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"How Did They Do It?" With Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Self Employed, Anita Gatto!

Anita Gatto co-founded a marketing company, in quite a short amount of time we must add, that lead brand strategy and helped execute those famed "pop-up" shops we started hearing about the past few years for the likes of, Kylie Cosmetics, Steve Aoki, KKW Beauty and L'Oreal. So yeah, we wanna know. How did she do it?

LA: What is one interesting thing that people may not know about your career?

A: The thing I enjoy the most and people might find interesting is that I get to see anticipated products and collections before they come out- sometimes a year in advance. I believe this visibility helps me to identify trends early on and that allows me to advise sharper and more relevant marketing plans.

LA: During your professional journey, what is one mistake you made that you learned the most from?

A: My biggest regret is a time when I put my work before my family. I decided to stay in Los Angeles for a meeting when I should have been in my hometown in Canada with my family. I have learned the hard way that your career can wait while you take care of your family and health. If you work with people that don’t allow you to prioritize that, they might not be right for you. 

LA: What is one thing you did that put you on the right path to be successful in this career?

A: Speaking up. My friends know I am not a shy person, but it can be quite intimidating to ask for what you want in a business setting. In my first role working for a fashion company in Canada, I helped to launch Robert Graham at a retailer called Harry Rosen. When Robert came to our launch event in Toronto, he was so impressed with everything I managed. During our company dinner that evening, I went up to him and I told him that I believed I was the right person to manage marketing for Robert Graham globally. I moved to New York City 6 months later and became his CMO and the only woman on his board of directors. Without voicing what I really wanted, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  

LA: What are you most proud of at this moment?

A: I am super proud of how my husband Chris Cottam and I have managed our work/home life juggle together during this pandemic. I’m proud and grateful for all the work we have had this year as well. 

LA: Your go-to beverage after a long week (specifics please!)?

A: Ok, so after a long week, I definitely reach for a glass (or 3) of Sancerre. Specifically, Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisee! 

But after a long, crazy week… I go for a Margarita with Volcan De Mi Tierra tequila, fresh lime juice and Cointreau, no salt.

+ Follow Anita here