Today we’d like to introduce you to Chloe Slade.
Chloe, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
“You are too nice” has never been said to anybody more than it has been said to me. My response, “Maybe everyone else isn’t nice enough.”
I grew up in Goodrich, Michigan — a town so small that it is actually considered to be a village. Growing up, I was completely obsessed with MTV’s ‘TRL’ and knew someday I wanted to leave Michigan to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. After heavy research, I determined that there was no better place to learn about the entertainment industry than Syracuse University in upstate New York. I was admitted to their school of Visual and Performing Arts and began pursuing a degree in Communication & Rhetorical Studies in August of 2009.
Syracuse became my everything. There were so many opportunities/organizations to join and I did everything I could to take advantage of them. From helping to re-colonize a sorority with 60 other women, giving campus tours, obtaining an internship at a local concert venue to joining the college concert board — Syracuse gave me the chance to gain experience that I knew I’d be able to apply to my life outside of university.
It was the summer of my sophomore year that I decided I didn’t want to go home to Goodrich once classes commenced. I needed an internship to start growing my resume and wanted to focus a bit more on the music side of the entertainment industry. Luckily for me, there was a concert venue called The Westcott Theater near campus that was always looking for interns. I emailed them and scheduled an interview (the same day they had a sold out show). I remember walking up to the venue only to find a massive line of fans waiting outside prior to the doors being opened for the show. What I thought was going to be an interview turned into my first day on the job. It was one of those moments that I guess you could call “the first day of the rest of your life.”
There is no energy like the energy at a concert and there I was, right in the middle of it all. Working at The Westcott sparked a fire inside me that I never wanted to put out… once school started back up my boss decided to hire me on as an employee. This meant I was going to class, giving campus tours, attending meetings on behalf of the sorority and working at the venue every night. To say I had a lot on my plate would be an understatement; however, I loved it.
After being at The Westcott for about a year, I noticed an open position on the university concert board. The position was to help plan an annual end of the year concert for students at the university. I applied thinking it was a long shot because I wasn’t a music business major but a few days later, the president of concerts gave me a call to notify me that got it! I spent the next few months researching acts to bring to campus, reviewing contracts and rider requests, going back and forth with tour managers and securing the deals. Come May, the show was a success, my peers loved it and I felt a sense of fulfillment that I had never felt before… could the small town girl from Michigan really make it in the music industry? It sure felt like it.
Flash forward to the end of my senior year at Syracuse and I had worked 100+ shows at The Westcott, given campus tours to over 500 prospective students and their families, helped the concert board with 10+ major concerts, maintained the social chair position at the sorority for two years, somehow managed to maintain a 3.6 GPA and got elected to represent Syracuse University on the Senior Homecoming Court. I made my mark in the exact way I wanted to but approaching graduation, I couldn’t help but think, “Now what?”
Though my boss at the Westcott asked me to stay on after graduation, I had always wanted to move to Los Angeles. It was a difficult/scary decision but that’s where my heart was telling me to go. Come July 2013, I packed up my things and my dad and I drove my yellow pickup truck across the country to the City of Angels. I moved into an apartment in Beverly Hills with my best friend and started searching for a job. After a few months of no luck, I contacted a temp agency and landed a gig Assisting an Artist Manager to a high profile musician. Going from working at a live music venue to an office desk job was a hard adjustment. I wasn’t ready to sit in the same place for 40+ hours a week and after 8 months I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me. It was the first job I had ever quit, but I knew it was the right move. I decided to pack my bags and head back to Syracuse to do some soul-searching.
Through my first year in LA, first job in LA and all of the in-between, my boss at The Westcott really made himself available for me to reach out to. It was him who helped me gain the courage to quit my job and it was him who hired me back on to help with a few concerts during my return to Syracuse. We both knew, I couldn’t give up on my dream in LA though and after a few weeks I got on a plane and went back to LA.
I started thinking about what it was that I really wanted to do and the first thing that came to mind was tour. I had always wanted to go out on the road and help produce shows in different cities. After researching my options I concluded that I would be a great fit to help out with the Vans Warped Tour. It was past the timing to get a gig on the tour so I decided to join a new temp agency with hopes of gaining experience at multiple companies in the music/entertainment industry. My thought was that I’d learn a lot and come the following summer, I would have more experience for when I started pursuing Warped Tour again.
Over the course of 8 months, I went to 25 different LA-based companies in the music and entertainment industry. I learned about royalties, sync deals, event planning, tv station operations, publishing and more. In February 2015 I got a call about an Assistant opportunity at an Artist Management Company and what I thought was going to be another short-term gig turned into a 2.5 year full-time job. I put my tour pursuit on hold and embarked on a new journey (one I cherish to this day). Artist management this time around was different in a good way because I knew what I was getting into (to some extent). With a handful of clients there were multiple personalities, needs, wants and desires. I became a champion at moving quickly, wearing multiple hats, planning things out to the T and helping with literally everything… especially travel.
In the midst of working at the Artist Management company, I myself did a bit of traveling and took my first trip to London. The purpose of my trip was to connect with my best friend/roommate (remember, the one from Syracuse that I moved to LA with) she had since moved there to get her Masters in Publishing. What was meant to be a fun girls weekend turned into her introducing me to (prepare for a cliche) the man of my dreams/current boyfriend. It took a whole four hours for me to declare that he was my person, I just knew it (that’s a different story though).
After doing long distance for a year and a half, my heart was in a different place. I had always been incredibly career oriented, but a little voice in the back of my head was telling me that the right move was to go to London. Leaving the Artist Management company was hard but, “Love makes you do crazy things.” Everyone was incredibly supportive and I knew I was making the right decision.
I arrived in London at the end of July and went on with my boyfriend and his family to tour the south of Ireland (where his parents are from). From there, we returned to London, met up with my family and explored Paris and Santorini, Greece. By late-August, I had compiled a list of places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do in London. It was the summer of 10,000+ photos and more love than I ever could have imagined. Unfortunately, due to visa requirements, I had to return back to the United States at the end of September.
With only a few weeks left in London to come up with a plan for the future, I received a call from my old boss at the Artist Management company. He was producing a new pop-up art exhibit in downtown LA and asked if I would be interested in consulting on it. The project could not have been a more perfect fit for me and I agreed to jump on board. I flew back to the states as planned and jumped into all things on brand with the pop-up aka all things “happy.”
Working at the pop-up was a dream. Remember how I mentioned that people always say I’m “too nice?” Well, at the pop-up, my job was to be nice. Great fit? I think yes. I was able to be my full self, personality and all. I even got to help with local charities; which if you didn’t know, is incredibly rewarding. Take note now, helping others is the best way to help yourself. I’ll always remember the day we opened, the smiles, laughter and joy that filled the building. Seeing something come to life in such a big, happy way was incredible and November – December 2017 will always, for me, be remembered as just that — incredible.
So, now the part you’ve been waiting for. Where are you now? Well, I’m in LA, figuring it out like the rest of us. It took a lot of reflecting but three things are clear to me. I love making people smile, I love working in the music industry and I love traveling. This brings us to Chloe Smiles, a new project that I’m keeping under-wraps for now but sharing with you first. More information to come soon! 😉
Has it been a smooth road?
Absolutely not, but that’s what makes for a good story. I’ll be the first to admit that my kindness is my biggest strength and weakness. You see, it truly depends on the people I’m surrounded by. You either believe that you, “Catch more bees with honey” or you don’t. Professionally and trying to grow (especially in the music industry) there’s so much navigation that has to be done between being someone who is likable yet firm. For me, I’ve always accomplished everything I needed to by being kind… but this doesn’t mean that I’m not firm when it’s necessary — I’ve played that role many times.
I think how you act and the perception people have of you MOST of the time is what stands out. It makes it easy for people to forget all of the times you got sh*t done (excuse the language) when they’re constantly reminiscing over the time you were being kind to the airline representative on the phone for no reason other than to be kind.
Kindness is often looked at as a weakness and my hope for future endeavors is that I can help change that to the point that kindness is looked at as more of a strength — something you should strive to show off more than hide in and outside of professional settings.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I do think that LA is a great place to start Chloe Smiles. When I moved here everyone told me that LA was going to change me and truthfully, I’ve done everything I can to stay the same. You always want to grow, that’s a given; however, I think how you treat people (if you’re treating them well) should stay the same. To make the lives of others better, we have to first start with how we’re living life ourselves. LA is full of the dreamers and the doers and I think having a mix of both is what makes this city such a great place to start out.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/chloeslade
- Twitter: twitter.com/chloeslade
- Other: instagram.com/chloesmiles43