Colorado State University - Bachelor of Science in Apparel and Merchandising
One of Allyson Conklin’s employees wrote us, describing her PR entrepreneur boss as: “ … an inspiration to every E! News-watching, glossy magazine-reading young professional who wonders how they can have a career they love and look forward to every day.” We’d have to agree.
Allyson started her career started with an internship with Footwear News and Women's Wear Daily. Her first job was at W Magazine and she went on to handle PR at Shiseido, Cle de Peau Beaute and Zirh beauty brands before moving back out west in 2007 to manage PR at a luxury lifestyle company. At age 28, Allyson moved back to Colorado and started her own business, a boutique PR agency that represents clients in the beauty, home and design, lifestyle, and gourmet food categories.
“Over the past two-and-a-half years, the business has continually evolved and become more and more ‘me,’” Allyson says. “From shaping business values and creating a brand identity that’s representative of my personal style to cultivating a list of clients I’m passionate about, my job has readily become more than just the perfect fit—it’s something I can’t imagine not doing.”
Always do your best; no one can fault you for trying.
How did you discover your current job?
I launched Allyson Conklin Public Relations in December 2010, after six years of working in-house for global brands like W magazine to Shiseido Cosmetics. It’s safe to say I created this job for myself!
What responsibilities do you have in your role?
As a business owner: everything. My core role will always be a publicist, but on a day-to-day basis, my role shifts between business development, client management, accounting, human resources, styling and, on some days, even IT.
What was it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
Once I made the commitment to start ACPR, I didn’t see another option for myself, other than making it work and succeeding. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the business has continually evolved and become more and more “me.” From shaping business values and creating a brand identity that’s representative of my personal style to cultivating a list of clients I’m passionate about, my job has readily become more than just the perfect fit—it’s something I can’t imagine not doing.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
I often find myself awake in the middle of the night thinking about ACPR. From worrying about what’s next and how to make it happen and the desire to always provide a functional and successful work environment for my team to spontaneous bursts of creativity, there’s never a dull moment—though laying off the caffeine after 4 p.m. helps.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Work/life balance—and balance in general—has always been a struggle for me; I find it nearly impossible to “turn off.” However, I’ve learned to accept this and adjust when I can and as best as I can. Whenever I’m feeling particularly out of balance in the work/life continuum, I set new guidelines and boundaries for myself. From instituting a “no technology after 8 p.m.” rule to carving out a little extra “me” time—a manicure always does the trick!—I try to focus my efforts on the area of my life that needs a little love and then work myself to a more comfortable place.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
I’ve had lots of little “I’ve made it!” moments in my career: from my first time working backstage at New York Fashion Week and being recruited for a PR job by a company in Utah while I was living in New York to building ACPR’s client base from scratch, then growing it to a level where I could no longer manage it on my own. I consider one of the most powerful moments of my career in to be when an article I wrote was featured on Forbes. It forced me stop, take stock and celebrate my accomplishments.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Work hard and it’ll take you exactly where you want to go. Be nice to everyone, as you never know who you’ll meet again with in the future. Always do your best; no one can fault you for trying. And don’t be afraid to overdress—underdressing is the worst!
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
In my mind, being an effective communicator, strategic thinker, inherently creative and tenacious are qualities that every publicist should have. Sprinkle on a lot of passion and you’re set to succeed.
How do you stay passionate about what you do?
Continually remind yourself why you chose that specific career path. For me, it’s a love for the industries and products I represent. I’m passionate about them in my personal life, so naturally, they translate seamlessly into my professional realm. By getting reacquainted with why you chose that path in the first place, you’re bound to realize it’s exactly where you need to be.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Enjoy the moment. During my 20s, I spent way too much time worrying about what was ahead. So much so that I sometimes forgot to celebrate what was right in front of me. I would tell myself to slow down, enjoy it and be proud.