2inspire Network blog is one of the mediums the Network uses to empower and inspire individuals. It is used to share knowledge and messages that will make a positive impact in people's lives and is also used as a platform to promote the products, services and events of the Network and external organisations.
In this inspirational Woman Profile we interview Chloé Nelkin, The CEO and Founder of Chloé Nelkin Consulting, a firm which specialises in PR, events and consultancy with a dedicated focus on visual arts, theatre and opera.
Please tell us what is a
typical business day for you?
My days are very varied
and I don’t tend to be at my desk for long.
Instead, I’m often out and about – meeting current and potential
clients, attending rehearsals for our theatre shows, popping into a client’s gallery
to check on installation, and running events.
Because I’m always on the move my BlackBerry is my lifeline making me
available to my team, clients and press.
In the evenings, I can be found entertaining business associates, at the
theatre or at art openings. When I am in the office I’ll be answering
emails, taking phone calls, pitching stories to the press or sometimes reading
a script for a new play that we’re considering working on. I wouldn’t describe my days as typical and I
often don’t turn my computer off until the early hours. But that’s because I love my job.
What made you start the
business and how did you get started?
During my time studying at
The Courtauld Institute of Art I became involved with (and then chaired) a
student run contemporary art exhibition.
Through the East Wing Collection, my PR skills rapidly developed and I
began to get a taste for the industry. I’d
always known I wanted to work in art but I realised that PR was where I wanted
to be. My experience of working at
other PR firms confirmed to me that I wanted to spearhead projects in my own
way and feel truly invested in what I was doing. In March 2010, a gallery asked me to handle
their PR. Chloé Nelkin Consulting was
What would you say has been
your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
the business from the kitchen table and building it into a successful company with
offices in Soho. The business has expanded, we’re now a team of six and
we celebrated our 5th birthday earlier this year. As well as working with independent artists
and smaller theatre companies, we also look after the likes of National Trust
London, Theatre503 and Opera Holland Park.
What has been your biggest
challenge in business so far?
Because it’s my company,
I’m emotionally involved in my work and wear my heart on my sleeve. I believe in openness and honesty (which is a
key ethos of CNC) and it’s difficult for me to accept that not everybody is the
same. I find rude or untrustworthy behaviour
very draining, whether it’s directed at me or my staff.
What are your future plans
for the business?
knows? The business is exactly where I
want it to be for now. It’s expanding in
a really exciting way so watch this space.
If you had to do it
all over again, what would you do differently?
truly wouldn’t change anything. I
handpick all our clients to ensure that we’re only working with projects we
feel really passionate about. I truly believe the reason CNC has grown is because everyone
in the team loves it and that is one of the things that has made the business
the success it is today. Our attention
to detail and the fact we get to know all our clients personally means that we
understand what they want. Of course,
there are bumps along the road in any business and sometimes there are steep
learning curves but all of those things have contributed to our growth.
Why is it so important to
inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
get so frustrated when I hear people saying that they can’t make it in an
industry because it’s dominated by one gender.
That is nonsense. If you have the
skills and determination you can achieve success in whatever industry you
choose. Women can lead just as well as
men and it comes down to confidence. I
went to a school that nurtured strong independent women – previous alumni included
the likes of Frances Mary Buss, Esther Rantzen, Stevie Smith and Marie Stopes. We were taught to follow our dreams and to be
the next generation of women who would make a difference.
What advice would you give
to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
key piece of advice is that you have to believe in what you are doing and work
hard. A business doesn’t form overnight
– it needs time, patience and love.
What or who inspires you in
business and why?
may sound corny but my clients and my team inspire me. Knowing we’re working on such great projects
and then seeing how pleased my team are when projects go well is a huge
incentive to continue as we are.
What is your favourite
grandma used to say, There’s no such
thing as you can’t because you can if you try hard enough.