Thursday, 12 September 2013

A9: S1 - CAGECITY



I guess when it comes down to it, back to the root of it all, the whole point of me starting Scarphelia and this crazy mission was for one reason; To become remarkable.

The idea of turning 21 and never having done all of the things I dreamed of as a kid was absolutely... haunting.

I'd always had such clear and vivid dreams about what my future was going to be like, and it was only hitting 20 that I realised I'd done absolutely, cataclysmically nothing about it.



It was just after my 20th birthday I realised that was IT.

There was no way I was going to stay grey for a single day longer. I was going to do it. I had to do something.

...However, I very quickly realised that it's all well and good to say, 'Right, from this day onward, I'm going to make something of myself.'

But... where do you actually begin?

Narrowing this 'remarkableness' down, I realised it was mostly career-orientated. I'd spent years dreaming of being a movie star, a big shot magazine editor, a fashion designer, a famous writer... I guess I just felt that driving urge to not just be a forgettable no-one. I want to be someone... A Someone that's created a Something.

And although that 'Something' might still be a vague iota of my imagination, and I might not really have a clue where I'm actually going... I feel like somehow, now, I'm on the right track.

Because the way I decided to start, was by getting as much experience as possible in as many fields that make me happy, in the hope that my eager little tootsies will be naturally directed onto the path to a future that will quite make everything fall into place.

'Cause you can't go much wrong if you're happy, right?

So I started to apply for work experience pretty much everywhere, which included getting an internship at Cosmopolitan which I'll start in December, and more recently, I have been extremely lucky to snag myself a placement as a social media intern at a fashion label in South East London; CAGECITY.






I first heard about the opportunity from a blog called UK Fashion Intern - if working within fashion, photography or fashion media is your thing, then you NEED to check these guys out. The blog is full of opportunities that can help you get your foot in the door.

However, I applied to a range of social media roles (the first field I wanted to explore) and heard back from... none.

I was a bit crestfallen, as I was desperate to find something constructive to do with my summer, as I had no University and my Cosmopolitan internship wasn't until December. There's nothing that stresses me out more than the feeling of time slipping past you, and not making the most of it.

Then I got a call from Nadine from CAGECITY.



The moment I stepped into the office for my interview, I could feel the positivity in the air.

And when they offered me the position, I was absolutely ecstatic.

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I've been one half of CAGECITY's social media team for just under a month now, and I've never felt such a profound sense of being on just the right track.

Although the internship is unpaid and the commute from home every day is a bit of pain in the butt, it is genuinely, unbelievably worth it.

My days are filled with fielding emails and tweets from celebrities, fashion bloggers and PR people, reading an absolute plethora of blogs and seeking out the new talent, running the social networks and conversing with the customers, and more excitingly, coming up with new plans about how to really lift the young company off the ground.

Being in the South East, I more or less end up going for drinks or dinner with friends every night in Shoreditch after work, and Oliver often kindly allows me to stay at his place. I only really end up going home at the weekends.

Living and working in the big city.

Living the dream.





Overall, I feel like it is a blessing, not only to have this job, but to have arrived at a company like this, at this particular point of their career.

I think if I had this role at a larger scale company, my job would simply be to maintain the success that they already have. If I had this role at a smaller scale company, my job would be to desperately try and generate interest for the brand so it could have a starting foot. By being a company between those two points, my role at CAGECITY is absolutely perfect.

After establishing a little over a year ago, CAGECITY has built up a solid reputation with a rather large fanbase of customers, and even after being there for just a few days I could tell they had a bloody good thing going.

However, their full launch is not until next month, and their near future is crammed full of exciting events, ideas and milestones. At this exact moment in time, CAGECITY are teetering on the very edge of the immense greatness they so rightfully deserve.

And by drafting in some creative, enthusiastic and entrepreneurial interns, I think as a team, us newbies could be almost the catalyst that propels CAGECITY to the stratospheric heights at which they deserve to be.

I'm not sure I could have possibly been luckier with my first ever internship. The brand, the team at the office and the enthusiasm behind everything they do is infectious, and being in the office surrounded by all the clothes is such an inspiring atmosphere.

And by arriving at this pivotal moment, I now get the absolute privilege of watching the company grow and blossom, on the foundations of the hard work that we all invest as a team.


As the company is still budding and young, the team is only comprised of 6 so far - 4 of which are interns. But again, I feel this is a blessing, as we are all so in-tune with what each other are doing, that we are familiar with the entire ins and outs of the business, future plans, new products - everything!

This also means that our roles are actually pretty flexible. We're not just social media or digital marketing interns, some days we can be bloggers, market researchers, model scouts, work in PR, marketing or correspondence - if there's a job that needs doing then we will do our best to do it well!

This also allows us to individually come up with our own ideas for the company and put them forward for consideration - and most of the time, they bloody love them. That's another thing you would never get in a larger or smaller scale company.

One such opportunity was when I approached them with the idea of a street style shot, with the backdrop of the street art of Shoreditch (ironically, the street art tour which Oliver took me on provided the very locations for this, the day before the shoot) with some up-and-coming and talented young creatives, who we could interview afterwards.

And the two girls I put forward for the shoot were two of my friends - a Norwegian girl from my cheer squad at Uni, and my darling young movie star best friend - Ariella.

And they loved the idea.

So on a beautiful sunny day, all of us shot over to my favourite place in the world, Shoreditch, with two of my very good friends, doing a job that I am in love with and had the best day ever putting my idea into reality.




And it was just such a fantastic day.

One of the main reasons why I love CAGECITY, is the ethic behind of wanting to help one another. CAGECITY is always working with fashion graduates and bloggers, providing them with a platform to showcase their finest handmade clothing, and provide the right exposure for those who may otherwise struggle to find the opportunities elsewhere.

But also, in terms of the internship, they were helping me by giving me this job, I was helping them by doing my job and coming up with ideas, my two lovely friends were helping me out by being our beautiful models for the street style shoot, and I was helping my friends out by getting them exposure and modelling experience.

So it truly works in this cyclical chain of favours, and absolutely everyone benefits from it.

I think in a broader sense, that's possibly the most important thing to remember when considering unpaid internships too.

Don't be put off by the idea of having to constantly go out out of your way and seemingly 'waste' money by having to work for someone who is not offering you financial compensation.

Look at it as an investment. Not only of your money but of your time too.

In this day and these industries, it truly is what you know and who you know. But it's all well and good having the contact details of loads of people who could help you out, but, however callous it may seem, never actually will if they see no return.

But by putting yourself out there to willingly help out other people, not only are you doing a good deed, but you're also creating these invisible connections and networks that span across hundreds of collaborative people that know people, that know people. Everybody needs favours in life, even yourself, and people are far more likely to want to help out people who are always willing to help.

Something I think is important to remember is that your enthusiasm, your dedication, your effort, your money and your time will never be wasted if you look at it as an investment.

Whether it will be later financial rewards, contacts, experience, a favour when you need it. or even just a personal lesson you have learnt, if you work hard, you're never at a true loss, no matter how much of yourself you're putting on the line.

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I absolutely adore my job, am totally in love with CAGECITY, and feel so privileged to have had such a wonderful opportunity.

I cannot wait to see what the future holds.


Scarlet-Ophelia.