Member Spotlight: Meet Rebecca J Mills
With a background as a buyer and product developer for some of the world’s leading brands, launching her own brand earlier this year was a natural progression for Rebecca J Mills. Her home decor brand is all about distinctive, contemporary designs inspired by the amazing everyday. We caught up with Rebecca at her recent popup in Kingston to find out about her next PR goals and what advice she’d give someone just starting out with their own PR.
What do you see as your biggest achievement while running your brand so far?
Since launching my brand in May, my biggest achievement so far would be holding my Pop Up shop with West Elm; it’s my first event and an amazing experience - and an honour to be chosen by such an inspiring retailer. Not only is it great to hear customer feedback first hand, I also gained so many great contacts.
The team at West Elm were so supportive and it’s brilliant that they give this opportunity to small businesses.
One thing you wished you’d known before starting to do your own PR?
I’m really happy I found PR Dispatch; I’ve learnt so much already and received a few call-ins - Fingers crossed! I only wished I’d found PR Dispatch before launching. At the time I was talking to a couple of agencies, but I really couldn’t stretch my budget to cover their fees or retainers. PR Dispatch has dispelled the mystery around PR.
My advice to someone just starting out- would be to definitely join PR Dispatch and if you dedicate a few hours a week, you can easily do your PR yourself.
Where & How did you start planning your pop-up?
Just after I launched in May, I was browsing in West Elm in Kingston and got chatting to one of the lovely staff members who explained how they hold workshops and Pop-up events involving local businesses. I followed up and went in for a meeting to present my collection - It went down really well and we agreed on dates soon after. It all came together very quickly.
What’s your next PR goal after the pop-up?
Some of my cushions have just been featured in House Beautiful’s Oct issue and I’ve received a few call-ins for November and December, so if I can make the cut for these and receive a few more pieces of coverage, I’ll be very happy for this year.
My longer term goal for next year would be to have a larger feature around my brand - a brand profile or interview.
I’m exhibiting at Top Drawer in January next year, so I’m aiming for this to also build brand awareness - the organisers also help with PR.
What’s your favourite thing about running your brand?
It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years; it’s really hard work, but ultimately I love the fact that I have the freedom to build around my own vision.
I love designing my own prints and seeing them come to life through developing different products, but I’m also enjoying new aspects such as learning about PR and how it works and also the social media side of things. It’s good to see and understand how each part of the brand comes together.
What’s your least favourite?
I know this is what all business owners say, but it’s impossible to switch off! I’m constantly seeing things that inspire or thinking through new ideas.
What’s the first thing you’ll do after you finish packing on Sunday?
Ill go home, put my feet up and fall asleep! I’ve been chatting for 3 days now - Good training for Top Drawer in January!