Cuyana.com is a luxury fashion accessories start up based in San Francisco. They believe in bringing savvy and fashionable consumers smartly designed accessories using only the finest materials and most-skilled craftsmen in the world.
I was employee #3.
This means I did everything. As the Creative Lead, I helped establish the foundation for a company to set it up for the success it is today; Cuyana has grown to over 50 employees and boasts an entire line of clothes and hand-made accessories that focus quality and minimalism. They have three locations across the US and now ship to an international audience.
my role + responsibilities
Officially, on paper, I was charged with overseeing, concepting, designing and implementing all visual, web, print, and marketing tactics for the company. This meant I was also in charge of cross-promoting and engaging with the consumer fan base on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the company blog.
I used my experience as a blogger and working directly with PR firms to negotiate coverage for brands and products and applied them to Cuyana. I established an editorial workflow and founded story franchises and templates for them to follow.
Because of the nature of startups, I also pitched in on photography for the editorial content. I styled, shot, edited, and wrote a lot of the content in the early days, engaging with consumers and building an audience from scratch.
I multi-tasked by managing the voice of the brand, writing copy for both consumer facing and B2B communications, and created and produced all marketing materials myself.
I met with the founders and discussed editorial calendar content daily, syncing the content and tone to highlight upcoming product launches, and seasonal creative campaign options. We used this time to also discuss future e-commerce features, current site updates on our roadmap, and plotted out the rest of the day in terms of customer engagement, service, sales, and shipping.
Other skills used regularly are the ability to think about the design, strategy, and architecture of an e-commerce site. It was also my responsibility to concept and plot out the user experience to deliver the most engaging and memorable results, while balancing the young company’s ambitious business goals and metrics.
Working at a startup means working without an ego, having a positive attitude, and working hard, and failing fast. Because of this, I am the fastest person you've ever seen with a packing tape gun. Give me 100 boxes to package and ship by a 4pm FEDEX deadline and I shall produce for you a receipt for said boxes. This skill came in handy during the holiday season, where we would have hundreds of boxes to wrap, pack and ship in a single day to meet the consumer demand and keep up with our promotional shipping offer.
My experience as a startup is something that I take with me daily in my current job. I am proud that the work ethic I demonstrated in helping create a new company during that first year is something I still maintain to this day. Most importantly, mast of my research, e-commerce strategy, editorial content approach, and projects in that first year are still in play today.