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Islanders At Work | In Conversation with Ashleigh

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at River Island … from home? Well, now you can find out. Meet Islander Ashleigh, our badass Senior Press Executive. While it definitely isn’t business as usual, at home Ashleigh has created a work routine that works for her - spoiler: it involves A LOT of video calls. From scandalous press office secrets to championing diverse campaigns, Ashleigh spills all the tea and more. Keep reading for an exclusive inside scoop and to meet her super cute work colleague Luna …


GETTING PERSONAL

How did you get the job?

This is the first time I’ve been permanent at River Island because before I was always freelance or had fixed term contracts with them. So, they basically poached me back for this role and it was too good to refuse.

What’s the best thing about working for River Island?

I’m definitely a real champion for all the diverse campaigns that we work on. It just makes my job so enjoyable and I love pitching talent for it.

How would your team describe you?

Probably a little bit eccentric. I think I’m quite funny but probably also a little bit annoying and they’re probably quite glad that I’m not in the office because I’m constantly singing.

What phrase do you overuse at work? 

I always use the phrase ‘I feel like’ and I probably use ‘like’ quite a lot too.

What can’t you get through the work day without? 

Definitely music or some sort of background noise like a podcast.

What would you do if you didn’t do this job?

Oh my god, I have no idea. I always wanted to be a journalist or a presenter or a stylist and working in those sorts of areas. I feel like this is really complimentary to all those things.

What is your work persona?

Probably a little bit sassy, silly and I love hiding a jumping out at people and just making loads of fun in the office.

LIFE ON THE ISLAND

We’d love to know more about your job, what is your day to day like?

Every day in PR is super different. It can be anything from writing press releases, pitching talent for campaigns, working with influencers, sending out clothes, it’s all just so different. We have to be very proactive and reactive. It’s very exciting.

What’s it been like working from home?

I really enjoy it. It’s a lot more relaxed but I definitely miss my team a lot.

How is it different from your office life?

Tons! For starters, I’ve got no samples here in my flat so no nice clothes to admire or play dress up in which we definitely don’t do …

What is the biggest misconception of your job role?

That it’s like Absolutely Fabulous and we just get pissed and drink prosecco all the time and say ‘darling’ a lot.

And you don’t?

I mean it happens!

What will we be surprised to learn about your job?

That it’s actually quite hard work. You do a lot of admin and have to deal with the occasional diva.

Are you one of them?

Maybe!

What are you most passionate about?

Definitely our diverse storytelling at River Island. It’s what I enjoy the most about my role.

Why is it so important to you?

I think it’s really important that the brand is reflective of society and what is going on. We need to show people different races, mixed ability, sizes and use our platform to advocate for stuff and champion different things.

What is the best project you’ve worked on?

I really couldn’t pick one but the most recent that I’m really proud of is the ‘Real Talk’ series. We spoke to four girls about normalising weight gain, body positivity, cellulite, angles and how not everything is realistic online. It was great and I really loved working with all the girls we chose.

Describe River Island for us in three words …

Blingy, sassy and really great at storytelling.

IN THE HOT SEAT

What motivates you?

Definitely my team and working with really great people and feeling like we’ve got their story across.

What’s been your career highlight?

All of it! I’ve absolutely loved all of it.

What’s your funniest work memory?

It’s really hard to pick one but we often play dress up in the press office and it always provides really great lols! Although once a courier walked in so that was a bit embarrassing.

Who would you most love to represent the brand?

Someone really cool like Mabel.

Whose phone number do you wish you had?

I feel like I’ve got everyone’s … I’m in PR!

Working from home, are you camera on or off?

Camera on.

What are your thoughts on those digital backdrops?

I’ve never tried them! I don’t actually know where they are.

What’s the weirdest thing about working from home?

Forgetting that your volume is turned up when you’re not on mute and doing something weird.

And the best thing?

Being able to set your own pace and creating your own routine.

What do all Islanders have in common?

A real drive and passion for fashion.

What’s the sign of a great working day?

When you’re able to clock off early because it’s been such a busy week and there’s definitely some prosecco popping.

Can you tell us a River Island secret?

No, I couldn’t. There’s far too many in the press office!

Why is it called River Island?

Isn’t it something really random like the family were on a boat on the Thames and where just like ‘River’ ‘Island’ and there it was?