Elliot Carlyle

Multi-talented, Elliot Carlyle lives in his passion of a business man in the world of fashion as a publicist, director and consultant. He takes his branding so seriously, but with grace and elegance. Living in North Carolina, doesn’t stop him getting a flood of clients and of course living out his dream.

In each career as a fashion publicist, creative director, branding & marketing consultant, how did it all started?

As well as working in PR, I did event planning.  I planned fashion shows. That really sparked my interests. Of course, fashion is a broad industry. There’s so many avenues you can take from it. I wasn’t really sure what area I wanted to go. It wasn’t until I did NY Fashion Week. It was the first time that I actually set on the [path] that I wanted to take it. Having the event planning experience and the company I worked for, we didn’t have a PR. So basically, any event that you plan, you had to do your own PR and your own marketing, in addition to make the event. So, it all came hand in hand and I took that experience and really said ‘I know how to do PR by experience and talking to other people in the industry and kind of learning what the ropes are. I tailored my business that way and built my brand with the PR and after doing that for about 6 or 7 years, I got interested in the creative direction (photo shoots and styling). All of that was on the business side of PR. Some people outsource it or choose to get in on themselves. I wanted to be a one stop shop as I could and be versatile.

The same thing with branding and marketing as well?

Branding and marketing aspect came after people started seeing the way I was doing my business. Even seen me from Myspace days, I built my brand on Myspace. It spoke to them and influential to them and people started reaching out to me for consultations or give them advice on how did I build my brand, branding tips or what is some social media tips. Their brand had bigger performance than mine and they admired what I did. I always had a edge for personal branding and image development. So, I kind of taken that and being able to help people. That is how branding and marketing came on board. I realized that here is a demand here for that conversation and that education. I do have some expertise and based off what I do for myself and everything I teach or train, inspire or advise, it is really from a personal point. I never really teach anything or ask anybody to do anything I never done myself because I think I have been very experimental with my brand.

You express many talents, is there any hidden ones?

 Music is one of my hidden talents I always called it. Back in middle school, I was a show choir kid. All musical theatre from middle school to high school and got a music scholarship for college. I was vocal major and musical theatre minor. So, that was something I thought was going to be my career and I was going to go to Broadway. I also played piano since age 4. But then, when I was about 19, the whole interest in fashion came aboard. I lost my passion for music and for it being a career. It will just be something personal to me and I decided as far as I see for myself, I saw something outside of music. I dropped it all and pursued fashion. Most of those who know me through music are ones who grew up with me or had experience it with me personally, but other than that, it’s not what you going to see from me.

What made you do music at all and move into the fashion industry?

Basically, I think music was forced or handed to me. Growing up, I wasn’t good at sports. My parents tried to force it on me. I tried basketball and it wasn’t for me. They said I had to do something. Growing up in church I did the singing thing, but that wasn’t enough I had to have something extra. They forced me to do piano lessons and dragged me crying and kicking. I hated to go! But then, it was something I enjoyed but it wasn’t an attachment. I guess I didn’t really discovered that until I got to college and looking at the way I saw myself and my future. I didn’t see myself being that musician or singer. I really wanted to be a businessman. I always known that about myself sitting behind a desk and getting on planes traveling. I wanted to be the guy in the boardroom doing presentations. That was my vision of success.

What does your day look like working in each area of your expertise?

I love this question. Every day is different. Majority of my day, on an average day, I wake up and the first thing I do is meditate and reflecting on anything. I dream and journal a lot. After that I always check my email, do a lot of reading on fashion blogs and keep up with the industry news. And of course, there is Instagram where I wake up to a bunch of DMs and get a lot of laughs in the morning. As far as business, I spend a lot of time doing conference calls and emails. Most of the clients I had or working with are not here where I am geographically. I never actually until 2014, I never had a client in the same city because since Myspace, I can get a client from NY or LA or Detroit or Miami or anywhere. I like the fact with this career I can do it anywhere on a laptop in any environment.

Have you ever considered moving to one of the major cities so you can be more connected with your clients?

I get that question a lot. The answer to that is no. I always like to be in a remote location. I love to travel.  I think that one of the most misconception of people has. Fashion is for NY, Music is for Atlanta and Acting is for you to the move to LA. I think there is [truth] to that, but I’m not the one to believe that you have to be bound to a geographical location or a geographical location determines whether or not you are going to be successful.it think it’s the amount of work and time you are willing to invest in what you say you are passionate about. That is a big thing for me because I come from an area in Northwest Florida where I grew up and no fashion market at all. So, to really put the conversation out there of people that I am going to brand myself and going to become a fashion publicist, well people will look at me crazy. It’s fine. I was able to grow that area with no competition because nobody was doing what I was doing.

What are the hardships you have had in each area of your expertise?

 I didn’t get any hardships really. I just make sure to keep my clients from losing focus.

Wearing permanently all these hats, you do get all sorts of clients. What lessons/advice can you give working with good and bad?

Know what your personal vision and purpose is. That will always give you a clear focus as to anything that you are doing. Understanding where you are and your level of involvement with your client. That helps you navigate through the good and the bad. We are dealing with brands, concepts and businesses and behind that is people. What must stay constant is your level of focus. Focus is a learned skill. For me I haven’t had a lot of bad experience, but I had some things if I see is a little negative for me are dealing with people who lack focus.

How you keep yourself grounded to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly days?

My motivation. Everything I do is about people. My brand statement is building people to make a global influence.  What motivates me everyday is knowing that people have trusted me with their vision. Whatever that is on contract with me on a project or even come to me for a conversation as they say ‘pick my brain’. It’s something I don’t take likely because those are very personal. Anybody invest the time to take a moment to share their heart with you that is something that speaks to you. Every day, I wake up and know someone is waiting to hear from me to see some movement. That is so awesome.

In every career, there are ups and down, but what so exciting doing what you do?

The versatility and the variety and the spontaneity. If you can work in fashion, you can work in any industry because of the fact that fashion is one of the fastest growing and changing all off of the industry that there is. To having to stay on your toes, the industry changes every day. In PR, when I first started was a whole different ball game. To be able to adapt and evolve with the time, that’s something that keeps you motivated, momentum and a flow. There is always something new to learn, something challenging. That what makes it fun. In experience, it is an awesome journey. To be able to look back and see how you are able to navigate change. Some people you started with is not even around today because they couldn’t keep up or evolved into other things. It you want to have great days to have great weeks to have great months to have great years. Take a personal assessment of the movement that you made and you had on others. That gets you out of the bed every day.

Your career started in the tender stage of adulthood. There are many 20 something year old who are working laundry list of jobs and working on what you are doing now at the same time. There are high school and college students who want to do what you do as well. What messages or direction can you give where they can act on today?

The biggest advice I would give is know exactly what you want to do and who you want to be and what it is going to look like. You have to have a vision. The roughest thing for people to do especially that age. Your 20’s are your creative years to experiment. Try it all, start the business, take that class, so that hobby. But I definitely don’t recommend you doing it without any focus. I believe it is necessary to have a clear vision. In your 20’s your vision will constantly change, but never do anything without a vision or purpose connected to it. You will have a foundation even when it pertains to your movement to see if you going to see it all the way or a point of transition. A lot in the 20’s, it may seem chaotic, but it’s OK. However, when you do it without or a sense of purpose or vision, it looks chaotic and instead of strategic and you want to be strategic even if there are constant changes.

Connect with Elliot via Instagram @ElliotCarlyle or www.elliotcarlyle.net

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