29, Works for herself
Poring over the Instagram accounts of Australia’s top health, wellness and fashion brands, chances are you’ve spied the unmistakable Caroline Høgh Groth. With her megawatt smile and nonchalant platinum bob, Caroline is the real deal.
A shiny pillar of “getting sh*t done” and a personal style that has garnered a public following on its own, Caroline is known for her knack of marrying yoga pants, with bright sundresses, crisp whites with Golden Goose sneakers… whatever the flavour, it’s entirely effortless and chic.
But that’s not why she is here.
Caroline is the epitome of class and balls rolled into one. Never afraid to jump in and, JUST START, her infectious spirit, grit and tenacity have propelled her through numerous roles within the media, marketing and branding industries. Today this superstar is making waves in her own right, through her website, partnerships and collaborations.
For years I have wanted to pick her brain and see how this sharp, fashion, health and wellness eye translates into a flourishing brand that pays the bills – but what ended up is a deep conversation about growing a life on the other side of the world. A lesson in overcoming unthinkable odds, and a tale about how life can truly be when you wholeheartedly know who you are.
Please meet your next reason to start…. The glittering, Caroline Høgh Groth
Gorgeous Caroline, I am literally overjoyed that you can join me today. Let’s start at the very beginning, where you grew up and how your experience shaped the person you are, and the career that you are in today?
I grew up in a small town in Denmark, called Korsør. It was one of those towns where if you didn’t have the drive and dreams to go somewhere and wanted to go to school, you’d most probably end up having kids and settling into a family-life from a very young age.
I very early on knew that I wanted to work in marketing, PR and later on Social (when that became a thing) and so I zoomed through High School, College and Uni and finish my education as a Design Technologist majoring in marketing and brand building a few months before my 21st Birthday.
I’d been working for an advertising and creative agency since I was 16 and also within fashion, so I already had a strong CV to my name when I moved to Australia when I was only 20 years old.
My previous role’s held include but not limited to; Marketing & Digital Comms Manager for A’kin, Alchemy and Neostrata Australia, Head of Ecommerce for Unilever Australia, NZ and SE Asia and Marketing and Digital Communications Director for Sam Prince Hospitality. However, now I work for myself. For almost 13 years I spent my time building other peoples companies up and working incredibly hard which also resulted in some health concerns like fatigue and serious stress. I was tired of the old school systems of a 9-5 job which really was more like 7am to 8pm and though I wass getting paid very well, it didn’t make up for the fact that I quickly got bored and felt limited in working for something that wasn’t myself.
It’s very hard to work for yourself and you spend a lot of time securing retainers and making sure bills can be paid. It’s certainly not a gold-mine, at least not these first few months and years. Everything good takes time.
Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I went to High School in Korsør. It was good. I built some great friendships that I had into my early adulthood. When I moved to Australia they somewhat fell apart after 8 years of being here.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
No, not really. In Denmark lots of people go to College straight after High School and I knew I always wanted to do that. It was in College I found out what I wanted to do with my life and career. That shaped me a whole lot more than High School.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school?
I never had an internship. I don’t believe in them. Or, let me correct that; I believe in paid work I don’t believe that anyone should work for free. It’s someone’s time, and whether they’re a professional or not, they still help out and should be rewarded for that.
That is my opinion. I’ve had interns and managed interns before. They’re a great help (to me) and it’s fun to show someone the rails in my career. I definitely think there’s a time and place for an internship. Just make sure that the employer is just as serious about it as you are, otherwise it’s a waste of time.
Ha! Love that, but you are 100% right, we all should be paid for the work we do. Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent?
I went to College and Uni. In college I chose an emphasis on language, and I studied English, Spanish and Social Science. I also majored in Pshycology and Latin and though I wanted to pursue a career in Psychology but that changed through my 3 years in College.
At Uni I studied Design technology with a major in Brand Building and Marketing. It was a Fashion and Businesses school which meant that the case-studies were from and by real businesses in Copenhagen, which was really helpful. I worked alongside this study and I could incorporate things I learnt from Uni and Vice Versa from my job so it turned out well.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
I started working when I was 16 for a creative Ad agency in Copenhagen and I also worked with Fashion Merchandising and Sales alongside that. I did that until I moved to Australia just before I turned 21. When I got to Australia I worked my way up doing contract roles in PR and Marketing. The majority of my work places were in Beauty and Ecommerce Platforms as I was tired of the Fashion-Industry (it’s also a poorly paid one.) At the age of 22 I went into a role as Marketing and Digital Comms Manager for a Beauty and Skin Company based in Australia.
I did that for almost two years, until I was headhunted for my role as Head of eCommerce for Unilever Australasia setting up their entire department from scratch and incorporating it into their business as a whole new pillar. I did that for almost two years as well, and then I went on to become Marketing and Digital Comms Director for a Hospitality Company here in Sydney.
When things changed within that company last year, I decided it was time to take a gamble and start working for myself. That’s where I’m at now.
How did you get into the job that you are in now?
I decided it was time to take a chance on faith and do what I really wanted to do – create my own schedule whilst working for and with people I truly enjoy.
What is the hardest part of owning your own business and working for yourself?
The cash flow and making sure that clients pay on time. Also; quiet periods due to marketing budgets and how they ebb and flow throughout the year. There’s never any guarantee.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you as you navigate the soloprepreneur landscape?
I set my own schedule.
I get up every morning around 6am and then I train.
I then come home around 7.30-8am to open up my laptop and respond to emails and clients.
I do that until around 1pm, and then I have a lunch-break. After Lunch I may have a shoot or I’ll have a heap of content to write like blog-posts, articles or captions. I’ll do that until 6pm at night.
Other days I’ll have morning or night-time events on I have to attend which means my day are very long – but I love it, and it doesn’t feel like work when you truly do something you enjoy doing.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
I always looked up to female publishing editors and what they did to drive a publication they way they chose to. I think it takes a lot of effort, handwork and balls to do so in a very male-lead market.
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
Work hard. Work your way up. Have a hunger for wanting to do what you do. Be humble and grateful. Be kind. Don’t burn any bridges – you might need them later. Acknowledge that we all need to start somewhere, and everyone did start at the same place. Keep your head down, and focus on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Do you.
List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?
- Favourite Websites: carolinehgroth.com.au (of course), socialdiary.com.au, Google Analytics, Body & Soul, Popsugar AU.
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: @Fakander – love this girls feed!
- Favourite Podcast: Super Soul Sessions by Oprah
- Favourite Netflix Series: Stranger Things, Grace & Frankie.
- Favourite all time book/s: A Course in Miracles, The Four Agreements, Tears to Triumph.
- People: My extremely supportive boyfriend Pash and my best girlfriend and soul-sister Ash Hart. They lift me up!