Speaking to our latest BLUP50 member Chikay was a real eye opener. Chikay hasn’t just ‘fallen’ into where she is now as Head of Global Growth & Marketing Partnerships at Cult Beauty – one of the biggest digital beauty brands globally. In fact having moved form Leeds straight after Uni to trying a number of jobs to get a foot in the door and finance her London living – Chikay’s is the epitome of GRIT! In a recent instagram post, Chikay also opened up and shared her experience of Asian Hate Crime which definitely shed new light on how serious a matter it is. Read on to find out more about Chikay’s journey to success.
// YOUR WORD FOR 2021
// WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN ONLINE/INSTAGRAM /TIKTOK / TWITTER THAT HAS STOPPED YOU SCROLLING?
I try to follow a big range of accounts – those that promote positive news, memes obviously but also accounts that provide education on international issues that mainstream press deem not worthy to report on and it is usually these that stop me in my tracks.
// GIVE US A WHISTLE STOP TOUR OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE
Sep 2011 – Moved to London after graduating for an unpaid internship for a marketing agency and quickly realised that there was no long-term career prospect for me there when my daily tasks were primarily made up of changing the bins and emptying the dishwasher.
2 weeks later – Quit the internship and walked into the first shop I would think of (Selfridges on Oxford Street) and managed to get a job on the spot as a sales assistant to finance my stay in London to look for more long-term roles.
2012 – Sales negotiator at Foxtons for 7 months
Aug 2012 – This is when my career in digital marketing began, I was offered a role in an online drinks start up business 31DOVER by David Laurie, the then CEO who I had met whilst working on the shop floor in Selfridges. Working at Selfridges was a tough time for me with no friends around (I was the first to move to London) and at work staff were treated horrendously by both management and customers. BUT I wouldn’t change this experience for the world, I would not be doing what I do now had I not been there and met David.
Oct 2013 – Search Engine Marketing at NET-A-PORTER
Feb 2015 – For the past 6 years I’ve been at Cult Beauty where I currently look over the global growth and partnerships strategy of the business!
//WHAT DOES 24 HOURS IN YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?
On a normal weekday I wake up bleary eyed and reluctantly put on my workout kit to exercise on my spin bike before the day starts. Then coffee and a big breakfast is next on the agenda whilst I check my emails and prep for the meetings of the day, I average around 5 zoom calls a day so it’s a constant balancing act of meetings/getting back to emails/supporting my team whilst also trying to tick off my never ending to do list.
Myself and my sister are also in the processing of buying a property so evenings now are primarily made up of reviewing contracts/paperwork whilst watching cartoons (Rick and Morty/Bob’s Burgers is my poison)
// WHAT DO YOU DO TO SWITCH OFF OR CHILL?
This is going to sound bizarre but it’s got to be spinning for me. When I go on my bike, I completely zone out I don’t think about my to do lists or worry and my focus is pushing myself to my absolute fullest. It’s honestly like therapy for me but cheaper!
// WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR BEST CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?
I am incredibly lucky to have quite a few awards and accolades under my belt BUT watching the progression of my team must be my proudest achievement to date. I have an unbelievably talented team of bright hard working talent who have also won awards for their achievements. To see that gives me more joy than anything else in my career.
// WHAT DO YOU SEE IN YOUR FUTURE?
The last year has taught me to not plan too far ahead in the future as anything can happen. I’d like to step into my future with an open mind, as long as I am happy and healthy with my friends and family around. (I would really like a doggo though – very specifically a Shiba Inu haha)
// IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ONE CREATIVE/BRAND WHO WOULD IT BE?
Ben and Jerry’s – without a doubt. I admire this brand so much for their unapologetic advocation to support progressive and polarising issues that need to be addressed.
// WHO IS YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
All the women around me in my life, I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by women in every aspect of my life who remind me that there is no limit to what we can achieve.
// YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OF 2021 SO FAR?
Arlo Park’s Collapsed in Sunbeams album is currently on repeat for me at the moment.
// WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SAY ABOUT YOU AT THE END OF YOUR CAREER?
I find a lot of enjoyment in helping others develop their skills, if I’ve made a difference to someone’s career (be it from a progression standpoint or there to support them during difficult times) that would give me so much joy.
// WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO NEW CREATIVES?
I wouldn’t consider myself a creative in the traditional sense, a lot of my work actually revolves around data analysis and strategy however creativity is key to thinking differently and innovating within the space. Find your passion, what you are good at and constantly push yourself to try new ideas, there will be setbacks and mistakes along the way but find opportunities in these to learn.
// WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU IN YOUR WORLD RIGHT NOW?
I feel incredibly passionate about equality/racial justice/human rights – I think it is important to hold businesses and individuals accountable and responsible to action huge improvements that’s necessary in these areas.
// ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO MENTION?
The #stopasianhate movement is very close to my heart, for anyone who is interested to learn more about my personal experiences and ways to help I do talk about this subject regularly on my Instagram