Meet Alle Fister - the Principal of Bollare Communications, a bi-coastal beauty, fashion and lifestyle public relations and communications firm.
After graduating from Pepperdine University with a dual-degree in Communications and Marketing, Fister began her career as the in-house publicist at Shopbop.com, a savvy women’s online retailer. Fister edited the site’s vast selection for fashion magazine editors and quickly gained a reputation for being on point with recognizing key trends.
The site’s popularity grew exponentially and in 2006, Amazon.com purchased Shopbop.com. In the sale, Fister went on to found Bollare; taking her former employer as the first client. Over the past six years, Bollare has grown to a bi-coastal presence and worked with some of the best names in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle categories including Smythe, Erin Condren, Mink Pink, Vans, ghd, the BeachMint portfolio, BluePrintCleanse and Quiksilver.
Fister has made a splash in the industry being named one of LA Business Journal’s “30 Under 30” in 2010, contributing to the board of Step Up Women’s Network, and being profiled in various publications including The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily and Chic-CEO. Fister has been called upon as an expert on style and trends, contributing content with publications such as Lucky, Glamour, Allure and US Weekly. To date, she has appeared in over 250 television segments with programs including Good Day LA, MTV, VH1, E! News and The Early Show.
When not working, Fister enjoys spending time with family, traveling and practicing yoga. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her husband, Don Popkes.
1. How did you get started in public relations?
Interned, interned, interned, interned! While in college at Pepperdine, I interned within different types of fashion and lifestyle PR opportunities to best help me understand the different facets one could work in within the publicity realm.
Upon graduating college, I wrote a letter to Bob Lamey of Shopbop.com honing in on the skills I had learned from my college courses and internships, essentially pitching him on why I would be a good augment to the growing business! …cut to my moving from Malibu to Madison, WI to be on the early team of Shopbop.com!
At Shopbop, I handled our PR and spokesperson work, but as a growing business, had the opportunity to wear many hats. I always took careful measure to make sure I was systematic about my approach and showing that my efforts were directly benefitting the business.
As Shopbop was acquired by Amazon (almost 9 years ago), I leveraged my pitching skills once again…this time presenting the idea of starting my own consulting firm, Bollare, and my first client would be my former employer, Shopbop!
2. What is your average day like?
The wonderful thing about publicity is that each day is dynamic and different – which I personally love! If I were to divide my efforts into different arenas it would look like this:
1. Spending time with my team. We’re now 60 team members between NYC and LA…and in the process of cementing roots in London as well! We are so proud of the team we’ve built and one of my favorite things to do is to brainstorm with them on everything from client strategies to press day activations!
2. Meeting with current clients. We’ve built an incredible client roster of accessories, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands. I love hearing what our brands are launching next and being a part of the strategy to get the word out!
3. Meeting with potential clients. I have a passion for the entrepreneurial journey – so meeting with potential clients, and hearing their stories on how they built their businesses is a personal favorite!
3. What’s your favorite part of working in public relations?
That each day is different and new! Some may find this tiresome, but I personally find it energizing!
4. What’s the best PR advice you ever received?
Be deliberate, from devising strategy, to message points, to how often and which way you communicate. Every point of interaction and every activity should be augmenting a direct goal!
5. Any advice for those looking to get into PR?
Be a sponge! I shudder when I see or hear young professionals not fully taking advantage of the learning experience. From listening astutely to volunteering for more opportunities – make your mark with your actions and seize every moment to learn and grow!