Nana Acheampong and blue
Looking to dog share? Let Nana, Shopping Editor and Stylist at Fabulous magazine, tell you how it's done!
If you don't know Nana personally, you would no doubt have seen her work. She has styled everyone from Fearne Cotton to Little Mix, and Nicole Scherzinger to Mel B, plus has worked at Fabulous magazine for years now - scouring the high street for the shopping pages so you don't have to. Plus she has styled fashion shoots, on location and in studios, that have appeared in many of the major national titles.
She doesn't stop working. But she quite clearly loves what she does. I've known her for about five years now, and every single time I've seen her over the years, she smiles from ear to ear, laughs and jokes and never takes herself, or the industry, too seriously. And that's exactly why she is still working in fashion right now.
You can always rely on Nana to bring the fun to any party, with her infectious laugh and innate sense of style. She loves prints (she explains below that it's through her Ghanian background that she learnt about dressing in prints), and she loves fashion. And she loves Blue, who is actually a dog share with her friend, Paul. How does that work exactly? Read all about it below...
On life with Blue: Life with Blue is everything I imagined it to be and more. I always wanted a pet as a child but my dad is scared of cats and dogs so as far as I got was a gold fish, which my sister then "accidentally" killed. Anyway it's great being an adult because I was able to get Blue. I feel really lucky to be able to look after. Days where we just hang out at home or go for long walks are some of my favourites. I loved him so much as a puppy but watching him grow has been the best and I love him even more.
On dog sharing: Yes Blue is a dog share, his dad is my one of my best friends Paul. I have Blue every weekend and some weeknights. It works perfectly because Paul works remotely so can have Blue in the day whilst I'm at work and then when I do have him he's so excited to see me it's the cutest thing. He also gets to call two different places home, even though I think I spoil him more when he's with me. He has lots of toys in both houses, I'm always buying him something new and I let him sleep at the bottom of my bed. I'm very lucky that Paul has him very well trained so we never have any accidents.
On work: I'm Shopping and Celebrity Style Editor at Fabulous magazine, the women's weekly supplement with The Sun on Sunday. It is my job to style the celebrity front covers and compile product pages each week of all the best clothes, shoes and accessories that the high street has to offer. One of my pages, 'Lust List', also includes beauty and interiors which is great as it means I basically cover everything! I always say I have a girls dream job as I get to play with clothes and shoes everyday for a living. There are so many aspects of my job that I love from the people I work with who inspire me on a daily basis, to the travel that is involved but I really love it when I meet people who say they have seen one of my shoots or read fabulous every week because of how great the fashion content is.
On styling: It's completely a collaborative process. Every season I will do a trend report and identify all the key trends of the season that I will then put forward as ideas for shoots, depending on who the celebrity is and what I think will suit their style/personality. There are also shoot concept ideas that are bought to me and I then come up with styling ideas that will fit into the shoot.
On style: In all honesty I think natural style is something you are born with.
On a career plan B: Oh my gosh, there were so many different things I wanted to be as a child from a synchronised swimmer, to policewomen, to a chef but in terms of a career I always knew I wanted to do something in the media industry. My dad used to make me read the The Times to him at the dinning room table from the age of four so my love for journalism started there. The fashion aspect has always been a huge part, coming from a big Ghanaian family I grew up with so many vibrant colours and prints around me and we would always be dressing up for something even if it was just church on a Sunday which I loved. I feel like I've combined the two into my perfect career. I am also passionate about baking and have started making birthday cakes for friends and family so have thought in recent years that could always be career number two.
"I'm a Princess. My dad is a Chief of a village called Morso near Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana."
On her daily routine: I get up at 6/630am most days and as I go to the gym before work. On a day when I have Blue he is the first thing I see or hear as he'll be scratching my bedroom door because he needs the toilet. I'll then take home downstairs and let him out in the garden. Whilst he's having a little run around I'll have a warm water and lemon drink. I then take him for a quick walk around de Beauvoir square, then feed him breakfast before I leave. Paul has keys to my house to collects him around 10. My working day either consists of me being on a photoshoot, either for the celebrity cover or fashion editorial, on appointments pulling for said shoots or in the the office editing pages. Depending on where I am shooting, I can sometimes bring Blue along with me if my shoot is in a studio.
On career advice: Work experience. That would be the first and biggest piece of advice I could give. Intern, assist, shadow people and at as many different places as you can. This will be your foundation and be invaluable when you're applying for the jobs that you want. Start this as early on in life as you can. I wish I was told at school how important work experience was - you can start as young as 15 if you know what it is you already want to do. Also study your craft and be knowledgeable. Show initiative and be persistent - I interned for over a year before I got my role as a Fashion Assistant if you work hard enough your efforts will not go unnoticed.
On her favourite Blue 'tail': For some strange reason he is scared of bike helmets, wheelchairs and his own reflection. When he sees any of the above he barks like crazy. When we first got him at eight weeks old and he noticed his reflection for the first time in my living room windows he went crazy but he hadn't really found his bark yet so the sound coming out was laughable. I was throwing away a shower gel bottle the other day and also discovered he's scared of those too but only because he thinks I'm about to give him a bath - he was trying to get away as quickly as he could.
One thing people should know about Nana: I'm a Princess. My dad is a Chief of a village called Morso near Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana. I was his first child to be born after he was installed as Chief (I have two older brothers - neither of which are Princes - sucks to them). I don't have any traditional or customary duties as I don't live in Ghana but I visit as much as I can. It's a beautiful and rich culture I feel very proud to be part of.