Ask for help and feedback, constantly. I want my team to have access to me and to understand our business goals and results, and I want to benefit from their perspective and work collectively to drive efforts forward.
Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the map when she launched PR Couture in 2016. She is the fuel that drives all operation day in and day out. Her vision, accessibility, and expertise have allowed her to connect and educate brands all over the country.
Where did the idea for come from?
While studying for my master’s in communication, I ran the PR and marketing department for an e-commerce jewelry brand. Learning and applying the theory in a real-world environment sparked my interest in fashion public relations as a career – but there was precious little available (both academically as well as in the industry trades) to help steer me in the right direction. I had the idea to share my behind-the-scenes perspective as a platform to connect with other PR professionals, fashion bloggers and to write and curate industry information worth sharing.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
About three years ago I left agency world to focus full-time on PR Couture, which means a fair amount of daily team management, business development, and project work, including teaching our signature course, PRISM, twice a year, and consulting. I still love the editorial side, however, so I’m the last to review everything we publish and am personally active across our social media channels. I’ve learned to abide my own rhythms, which means productivity and deliverables happen early in the morning and late afternoon/mid-evening. I try to schedule meetings, late lunches, and errands in the middle of the day when my brain takes a bit of a nap.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Coming up with ideas and seeing the possibility in everything is both a blessing and a curse. Since running my own business I have had to become more proficient at determining which ideas are worth pursuing, and moving my own perfectionism aside in order to get things launched. I’ve actually come to appreciate my ability to implement and execute, having been rather hard-won. One of my favorite parts of being an entrepreneur is that I am only limited by my own ability to bring ideas to life.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I’m always interested in different and innovative business models – in particular shared ownership, like Stocksy and benefit corporations, like Reformation.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I look at vacations as mandatory – I have yet to take time off and had it not result in new ideas and a renewed focus. I am not interested in the hustle, burning the candle, sacrificing my health and sanity for the romanticism of entrepreneurship. I’m pretty intentional about giving myself permission to relax and reset – whether that is an afternoon off, or something more substantial. I don’t work to live or live to work – I aim to live in a sort of integrated middle.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I worked in an office environment that was incredibly unstable and emotionally abusive. Imagine a sort of grandstanding patriarch and cubicles filled with terrified PR Girls, wondering daily if it’s our turn to be lauded and adored in front of our peers, or broken down and demoralized. It was nuts. I accepted the experience because at the time I didn’t yet know my own value, and I was happy to have a job in a fancy office in my field. This experiences and other professional struggles have absolutely informed the high-touch relationship I like to have with the PR Couture audience and my focus on developing programs, books and opportunities that allow me to act as a de-facto mentor for other women navigating similar challenges.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I didn’t start PR Couture with the intention that it would evolve into my full-time work – so much of what has occurred has been organic and I wouldn’t change that, because I think it has imbued the brand with a credibility and accessibility that stems from a genuine desire to be useful, not to monetize. That said, I do wish I had placed a greater emphasis on email acquisition early on and I wish I had invested in experts and support sooner, rather than doing so much alone for so long.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Ask for help and feedback, constantly. I want my team to have access to me and to understand our business goals and results, and I want to benefit from their perspective and work collectively to drive efforts forward. It’s also important to seek insight outside of your industry, friends who are not immersed in your day to day are aggravatingly good at pointing out when your messaging has lost its meaning or a confusing bit of site UX.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
The foundational goal of PR Couture is to be helpful, however, we can, with what we know. I was recently on a phone call with a very accomplished woman who said something like. “wanting to be helpful is nice and all, but it doesn’t make money.” I had to wrestle with that a bit – because I do feel like starting PR Couture without the intention of it being a business, and spending years simply serving my audience – is what has allowed us to maintain loyal readers while consistently capturing new eyeballs. I’d say that a strategy of leading with generosity is a powerful one for businesses like mine.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Coming from a PR background, sales is something I still struggle with. I’m working right now to overcome the belief, for example, that someone knows everything we offer and simply doesn’t want to pay for any of it, with the more realistic idea that our audience knows varying amounts about what we offer, and it’s up to us to confidently explain the value we offer. I’ve brought on a digital marketing and sales expert, as well was ramped up our own proactive outreach to potential partners as part of this, and I’m testing various different tactics to see what feels best and what works.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have always wanted to have a vintage-inspired lingerie line – a little bit sweet and a little bit edgy – and call it Guts for Garters. Someone should launch this business and I’ll be your first customer!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought a new magic bullet and it gets used for coffee, smoothies, and guacamole, pretty much every day.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I love services that help streamline, automate and optimize the business so that we can be more effective and efficient. Asana, Slack, Canva are always open on a tab.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed is a compilation of advice letters written and answered during her time at The Rumpus. It is is the most touching, magical book of the human experience I have ever read and I recommend it to everyone.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Kelly Diels is doing some amazing work around the ethics of digital marketing experts as well as the female empowerment ideology used by advertisers to promote products. I find her Sunday email love letter and Facebook updates incredibly astute and thought provoking. She is doing important work and I look forward to her forthcoming book.
PR Couture on Twitter: @prcouture
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Crosby Noricks on Twitter: @crosbynoricks
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.