How I landed it: Bridget Bond, Brand Manager for MECCA MAX
By Ruby Cotton
April 14 2021
Discovering beauty jobs we didn't know existed and insider tips to nab your dream career
By Ruby Cotton
April 14 2021
Bridget Bond didn't have her career path planned out when she finished school.
In fact, when we asked the now Brand Manager for MECCA MAX (the private label makeup line of Australian beauty retail giant MECCA) this very question, she responded with “absolutely not”.
However, if the years of saving her lunch money to spend on “magazines and makeup” taught Bond anything, it was the value of a quality bronzer but also the value of budgeting; two things that would soon play major roles in Bond’s career.
Joining the MECCA team five years ago, just as they were on the “cusp of enormous growth”, Bond’s job has seen her travelling overseas to attend beauty trade shows, running between beauty events and seeing products that were once an idea on a page soon stocked on the very real life shelves of over 100 stores across the country.
But how did she get here? After interning at some of Australia’s top fashion magazines, Bond actually landed her first full-time role stacking magazines and answering phones at a property firm – pretty far from the glitz and glamour. But it was here she learnt that even the seemingly small tasks are invaluable to any team, and in any role.
Fast track to the present day, and here Bond tells BEAUTYcrew exactly how she landed her dream gig and what it’s really like to work for the beauty store we all know and love.
Behind every dream job is a daunting application and interview process. Have you picked up any tips and tricks to ease the process?
View all job applications and interviews as a positive step in eventually finding the right role. All job interviews are great practice, regardless of whether or not you land the role.
Your job is now 24/7 beauty. Was there a love for it from a young age?
I was probably 50/50 obsessed with fashion and beauty. I was a die-hard MECCA customer early on, saving my lunch money at high school to go buy NARS Laguna Bronzers from my local (the first-ever MECCA store on Toorak Road) because my mum used to buy NARS when she was in New York so I just thought it was all so glamorous.
Then, I think I bought my first Rae Morris book at age 16 and from there would pair her techniques with trends I saw in fashion magazines.
What study or experiences do you think helped to get to where you are?
I studied Arts at Melbourne Uni, majoring in Media and Communications, which at the time felt a bit vague and a bit directionless, but retrospectively kept my skillset broad and open to opportunities along the way.
For me, [experience came from] more practical hands-on jobs like working assisting stylists at fashion shows, shoots and stores. I tell my younger sisters to put their hand up for as many opportunities as they can because it always means you’re moving forward!
You started out with a few fashion internships – tell us about it.
I think internships are such a great way to take a sneak peek inside the engine room of the industry you’re interested in. Internships allowed me to learn at the front line and put my hand up for new experiences and opportunities.
When interning, I think the best approach is to view each job as important as the next. It doesn’t matter if you’re packing PR boxes or steaming garments, do them to the best of your ability because someone else depends on them.
Whilst I started out interning at fashion magazines and PR firms; retrospectively I realise now that I’m in beauty that my interests have probably always been about brands and branding, regardless of the specific industry.
How did you get your start at MECCA?
I started out at MECCA over five years ago as a PR Assistant and my role was originally to act as the first port of call for media and influencers, organise PR samples, press releases and events.
Having joined when the business was on the cusp of enormous growth, I’ve been fortunate to experience so many new challenges and opportunities (and learn from incredible people) along the way. There’s never been a boring moment, which I love.
I’ve been in PR, then specialised in Influencers, done a bit of Social Media, onto Brand Communications and now in Brand Management, which is so different but feels like where I’m meant to be.
Tell us about your day-to-day
No two days are the same. I’m writing this on a flight back from Sydney after a two-day Brow and Mascara campaign shoot where we’ve been working with a huge cast and crew of creatives. Tomorrow I will be meeting with our Product Development and Artistry teams on some upcoming launch formulas, then I’ll be analysing and forecasting sales and will probably finish off the day reviewing our social plan for the month ahead. They say variety is the spice of life, hey!
Do you travel much with MECCA?
Yes, I’m always on-the-go for events and shoots. My favourite trip, however, has definitely been my first visit as Brand Manager to Cosmoprof, a bi-annual beauty trade show in Hong Kong (and later Italy) where the best in beauty comes out to share their innovation and upcoming trends – it’s like a beauty labyrinth that you never want to leave!
What do you consider the most challenging part of your role?
For me it was probably unlocking the left side of my brain that had been slightly inactive since year 11 math! Spreadsheets and numbers were something that I (naively) hadn’t pictured in my career, but for that same reason it’s been ultra-rewarding to rebuild this skill set in recent years.
And what do you consider the best part of your role?
This is actually so difficult because I have so many favourites! For that reason I’m going to be a bit cheeky [and list a few]; it’s the whole 360° process of managing a brand from start to finish; collaborating with passionate experts to create and develop product, building a business case, getting creative with a campaign to bring the product to life and then eventually seeing it on a shelf in-store, to customers being interested in and sometimes loving our products – that’s a very special feeling!
What’s one thing people wouldn’t expect you to be responsible for, but you are?
Budgeting. My friends think I’m ‘most improved’ since high school, given, I generally blew my lunch and tram money on magazines and makeup!
Bridget’s top 3 beauty products:
1. Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF50 – having taken a look under the bonnet (so to speak) of SPF in Australia, I am now the pied piper amongst my friends for wearing SPF as moisturiser in Australia all year round. This one is so good on its own or under makeup.
2. MECCA MAX Brow Guru Control Gel – even if I have no makeup on, I always brush up and tame my brows for an instant lift. This clear gel goes from low-key to full-glam.
3. Diptyque Do Son Eau de Parfum – I just love this fragrance. I’ve been wearing it for 15 years, which I’m aware is probably too long, but I’m going with ‘it’s my signature scent’! The perfect mix of white flowers.