Friday May 20th, 2016

Some people have the power to load my battery only with telling me a bit about their life. Finding about their story, thus discovering a myriad of facets and the enthusiasm they put in them, is like a kick of positive energy that makes me believe in the classic quote of ‘when there’s a will, there’s a way’.

Alex Rivière is one of those people – fireproof, passionate and always open to new challenges. Also, she’s the working girl sharing a bit of her career story in today’s #WGLinterview. Despite the goal of this interview is to learn from her career tips, don’t miss her perfect working girl style. There’s a lot to learn from there, too. Ready to meet Alex? Keep reading!

Working Girl Interview | Alex RivierePhoto via @ariviere

 1 | Who is Alex Rivière?
A normal girl, a really normal girl. Far away from what people think I am – many times, I’ve been told that I look pretentious or unfriendly because I don’t smile to camera… I’m sure people who say it didn’t wear brackets when they were kids!

My legal name is Alejandra… I don’t like it at all. Actually, the only funny part of my name is the story around it. Officially, I should have been named Alex after my parent’s choice, but the priest decided that the name wasn’t correct or catholic for a baby girl. My parents went mad, especially my dad, so they agreed to write down Alejandra as the first name, but stated “Princess” and “Worm” as my second names to tease the priest. That’s what my dad saw in me: a princess, because I was their first girl and little sister to 2 bigger brothers, and a worm because I’m lanky since I was a baby.

2 | Your city
Barcelona is my city, although I’m a fan of many cities – especially Paris, Londres and Madrid. I pay a visit as often as I can. Even so, I don’t change Barcelona for anything.

3 | Fashion Consultant, Community Manager at TCN, student and influencer. How do you do it?
I’m one of those who like to work under pressure. The more I have to do and the greater the challenge, the better. I realized this when I was in school – during the course I was super relaxed, but once in the final days I pushed to the limit. Never failed. I’ll always remember my Economy teacher’s words: “You’re a Mercedes at 50km/h and this technique won’t work forever”. You don’t know how much I’d love to meet him and tell him how far it has worked.

Once I finished mid-school I enrolled in Fashion Design. Fashion has always been my passion and my dream, but a few months after the start I thought about carrying the suitcase and sewing machine every day for 4 years… and I didn’t like it. That’s why I switched to Fashion Marketing & Communication in the same university, majoring in communication. At the same time I enrolled in an online BA in Business Management following my mentor’s advice – my dad. Last September I enrolled in an online postgraduate degree in Community Management. The moment I did I wasn’t thinking clearly… the workload is quite big but I’ll take it slowly.

After graduating from college, I started an internship at TCN. Totón Comella (founder and designer) alongside with JM Donat (CEO) decided that I stayed longer than the 3 mandatory months. Soon it will be 2 years that I work with them as Community Manager. The great thing about TCN being a small business is that I do way further than what job title says. I spend two days a week with Totón in order to learn the whole process and development of collections. Working next to her and being able to see the result is amazing. Maybe this is my favorite part of my job, but sometimes I can’t devote the time I’d like because my official job won’t let me.

Besides of my work for TCN, a few months ago I decided to join a new project, Comernort. It doesn’t have anything to do with fashion but with the aesthetics, a world that I love. Comernort is the upholstery business of my boyfriend’s family, for whom I’ve designed their new website and I’ll be taking charge of their whole image.

Instagram is the other half of my professional life that I love. Unfortunately, I can’t give it the time it needs because my priority is always my real job. To me, Instagram is a hobby because I have fun, I can express myself and, of course, it means a more than welcome extra income. What I enjoy the most is not only collaborate with a brand, but also the relationship you start with said brands. Although, in the first place, I’m often contacted for a post, then the relationship turns more professional. I see these brands trust my work and me and they propose me more ambitious projects such as managing their social media or helping them with events.

A few months ago I signed with The K, a young influencer management agency created by Vanesa Rousaud and Estefania del Val. I couldn’t be happier with them, they’re the best tandem I’ve seen so far in the sector.

Working Girl Interview | Alex RivierePhoto via @ariviere

4 | How is a day in your life?
A day in my life? I bet many people would be surprised because reality has nothing to do with what you can see on Instagram, from what I wear to what I do. My day starts at 9am in the TCN office in Barcelona. Always dressed in black from head to toe – basic sweater, leggigns, Nike sneakers and a leather jacket are my (comfortable and easy) work uniform. The days when I’m in Barcelona, I work until 3pm, but when I’m in the headquarters… forget about the schedule. When I leave at 3pm I head home, eat something and then I leave again to the gym for an hour and a half. This is an unbreakable rule, although sometimes I have meetings, work or events that make me skip it and that makes me angry.

5 | In communications, contacts are key. How do you face networking?
I agree. Contacts are key and networking is essential. To me, it has a bright side and a dark one, and there’s where my personal conflict comes. I love meeting people and opening horizons, you always have to be ready to new challenges and opportunities. Still, I can’t stand fake compliments. When I meet someone professionally (or not), I want it to be for a real and honest reason, not only for interest. Unfortunately, the fashion world tends to be superficial and that’s why sometimes I have a reservation.
Thanks to my career I’ve met many, many people. With some of them I’ve connected instantly, work with them has been very easy and we achieved great results. Instead, with other people there weren’t a hint of good feeling and it wasn’t worth forcing.

6 | Your own definition of success
I think that you reach success when you enjoy what you do and you don’t mind to dedicate it more hours than scheduled.

7 |  Best career tip you were given, and by who?
‘The most important is doing what you feel passionate about, you’ll reach further’ – my mother’s, Mercedes Creus.

8 | A lesson you’ve learned from your mistakes
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

9 | Who inspires you, and why?
My father is my greatest inspiration, my reference in terms of career success. I guess there’s a part of daughter’s love, too, but he’s the biggest example of overcoming, tenacity, perseverance and honesty I’ve ever known. My father comes from a wealthy French-Spanish family, but his mentality is far different from theirs and that’s why the family’s ’empire’ didn’t run as good as expected. My father, the younger son, felt that his ideas and advice were being ignored, so eventually he left the family business and started out his own from scratch. Beginning in a small grocery shop as an office, he converted Rivisa into what it is today. Now he’s semi-retired, he’s already turned 70 but still feels young; he doesn’t want to miss anything happening in his business. My older brothers, the two pillars in my life, are now running Rivisa.

10 | Favorite shopping spot in your city
Santa Eulalia.

11 | Best place for a coffee break in your city
Home. There’s nothing like spelt toasts from Santagloria with butter and jam.

12 | Last but not least… What would you tell to your younger self on its first day of job?
Don’t be afraid, everything has a lesson.

Thank you Alex for sharing your story with Working Girl Lifestyle! You can follow her on Instagram @ariviere and connect with her adventures.

Discover more inspiring working girl stories.