Meet Maya, Batch's Brand Operations Manager

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What’s your background?
I studied Communication and Public Relations in college and after graduating moved back to the Bay Area, where I immediately began interning for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. After a brief flirtation with the idea of going back to school for policy, or even law, I ultimately decided to stick with PR – landing a role at a boutique tech agency in downtown SF. It was there that I was able to not only learn the ropes of developing branding, messaging and content for emerging brands, but challenged, in the best possible way, to be creative, dynamic and self-motivated in my career. After three years working with an incredible team of PR pros, I decided it was time for a new challenge and ventured in-house with Batch. 

What is your role at Batch? 
I am the Brand Operations Manager.

What do you enjoy doing most within your role?
First, I love the different founder stories behind each brand. Whether it’s interviewing brands for blogroll content or for a press feature, it’s always fascinating to learn more about the product inspirations behind each company.

Second, I think it goes without saying that I have become quite the cheese board savant, thanks to all of the fun brand events we’re able to host in the space. I definitely love having the opportunity to dress a cheese board for guests ;)   

As a Public Relations guru, how do you get publications interested in the stories you are pitching? 
I try to avoid broad, blanket pitching as much as possible – it just feels insensitive. In the consumer and design arena we operate in, I’m more interested in developing deeper relationships with reporters, to get a better idea of their beat, media timeline and what interests them. From there, it’s not only simpler, but much more fun to develop and pitch angles that are meaningful and resonate with that publications audience. It makes each story feel that much more special when it’s published. 

What makes working at Batch unique compared to other companies? 
Batch is far more dynamic, and the challenges are not one-dimensional. One day, you could be working on sourcing new, exciting brands to bring into the Showroom and the next you’re hosting a “Women in Conversation” networking event. Paired with fun projects, like Showcase and partnerships with other exciting brands, notably our latest on with Outsite, there’s always something new and interesting brought to the table. This is partially a result of our distinct retail model combined with Lindsay’s willingness to take risks on the retail and design front. 

What has been your favorite Batch to date?  
I’ve loved all the Batches thus far, but I’d have to say our Midwinter Collection is my favorite. I love that we integrated more books, and even created a library in one of the vignettes. It’s such a cozy and quieter area of the Showroom – I’m always tempted to take a nap when sitting there!

What five words would you use to describe your personal style?
Elegant, thoughtful, comfortable, chic and surprising 

Where do you draw design inspiration from?
Instagram is a quick and easy channel to discover new decor or fashion inspiration, but I have to admit that I’m still loyal to the glossy magazines. We have a great magazine store in our Russian Hill neighborhood that carries design, travel and fashion magazines from all over the world. I love to browse them and cut and keep photos and words that inspire me. 

I just finished reading the Homelands Suitcase Magazine Issue and am officially obsessed with the various landscapes of Peru and architecture of Japan. 

What are some brands you admire in retail, and why?
Current brands on my radar are...

Glossier: If you know me, you know that I’m a Glossier fanatic. Amazing product aside, their branding and marketing strategy is completely different than traditional beauty lines. I love strong focus on community and skincare from the get-go, I think it’s been a massive part of their rapid scale. 

Away: Away took an institutionalized vertical of travel accessories and completely transformed it for the modern traveler. I admire how thoughtful they were about the design of the product itself, incorporating no-nonsense features that make sense for today’s busy travelers. Their web design is also beautiful and reads more as a fun travel guide versus a traditional e-commerce page. 

Revival Rugs: I love the idea of repurposing anything ancient or old. The fact that this team hand-selects and sources these antique and vintage rugs from Turkey shows how dedicated they are to both preserving a beautiful culture of hand-woven rugs and providing customers with original pieces to complete their home. 

Reformation: Not only is this brand rooted in creating clothing that has minimal impact on the environment, they completely reimagined the consumer experience when it comes to dressing rooms. From ordering a new size to lighting and even music, Reformation is the only brand that I would shop just to hang out in their dressing room all day. 

How do you stay updated on the latest trends? Are there any magazines or social media accounts that are your go-tos for industry news?
I definitely tap into, and rely heavily on Instagram for the latest trends. My favorite Instagram accounts for home decor / lifestyle are Lonny Magazine, Dwell Magazine, The Row, New York Times Fashion & Style, Homepolish and Coveteur. 

For industry news, Retail Dive’s daily newsletter is perfect for when I’m in a hurry and just want the high-level details of the latest retail news. For deep-dives and full-features, I really enjoy Liz Segran coverage of the retail industry for Fast Company. 

And for when I have spare time, I like to nerd out with the WSJ logistics report – that’s right, supply chain and logistics, baby! 

What trends are you excited about right now? 
I actually like that people are bringing their personalities back into their home decor and fashion. 

I think the rise of social media has inadvertently put a small amount of pressure on people to constantly purchase items that keep them on-trend. But there’s really no fun in that if it doesn’t feel true to yourself. 

We’re seeing a huge surge, both in decor and fashion as well as culturally, to embrace elements that make us unique. Whether it’s integrating family heirlooms into your home furnishings, or featuring fun prints and textiles that reflect your personality – this new wave of celebrating and embracing your personal style has the potential to really shake-up and even challenge the design industry. 

Can you share three items on your home decor wishlist? 
I’m currently lusting a Daphne Rug by Revival Rugs, Artwork by Sefton Segedin and a Cashmere Throw by Parachute.

Bita Khaleghi