Born and bred Londoner, Phoebe Lovatt works as a freelance journalist and moderator in the US, focusing on global work culture and the working woman. Her passion for bringing women together started as personal project but quickly grew into a successful business: The WW Club - a platform that connects and educates working women worldwide. As a result, she has hosted and produced events with brands such as Nike, W Hotels and Topshop, and just recently released her first book, The Working Woman's Handbook.
Founding a Company… I didn't set out to start a business, actually. In 2015 I was living and working as a journalist in LA when I had the idea to a) self-publish a career advice guide for young women in creative industries, The Handbook For Women Who Do Creative Work and b) create a community for women in Los Angeles to offer professional support and guidance. Long story short, I converged the two ideas by creating a pop-up cowork and event space in downtown LA, which also served as the launch for the self-published book. Both were a much bigger success than I'd anticipated and after the pop-up closed I knew I had to run with the concept of The WW (Working Women's Club). Since then I've hosted events for women in cities around the world, partnered with brands including Nike Women and Topshop, launched a membership platform within The WW Club, started a podcast, and created a job listings format that goes out in my weekly newsletter. Off the back of my self-published book, I ended up getting a book deal to expand and update the original concept - The Working Woman's Handbook: Ideas, Insights and Inspiration for a Successful Creative Career came out in the UK last week. So yeah, it's definitely a business now! But it wasn't one to start out with - I've figured out how to monetise it backwards (not an approach I'd necessarily recommend!)
On Success… Success is waking up everyday and knowing I get to set my own agenda, focus on the things that are important to me, and, increasingly, cut out the stuff that isn't. Of course there are many tedious aspects to any job and being your own boss is a huge amount of pressure and stress, but I honestly couldn't have it any other way.
On Challenges… Figuring out how to monetise what essentially started out as a passion project has been challenging but I'm proud to say that I've found ways of making it work. Also - learning to delegate. I'm an only child and so my instinct is to try to do everything myself. Not effective!
Keys To Running A Business… Understanding your business model and being realistic about what your daily working life will look like once you've got it up and running. Often, I think people get caught up in the idea of what they want their business to look like without considering the skills and workload required to actually make money.
Personal Philosophies… My mantras and philosophies are evolving all the time. In my earlier twenties, I was very much about embracing fear and risk as a key to personal and professional development and that guided a lot of my decision-making. Now I'm in my late 20s, I still embrace risk but I'm also much more conscious of using my time and energy effectively to get the results I really want. Both of those resources are finite so my approach now is much more rooted in trying to streamline my efforts to create a business and life I really love.
On Building Female Communities... I've been lucky enough to experience the benefits of women's solidarity and support in both my working and personal lives and I know how powerful it can be. I enjoy working with men and have many male friends, but there's something about feminine energy that's just magical.
Why Girls Need to Think Bigger about Their Careers… Because why wouldn't you? That said, I don't think you should necessarily equate big just with numbers or wealth. Thinking big is about having the highest possible aspirations for your business and your life. For you, that might mean working independently on individual projects and producing work of exquisite quality. Or, it might mean growing a billion pound business. Don't get caught up in another's idea of success. You'll never ever feel successful if you do.
*Photography by lianna Tarantin