Champagne is always the answer, right?! Well, it is according to Caroline Birgmann of POSH PR and we couldn’t agree more! Event planning, weddings, PR…sounds like the perfect career to us! We love everything Caroline has to say about turning her passion into a dream job and her glitter filled home set the stage oh so well! Read on for more about POSH PR, Caroline’s new projects and business tips for those aspiring “girlbosses” out there!
Your business has so many different aspects! There’s the bridal, the planning & events, the PR, the shop and the coaching side! What advice do you have for women who are interested in doing not just one, but many things?
Start small and set goals! Understanding that great success is not something that can be achieved overnight can be difﬁcult for a lot of entrepreneurs. Trust me, it was difﬁcult for me when I started POSH PR! It is so easy to get ﬁred up about your business but lose sight of the little things that are crucial to success, like organization and creating processes for continued growth. Those who ﬁnd lasting success take their time to perfectly shape every aspect of their business. It takes time to build an empire, right? Same goes for your business — it needs to be carefully constructed and loved over time.
Upon the origination of POSH PR, my core business plan reﬂected services that catered towards public relations and fashion-infused events. The Caroline Doll Shop and my Doll Dates Series (coaching) are two crucial aspects of my business today, but were not a part of the original business plan. They were developed over time as my business grew to ﬁt the needs of my clients. It is also important to recognize that they were developed into the business plan after already having built solid brand recognition and discovering that there were clients ready to invest in them. Another truth — you cannot grow your business alone! Take the time and make the investment to ﬁnd the right people to represent your brand. While you are still the face of the company, your team is your backbone. I don’t know what I would do without my POSH PR dolls!
How do you navigate between them all and ensure you give each subsidiary enough attention?
Being organized is crucial to the success of any business, but especially when you are a boss lady wearing many different hats with more than one subsidiary. In order to keep myself organized and divide my time and attention to each client and project, I developed a process that is super simple and has worked wonders! On Mondays, I focus on my Doll Dates/Coaching clients. On Tuesdays, my attention is directed towards my PR clients and Wednesdays are dedicated to my brides. Thursdays are The Caroline Shop days and, come Friday, I focus on the fashion-infused event side of POSH PR. I also structure my social media and email marketing calendars to reﬂect this workﬂow. Well, except for Tutu Tuesdays when I conduct meetings in one of my favorite tulle skirts— that’s pretty much a given!
You recently trademarked your slogan, Champagne Is Always The Answer, which is amazing! How do you maintain your bubbly mentality and your optimistic view on life when the going get hard?
Well, that’s easy — with champagne, of course! On a more serious note, I truly believe that a strong character is deﬁned by how you handle tough situations. In my experience as a CEO and entrepreneur, I accept that things will be tough and there will be challenges. I learned early on in life how important it is to maintain a positive attitude. I make an intentional decision every single morning to be happy and optimistic. Not only do I try to look for the best in every situation, but I focus on celebrating even the smallest of successes. These little wins can add up to big things. For example, when I get an email inquiry from someone interested in my services, or if I get an alert that I have a new sale in The Caroline Doll Shop — I absolutely do a little dance and thank God for the opportunity to serve a new client! You cannot focus on the negative or tough situations. This does not mean that you ignore them, it just means that you refuse to let them defeat you.
What advice do you have for Get it Girls looking to get into the PR world?
In order to succeed in any business there must be a purpose and a passion that drives you. This is especially true for the fast-paced PR industry that is highly demanding of your time and energy. For me, my purpose is empowering and encouraging women, and fashion has always been my main passion and way of life. By focusing on fashion PR, I am able to work with my ideal client: women who love fashion. Better yet, by developing my business around my purpose, I am able to offer a unique and highly specialized service. My advice is to focus on a specialized target market that is in line with your purpose and your passion and you will be able to best serve your clients.
How did you differentiate POSH PR from the rest?
Stay true to yourself and you have no competition — something that I teach my clients. When you have a unique brand you will build a tribe of followers that are incredibly loyal and share the same core values. My motto says it best: POSH PR dolls are girly and glamorous. They believe in pink and gold, but know that glitter will always be their favorite color. POSH PR dolls believe in love and all things that sparkle. They live a fashion-infused lifestyle. They wear tutus on Tuesdays, give candy pink kisses, and know that champagne is always the answer. That is what makes POSH PR different from the rest — it is a brand that comes 100% from my heart and soul. It is a reﬂection of my lifestyle and all of the things that I love most.
You’re a busy woman to say the least! How do you balance your personal life with all the different aspects of The Caroline Doll?
Luckily, I get to spend my days with clients who are celebrating a special time in their life! Whether it is an engagement or a new business, there’s always a champagne toast (or two) and lots of love and laughter during our meetings. Furthermore, I become very invested and close to all of my clients. As a result, true friendships are developed. With that being said, many of my former clients are some of my very best friends today. I truly have the best friends, family, and support system. They understand my demanding schedule and know that there’s not much time off from being the CEO of POSH PR. They also know that the best part about my job is being able to add them to the event VIP guest list! On days when I am not in the POSH PR studio, you can ﬁnd me with a Starbucks in hand walking around the outdoor mall, relaxing on the rooftop terrace with a book, or playing with my puppies! Even in a job that doesn’t feel like work, there is still value in having “me” time!
What advice do you have for girls who are trying to build their business but feel like their personal life is taking a back seat?
If you want to be successful you have to be willing to give up some personal time to make it happen — especially in the beginning! We all know that building a strong brand takes time and dedication. Without a clear direction or systems in place, you can say goodbye to your personal life! By establishing your business systems early on, you will become more efﬁcient and be able to make time for your family and friends. It can be overwhelming at times to try to tackle multiple tasks at once. If I tried to do this I would be running around in circles. This is why I dedicate certain days of the month for organization, business planning, and big dreaming. For example, the ﬁrst Monday of the month is a POSH PR accounting day where I work on client invoices and sales management. The ﬁfteenth of the month is my client experience day where you can ﬁnd me packaging up some goodies to surprise my clients in the mail! These systems are crucial to the success of POSH PR and to my sanity!
Your Doll shop is amazing! How did the idea come about to start selling your goods and what has been the most surprising thing you have learned from it?
On my absolute favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day, I launched something pretty exciting yet equally scary: The Caroline Doll Shop — an online boutique that specializes in fashion-infused party goods that are pink & gold and oh so chic! As a part of my client experience, I send monthly fun mail to keep my clients motivated and to let them know I am thinking of them. Last month, I sent my clients pink foil-printed Champagne Is Always The Answer cocktail napkins along with a special note from me. This random act of kindness has grown into a beautiful subsidiary of POSH PR that I never even considered in the beginning.
Long story short — once my clients started to post their fun mail on social media, I started to receive custom order requests and questions about other fashion-infused product offerings. Designing items for an online boutique was not a part of my original business plan. When you listen to the needs and demands of your clients, it is amazing how they can guide you in the right (and proﬁtable) direction. The Caroline Doll Shop items are designed with love and are centered around our girly and glamorous motto and lifestyle. Better yet, each and every item in the boutique has a unique story. I have learned that owning a business that is based on LOVE can inspire you to do things you had no idea you were capable of doing. It has been an incredible journey to watch The Caroline Doll Shop grow, and so very quickly!
What’s next for The Caroline Doll?
Okay, I will share on one condition — if you can keep a secret! I have been busy working on the curriculum for a Fashion Infused Styling Workshop! This is an educational workshop that caters to other creatives and industry professionals. It touches on the art of styling on various levels: social media, wedding/event, fashion, and ﬂorals. Shhh! In addition to the workshop, I am also working with my design team to launch the next ﬁve items in The Caroline Doll Shop! I can’t wait to share these new items with you!
For bloggers, PR mavens and women just starting out, what is the most important thing they should know about PR before starting to spread the word about their personal brand?
As a business owner, brand consistency is crucial to success. It creates a clear and concise message that is important for potential clients to understand. It also helps you establish your true followers and the ones who will stay loyal to you. As a creative, ﬁnding your core values and staying true to your heart brings consistency and a well-structured brand. For example, every time you walk into a Louis Vuitton store you know exactly what to expect. The brand maintains it’s consistency from the visuals in the windows, the music that is playing, the ambience, lighting, and even the way the staff approaches and speaks to you. Every little detail is accounted for and consistent. That’s the PR standard that inspires me.
EXCELLENT QUALITY & SERVICE
Every service and product that POSH PR includes has a high quality of customer service. For example, in The Caroline Doll Shop, I will do whatever it takes to maintain customer satisfaction — from quickly responding to emails, prompt shipping, personalized packaging, order follow-ups, and product check-in emails. I want my customers to feel the love with every order they place. You cannot compromise on the quality of your products and the customer service that you provide. These are the elements that virtually deﬁne your business and deﬁne who you are.
NEVER COMPROMISE BRAND
I have heard that at the end of every season Louis Vuitton does not discount their unsold bags, instead, they burn them! At ﬁrst I thought this was insanity. Now, I believe this to be the most brilliant marketing and brand positioning ever. In the beginning stages of building your business, set your standards high. Believe that your customers should pay for value. When discussing pricing with my coaching clients, I advise them to price themselves according to value and to never negotiate their worth.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and how has it impacted your business and brand?
My sweet mother once told me that just because someone says “no” does not mean you should give up. She said to never let your mistakes or failures deﬁne who you are. Everyone fails and makes mistakes, but not everyone gets up and keeps trying. Those who keep trying will ﬁnd success. Coming from the former Vice President of the American Heart Association, she probably knows a thing or two! Looking back, I have been told “no” more times than I can count. In middle school, I didn’t make the cheerleading squad while all of my best friends did. I was told I was simply not good enough. The entire year I trained after school at the gym, every single day until next year’s try outs. I not only made the squad but later became one of the captains. I will never forget that failure. To this day it deﬁnes who I am and my work ethic. If you want something badly enough, you will ﬁnd a way to reach your goals. Today’s failures are just as real — I was told that my business would not succeed and that my brand was too girly, and that I should be more like the others. Instead of giving up, I found a creative solution to those difﬁcult challenges. You don’t always have to take “no” for an answer — sometimes it just means that you have to ﬁnd another way.
Styling & Design by: Caroline Birgmann of POSH PR // @thecarolinedoll
Photography for Best Friends for Frosting by: Nicki Metcalf Photography // @nickimetcalfphotography