Business Management Grad is Social Media Marketing Assistant Manager at Sephora
Since graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management, Melinda Solares has gone on to work at Sephora in San Francisco and at the brand new Sephora Video Studios in Los Angeles. She manages the Sephora YouTube channel (with over 1M subscribers), built the infrastructure from ground up for Sephora's IGTV program, covers brand launch events, and creates Instagram Stories for over 17M followers. Last year, she went to London Fashion Week to film Pat McGrath backstage at the Victoria Beckham show. We recently chatted with the busy Social Media Marketing Assistant Manager to learn more.
How did you come to work at Sephora? Which positions have you held within the company? I moved to San Francisco to complete my Bachelor's at FIDM. Moving there, I had my heart set on Sephora. It was my goal to land a job there before moving back to Southern California but I never thought I'd get to bring Sephora back with me. I started my career in the beauty industry around four years ago as a Sephora Color Merchandiser. Walking into the headquarters for the first time was a defining moment for me. I felt I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I was blissfully naïve, but in my head I was thinking, next step, CMO.
After spending a year and a half in merchandising, making myself the YouTube trend and social media "go-to" person on an otherwise analytical team, I knew it was time for me to hustle my way into a space where I could make the biggest difference, the Social Media Marketing Team. Marketing was always my goal and video content was my passion. At that point, I went to the VP of Color Merchandising and asked for her help creating a job for me at the brand new Sephora Video Studios in Los Angeles. She was not only incredibly smart, inspiring, and powerful, but also kind. She treats her team like family.
Two years later, I am managing the Sephora YouTube channel (with over 1 million subscribers), built the infrastructure from ground up for Sephora's IGTV program, and currently manage it, and cover brand launch events and create Instagram Stories for over 17M followers. I went to London Fashion Week last year to film Pat McGrath backstage at a Victoria Beckham show, which was so fun. I also work on video programs at Sephora Studios, support and consult for the #SephoraSquad beauty influencer management program, concept and capture social media content, and serve as on-screen talent for beauty tutorials on Sephora's IGTV. I have coached over 30 brand founders and countless influencers as on screen talent for IG Stories and YouTube content.
What are some of your other day-to-day responsibilities? While we are shooting, I am already working on ideating new video ideas for our next shoot. I live and breathe video content and beauty. I could tell you your ideal skincare routine in less than five minutes of knowing you; it's my party trick. I also attend brand launch events and parties to capture content for Instagram featuring brand founders, celebrities, and influencers.
You've worked at Sephora's studio in San Francisco and now Los Angeles. What are they like? Sephora's main headquarters are in San Francisco. However, over two years ago, they opened their own video studio in Los Angeles. The team is much smaller than the San Francisco HQ; there are just a few of us here. When I first started, we still were working on fold up tables, now it is a beautiful, "Instagrammable" space, pumping out content like crazy. The entire team worked so hard to make it the beautiful studio it is today.
What do you love most about working at Sephora and in social media? The thing I love most about working at Sephora is being surrounded by smart and powerful women. It is incredible to be on a video shoot or in a meeting and most of the people making the calls are female; it's very empowering. I also love the very complex world of social media. I love it because it brings people together and when the right message is being shared, it can change lives. My Instagram is basically my business card. That is what I exchange with others in the social media/beauty industry, it’s the new standard. Therefore, I am very conscious of what I post personally. I like posting curated beauty and fashion, but I also like to talk about real things like mental health.
What advice would you give to a student at FIDM who wants a career like yours? Hustle. That is my primary advice. You have to be hard worker in order to get opportunities like I have had. Network. I know every FIDM teacher has told you that, but you have to be a people person to succeed in my kind of role. It is definitely my most valuable skill. Learn how to be make people like you by being authentic and professional. Some people tell me I am too professional, but it is better than ever looking sloppy. Image. Build a professional and relatable brand image for yourself in real life and on social media. If you want to work in this space, you need to be able to play in this space.
Follow Melinda on Instagram @ladyymelinda