Creative Leaders Cocktail Party – By @PugheScarlet

By Scarlet Pughe


Creative Leaders Cocktail Party


Two years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Fabiana Xavier, president of She Says London. I was attending a talk by Katherine Ellis at McCann London, where Fabs was speaking about the work SheSays does for female creatives in advertising. SheSays is an award-winning global organisation focused on the engagement, education and advancement of women in the creative industries. 


At the end of the talk I was so inspired that I plucked up the courage to go and speak to her. She was currently working for Saatchi and Saatchi on the HSBC campaign. Saatchi’s at the time was one of the only advertising companies I knew anything about so I had some relatively interesting questions to ask her… or so I thought. When catching up with her not too long ago, she has no recollection of our conversation, so clearly, she made more of an impression on me, than I did on her. Nevertheless, she personally invited me to the next SheSays event, which was held at Saatchi & Saatchi and I was so excited to attend. 


I studied Graphic Design at Kingston University and I loved my course; however, I knew from my first year that what excited me most was coming up with ideas. My tutor informed me that I should look into advertising but had no confidence that any agency would consider me if I hadn’t had advertising training. UNTIL. I went to the talk at Saatchi’s and listened to Kate Stanners speak about her journey to becoming Chairwoman & Global Chief Creative Officer. It turns out she started out going to university to study graphic design, this is when I decided that advertising was for me. From that moment on I took any opportunity to learn more about the industry. I attended every SheSays event, Fabs quickly realised it would be hard to get rid of me, so later that year she became my mentor. I would meet up with her every few weeks and we’d speak about the work I was doing. She started setting me tasks that would help me get on the right tracks for a future career in advertising. After a few months I was at an event held by major players when she asked me to organise the SheSays Summer Party and I couldn’t have been quicker to accept.


I managed all aspects of the event including finding sponsors, the concept and the overall design. The main challenge was that I had £0.00 to spend on it, a difficult task indeed. I wanted to take the opportunity to help people like myself network and meet the leading women in the industry. So, I came up with the concept of the ‘Creative Leaders Cocktail Party’ to celebrate the women who inspire young women like me. 


If these women became part of the event, I thought it might encourage them to attend. Therefore, I asked a few women who particularly inspired me to answer the question – If you were a cocktail, what would you be, and why? Their answers were added to the drinks menu and were served at the party. Here are some of the responses I got:


Rosie Arnold

Raspberry Bellini

‘Sparkling, fun, classic with a twist.’


Ali Hanan


‘Because Shaping teams is all about embracing diverse and interesting points of view to shape something fresh, vibrant and delicious. The collective is better than each individual flavour.’


Anna Carpen

About Thyme

‘Because it’s about time we had some more female creative leaders.’


Laura Jordan Bembach


‘Purposeful and strong.’


Paula Amaral


‘Strong but fruity and preferably with Gin.’


Nikki Lindman


‘It’s always beautifully perfumed, strong and looks feminine but packs a punch (I box). But really, it’s because I love them so much!’


Jo Wallace

Dirty Martini

‘Because I’m neat, straight-forward and surprisingly strong.’


Becky McOwen-Banks

French 75

‘Champagne (because no other bubbly will do), Gin (for some good ol London town down to earth) and lemon (for a bit of sharp wit).’



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