25-30 hours of interview time. I always ask the author to read the work to ensure they’re happy with it and they feel it’s authentic. It’s really important they are relaxed and comfortable with me too, so they can open up.

NakedPRGirl: Have you ever disagreed with anyone you have been ghostwriting for or is it always a harmonious process?

Only once did I have an issue with an author but it was soon resolved with the agent stepping in to help. Sometimes chemistry doesn’t work between a ghostwriter and an author, but I’ve been lucky enough to work with some brilliant people who have respect for what I do and vice versa.

NakedPRGirl: How has digital changed your industry and what do you think the future of journalism will look like?

It’s changed it beyond all recognition. Budgets have plummeted, journalists are expected to sub their own copy and digital has obviously taken over from print. I know some national newspapers now expect journalists simply to rewrite a press release and do not allow them to take time to check the facts or question what is being said. This was the exact opposite of what we were taught in training. It’s really sad but now ‘fake news’ is in the public consciousness I hope it will swing the other way eventually and we will see a desire for proper investigations again. We need more, not less trained journalists to hold public bodies to account. Without good journalism the public can be lied to very easily. Look what happened during the EU referendum.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your favourite social media channel?

I go through phases. At the moment I am loving Instagram, especially Instagram stories. It’s fun and silly at times. For breaking news I read Twitter and for finding case studies, Facebook or Twitter.

NakedPRGirl: How do you structure your working day?

I have a two-year-old so there is little time for procrastination! I work as many hours as I can during the day only leaving time to get outside to run in the park or by the sea. I’d go stir crazy otherwise! I also come up with my best ideas sometimes when I am outside walking. I have two daughters so I am lucky to be able to work flexibly about them.

NakedPRGirl: Do you have any advice for aspiring journalists or authors?

I’d suggest having a back up plan. These days fewer journalists and authors than ever before make a living solely from writing. I would find a specialist subject too and never ever agree to work for free. The whole ‘work for exposure’ culture has caused fees to drop and will never stand you in good stead for the future.

 

NakedPRGirl: How important is networking to you? Who inspires you to spend time with?

Everyone I know says they should network more, but I wonder what it really means sometimes? I can’t think of anything worse than a ‘networking event.’The best networking happens when it’s natural and organic.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your style? Any wardrobe staples?

I always dress in jogging bottoms and gym wear every morning as it forces me to go outside and get some exercise rather than be stuck at my desk all day. Aside from that, I love a shift dress, tights and boots or skinny jeans and an oversized jumper. At the moment I love Zara, Cos and Andotherstories, but often I buy second hand on eBay. I love hunting through the vintage shops where I live in Brighton too.

NakedPRGirl: Who’s story would you love to tell?

I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was a teenager so ideally Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr would be my dream clients. I’d also love to tell Yoko Ono’s story as she is such a fascinating character. I think Melania Trump would also have an incredibly insightful story to tell! But I won’t hold my breath for that phone call.

NakedPRGirl: Would you ever be tempted to write a fiction novel?

I have tried! I have a full manuscript sitting on my laptop, but finding time to edit it is difficult. I’d love to write fiction as well as ghost, although I know it’s even more cut throat and competitive. I have lots of stories in my head however and dream that one day I will make the time to write them down properly. I am currently doing a novel writing course to help grow my confidence.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your strategy for the future? Where would you like to be in ten years time?

I have no strategy! Just to continue working as hard as a I can and tell the most interesting stories I can find. In this industry you never know what’s going to happen next, so I can only hope I am still busy with work.

Image credit: http://www.greenlandphotography.com/

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Getting Naked With Blogger Maja Malnar

Getting Naked With Blogger Maja Malnar

Maja Malnar

Slovenian born Maja Malnar is breath of fresh air as she is always happy, smiling and oozing confidence. I met Maja through her partner in Instagram crime, LornaLuxe who simply says that Maja represents genuine ‘goals’ with her mix of wanderlust, fashion and a touch of mystery. Maja is also a total denim babe, so she was the perfect choice to be snapped in the height of summer for DONNA IDA’s Style Insider (which you can see and read here). Shortly after that, I chatted to her about blogging and more importantly, her approach to life, so as we go into a fresh New Year, it is the perfect time to share Maja’s interview with you. Her ethos is simply one of positivity, of going with the flow and enjoying life yet that’s not to say she’s not hardworking, or ambitious. So how has she mixed the two sides together to become a successful influencer working with top designer brands with over 300k Instagram followers? Let’s dive into Maja’s world.

NakedPRGirl: I saw on your About Us thing that you had had some difficult times growing up. How has that influenced you?
Maja Malnar: I had some really bad times when I was really depressed so at that time, I started reading a lot. It was probably the hardest two years of my life but now I see it as a positive thing as it completely changed me. I became a different person in the way I see life so that I value what is truly important. I’m using my Instagram and blog as a way share what I have learnt with how I have changed my perception towards life. I want to help other people to be aware that the way they approach life is important.

NakedPRGirl: You’re the queen of inspirational quotes on Instagram and is it a USP?
Maja Malnar: Thank you, a lot of people like the quotes actually and I’m pleased because I want them to be inspirational. In this industry, you have to be different so it is good to give a little more than just fashion. I try to combine beautiful places with fashion and positivity so that people feel good when they look at my pictures. I translate this onto my website with my ‘Inspire’ section where I share positive quotes and stories because life is much more beautiful when you see it this way. The way you see the world reflects in the way we think, act and the way we are, it always reflects with what is going on in your life.

NakedPRGirl: Your other USP is your Wanderlust – you go amazing places and you share amazing photos?
Maja Malnar: Travel is definitely part of me and is my passion in life. I don’t just go for the pictures, I love exploring, meeting new people and seeing new cultures. I have lived in a lot of different countries to get the feeling of life and learn as much as I can. I especially love Europe, I love the fact that every single country is so close to each other, but they are so different. Each of them have a different language, culture, food and style – everything changes. Look at Spain, France, Italy, Germany – they are all next to each other and so different. I find this fascinating and I find we can always learn something from each culture.

NakedPRGirl: Do you go home a lot?
Maja Malnar: I try. This year was really hard as I was just always so busy and there was always something going on. I feel like I need a proper holiday back home.

NakedPRGirl: Do you plan your trips far in advance?
Maja Malnar: I am very spontaneous and always go with the flow. As soon as I started living my life like this, I felt totally free and I can do what I feel like. So whenever I take a trip, I just buy a one way ticket. That way, if I don’t like it, I can go somewhere else the next day, or if I like it I might want to stay. For example, in Mykonos I was supposed to stay a few days and I ended up staying for nearly two weeks. In Ibiza I was going to stay longer but I didn’t really feel it so I came back earlier.

Maja Malnar

NakedPRGirl: You are hard working and ambitious, is there any time when you do have to plan?
Maja Malnar: When I have work to do, for example with New York or London Fashion Week, I know I have to plan. In those instances I will be on a tight timetable with return tickets so I would be crazy to waste money.

NakedPRGirl: Tell me about your Instagram images. Do you use the same photographers all the time?
Maja Malnar: No I mix it around and work with different photographers. I really like Rebecca Botin and travel a lot with her but since she moved I am looking at replacing her. The last shoot that I did I was really happy with who was with a young guy called Charlie who has was a really similar style to Rebecca.

Maja Malnar Instagram grid

NakedPRGirl: Do you shoot a few outfits at once? Where do you like to shoot?
Maja Malnar: I schedule and shoot 3 outfits at once? It doesn’t’ really matter. It depends where I am. When I was living around Knightsbridge I shot a lot there. The other day I shot around Mayfair. The other day I met in London Hill and shot around there. It all depends. I don’t have a preference.

NakedPRGirl: But you do have a little bit of scheduling with your Instagram?
Maja Malnar: Yes I do, I used to be very instant but it has to be important how everything looks together so I try and plan how it fits. I use an app called Uno where you put a lot of pictures in and you can move them around and see how it is going to look.

NakedPRGirl: How do you manage all the admin associated with having a business and blog?
Maja Malnar: Recently I’ve hired an an assistant who is a friend of mine who is amazing at organising and always on top of things. For her she is great at keeping on top of admin, replying to emails to brands or negotiating for collaborations. We are a good fit as we are both really passionate and it allows me to focus on what I am good at instead of the organisational elements. I still do all the image uploading and admin all myself although it takes a lot of time because I am very picky and I know how I want it to look. I’ve got four different sections on the blog so I have to update them all and I like to do it properly. For example with the travel blogs, you want to make sure all your trips are descriptive and it all is nicely packaged up so it is informative and easy to read.

NakedPRGirl: For London when you are here, what are your favourite restaurants, hotels and bars? Where do you hang out?
Maja Malnar: I really like Chiltern Firehouse, I like the bar so it’s my most common spot. For restaurants – I like the food at Scott’s, I love Japanese so Nobu, Zuma and Roka is really nice. Sexy Fish has good vibes. I also love all my healthy places too so for breakfast I go to the Good Life and healthy coffee shops, like the Organic Kitchen. I am a bit of a health freak.

NakedPRGirl: You obviously have a lot of friends in the industry. How important is networking and your girl gang?
Maja Malnar: Yes in London I’m closest with LornaLuxe and Tatiania. It is important, for example, it’s good when we do projects together because we can exchange pointers. Also we all know what content we need so it isn’t awkward when it comes to taking pictures and taking ten photos instead of one! Normal people are always like – oh you and your pictures. They don’t get it’s a job and we have to do it.That is why we like to hang around because we all do the same thing and we all get it.

NakedPRGirl:: What advice would you give to a younger you?
Maja Malnar: Just work hard and never lose hope. Believe in it and make it happen.

Maja Malnar

NakedPRGirl: What is next for you?
Maja Malnar: More travel! St Tropez, New York, London, Milan, Paris, home and maybe Mexico.

Read Maja’s Diary – http://majasdiary.com
Follow Maja on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/majamalnar/

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Maja Malnar

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“Claire was my PR and Marketing Manager for four years at Donna Ida so we worked closely together to build a marketing strategy for the Ultimate Denim Destination. Claire’s PR experience led to an increase in press coverage 30% year-on-year with a focus on luxury titles and targeting key editors"

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Claire was very well liked by the press and they felt very happy and comfortable with her, so much so that they were just as happy going to Claire as they were coming to me. We developed a press strategy of one-to-one appointments and special evening press dinners to encourage exclusivity with exceptional results.

She worked closely with our in-house creative team to build the brand and my personal profile within the fashion and business sectors, managing photo shoots and Look Books. Claire is loyal, entrepreneurial and strategic so when presented with a challenge she sees it as an opportunity.

DONNA IDA THORNTON, www.donnaida.com