After working at Bollare Communications for the past seven years, Tera Leuthauser was recently promoted to Vice President. Tera has significantly grown the agency's accessories business and provides strategic press direction and management for Bollare's accessories brands. Notable clients at the agency include Jason Wu Eyewear, DITA, Alice & Olivia Eyewear, Lindberg, and Vera Wang Eyewear.
As Vice President, Tera will focus on business execution and balanced growth while managing the senior team in both LA and NYC. We caught up with Tera to learn a bit more about her background and what is top of mind for her as she enters this new phase of her career.
Congratulations on your promotion! Tell us a bit about your career journey:
I always knew I wanted to work in fashion, and six days after I graduated college I moved to New York from California to make it happen.
After several internships exploring various lanes, I landed a job at Banana Republic as their PR Assistant, and started building the skill sets and base industry knowledge I needed to continue to grow. From there, I further developed my relationship and client roster at various agencies over the years, working specifically in the luxury accessories field.
This eventual expertise lead to a meeting with Alle Fister, the founder of Bollare, and we clicked immediately. I have been with the agency for over six years now, working as Accessories Director, then Executive Director, to now Vice President. Ambition, teamwork and relentless drive have pushed me to be the best that I can for a company I love.
What are your primary responsibilities?
My new role will allow me the opportunity to manage the senior teams, in both LA and NYC, and focus on overall business execution, while enabling continued and balanced growth for the agency. I will still continue to drive high level client service, advise and consult on brand strategy with our notable roster, and oversee the West Coast office at large.
Take us behind-the-scenes, how is Bollare structured?
Bollare's unique structure is part of the reason we are successful! The company is broken down into various divisions, allowing our clients to decide what makes the most sense for their end goal with our PR services. Traditional Editorial, Celebrity Seeding, Digital Management and Events & Collaborations make up our focus scopes for partnership, and then we divide even further into Accessories, Beauty, Lifestyle and Fashion.
This matrix grants us the ability to employ niche experts in each field, publicists that can focus on their one lane entirely to ensure optimal success for our clients!
What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?
There is always some kind of fun, innovative activity taking place in our showrooms! From interactive previews, to shoppable gifting suites, to large-scale celebrity fittings -- we are always thinking about how to further engage and delight our contact and client base, and design out-of-the-box experiences to keep us at the forefront of our ever-evolving industry. Right now were are gearing up for a summer full of exciting initiatives, and the team is energized and thriving with the opportunity to be creative!
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
Helping my team grow and develop in their career gives me the greatest sense of pride and accomplishment. We recently promoted Anna Clayton, who has been on my team for as long as I have been at Bollare. She started at the agency as an intern, and is now a Director, a much-deserved position. Mentoring her along her path, and watching her become the powerhouse publicist she is today, has been an honor and a privilege.
Most meaningful moment in your career thus far?
When I first moved to New York, I set a seemingly ridiculous goal for myself to somehow represent Chanel within five years. It only took me three. As I narrowed my focus into the accessories realm, I won the opportunity to handle the PR for Luxottica's luxury profile, including the eyewear for Chanel. I was (and still am!) so proud of this accomplishment, because it was a personal dream, and I have appreciated the opportunities it has brought my way since.
At Bollare, we have an impressive roster of eyewear clients that I have helped develop because of my expertise, we rep some of the biggest names in the industry from Vera Wang, Jason Wu and Zac Posen, to Steven Alan and Alice & Olivia.
When I first moved to New York, I set a seemingly ridiculous goal for myself to somehow represent Chanel within five years. It only took me three.
Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Any job is a blend of highs and lows, but I am lucky that I have been offered quite a few incredible moments with mine. One of my favorites was in New York, during an opulent dinner we were throwing for a client in The Temple of Dendur at the Met. I have this flashback of several of my colleagues and I running through the Egyptian Exhibit barefoot in long gowns, hustling to no doubt neutralize some last minute calamity, but giggling at the excitement of it all. I remember standing at the top of the Met stairs for just a minute, appreciating where I was in life in that exact moment, before kicking back to action.
Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Dealing with the nitty gritty of the behind the scenes business and policy aspects of the company is definitely not so glamorous. I get to send a lot of fun (ha) emails about putting additional structure and procedure in place. Those policies are important to the company's steady growth and overall health, so as much as they pale in comparison to after hours at The Met -- it has to be done!
PR can be stressful and full of rejection - how do you deal?
Wine! Just kidding (kinda). Keeping a healthy perspective on everything is key, and knowing when to call it a day versus when to continue pushing. Trusting the team and people I work with to help balance the stressors, and reminding myself to keep my eye on the prize!
What are three current favorite tools, apps, or products that you love and why?
Right now we're focusing agency efforts to develop our Beauty portfolio, and it has been super fun to test drive new skincare and cosmetic products... from sheet masks that our team found while on the ground in South Korea, to skincare tools (loving the FOREO line), to anything that de-stresses (This Works makes a perfect stress-busting roller oil that I keep at my desk) -- I'm game to try it all!
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
The effect on a business and how instrumental PR can be to its expansion and success.
While it is a fun and creative industry to work in, the magnitude of its importance can sometimes be lost in the "glamour" that is portrayed. Real money, determination, and meticulous strategy are involved to generate impactful influence.
What are you excited about right now?
This is an industry that keeps you on your toes! The flux in the media landscape, combined with the rise of digital importance, has played a huge part of how we structure, run and grow our business. Right now, our "micro-influencer" campaigns and activations are exciting to develop, as we can be incredibly innovative and groundbreaking in our methods to reach this "newer" category.
What's the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now?
The uncertainty surrounding the future of common practice and formula is definitely a hurdle. In years past, PR meant one specific thing, and there was a methodology to being successful at it. Now, there are so many different lanes and avenues that it takes (from celebrity influence to digital engagement) and finding what works for each client, brand or even off shoot initiative, is an art form. However, if you are up for the challenge, it can also be incredibly rewarding to determine the most impactful route.
Real money, determination, and meticulous strategy are involved to generate impactful influence.
What advice do you have for your younger self?
Enjoy the ride! Know that everything will work out the way it's supposed to if you work hard enough. But also appreciate the ups and downs along the way. It's all a learning process and each challenge creates an opportunity for growth - the journey makes you stronger in the end!
Anything else we should know?
Bollare is always on the lookout for top-tier talent... email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.