Career Code: How This Lawyer-Turned-Designer Built an Accessories Empire

January 30, 2018

In honour of our co-founders Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($20), we’re running an interview series featuring 17 questions (to parallel the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of inspirational female leaders who are at the top of their fields. So far, we’ve tapped Lisa GershPip EdwardsKelly Wearstler, and more. Up next? Alyce Tran.

In true millennial fashion, we can’t deny our penchant for a monogrammed item. Whether it’s our initials sewn into our sleeves, or gilded onto our leather accessories, it seems that we can’t get enough. Arguably, this is a trend that has been forged and cemented, by local accessory brand, The Daily Edited (TDE). And for a brand that has been around for less than five years, its international success (you know you’ve made it when Gigi Hadid snaps a selfie with your phone case) can be put down to a strong founder and CEO. In this case, that’s Alyce Tran.

Starting out as a lawyer, Tran originally founded TDE as a creative outlet with her partner, Tania Lew, after finding that there was a lack of personalised products in the market. But in Tran’s interview below, it’s evident that building an accessory empire isn’t just about a unique idea, it also takes innovation, sweat, and tears (quite literally), and adopting a jack-of-all-trades mentality.

Keep reading to see the groundwork that went into building The Daily Edited.  

I am the CEO and Creative Director of The Daily Edited, a global fashion accessories label. TDE operates across a few retail channels, online being our major channel, our stand-alone stores and our concession stores in key department stores across Australia, the US, Singapore and now London. I am responsible for the strategic direction, marketing, product design, brand development and operations within Australia, Singapore and the US while my co-founder Tania is responsible for our supply chain and logistics out of China. I work, and am available, seven days a week, 365 days a year (who do you think responds to customers on Christmas Day while everyone else has the day off?). Staff across the globe report directly to me, from a sales associate in our US retail team to our CFO in Sydney, or one of our customer experience team members in Sydney.  My days are all really different, for example, today I woke up, responded to the emails I received overnight, started a new to-do list around new season products, I am flying now to LA and when I land I have a meeting with our agent in the US that assists us in regulatory compliance with our business in the US. It’s a mixed bag. When I am in Sydney my day typically starts with emails, gym, I get to the office and speak to staff members about any issues they are having and set more senior team members on the right course, review my to-do lists, add to my mood board, go into one of our stores, troubleshoot high-level issues in relation to anything from how to roll out our new inventory management to what we should call our staff reviews (we decided on “catch up” rather than review to make it less corporate).

I think people are surprised that I am responsible for, and that I personally create, 90 percent of the visual output you see on our social channels, EDMs, website, and store windows. The amount of imagery I have to come up with is relentless (there are times when I travel where I send detailed instructions to our team members on how to set up a flat lay with detailed diagrams and lists of props they need to gather).

I remember this well, I was interviewing to be a judge’s associate so it was very formal. I wore a Lisa Ho belted, navy wool dress and at the time (this was 2009) my prized Burberry trench.

Jo Horgan [founder of Mecca Cosmetica]. I absolutely love how she has scaled out her business whilst maintaining brand integrity and the satisfaction of all of her team members. 

Who What Wear, of course! I also read WWD daily, I actually buy most fashion magazines in Australia, the UK, and the US to see what else is in the market, I also like reading The Financial Review and the Financial Times.

I don’t really have any regrets…

I don’t feel I need to come across as powerful in my workplace, but if I were to go into a meeting with a third party I would generally wear trousers, my latest cool heels (constantly changing) and an on-trend shirt.

Oh gosh! I am about to be reviewed by all of my staff this coming week so I will have a lot more to say in this department. Probably that I am very hard working, open and honest with them (sometimes too much).

Leave Sydney or don’t go into the office so I can be alone and generate new ideas. 

Always leave on good terms and by being open with your manager. I know (and all other managers, I am sure) that my team members are not going to be working for me forever, I know that they will grow and want to move on, so when that happens I am often thrilled of them and look forward to seeing where they go next. 

I actually get Eat Fit Food delivered everyday—it takes the thinking out of eating!

Perhaps wanting progression too early and wanting this before they have nailed their existing role. Or, thinking that they can easily sidestep within an organisation. For example, I have a lot of girls wanting to join our retail team in the hopes of working in our non-existent social media team (which only consists of me). If you would like a job within the organisation that you are in, show your manager that you can do the job and contribute value to the role, so if you want to be on our social media team, maybe do an Instagram post for me to show me your skills first, rather than saying “I want to be involved”.

@archidigest. @manrepeller. @songofstyle

Morning: gym. Evening: an episode of bad TV.

Be careful when making irreversible decisions.

Our next major campaign and new store roll out in the UK!

Source: whowhatwear