Witty Conversation with Away’s Emma Bates

March 14, 2017

Do you guys remember when I shared my favorite travel tips + hacks recently? I featured my go-to carry on by Away within the post and it is seriously the best piece of luggage I’ve ever owned. As background, the company launched to improve our travel experience and set out to reinvent your standard suitcase and I’m all about the product and lifestyle solutions they are delivering. (Psst…get a discount at the bottom of the post!)

For the latest installment in the Witty Conversation With series I am very excited to introduce you to Emma Bates who is head of global marketing and operations at Away. She and I share a love for the same night cream, working in marketing, a Taqueria Diana obsession and I’m so excited for you to get to know her in today’s post.

Get to know Away's Global Head of Marketing

Tell us about yourself in 3 sentences.

I grew up in the suburbs outside of London and moved into the city to attend King’s College. I’ve worked to create a personal brand through the growth of my blog and social media channels, co-founded The Un-Idle Collective with two friends, and work to inspire my peers to explore the world as head of global marketing and operations at Away. I’m obsessed with finding new restaurants (cough, eating), traveling and kittens (but, especially my kittens).

What is your background in? How did your career path lead you to Away?

After graduation, I spent a year and a half consulting, creating content and building community for a number of companies in both London and New York. It was always my dream to start my own company, but after seeing the launch and rapid growth at Away, I knew it was a journey I wanted to be a part of. I joined the team last summer leading the launch of Away’s London and Berlin concept stores. My larger role encompasses all global marketing initiatives.

Get to know Away's Global Head of Marketing

What does a “typical” day look like for you?

I like to kick off the day by doing something active. Barry’s Bootcamp is my newest obsession. Afterwards, I head home to freshen up for work, prioritize my day and take time to read the news. At around 10, I make my way into the office. No two days look the same, but they’re usually filled with meetings about new and ongoing projects, brainstorms, and catching up with colleagues. In the evenings I wind down by catching up with friends over a drink or binging on the latest Netflix series.

Away got a lot of buzz quickly. What were some key decisions you made when it came to marketing the brand to the right people?

When we were launching our stores in London and Berlin and looking to share everything about Away with the local communities there, it was key for us to partner with like-minded, local brands who knew us and also had the lay of the land. Our priority was to provide our customers with an impeccable experience, but also introduce Away through friends and brands they were familiar with and trusted.

We like to look at Away’s physical retail stores as not just shops, but an experience by offering yoga and meditations, trunk shows, thought-leading panels and even concerts. Partnering with brands that span the art, fashion, music and wellness spaces allos us to engage our customers in a constantly evolving way.

Get to know Away's Global Head of Marketing

You work for a brand that enables people to be on the go…where are your favorite places to visit?

I have 4 favorite places – Northern Ibiza, Harbour Island, Sri Lanka and Udaipur.

What are 3 travel essentials you can’t live without?

Get to know Away's Global Head of Marketing

You also are a co-founder of The Un-Idle Collective…tell us about that.

My concentration at King’s was War Studies. I’m a little geeky when it comes to anything related to history, politics or international relations – it’s an interest I’ve not really known what to do with since graduating. I always knew I wanted a creative way to share this passion and after everything that happened in 2016, on a geopolitical level, I knew I had to do create something to make sense of it all.

The Un-Idle Collective was born from myself and two friends joining forces to launch a creative community for discussing, educating and empowering people who are no longer content being idle. We host meetings every five weeks, and topics up for discussion include Women of Color, Sustainable Fashion, The Refugee Crisis and Women in Politics. All of the discussions are led by a thought leader in each industry, and afterwards we post all these conversations to social media so a wider community can learn and engage. Each group comes up with one piece of ‘action’ that everyone at the meeting and following us, can engage with. This can range from watching a documentary to writing to your local officials. Eventually we’d like to create a tool-kit so that our online community can host their own meetings and engage offline. We hope that by empowering a community with knowledge, it will result in more people being ‘un-idle’ in the face of hate and adversity.

Get to know Away's Global Head of Marketing

What are 3 tools or apps you can’t live without?

VSCO, Uber and Slack!

Describe your morning ritual.

I try to get up and go to the gym, as I know I’m a more productive person afterwards. I’ll then walk back home, make myself some breakfast, check my emails and read the news before heading into work!

Away Suitcase as seen on wit & whimsy

Favorite spots in New York?

So many! To name a few: Bluestone Lane for coffee, Sauce + Santina for pasta, Smalls for jazz, Taqueria Diana and La Esquina for Mexican.

From where do you get inspiration?

Predominantly my friends and traveling!

Get to know Away's Global Head of Marketing

Best words of wisdom ever given to you?

Don’t compare yourself to others in your industry.

Follow Emma on Instagram here and Away here. And thinking about purchasing an Away suitcase? Get $20 off your first order when you use this link!

p.s. Witty Conversation With Cuyana’s head of marketing and Witty Conversation With the founder of Megpies.

[Photography courtesy of Away; second to last photo Bekka Palmer Photography]

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