We recently caught up with Erin Thorpe, the beautiful PR & Events Manager behind Space NK. Working with the world’s best beauty brands from innovators all over the world, we wanted to get the low down of her exciting role at one our favorite luxury beauty retailers. Let’s meet her…

Erin {Erin Thorpe, PR and Events for Space NK, US}

IFS: Tell us about yourself and your background.

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  I’m originally from Portland, Oregon and fell in love with NYC when I spent a summer interning here during my last year at the University of Oregon. I started my career at a large PR agency called Ketchum and worked with a variety of clients across beauty, health and lifestyle. After a couple years there, I switched to Ketchum’s entertainment marketing division and that path eventually led me to BWR, a boutique entertainment PR agency. Even while working in entertainment PR, the majority of my clients were fashion and beauty brands such as Estee Lauder, Revlon, Hourglass Cosmetics, Donna Karan Fragrances, and Vera Wang for Kohl’s. I really loved beauty and after 8 years on the agency side, I left to go in-house with Space NK. The company is a luxury beauty retailer founded by Nicky Kinnaird 20 years ago in London. We now have 23 US locations, each featuring an edited selection of innovative beauty, grooming and wellness products from around the world. My role is overseeing US public relations for Space NK, Nicky and a number of our brands. I communicate news on store openings, product launches and special events to press and beauty bloggers.

IFS: What is a typical day like at Space NK? Give us the deets.

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  I begin every day by checking my iPhone for any urgent emails and then scanning headlines, favorite blogs and Instagram. I always read Women’s Wear Daily and The Wall Street Journal. That is about where a typical days ends. There is nothing 9-to-5 about PR no matter where you work. No two days look the same. A lot of my time is dedicated to researching for and drafting story ideas to pitch targeted media outlets, or facilitating interviews and requests from press. With more than 80 brands at Space NK, I’m often attending or hosting new product launch events or meeting one-on-one with press. I also have to educate myself on the new products we’re going to be selling in stores, so I’m always testing things at my desk.

Space NK Soho NYC storefront (1) {Space NK Flagship Store in SOHO NYC}

IFS: You handle events for Space NK as well. What is the most memorable event you’ve been a part of and why?

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  In this role, I help our stores to plan their biggest events. That might mean hosting a brand founder or national makeup artist at one of our boutiques, or one of our seasonal trend events across all stores. My favorite events are when our own founder Nicky spends the day in store meeting customers. I tag along with her sometimes and we have a lot of fun. She inspires me both professionally and personally, so I follow her around like a puppy and try to soak up as much of her knowledge as I can.

BRENTWOOD SHELVES {Brentwood Country Mart in Santa Monica}

IFS: You’re a Portland gal living in the big city. How do you like living in NYC?

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  I am a west coast girl through and through, but I love living in NYC. This city offers opportunities you just can’t find anywhere else. Even if all I’m doing is walking home from work one evening, the people watching and energy of the city is full-on entertainment. I recently stumbled upon one of Banksy’s street pieces, ran into a friend and saw a scene from a TV show being filmed during my short walk home one night.Not a bad commute. But, it is not for the faint of heart. Living in New York brings the highest highs and the lowest lows. Every month when my husband and I write our rent check, I have to remind myself about all of those ‘only in NYC’ moments that make the sacrifice worth the reward.

IFS: What is your favorite part of the job?

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  Since we are a small company, I get to work on a lot of projects with our marketing, merchandising, retail and dot com teams. That exposure to other areas within the company gives me a big picture perspective and makes me better at my PR job. To me, it’s the biggest benefit of working in-house for a single company vs. a PR agency.

IFS: Least favorite?

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  I’m big on creating and checking things off to do lists, but in PR it’s just not possible to ever really complete a to do list. There is always more to be done and I can never totally shut my brain off from work. I remember even when I was just starting my career, before I carried a Blackberry or iPhone everywhere I went, I used to think of things at night and call my work phone to leave myself a reminder message. I’d get in the next morning and have 4 or 5 messages from myself.

IFS: What are your must-have beauty products you can’t live without?

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  How much space do I have for this answer? For skincare, the Eve Lom Cleanser (one of our favorites as we just blogged about it) is in a class by itself. No other cleanser does the same job. It removes all traces of makeup, gently exfoliates, brightens and tones my skin. I use Clark’s Botanicals Cellular Lifting Serum, Zelens Triple Action Eye Cream and either Intral or Hydraskin cream from Darphin. My favorite daily sun protection is NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention 100% Mineral Sunscreen. It has a great texture, but I am addicted to the smell of it too. If I need a quick fix ahead of a special event, the Wei Gingko Leaf Repairing Face Treatment Pads work wonders for me. My makeup is rotating casts of colors but the constants are Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Tinted Balm and Volume Mascara, By Terry Hyaluronic Eye Primer and Baume de Rose, Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks and lips are usually Nars, By Terry or Lipstick Queen. I use African Botanics Pure Marula Oil and have fallen in love with Cane +Austin’s soon-to-launch 15% Glycolic Body Lotion to help smooth the texture of my skin. The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray and 3 More Inches Thicken & Shine Finishing Feed are my hair heroes. For nails, Rococo Nail Apparel’s Lab Nude 1.0 is my preferred polish for a naked nail look and Jin Soon’s Rhapsody is my favorite color. I could keep going but I’ll cut myself off here. Probably no surprise, but my apartment looks like it could be a Space NK pop-up shop.

IFS: How is it working in the beauty industry? Competitive? Catty? Tell us…

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  I’ve really enjoyed working in the beauty industry. I get to work with a variety of specialists in the field including makeup artists, hairstylists, chemists, doctors, facialists, nail artists, designers, marketers and journalists. In general, the people are friendly, creative and smart. The industry is competitive, sure. You can’t just be trendy, you need to be innovative. Catty? No. Many of my closest friends work with other beauty brands.

IFS: Name one thing you absolutely can’t live without.

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  A publicist’s answer will always be smartphone, but I’m obsessed with my Kindle. Reading a good book is the closest I can get to shutting my brain off from work.

IFS: What is your favorite fashion staple?

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  Flat shoes. Partly because of my west coast roots where casual is king, and partly because I’m nearly six feet tall. I’m having a real sneaker moment. And, jeans. Always.

IFS: Best travel spot you’ve ever been to?

Erin Thorpe + Space NK:  If it’s true R&R I’m craving, I prefer to head back to Oregon. I’m biased, sure, but the Pacific Northwest is gorgeous. And, pound for pound, I think the food and drink scene there bests anyone’s. The most unique travel experience I’ve ever had was Reykjavik, Iceland. My husband and I spent a long weekend there and loved it. It was a very walkable city, affordable and friendly. And, where else can you ride Icelandic ponies while searching mountains for trolls and elves. It’s a special place.

IFS: Share one of your favorite beauty tips.

Erin Thorpe + Space NK: Don’t just buy into the hype for a product. Spend some time speaking with experts about your concerns and the results you are looking for, investigating ingredients, and trying samples to make sure it works for you. Schedule a makeover and have the artist teach you application techniques you might be less confident in.

IFS: If you were to give one piece of advice to anyone looking at going in to the beauty pr world, what would it be?

Erin Thorpe + Space NK: Start tracking the industry now. Follow the beauty blogs, read the magazines & trades. Watch what your favorite brands and personalities are doing in social media and join the conversation. Rather than blindly emailing your resume or calling companies to request an interview, reach out to relevant people at the places you want to work and pitch them an idea for something they should be doing. The beauty PR world is competitive and you need to do something to make yourself stand out from the pack. I would stop and pay attention to someone who took the time to share a thoughtful idea.

Erin + Space NK has graciously offered a giveaway from some of her “favorite things” from this post and we’re so excited that one of you will win this fabulous set of goodies! Can you say we are just a tad bit jealous right now?!

space n k

{EVE LOM Cleanser $80 | ROCOCO Lab Nude 1.0 – Sheer Gloss $ 16.50 | Lipstick Queen in Red Sinner $22}

Here’s how to enter to win Erin’s favorites, a value of $118:  (USA residents only)

1. Follow:  You must be following us on instagram @islandfeversisters and @spacenk.

2. Comment:  Leave 1 comment below with your instagram handle & tell us your favorite beauty tip.

3. Wait:  Sit back and relax… We will announce the winner on Friday, November 29 (Black Friday) on this post.

Good Luck! XX

*UPDATE* Congrats to @amylynnbee22! You are the lucky winner on this Black Friday. 🙂 Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you to Erin from Space NK for giving us this behind the scenes interview + giveaway!