Journalism student Paula Wik found peace of mind aged 26 when she left the fashion retail industry for a part-time job with Skin care brand Aesop.
Balancing her studies at University of the Arts London (UAL) during the week with work during the weekend, Paula explains why she loves what she does on a Sunday morning.
On an average Sunday, I wake up at about 9ish. It depends on my boyfriend. I start work at twenty to eleven, so I have time to lie in bed and check Facebook, my mail, and look through the window.
I shower twenty minutes later. While in the shower I listen to music via Spoofy app. I basically put a glass over my phone, which acts as an amplifier – cool trick!
I take the train to work or sometimes my boyfriend will drive me to work on the motorbike. I work part-time at Aesop: an Australian botanical based skin care brand with 70 odd stores around the world. I work in Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, one of 8 stores in London.
I do love being there. I work with three other colleges who are like friends so it feels like hanging out. It’s a very creative, slightly older, more profound bunch of peeps I see every weekend. I love being able to tell customers what to buy instead of mind numbing fashion retail where you just have to say that everyone looks great in everything. At Aesop I get to use at least a few brain cells by assessing through consultation what the customer need for a healthy skin. Everyone who works for Aesop receives a 3-day very intense training in all the products, their benefits, ingredients, the brand ethos etc. It’s full-on, but it leaves us all very knowledgeable about the product we’re selling.
I’ve only worked at Aesop since April. Before that I was an assistant knitwear buyer at a company called COS for a year and a half. All my past jobs have been in the fashion industry. I never intended on having a career in fashion, but I just ended up there.
I was drawn to journalism as I am a creative person and a travel fanatic. I’d love to be a travel journalist or write features on lifestyle. I just knew I didn’t want to be in fashion. I was accepted on a BA Journalism course 3 years ago but kept postponing, hoping that one day fashion would seem plausible and I wouldn’t have to start from scratch again. That moment never came. I can’t spend my life discussing what shade of yellow ‘feels right’ for the season. So here I am, second year BA Journalism at 26.
In Sweden I’m not that old for University though, it’s only here where everyone starts university straight out of school. A bit silly I think, since they’re only children. I, for one, had no clue what I wanted to invest £9000 a year doing for my future career at 18.
When I finish work, I host dinner parties at home for friends. My boyfriend is a chef and cooks different things every day. He wants to be excited about food every day. That works for me coz I want to be excited about everything everyday. We eat everything from Asian, via Mediterranean, to English, African and what not. He’s good at everything. We both love having friends around and feeding them!
I’ll end the day with a glass of wine, then bed for uni on Monday. Pretty dull huh? The life of a student I guess…