SW PR Shop’s modern LA office is covetable when it comes to spaces we could picture ourselves working and founder Molly Schoneveld is as cool as they come – plus, a total Girl Boss. Here, we’re lucky enough to chat with Molly about when, where, and why she became a publicist, her cute office, and its adorable Los Angeles neighborhood.
Was there a particular moment when you knew you wanted to go out on your own and launch SW PR shop?
Not quite. I had previously quit PMK to help my sister-in-law launch her maternity line, and although we successfully secured a ton of press around the launch, ultimately our partnership wasn’t the best fit. Unsure of my next move, I had a brief stint at a lifestyle PR firm, and it was during that time when I realized that in order to be happy, I needed to be the HBIC.
During that same time, my good friend and former PMK colleague was moving to Phoenix with her husband, but wasn’t ready to leave the industry. She asked me if I would be interested in partnering—I would be on the ground in LA, and she could work remotely from Phoenix. I knew that since so much of our business is done via email, we could make the long-distance work to our advantage. We were lucky in that we already had a client roster when launching, and she would fly in once a month to take meetings and attend client events. We even ended up getting clients in Phoenix.
What’s the most challenging part of owning your own business?
Finding the time to work on the business at the same time as working in the business. Despite having a stellar team, I find it incredibly difficult to manage my time between meeting client demands, encourage and motivate my team, and find the time to even hire extra help when we need it. As a business owner, you are pulled in 100 different directions, and you really have to decide what’s important and set strong boundaries.
What does your schedule look like on a typical day?
There is no such thing as a typical day in PR, and that’s why I love it! In an ideal world, I would spend 90% of my week in the office strategizing, researching, crafting and sending pitches, and focusing my time on tasks that will get my clients results. But as a personal publicist, these ideal weeks are far and few! I am often out of the office at photo shoots, talk show studios, red carpet premieres, traveling with clients, etc. so on a really busy week, I am out of the office quite a bit. Again, this is where having a rock star team comes into play, because when one of us is out with a client, there are other people in the office steering the ship.
Tell us a little bit about your cute office! Where are you located and what goes on here on a daily basis?
I am so lucky to have found such a great office space on Larchmont Blvd. It’s such a charming street with so many cute restaurants and shops nearby– I just love it! Our workday officially starts at 9:00AM, but let’s be honest, we’re never not working. Each morning begins with a “to-do” meeting, where we discuss every pending item for each client and the status of various projects. Then, we divide and conquer. Unlike many other PR firms, my company is all hands on deck at all times. We are all working on and involved in every single client we represent as a team.
Working in such a fun neighborhood must lend itself to some yummy options! What are your favorite spots for a lunch or a coffee break?
We have definitely been on a Poké kick since Sweetfin opened. Can you blame us?! I’m a big fan of Coffee + Food– they literally make the best banana bread in the entire world- and the almond milk at Go Get ‘Em Tiger will change your life. But during any given lunch hour you can find me at Le Petit Greek and Village Pizzeria. My stomach may or may not be growling while I’m typing this.
What’s your favorite part about the space?
Our office shares a common area with Crosby Carter Management, a hair/makeup/styling agency, and having an extended network right next door makes the day to day so much more fun. Aesthetically, I love that we finally each have our own space—it’s really bright and airy and just generally feels good to sit in the space.
As a PR pro, what do you have to have at your desk?
My laptop and phone are a given, but I also have a towering pile of the most recent magazines issues on my desk at all times. A cute notebook is essential as I’m constantly jotting down notes and reminders, and I am obsessed with anything from Sugar Paper. Some weeks I’ll bring in fragrant flowers to freshen up the space, but more times than not I’ll just light my go-to Diptyque candle.
From a design perspective, what do you have to have?
When decorating a new space, I always start from the floor and work my way up. Never underestimate the power of a great rug! I also must have artwork. I recently discovered Artfully Walls, and they make creating a gallery wall so easy and affordable. I’m also obsessed with coffee table books, and I always pay attention to the color of the spine—it’s the easiest trick for adding height, color, personality and interest.
Any parting business advice or words to live by?
I’m learning that the first step to getting what you want is actually believing you get it. And… “Being realistic is the fastest way to mediocrity.”
P.S. if you want more advice from Molly, check out her travel & lifestyle blog, This Yuppie Life!