Get to know Blowfish Malibu’s Vice President of Marketing, Karen Bueno.
Tell us about your role at Blowfish Malibu.
I’m VP of Marketing here at Blowfish Malibu. The role varies from day to day, but for the most part, I’m in charge of ensuring we execute all of the brand’s marketing campaigns and strategies. In short – I try to ensure we grow brand awareness.
When did you first become interested in marketing?
I’ve been interested in marketing from the moment I was a consumer and started shopping. I loved reading magazines and looking at ads, and always remembered memorable TV commercials. I’ve always been fascinated by how a story can be communicated in various ways and how much of that story we retain as customers!
What did you do previously before joining the Blowfish Malibu team?
I worked in footwear at a retailer called OFFICE in the UK. I worked with merchandising, inventory, and assisting the buying team at their corporate office.
How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu?
I have had some great mentors in my life, all of which have worked or work in the footwear industry. I had actually wanted to quit my prior job to travel but was convinced to stay in the footwear industry by my mentor to take on a new opportunity in America when Blowfish Malibu first started. I’m originally from London so after lots of deliberation I moved to America and here I still am!
What creative projects at the brand have you been working on that you’re excited about? Can you tell us about them?
There’s been so many! I’m pretty excited about some campaigns launching next year. I cannot go into too much detail, but stay tuned. 2020 is going to be fun!
What do you like most about working in the fashion industry?
I love that the fashion industry allows you to be expressive! Whether it’s your personal style, or collaborating on projects, it’s an industry that values point of view and personal expression. I hope that never changes.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Honestly, I love seeing the product on people’s feet when I’m out and about. Whether it be in LA, London, or in a random airport, I get so much joy out of seeing people wearing the product.
The Blowfish Malibu offices are in LA. What’s your favorite thing about the city?
The blue skies and weather. I was born and bred in London where it is rather dreary. The blue skies keep my spirits up and allows me to spend time outside!
Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?
This is so hard and I’m not just saying that! Personally, I love the Leeds sandal. I wore them ALL summer and they were so comfy. I had them in leopard and always got so many compliments on them also. Lucky for me they are coming back next year in more colors.
What advice would you have for someone who’s trying to pursue the same career as you?
I’ve got two pieces of advice. One is – be the most prepared person in the room. I think it’s important to understand your field, but industry in general – knowledge is power.
Second piece of advice is to get comfortable being uncomfortable. The fashion marketing industry can be full of people with opinions the same as yours, or very different. This can call for some uncomfortable situations which we need to be aware happen. Taking these moments in stride can help a lot.
If you weren’t the VP of Marketing, what would you be?
This has changed a lot over the years. I’d love to work in a musical or for a theatre as I love musical theatre. I also did consider being a teacher once!
What was the last thing you were obsessed with?
Jane the Virgin. I’m weirdly obsessed with this show at the moment!
Where are you from and how has that shaped you?
I am from London and very proud of it. It is a culturally diverse and accessible city in so many ways. This diversity has really helped me understand people and where they come from. I have such an acceptance of everyone’s story, no matter where they are from or what they believe in. This definitely stemmed from my upbringing in a multicultural city.
What’s your dream travel destination?
I’d love to go to the Maldives or South Africa on safari!
If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
This could go so many ways. I’d love to have lunch with Beyonce or Elton John. And to pick their brain for work purposes, Steve Jobs.
When do you feel best about yourself?
When I’ve accomplished everything I’ve wanted to in a day. However, I’m also good at knowing when to cut myself off from work or engagements so I can have some “me” time. I love me some “me” time!
What’s your personal motto?
“When life gives you lemons paint that s**t gold.”
It’s from a hip hop song by Atmosphere. It sticks with me because it’s just another way of saying roll with what life may throw at you, and make the best of what you’re given! We live in a world via marketing or social media where it’s easy to compare our lives via curated media. We all get dealt different hands in life and I think it’s how you move forward through tough situations that make us stronger.
What’s a fun fact about you most people don’t know?
I once danced in a performance for the Queen’s Jubilee celebration many years ago.
I learn the most from: experience.
I can’t live without: people I love and my dog!
You can find me shopping at: Zara, ASOS, & Other Stories.
My astrological sign is: Leo.
I’m not scared of: heights.
The last book I read was: The 5 Love Languages.
Most people would say I’m: small.
I’m currently listening to: The Someone Great Soundtrack.
My style mantra is: I wear what I feel comfortable in and what expresses myself!
I feel most comfortable in: sneakers, wide leg pants and a fitted tee.
When I woke up today I felt: a little tired to be honest!
Most people don’t know: I have an English accent. Ello!
I feel the most free when: When I don’t have to be somewhere at a certain time. I feel the most free when I can live in the moment!