Natalie Makous Takes Over The Sterling Standard
Hi everyone, it’s Natalie! Happy May!
I work with Sterling as Director of Business Development at Starling Project. I’m excited to be taking over The Sterling Standard for this week’s post!
Anyone who has worked at a start-up knows that you wear many hats. Hats I love to wear include planning events, developing partnerships with people and brands interested in our mission, and working on our marketing and social media efforts. Hats I don’t love- being in front of a camera. I think Sterling does it purely for her own amusement at this point, but if you follow her on social media she has basically started a daily Natalie post. The other day, I was on the subway on my way to work and she texted me if I wouldn’t mind being in a photoshoot that day. To say I was ill-prepared is an understatement. For starters, I was sick as a dog and I had no way of going home to get my make-up bag, I didn’t even have chapstick on me. She assured me it would be a quick shoot and no one would even notice it was happening. Enter her assistant Shannel, who I love and adore, but was full-on director of this shoot and anyone within a twenty-foot radius of us knew what was happening. Like I said, I wear many hats, some of which I love and others I really have no choice but learn to love.
But in all seriousness, I totally hit the jackpot with this job, mainly because it doesn’t usually feel like a job but a passion project I’m fortunate to be a part of. It has its challenges, such as pitching our brand to retailers and corporate partners. Sterling made it her mission to create a product that’s better than our competitors. While it might sound biased, she was successful in doing so, and it’s part of my job to sell that idea and our mission to help spread the word. I also focus a lot of my time on our social media efforts which has been a new area of focus for me and a definite learning experience. It really takes a lot of focus, self-teaching, and patience. Focus is a tough one when we work out of Sterling’s apartment because she is known to break out dancing to rap music at any time while discussing something important, but we still manage to get it all done.
People always ask me, “so, where’s your office?” and I always laugh because there is no one answer to that question. Most days we are in Manhattan working out of Soho House, but we also spend time in Brooklyn at our candle pourer’s studio discussing new scents and watching our latest order getting made, and another day could involve meetings with UNICEF and Barneys New York, our biggest retail partner. Sterling and I also both travel a lot. We really appreciate the days we are together to get sh** done, but it’s also nice having the ability to move around. In the month of May alone, Sterling and I have trips planned to LA, D.C., Texas, Japan, and Nicaragua, so it’s awesome being able to run a business from near and far.
One of the most interesting parts about my job has been learning about the candle industry. I’ve always loved candles but I’ve never put too much thought into what goes into making them, so being able to see that first hand (more pictures below) helped me get a better understanding of it by seeing the raw materials come together to create a beautiful candle. I work closely with our manufacturers on our product development and it helps to know every component of that process. We are currently putting the finishing touches on a new product coming out Memorial Day Weekend so be sure you’re following us on Instagram (@starlingproject) so you don’t miss that exciting announcement.
Thank you so much for letting me takeover Sterling Standard this week! Enjoy the photos and know that I’m clinching my teeth being as awkward as can be in every one.
Have a great week everyone!