Martine Allars – Fashion Editor at ACP Magazines

As a woman with  many passions, I juggle between the things I love. I work as a yoga teacher, fashion editor and a novelist. I work 3.5 days of the week and the rest I spend just enjoying this wonderful world we live in; running retreats and workshops. This year I am finishing off my second novel, the first is pitched at primary school girls and is called The Littlest Witch.

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Petite, passionate and a little bit of a perfectionist. 

What is your life motto? Keep moving forward. We can’t change anything behind us, so we might as well keep onwards and upwards.

When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful?  I was lucky, I went for a job in a magazine two weeks out of uni and got it straight off the bat. I had to work hard, and do lots of mucking in along the way but it’s all been worth it.

How much time and effort did you dedicate? I think I opened mail, did the faxing (yes it was that long ago), the coffee run for three years.

What are the challenges in your line of work? Juggling. You cannot survive if you are only able to do one thing at a time so only people able to handle a difficult call, while finishing a story and having lunch need apply.

What feedback taught you an extremely valuable lesson? Don’t take things at work personally. Honestly things get changed all the time, so you just do your best and let it go. 

What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? Life first. Don’t get caught up in your job, it can go at any point and if you don’t have a life you love you’ll be feeling pretty sorry for yourself. 

In your mind, is formal training essential? No; just initiative and hard work.

Do you think having a mentor is important? How would you go about getting one for this industry? I think it would help. My first editor was great in showing me how to get started and along the way I’ve worked with some really talented people who have certainly given me lots to learn too.

What are some steps those starting out can take to start/further their career? Offer your services for free, smile no matter what you have been asked to do and then do it properly and efficiently. Make contacts and tell them you are happy to start in any role to get your break. 

What kept you going when you weren’t at your best? Knowing that everything I do just gets recycled (hopefully) anyway.

Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? In part, but I think you can make that happen if you really want something.

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