By Jess Caire
Conversations with Maree Stoubos from Girl About Town
Meet Maree Stoubos, Girl About Town’s director and fearless ‘Girl Boss.’ She is the definition of ‘PR extraordinaire’, and there’s a fair chance if there is a SA event that’s worth attending, Maree’s Girl About Town team has handled it. She’s interned in New York (yes, New York!) for a high end fashion designer and styled some of Hollywood’s A-List (think Jessica Biel, Rachel Bilson and fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker). When she isn’t in her GAT office or managing events, there’s a good chance you will find her at her other business – Bellarouge – where she produces (with her business partner) cabaret, burlesque and commercial performances for private functions and major events.
Interning in the States sounds super glamorous (but I did watch the Hills and Kelly Cutrone was pretty brutal!), what was your experience like?
It was full on and it was very much like The City and The Hills! I was lucky enough to intern during New York Fashion Week so stress levels were at an ultimate high but it was so worth it. During this time, I learnt the basic principles of fashion PR and immediately fell in love with the industry. I initially started doing the basic jobs like answering phones (with my pretend American accent so that people would understand me), hand delivering invites to the show and dropping off fabric to the garment district, to then styling the VM in department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue (dressed in Louboutin’s) as well as leading celebrities like Rachel Bilson and Sarah Jessica Parker, to acting as a PA to the CEO and running the PR department on Fridays. It was the most incredible experience and I only wish social media was more prevalent then so I could have captured and shared all the moments!
You are one busy lady, between GAT and your dance studio, when do you get time to sleep? What does chilling out look like for you?
That’s a tough one and I don’t really have the opportunity to chill out as much as I would like but, when I do, it’s the small things like watching my favourite TV shows, going to the gym and going out for dinner.
People may think PR is a pretty high-flying job – but after stalking, oops I mean following Roxy Jackeno PR Maven on Insta, I can see there is a lot of hard work and hustle involved. Are you literally running in heels?
Haha yes! Although, when I don’t have meetings scheduled, I will always don my adidas superstars. No day is ever the same and that’s what I love about PR and events, you cannot get bored. There is the stigma that all we do is drink champagne, eat canapés and take photos but there is a lot of behind the scenes work that isn’t shown on social media. With PR, it’s not a 9-5 job, it’s a lifestyle as you literally live and breathe it day in, day out.
It’s a huge leap of faith to start your own business, what was THE moment that made you realise Girl About Town had to become a reality?
When I knew I couldn’t grow anymore in the current job I was in. I wanted new challenges, a new drive and new goals. Plus, I also wanted to change the current PR landscape. A few people suggested going out on my own and knowing I had their support, pushed me even more.
Your business has gone from strength to strength, competing against massive PR firms – what does it feel like to work in that kind of arena?
Every day, we strive to be the best. And in order to be the best, we need to continue to grow and evolve as a company. We are constantly thinking outside the square to stand out and be one step ahead of everyone else.
What advice do you give other women wanting to take the plunge into self-employment?
Make sure you have a strategy in place. Big ideas are great but you need to be able to execute them in order to achieve success and make it all worthwhile. Having a mentor is a great tool too, to give you that expert opinion and experience and to bounce ideas off of who is outside of your business.
With your schedule you MUST enjoy a good coffee – what’s your fav SA coffee location?
Well this is awkward as I don’t drink coffee…. But I love the look and feel of La Moka, where I do a lot of my meetings!
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Love, Jess x