The fashion world can seem quite stuck in it’s ways sometimes. Innovation is minimal. Change, particularly in the digital sphere, has been a transition many an established fashion brand has been reluctant to take. But Sophia Green is an example of how determination for change blended with an impressive work ethic can elevate the industry to new heights.
Founding game-changing company 5th House PR at the age of just 23, Sophia is one hell of a business woman to take inspiration from. Her company’s clients now include Millie Mackintosh’s clothing brand, Charlotte Simone and Copé Active. And Sophia started her first entrepreneurial venture when she was at primary school. Yep, really! We met her to chat about how YOU can follow in her career footsteps.
1. How did you get into PR?
From an early age I always wanted to be independent – actually I discovered my entrepreneurial side during primary school. I decided to design a range of Spice Girl bags. You could choose between Ginger, Sporty, Posh, Scary or Baby I had a queue of mothers waiting outside for me everyday which finally led to me getting suspended but I’ve had the fashion bug ever since.
I left the London College of Fashion at 18 eager to get into the industry and began working for my step mother and her start up Jo Wood Organics which was an incredible experience where I met many fascinating people in the fashion and beauty industry. I then took the leap and started working at Surgery PR, they would only offer me an internship until I proved myself. Luckily I fell in love with every aspect of the job and suddenly my days didn’t feel like work anymore. Caroline, the founder, has been my mentor and a great friend since.
2. Why did you decide to found 5th House PR?
In 2009, at the fresh age of 23, I started 5th House Creative because I wanted to create a business which brought creativity, authenticity and PR together. I wanted to work only with brands that I really LOVE and really believe in – that was the dream! At the time the recession had just started and the fashion world was in for a major change. Most people did think I had temporary madness but I was determined to make something positive out of the situation and it actually become my blessing.
Luxury and high-street in those days were the big players in the UK market and the bit in-between didn’t really exist yet. I decided that that would be my niche – to bring affordable international contemporary brands such as Dannijo, Sam Edelman and Charlotte Simone to the UK editors and media, and that is where it all began. I have always thought of 5th House as an extension of myself and I have always built it with a focus on my own personal values – kindness, authenticity and creativity. I think this is a huge part of its success to date.
3. What challenges did you face setting up your company?
The accounts side – hell! Also managing a team and trying to get a team to listen to me at 23 years old was quite difficult. I had to read a lot of books to get that right but if you put the work into your team it will be your most important asset. I now have the dream team and we are like a family, it sounds cheesy but its one of the reasons why I love coming into the office everyday.
4. What has been your most amazing ‘pinch me’ moment in your career so far?
I have pinch me moments all the time – from securing an amazing piece of coverage for a brand to being part of amazing collaborations!
5. Who do you admire?
Oh gosh so many people – I think Philip Green is amazing – a true business man. Also just so many people people I work with – Rachel Zeilic is one of my oldest clients and now the head of design at Revolve and is just such an incredible women and really proves that you can be successful but also be kind. I also LOVE Carine Roitfield – what a women!
6. What would your advice be to someone wanting to work in PR? What are the best ways in?
Internships are absolutely the best way in. Take the time to find a place that is really aligned with your values and where you want to be, as you should put 110% of yourself into your internship to get the most out of it. Also don’t be afraid to email people for advice or assistance, usually people are more then happy to take five minutes out of their day for a coffee. Another great piece of advice is that polite persistence is everything!