INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 19 INTERVIEW: velma simmons, asos brand PARTNERSHIPS & founder, lifetalks

Hi Velma! Tell us a bit about who you are and how you would you best describe your role(s)?

My job role is connect brands at ASOS to make them more famous [laughs] For example, I work with Mastercard, STA Travel XBOX, The Brits (in partnership to Mastercard) we work quite strategically to work with a twenty something audience in order to build genuine relationships between the two. It's a lot of going out to breakfasts and lunches to find out out what the brand is up to. We (ASOS) are an e-commerce website but we like to add in surprises like competitions for example just to add some excitement.

With LifeTalks, I've been doing LifeTalks for three years but honestly its all GOD! With having Swizz Beats at my last event, I met someone and they happened to be his PR manager and in passing I mentioned that I would love to have him one day. I'm a big believer in speaking things into existence. It's hard because of course I work a 9-5; its been a journey but it's taught me so much. One thing it has taught me is the power of relationships. We need to come away from wanting to be friends with people of a following but building genuine relationships. Just be nice to people no matter who you think they are! A few months ago, maybe a year ago, I met this lady who the manager of Jay Z and Beyonce's photographer and she invited me on the In The Run tour, so I came down to the hotel to meet Beyonce's publicist to get the tickets from her and she was so lovely to me. So I gifted her with a lovely candle, just to say thank you you know, because she really didn't have to.

Wow, that's incredible! So how you balance it all, because that all sounds like a lot going on?

I'm still trialing and erroring! It's so hard and it is just timing especially working a 9-5 and then coming home to work on your own stuff is tiring and but its all worth it.

Do you enjoy what you do?

Oh 100%, I definitely wouldn't be doing it if I weren't enjoying it. My friends help me out a lot aswell and they support what I do. I've got good friends!

Do you find as a woman there are more expectations or pressures to deliver?

I think mostly as black woman yeah, but also as a women in general. Like when I go over to Mastercard, it's very male dominated so its just all about having a voice and really dominating it! You want to be confident regardless, in the workforce you need to go hard and prove yourself. This is why I love International Women's Day because it is celebrating women how we should be celebrated!

What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?

Definitely . LifeTalks .. I was never a girl who wanted to own a business and to even get to where I am in my career is a massive achievement to me. I lost my dad 5 years ago for me to still be standing also after a huge loss is a big thing. Losing someone like my parent I thought I'd crumble so to still here is a testimant in itself, that's all God!

What about your transition from moving over from New Jersey to the UK?

When you move somewhere, it forces you to start again and re-adapt. I moved here when I was 15 but I've had to meet new friends, like going to Uni.. its still hard! You're able to see a different perspective of life, I go back to New Jersey every Summer and my friends also come here. And having Facetime makes things so much easier, we speak (and see) each other a lot more often - technology is amazing especially for things like this.

Do you have any tips or advice for anyone who wants to follow the same career path as yourself?

Please, dont give up!

Know that what is meant to be for you will be for you!

Just also do your best, God in control

Follow Velma and her journey on Instagram:

Instagram: @Velma.Simmons @LifeTalksUK

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