Fallon Ryan is the Public Relations Director at Lana Jewelry, a contemporary fine jewelry company based in Chicago. In the past give years, Fallon has moved up within the company, from Intern to Director. She has helped grow the brand immensely through coverage in top tier fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Glamour, and celebrity placements on A-list stars like Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lawrence, Madonna and Gigi Hadid.
Now responsible for everything from social media planning, advertising, photo shoots, tradeshows and events, Fallon’s first love remains product placement; nothing compares to pening a magazine and seeing Lana Jewelry inside.
Company: Lana Jewelry
Title: Public Relations Director
Education: BA DePaul University
How did you get started in PR?
I secured my first internship by applying to an incognito accessories internship post on Craigslist, and here I am at Lana Jewelry 5 years later. Before that, I worked in accounting, which wasn’t nearly expressive and motivating enough for me — but I still do my own taxes!
How did you get the job you have now?
It’s cliché, but I worked my way up the ladder from intern to now. I proved that the company needed me. At first, that was by making sure the team’s supply room was always sparkling clean, and now it is by securing placements on major celebrities.
What are your primary responsibilities?
Lana Jewelry is a smaller company, so my position oversees a creative umbrella: social, digital, events and branding, in addition to traditional public relations. My most prominent role is product placement and securing coverage through celebrity and editorial channels.
What are you working on right now?
It’s a busy month for us and the office is crazed with a variety of projects. On this week’s agenda: prepping for the fall campaign photo-shoot in New York next week, pitching celebrity stylists for May red carpets such as Met and Cannes, planning collaborative events with Nordstrom for spring/summer, and booking trips to New York and Los Angeles for fall press previews.
I proved that the company needed me. At first, that was by making sure the team’s supply room was always sparkling clean, and now it is by securing placements on major celebrities.
Take us behind the scenes – how is Lana structured?
The PR/Marketing department is the only in-house communication department at Lana; the rest of the office is comprised of sales and production departments. Rachel and I are two-woman show who rely on an amazing team of interns, and super talented photographers/artists who we work with throughout the year. The business is equally challenging and rewarding which keeps each day exciting.
Gwen Stafani in Lana
What type of person thrives at Lana?
Someone who has thick skin, is creative, hustles and enjoys listening to 90’s R&B throwbacks.
What are three must-haves essential to your job?
Instagram. Photoshop app. Portable jewelry cases (I made mine from plastic photo organizers and foam).
How do you stay on top of industry trends?
Instagram is a news source. It’s where the average person spends their free time, and where the not so average (celebs and influencers) post first. I also subscribe to all the major fashion magazines; there’s something about holding a book, ripping out an article, and pinning it on the wall that inspires me more than a screenshot ever will. When they start their own trends instead of following what’s hot.
PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?
Stay positive. The lows always last longer than the highs. Rejection is an opportunity for achievement; it keeps you humble and working hard.
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
I started overseeing the Lana Jewelry seasonal campaigns last fall and I am very proud of the turnout. I am working with a tremendous creative/styling duo, JP and Sandy, and the photos have totally rebranded our campaigns. Shooting campaigns is new to me, so it’s been a thrilling journey.
Jennifer Lopez in Lana
Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Meeting Jennifer Lopez at dinner in LA (she was wearing the Lana Jewelry Glam Hoops that I loaned her stylists earlier that day for “American Idol”). It was by complete accident and I felt like the stars were aligned.
Most meaningful moment in your career thus far?
Securing the first Lana Jewelry placement in Vogue magazine so meaningful. It proved to me that “anything is possible if you’re willing to work for it” isn’t just a B.S. phrase on T-shirt.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
The Lana Jewelry brand doesn’t advertise, pay for placements, or gift the jewelry to the celebrity. My team works very hard to build relationships with stylists and editors (who love the product) to secure jewelry placements.
What are the biggest challenges facing fashion communicators right now?
The game of pay-to-play is such a challenge, especially for Lana Jewelry, because we don’t gift before a placement. With the introduction to social media endorsement, many brands feel the need incentivize celebrities/bloggers/editors to obtain media placements. It has definitely made the industry more competitive, but if you represent a good product, are a nice/easy person to work with, and take the time to write quality/personal pitches, you don’t need to pay-to-play. I am certainly a fan of sending gracious thank-you gifts, but I am a believer that traditional product placement is still very feasible.
The Lana Jewelry brand doesn’t advertise, pay for placements, or gift the jewelry to the celebrity.
What are you really good at?
I can (almost) name any celebrity’s stylist at any given time. I guess I am good at stalking.
What would you tell someone who wants to be you when they grow up?
Stay humble. You don’t deserve anything until you prove it.