5 Minutes With: Mel Carrero
Mel Carrero is the PR, Marketing and photography legend behind some of Byron Bay brand Spell's, biggest campaigns and events. She is also a lover of fashion styling and has a lust-worthy personal Instagram account that is well worth following.
We caught up with Mel to talk fashion PR and Marketing, her recent stunning desert elopement, advice for anyone aspiring to work in fashion and marketing (hustle!), and wanting to focus personally on working with sustainable brands.
And of course we got a little sneak peek into the everyday essentials she carries in her bag!
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I (mostly) grew up in the coast town of Port Macquarie, around five hours south of Byron! I did my high school years there and then moved to Sydney for a little moment before heading up to Lismore to study at Southern Cross University, with the intention of leaving to go back to Sydney at some point, but the area really stuck with me, haha!
You are the PR and Marketing Manager of Spell, and a talented photographer – how did your path lead to where you are now?
Basically, I hustled! Photography was something I fell into. I was more into styling and just wanted to dress people up and show it somehow so I started doing these little photo shoots every weekend on friends for my blog. I had no idea why I was doing it, I just was, every single minute I had spare I was shooting what is now called ‘content’, but for me it was just a way of expressing my love for fashion. I didn’t know where it would lead really! I was working as a freelance journalist/marketing then full time as a marketing manager in a shopping centre whilst I was building this blog, content and network of contacts with emerging fashion labels all on the weekends and spare time! This ended up getting me noticed by Spell when I was shooting some of their pieces on a friend, and eventually my festival photography work. I then was communicating directly with co-founder Elizabeth, and one day just asked her if they had any work as it was a dream to work for a cool brand I loved – and a day or so later she replied asking me what I would be good at, because as it would happen, the current person in marketing resigned (a good friend of mine now!). Timing was everything, but luck had nothing to do with it, if that makes sense!
Who influences and inspires your work?
Everyone and everything! I am pretty sure I was born in the wrong era, so of course the Spell vintage aesthetic is right up my alley. I am an Instagram addict and consume a lot of visuals from there. I also just love tv show wardrobes and building a character with clothes, too!
What’s in the pipeline for the rest of the year? Anything exciting you can share with us?
Ooh, I never really know, you know? For work, there is always a bit of travel planned and lots of exciting things there! For me personally, hoping to take a holiday as I only got 5 days of travel after my elopement (and it wasn’t relaxing we were hopping all over the shop!) so I really need a brain break! I am also just having fun shooting lots of content and drinking far too much wine.
Who is your all-time favourite style muse?
Hard one!! Probably Patricia Field, for styling my favourite ever show, so I guess Carrie Bradshaw (or any SATC character!), Nicole Richie, Elle Ferguson.
You recently had a stunning American desert elopement; how did you decide on that?
I was on a Spell campaign at that very location a few years ago and I just fell in love with that landscape, it is so awe inspiring and epic. But originally, we were going to elope in Europe, maybe Italy, but then timing had it that I had a work trip and Amadeus came to film our campaign video as he does videography, so we decided to just tack on getting married to that trip, because, why not?
What was the most special moment of that day?
The ceremony. We got married in a slot canyon (kind of like Antelope Canyon, which is like what you get as your computer screen savers, that vibrant orange rock!) and it was so intimate and beautiful!
You’ve travelled a lot with your work, which location and shoot have you loved the most?
Well I guess it speaks to where I got married, the border of Utah and Arizona/Amangiri was a pretty special place! But I have also loved Marrakech and NYC for being on a shoot. Each place has been amazing for different reasons!
Any advice for someone aspiring to work in fashion and marketing?
HUSTLE! I have hustled a lot over the years, doing shoots for free, networking my butt off, not even knowing what it would lead to, but every single little thing has led somewhere and been a skill of use in my role here. If you don’t have experience, or can’t get experience, then make that experience for yourself! In this day and age, putting yourself out there is great to stand out and there are so many avenues to do this. I look for this when hiring people as well!
You work with some amazing brands for your own personal style, tell us what you look for in a brand and collaboration?
Lately I have been really wanting to focus on more sustainable brands with everything I have learned from Spell, but I also have a pretty bohemian and feminine aesthetic most the time! I really like to wear things that I would actually wear again and again, like an amazing bag (like my Stitch and Hide bum bag, it was honest to god the best festival accessory I have had in my life – means I had free hands to shoot but super easy access to my phone!)
What essentials do you carry in your bag at all times?
Phone with a charging case, card holder with a few essential cards, lip balm, eyelash brush, sunnies (sometimes two pairs, haha!), hand cream (but I never use it?!), a fold up hair brush (this is a very new habit!)
What is your daily mantra?
Ooh, I am never one who is being good at being succinct, but I guess if I had to nut it down to one mantra… work hard, play hard?
Mel at Splendour in the Grass 2019 with our Bailey Hip Bag in Dusty Rose
Loving this 70's palette with our Daisy Belt in Light Tan