Name: Victoria Malloy
Location: Toronto, Canada
Job Title: Founder at Claythorne Communications
Education: Marketing, Publicity/Public Relations
First and foremost, I am a discerning, ambitious woman. I love that there are resources like JAGGAR that exist for like-minded women to share and collaborate. I am an entrepreneur myself and started my own boutique PR firm 3 years ago specialising in working with beauty and grooming brands that are clean, eco-friendly, natural and socially responsible.
My roster of clients includes brands that are located across the globe, from Canada to the US and as far as New Zealand. I work with brands to help elevate their presence in the Canadian marketplace and beyond to generate coverage in Print, TV and online media outlets.
I am passionate about aligning myself and my PR firm with brands that are unique and have an interesting story to tell. I love uncovering brands that are hidden gems and then casting a spotlight on them in the media and public community. I myself am genuinely passionate about using products in my daily routine that are clean and pure and mindful on the environment, therefore it was only natural that I extend that passion into the work that I do.
Being an entrepreneur isn't as easy as people tend to think. It takes drive, passion, an open mind a ton of hard work. So much of what I do and what I have done with my business is a result of tips and tricks and ideas that I have picked up from inspirational women who I consider to be mentors. There is no sense in keeping everything that you do a secret, it is important to share and inspire and help one another grow and that is what I love about forums like these.
Why did you decide to start your own firm? I have always had an inherent passion for marketing and storytelling, finding unique and interesting ways to elevate a message. That, combined with my love for natural health and beauty made me want to combine the two and lend my expertise in marketing and PR to beauty and grooming brands looking to elevate their presence. For me, marketing brands and products in an industry that you are genuinely passionate about is so rewarding and allows you to be able to infuse that personal perspective into the work you are doing. Claythorne Communications was born out of these two passions of mine.
What resources did you find helpful in the early stages and what resources do you still turn to now? I’m a total go-getter by nature and I was born with a healthy serving of ‘hustle’. When an idea has been sparked, I figure out which way to go and how to bring it to life. I consider myself the type of person who is constantly finding inspiration in any nook and cranny in my day-to-day life, and these are all things that have in one way or another contributed to the brand that I have built for myself and my business. There are so many people out there doing amazing things, creating cool products, telling interesting stories and I allow all of these things to inspire me and spark ideas that I can parlay into my own brand. There are so many inspiring PR women running their own firms and I enjoy following along on their journey, learning from them and allowing their ideas to help inform my own. It’s not about playing copy-cat, it is about idea sharing.
Did you have any prior knowledge or experience around starting a business or was it more of a self-taught journey? It was really a self-taught journey. I kind of just jumped in and figured it out as I went along, and that is where my resourcefulness and go-getter nature really came into play. I think that you really have to possess that hustle to sustain it. For me, my business is like my baby and I go to great lengths to keep it moving and growing.
What roadblocks did you encounter (if any) as an entrepreneur? It’s no easy ride running your own business. You are always on the clock and the buck stops with you at the end of the day. There’s no punching out at 5pm. Yes, I’m a slave to my iPhone but it’s all for the good of my business and at the end of the day I thoroughly enjoy what I do.
How long was Claythorne in operation before you began to see early signs of success and how difficult was it in the day to day before the business took off? I feel fortunate in that I was able to quickly identify that I wanted my niche specialty to be in the all-natural beauty industry as a result of strong word of mouth between brands that I was working with. In the early days I didn’t know going into it that I wanted to focus exclusively on natural beauty brands, but that is the way that things quickly evolved and it made sense to pursue it as such.
You mention inspirational women you have as mentors - were these friends, industry professionals, women in similar businesses? I draw inspiration from so many different women that I encounter, whether they are friends, family, fellow entrepreneurs or other professionals in my same field. There is so much to be learned from simply meeting and talking to people.
What spurred you into action to focus on eco-friendly, natural and socially responsible brands? Well first and foremost my lifestyle. I enjoy living a healthy life and that extends to my skin and body care regimen. Over the years I have learned so much about plant-based ingredients from the amazing people behind the brands that I work with and it has made me so much more aware of not only what I am feeding my body, but what I am putting on my skin. Why care for your skin with a product made up of a laundry list of un-pronounceable ingredients when Mother Nature has created something that can do the same (if not better!) in a clean and pure way? It was this philosophy combined with the direction that my business was naturally heading as a result of word of mouth that led me to solidify my decision to focus exclusively on this industry.
How do you set about reviewing a brand's social consciousness? I enjoying reading up on the brand and their story behind it. I look for brands whose philosophy and commitment aligns with my own. I’m a conscious ingredient label reader and I appreciate packaging with the least impact on our environment.
What are the key things you're learned so far on your entrepreneurial journey? That you need to be constantly evolving. In this digital age, your finger needs to be on the pulse of what is going on and you need to adapt your business accordingly. There is no one-and-done to running your own business, you need to stay competitive and find your edge.
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