MOVERS & SHAKERS: COLLEEN MATHIS

She's one of the industry's finest. Colleen Mathis, founder of Absolute R Relations, shares some of her tips and tricks of the trade.

Describe your job: This questions is something my family still asks me about because they still don’t know what I do! I own a boutique PR agency in NYC specializing in beauty, lifestyle and luxury beauty brands. From celebrity facialists and trainers, to luxurious color and skin brands, I get brands noticed in the media.
 
How did you get into fashion? I caught the fashion bug early! As a little girl, I would dream about being a fashion designer.  But while in college and after school I started off as an intern at Donna Karan and a production assistant on a fashion TV show, that is where I was first introduced to the fashion industry…and I loved it!

What you do you love most about what you do? It doesn’t feel like work to me. I really love and believe in all the brands I work with, and have a great relationship with my clients. Even if my day is 15 hours long, I still feel excited and happy to be doing what I love.
 
What does an average day look like for you? No day is ever the same, that is the beauty of it! I currently try to start my day early (with several cups of coffee, of course) workout, read emails, check out the news then head to the office. My day consists of a mix of editors meetings, pitching my clients, client calls or meetings and introductions. Throughout the years, I have met many amazing people, so introducing people to each other has become a large part of my daily routine.
 
What characteristics do you feel you need to possess, to be great at your job? Be organized! You don’t have to be totally type A, but keeping lists is a must. Also, be quick because a media opp can go quickly. And finally,  double check your work, if you work as fast as I do, there will be spelling errors, I learned that the hard way in my early years.
 
Are there any specific qualifications that help in your industry? Yes. Treat everyone the same. Even after doing this for 12+ years I always treat people the way I would want to be treated, whether you are an intern or the head of a company
 
What advice would you give to others who are looking to get into this line of work? Intern. While in school, I interned for free three times. Yes, I had some credit card debt but all that amazing experience really paid off and helped me in my working years. Also, network as much as possible, and find a mentor. I have been friends with my college mentor who is in PR for 14 years now, we actually just had brunch last month!