Whether it be a celebrity press release, a major red carpet moment, or a simple hello, seeing Bryan Smith's name pop up in my inbox always makes me smile. As director of public relations for Los Angeles-based Starworks Artists, he represents some of the best hair, makeup, and color artists and stylists in the world—color guru Tracey Cunningham and Chanel artist Kate Lee, to namedrop a few. His mix of sharp wit, charm (he's a Texan native!), and savvy has catapulted him to the top of his game, and he manages to be stay all smiles in a—let's face it—brutal industry. For all interested in the world of representation and relations, keep reading as Bryan drops his knowledge on the importance of relationship building and social media below.
I provide in-house public relations support to a talented roster of makeup artists, hairstylists, and fashion stylists who work mainly in celebrity and editorial.
I'm a Texas boy—born in Abilene, Texas and schooled at Baylor University in Waco, Texas (Sic 'Em). I relocated to Los Angeles from Austin about three years ago and began working with Starworks shortly after. When I began with SWA they were still a fairly new company. It's been a fun and exciting journey to be part of their growth.
What it’s like to be on the PR side of beauty:
I've learned a tremendous amount about the beauty industry from Starworks Artists. It's always exciting to share their work with the media and see the positive reactions it incites. It's an exciting time to be in the beauty industry. The velvet curtain behind celebrity beauty has fallen away and the spotlight is now focused on the trendsetting men and women responsible for creating the looks every girl in America (and the world!) is coveting this season. I'm blessed to have such a talented roster of artists who consistently do breathtaking work. They make my job easy and enjoyable.
The relationship with the artist:
More than anything else, I consider myself a friend and teammate. Our working relationship is mutually beneficial. If they don't look good, I don't look good.
How to diffuse situations in Hollywood:
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
The most fun I've had at work was during the 2011 Oscars, when Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted. Makeup artist Kate Lee and hairstylist Adir Abergel were working with Annie that night and hairstylist Jamal Hammadi was grooming James Franco—all artists from the SWA roster. Our twitter feed became a direct backstage pass to all the excitement with exclusive pictures and beauty notes for Anne's eight different looks.
The importance of social media:
Oscar night we gained tons of new followers, including every single major American monthly. I think it was the first time we realized what an important and beneficial tool social media could be for Starworks Artists.
How to thrive in PR:
My approach has always been about relationships. Knowing your contacts well is key for the day-to-day and will be much more advantageous for you in the long run. I love a lunch meeting.
Best thing about the beauty world:
Being constantly surrounded by beauty is not a bad way to make a living, and free shampoo ain't bad either.
Final tips to succeed:
Be humble, hardworking and know the difference between gel and liquid eye liner.
Beauty Calling is a new bi-monthly column profiling experts from all across the beauty industry. From art to science to business, no territory is going uncharted, and we’re exploring what it takes to succeed—from the source. Have a particular profession you're interested in? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos courtesy of Bryan Smith and Starworks Artists.