Hey guys, Kaelin here! I am back with my second guest post for Retro Flame today :) I’m really excited to be doing these more often. Erika asked you over on her IG stories for topics you may be interested in from my perspective and a really popular idea was to explain what my roles are at Retro Flame. So today I wanted to share what a typical work day looks like for me. I hope you enjoy this more chatty post and learn more about my position at Retro Flame.
Arrive for work. Ever since Erika moved, I’m arriving early most days because I worry the Subway will get delayed (this definitely didn’t happen when I lived two streets from her lol!).
We begin work at 9am and the day usually starts off with a chat between myself & Erika about what’s going on that day. During this time we discuss our tasks & goals for the day. We also make a rough schedule in order to ensure we get everything done.
I almost always start off with emails. We use the star system on Gmail (which is so so handy). This allows me to organize the emails that come in. For example, I star all my emails green, Erika’s email red, events orange, etc. We find this system works really well for us. So first thing each morning, I organize the inbox & then spend around an hour replying. Seeing as we still work with a lot of brands in Europe, our inbox is always pretty busy first thing due to the 5 hour time difference.
After I’ve gotten a handle on emails and repsonded to anything urgent, I then dive into content. I project manage all the content here on the blog so it takes up a big part of my week. I will usually have done all my research & brainstorming/coming up with ideas the week previous so that I know exactly what needs to be done when I come in on Monday. We use a content calendar on Google Drive (that we just created ourselves) which is really helpful. That can be the most time consuming part of it all so its good to be step ahead. When it comes to the actual post, if it’s fashion related for example, I will find items to include in it and write a rough draft. Erika then always reviews everything, adds her parts & finishing touches and then schedules it.
At this stage, it’s time to start thinking about what we are shooting that day (we shoot content most days). We will already have discussed this in the morning but I like to come up with a concrete plan so it’s as easy as possible for Erika. To do this I think of the exact location(s) we are going to be shooting in, I gather some inspiration shots & I make a shot list. This is especially important if we are shooting a couple of things at once. If we are shooting a campaign, I always make sure to have all of the briefs on hand too to ensure we have all the information/guidelines we need i.e if the brand wants it shot a particular way.
After this is all done (& Erika’s ready), it’s time to shoot. It’s usually either a campaign we’re shooting, Erika’s look of the day, interior shots or just cool detail shots we’ve planned out. It’s always a mix. We try to get it done early in the day so that the lighting will be good (that’s super important) & our shoots can take between a half an hour to three hours. You never really know what to expect, especially in busy city like New York, but we try to get them done as efficiently as possible.
We usually eat lunch at around 1 or 2pm. We are both terrible at taking breaks so lunch is usually a quick one at the desk but we are slowly but surely working on getting better at this.
After lunch I like to get a handle on the project management side of things. This is a huge part of my job with Retro Flame. When it comes to this industry, project management involves looking after collaborations from start to finish. You may think there isn’t much to this but it involves more than meets the eye. There are quite a few steps involved and it can take months for a collaboration to be complete.
Here’s a brief example of the usual process: Initial conversation (call and/or emails), negotiating, reading through and signing contracts, ordering products, planning and scheduling when content goes live & brainstorming what we want to create, shooting content, sending it to the brand for approval, sending over all links when everything’s live, & then invoicing. I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of everything which is essential when you have a few different campaigns going on. The content calendar is also a huge help here.
At 3pm I then usually spent some time on invoicing. I like to try and do this altogether once a week. Again we have a spreadsheet for this to keep track ( yes we have a spreadsheet for pretty much everything haha!). At this stage I’ll also follow up on any payments that are late – which can happen quite a bit in the freelance world.
If Erika has a video going live that day or the following day I will have to start thinking about thumbnails & descriptions boxes. I usually try to have them done so everything is ready for her when the video is uploaded. For the description box, it just involves getting links. For example, what she’s wearing in the video, products mentioned, etc. Then when it comes to the thumbnail, I’ll usually have to wait for Erika to send me over some photo options. I then make them on Canva. We usually discuss what we have in mind for each one and then I make a few options for Erika to choose from. Not going to lie though, I’m not the most creative person so making thumbnails is probably one of my least favourite parts of the job (don’t tell Erika haha!).
Next up, I’ll look at Erika’s Google calendar and make sure it’s all up to date. This will also involves going back to the emails and looking at all the orange stars and RSVPing to any events she wants to attend. I usually know what Erika will want to go to and not want to go to but if I’m unsure I will make a list and give it to her at the end of the day and come back to it. At this stage I will also put any phone calls or meetings she has coming up into the calendar. I try my best to schedule all our meetings on the same day as it works best for us. Also, for calls I try to put them on Monday as it’s good to get them out of the way at the beginning of the week I think.
Coming to the end of the day, it’s time to wrap things up. This involves going back to emails and replying to anything that I may have missed while doing my other tasks. At this stage I will also make a list of the red emails that Erika needs to get back to ASAP to give to her before I leave (she likes lists a lot, haha!). I will also use this hour to do some outreach. This involves thinking about the brands I think Erika would be a great fit to work with and getting in touch with them. I try to reach out to at least 10 a day that I think would suit the Retro Flame brand and Erika’s lifestyle. I will more than likely have already made my list for the week so it’s just a matter of sending the emails at this time.
My last half hour involves scheduling social media posts to promote any posts or videos that went live that day. Also, if Tommy collected any packages on his way home, I’ll open them and lay them out for Erika to look through. Then just before I leave I’ll have a quick chat with Erika about the day and what’s on the schedule for the next day just so I have a clear idea coming in. After that, it’s time to head home.
Every single day is different – but this isa rough look at some of the particular aspects I help with.
I really hope you enjoyed this insight into a day of my life working at Retro Flame. Feel free to follow along over on my IG (@kaelin_fox) for more daily stories :)
Have a great weekend,