Nikita Fursman is one of the most charming people we’ve ever met. Bubbly, motivated and clever – she’s a triple threat in the competitive world of fashion. Hailing from a small mining town in North Queensland, Nikita recently took a leap of faith to move south – landing on her feet as the Marketing Assistant at Fusion Retail Brands in Melbourne. She now works with the wider marketing department to create brand awareness around Mathers, Williams, Diana Ferrari and Colorado.
WHAT DID YOU STUDY & HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
I studied Business Management, majoring in Human Resources with a second major in marketing. I’m still completing this degree, as last year I deferred to undertake an internship at Sandhills Pacific based in the Brisbane office as a sales representative. That was definitely a game changer and really made me realise that I wanted to work full time and study part-time, to gain experience and knowledge along the way.
At 17, I landed my first retail position at the Silver Shop in the town where I attended boarding school. I’ve always been an avid fashion lover, and the fast paced environment of retail is something to be marvelled at. I think I realised I wanted to be in a corporate marketing based role during my time as sales coordinator at Lorna Jane’s HQ in Brisbane. I spent a year and a half managing budgets, seeing the fluctuation in consumer behaviour and analysing how marketing initiatives impacted sales, giving me nothing but drive and hunger to know more.
WHAT’S THE WORST FASHION PURCHASE YOU’VE EVER MADE? 😉
I purchased a pair of acid wash denim overalls when I was 18 and had just moved to Brisbane, I thought they were the trendiest item in my wardrobe. I used to wear a floral t-shirt underneath them and I felt like I belonged in a 70’s sitcom.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE TRYING TO DO WHAT YOU DO?
Persist and apply for internships. Not only are you opening up doors but these experiences also offer great exposure to a corporate environment and being able to learn essential life skills. Networking and making connections within your industry are also important. University organised events are great for this so definitely attend as many as you can if they’re within the industry you want to work in – you’ll find there are people who have travelled a similar path to you or are still on that path. Keeping your LinkedIn up to date is a must – it’s all about who you know and who they know. Potential employers, recruiters and new connections will examine it to learn more about you before contacting you to ask further questions so make sure it’s an accurate representation of your professional persona.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF GREAT PRODUCT PHOTOS IN TODAY’S MEDIA LANDSCAPE?
Product imagery is so important, particularly in the way you style the product in any campaign shot. Customers are hungry to see how they can maximise usage, being creative with content, and the way you push your imagery out to your consumer, allows them to visualise the need for what you’re marketing. Images need to be up to date, hi-res and easily managed from the back end otherwise things start to get messy and you lose track of valuable resources.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AVERAGE DAY? DOES IT EXIST FOR YOU?
I wouldn’t say I have an ‘average’ day but it mostly starts and finishes the same. I wake up at 5am and go to the gym to get my mind and body moving. I arrive home around 6:30am, eat breakfast and get ready for work. I have the luxury of being able to park at work so I drop my partner at his office, swing by my favourite café, Giddiup, for a coffee on my way and check my emails once I’m at my desk (usually around 8am). I then glance at my to-do list prepared from the evening before, check our Instagram account, Facebook, social media stats and flag any emails that require my urgent attention. By 10am, it’s snack time and I usually have a meeting or catch up with someone followed by checking our inbox for marketing requests that come through from stores and actioning any urgent matters. Lunch is usually at 12pm, with a quick walk around the block and by 2pm, I’m asking reception if there’s mail for my team and refreshing those social media stats again. Depending on whether we’ve changed sale strategies or if there’s an urgent marketing related request, I re-write my to-do list based on what I’ve completed and what requires further follow up and I’m out the door by about 4:30pm.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I need to break this down into two parts; the first being the exposure I’m subject to. I’ve been quite lucky in the sense I’ve had a lot of opportunities to meet and communicate with big industry players. I was beyond excited and flattered to meet Gaby and Margot from Flaunter when they were in Melbourne. The second part is being able to work alongside different stakeholders in each brand within the business. Being the marketing assistant, I work with the Brand Managers, the Digital Manager, our Visual Merchandisers and the Graphics team daily.
HOW HAS THE COMPANY CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED? WHAT ARE THE NEW DEVELOPMENTS AT FUSION?
I think one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the seven months of working at Fusion is the expansion of the marketing team and what we’re doing creatively in regards to campaigns. We have the ability to really think outside of the box and plan brand direction. Colorado has been the latest brand we’ve focused on giving exposure to and I’ve been lucky enough to manage the Instagram platform for this.
DO YOU EVER HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THE MEDIA? IF SO, WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR FORMING RELATIONSHIPS WITH JOURNALISTS?
Speaking with journalists is definitely something we’re focusing on over the next six months however the few journalists and stylists I’ve corresponded with, know what they want. If you can’t deliver what they ask, be upfront and tell them. They’re looking for the most efficient way to source their information, if you can’t provide samples or a press release, let them know. Time is vital.
DO YOU USE INFLUENCERS IN YOUR STRATEGY? IF SO, HOW DO YOU CONNECT WITH THEM?
Influencer marketing is definitely a huge opportunity and it’s something we’re reviewing. Ultimately, you want a variety of individuals, these people are representing your brand and product, make sure they’re proud to do so.
WHAT ROLE DOES FLAUNTER PLAY IN YOUR WORK LIFE? WHAT’S THE MAIN PROBLEM THAT FLAUNTER SOLVES FOR YOU?
It wasn’t until I was handed the role of managing Flaunter for all brands under the Fusion Retail Brands umbrella that I really began to appreciate and understand how important product imagery is, particularly because initially, I had very little exposure to the public relations. You want your new arrivals to make an appearance in The Age travel section? Make sure your brand profile is up to date so that your journalists, bloggers and stylists are filtering through the latest and greatest product. Flaunter has really helped to keep communication streamline and allow me to track who is downloading imagery and how it’s being used. It means I can ensure I’m across any requests and documenting any exposure we receive.