We sat down with Rachel Hayes and Tessa-Jay Slight, the duo known around Melbourne as onetwo. Inspired by their journey to success in the PR industry we have decided to share their story with you.
How did onetwo begin? What inspired you to start your own venture?
We were both working in PR and we used to walk around the Melbourne Botanical Gardens at night and talk about work achievements or problems and give each other advice. This is where the PR relationship started and subconsciously planted the seed in each other’s heads. We never really knew we were ready but we quickly took the leap and we didn’t let failure be an option. We just looked forward to working hard and achieving results. We both have completely different personalities and strengths. We both like working on different aspects of jobs. This is another area that inspired us to work together and is why we work so well. We not only see different problems but we also create different solutions.
What was the most difficult thing you had to face in the beginning and how did you handle it?
Stopping and patting each other on the back – it’s hard to stop and look back at achievements. You need to remain humble but also be proud of your work and what you have achieved. The challenge is finishing a project then stopping and recognising your achievement before quickly moving on to the next one. Work-life balance is also challenging. The difficulty is making sure you can switch off at times because it is important to not burn out.
Is the Fashion/PR industry as glamorous as it looks?
Far from glamorous! Most people think we sit around at events and drink rosè. We are in fact in the office wearing our sneakers sending 500 emails across a 12 hour day. We are unpacking boxes and merchandising the showroom, making up gift bags or prepping for photoshoots.
Because we started in the industry at the bottom, we knew it was never going to be a glamorous career. We always say to work at onetwo you have to be able to “Take the bin out and call Vogue at the same time” “you have to be able to do the big jobs and the little jobs”, “no job is too easy or too hard”. Don’t get us wrong there are some great perks with the job, we receive lots of thank you cards and flowers, we also get the opportunity to work with very inspiring and incredible people.
What advice would you give to women wanting to start their own businesses?
Business is all about building relationships and making connections with the appropriate people. When starting out a business you have to be confident in what you do and think on your feet. Last but not least, hard work and believe in yourself!
What advice would you go back and give yourself, when onetwo was just starting up?
Slow down and take in the achievements. Don’t stress so much. Just work hard and be passionate and everything will flow on nicely.
Do you think being a woman in business is a unique experience? How so?
No, I don’t at all! I think being a business owner is a unique experience but being a woman in business is just business to us.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
IWD is advertised as celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. Creating awareness of women’s achievements with the desired outcome of reaching gender equality. IWD isn’t a gender power-play day to me. It’s just a day to keep celebrating small and large achievements made by women around the world. It’s a day everyone can celebrate as a woman or for women.
We have a lot of strong women working at Wittner and supporting women is at the core of what we do – what’s your experience of the brand?
We manage the Australian PR for Wittner. We launch each season collection with the Wittner team and work closely with the marketing and digital team to ensure we maximise and generate the best possible results for each new collection. We manage the samples, day to day media requests and send images and shoes to magazines Australia wide. We work with all the amazing influential women, dressing them for events and special occasions – making them look and feel the best they possibly can!
How would you describe the Wittner woman?
She is an intelligent, confident and independent woman, who is forever 30. She appreciates quality and takes design into consideration. She should always be celebrated.