A Day In The Life: Annika Hein

Today I’m joined by one of the industry’s true beauties – both inside and out. Annika Hein of The Grey Attic is a fashionista, freelance powerhouse, collaborative genius and all round sweetheart, and I’m pretty glad to have met her on my journey to my own #freelancelyf! Annika wrote this interview for me while she was on a sabbatical to New York a few months ago, gathering inspiration for The Grey Attic…

What do you do / what’s your job title?

I am a freelance stylist and fashion writer, but primarily the creative director and co-founder of a new start up creative agency called The Grey Attic, which specialises in directing and cultivating creative concepts in the fashion and create fields.

How did you get to where you are today? Any stand out career moments?

When I left year 12, I told everyone in my grade that once day I was going to have my own magazine… at the age of 22 I was the editor in chief of a fashion and beauty magazine based in Brisbane. Simultaneously, I started blogging and styling photo – shoots and I knew I needed to develop a career for my self that allowed me to be creative across a multitude of different fields. After leaving the magazine, I transitioned into the role of Creative Director for a Brisbane based fashion retailer where I continued to develop my skills for 2 and half years. In August 2014 my partner Dean and I decided to take the risk and do something of our own – so in January this year we abandoned all our plan B’s and gave up the comfort of stability to focus 100% on The Grey Attic.

Do you have a morning routine? What does it look like?

I haven’t developed my new routine yet, now that I don’t have to be in an office by 8:45am haha. My NYC morning routine is a blissful 9-10am sleep- in, a black coffee in bed while reading WWD, style.com or catching up on some key Instagram accounts. Then I’ll do some yoga, or have a shower and get dressed and ready for the day. First stop is always a soy latte with avocado on toast in Soho or a matcha coffee and tofu cream cheese toasted bagel in the West Village.

Back at home, I usually wake up at 5:15am, give my sleepy fur babies a morning pat before racing off to a 6am yoga class.

I’m hoping my new situation will continue with the slightly later wake-up time, lots of animal pats, morning yoga and coffee and green juices over fashion news publication catch-ups. My best creative work generally happens during the afternoon/ early evening hours, so I would like to hope now that I’m working for my self my mornings can continue to be a time where I get inspired and creatively ready for the day and work ahead.

What do you love most about what you do?

The creative control and the collaboration! Being able to develop and curate identities and ideas for like-minded creatives. Basically I love waking up in the morning and knowing that I can be completely and wholly creative all day and explore a multitude of different ideas and projects

What do you find most challenging?

The hustle…

What do you think is one of the most important skills an entrepreneur / freelancer needs to have?

You have to be really self motivating and continually adaptable. This is not your average 9-5.

What’s one thing you learned this month?

If you’re planning on travelling to more than two countries in one overseas trip, use a travel agent, no matter how Google proficient you think you are!

What do you think is missing / small businesses are struggling with most at the moment?

There’s not a lot of collaboration between small businesses or creative support. I think that’s something that is particularly lacking in Queensland. Creatives especially need to stop looking at each other as competition and work together towards the same goal of advancing a creative culture in their home city.

Any advice for other wannabe or existing entrepreneurs / freelancers?

Trust your self and the creative process. We all have days of doubt where we question our ability and feel that overwhelming sense of defeat… push past it, it’s worth it!!