FashCatherine’s ‘Inspiring women’ series: Ten minutes with lifestyle PR guru, Shoshana Kazab

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Shoshana Kazab founded her PR company, Fuse Communications, in 2005 and began specialising in kids’ fashion PR in 2013. We caught up with Shosh to learn from her work life experiences, including setting up a business on her own, working with journalists and being open about the less glam side of PR. We love her combo of recommended stress relievers = exercise, and regular getaways to Miami!

In the third of a new series on FashCatherine, editor Catherine Hudson finds out about the woman behind the PR successes, and gets Shosh’s advice on how to inspire women, through highs and lows, to reach similar, great things in business. Read the first in the series, with Caroline Watson, stylist and bag designer, here, and the second, with kids’ fashion designer Jessica Seaman, here.

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Shosh showcases her work with her clients on her Fuse Communications Instagram

1. How would you describe your job, and how much of your time does it take up?

I guess I would call myself a ‘PR Plus’! I have a crazy job and no two days are ever the same. I specialise in working with baby and kids brands, which has to be the best industry to work in as it’s really fun. I used to also do fashion and lifestyle PR… now, that was a challenge and not something I miss. I do PR for my clients, but often end up doing a bit more for them, too – such as connecting them with useful people, a bit of marketing advice, brand consultancy. My background is in marketing and PR is a small part of this but it’s the most fun part.

I work a lot. I often work weekends and evenings and do find it hard to stop. But it’s my own business and I want to do the best job I can for my clients, which is a constant source of motivation for me. There’s something very satisfying about working hard for yourself. But I do make sure to try to go away as often as I can to recharge my batteries and get ready to start all over again!

2. How did you reach the job position you are in now? 

Like most things in life, you can’t really make too many plans. I started out in marketing for a big health and fitness provider and after eight years decided to take a leap of faith and start out as a consultant.  My first non-fitness client was a kids’ fashion brand called Mini A Ture in 2003, and that’s how I started out in the kidswear world.

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3. What was your biggest setback and how did you overcome it?

Starting out on your own is always hard as it takes time before you establish yourself, and before you start to generate an income. Without a good support network this is even harder. I have an amazing husband and I was lucky enough to rely on his salary in the beginning until I was in a position to become financially independent again.

4. Did you ever feel held back in the workplace, because you are a woman? If so, how did you conquer that?

I have to say I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve never experienced any setbacks being a woman in the workplace. When I was working in health and fitness, the industry was quite balanced in terms of men and women. And the kids’ industry definitely has more of a bias towards women. If anything, men probably feel held back in this industry.

5. How have you gained confidence within your working role?

In a word, experience. It’s like the 10,000 hour rule. The more you do something, the better you get at doing it. I started out feeling incredibly nervous picking up the phone to an editor but after a while, you build your confidence up, start to improve on your pitch and understand that less is more when you’re speaking to a time-poor journalist.

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6. Work aside, how do you prioritise your social time? Who gets the most of your attention?

I have quite an eclectic group of friends and try to make time to see them all as often as I can, as well as making time for my husband too. We’ve been together for over 20 years so he’s also my best friend so I love hanging out with him.

You have to get the balance right between going out and taking time to do very little too. My week days tend to be busy and I try to make very few plans over the week end so I can be a bit more spontaneous!

7. How do you relax?

I try to get out to Miami as often as I can, it’s my favourite place in the world. And I do exercise every morning – it’s the best way to get the endorphins going and prepare for a busy day ahead.

8. What would you say to women who are interested in starting a career in your industry?

PR sounds very glamorous and fun, but it’s hard work. You get let down a lot and you can’t let it get to you. But when it’s good, it’s great and there’s nothing better than securing some great press for your client and seeing the impact it can have on their business.

I would definitely suggest getting some work experience at a PR agency to see if it’s for you. Some people might prefer to work in-house as a PR for a company rather than for a PR agency which can be a less stressful option, but the downside is that you don’t get to work with a range of accounts, which is often what makes the job fun.

Setting up your own PR agency is actually quite straightforward as the start-up costs are pretty low. I started out working from home before moving into my office and all I needed was a computer to work from.

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Shosh with one of her clients @martinhatdesousa @patachou_baby

9. How do find your own inspiration – for work, and for play?

I try to be my own source of inspiration and to not distract myself too much with what other people are doing and stick to my own path.

I’m pretty much the only person in my group of friends to have my own business so I don’t really have many friends to ask advice from and have to rely largely on my own instinct.

10. What are your three top tips for starting your own business?

Be organised. You have to do so much more admin than you can ever imagine!

Be thick skinned. Don’t get upset or offended by anyone – it’s only business and try not to take anything too personally.

Be brave. There’s no guarantee that what you’re going to do will work but if you don’t try you’ll never know. Just work hard and work smart and do the best you can. You can never be frustrated with yourself if you’ve

11. How ambitious are you? Are you still striving for more success? How?

I don’t think I’m particularly ambitious, in the traditional sense. But I’m quite ambitious on behalf of my clients. So I get a real buzz when they get a great piece of press, it’s really satisfying and you always want to do more.

I am very fortunate in that all of my clients have come to me based on recommendations, which is very humbling. So it’s things like this that make me want to do a good job for people.

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12. What is your favourite/best social media tool?

I’ve found that Twitter has petered off quite significantly so I’m spending more time working on my Instagram account instead. People love beautiful images so it makes so much more sense to share my clients’ fabulous pics on a platform like Instagram which really helps to showcase their products.

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  • Read the first in our ‘women inspiring women’ series, with Caroline Watson, stylist and bag designer, here.
  • Read our interview with Poppy + Ned kids’ fashion designer Jessica Seaman, here.

Read more kids’ fashion articles…

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