As founder of the boutique marketing and public relations firm August Bishop working with heavyweights such as Adidas, Virgin Mobile, Ocean Pacific, Benetton USA and Coca Cola became second nature for Barney Bishop. However, by the time we met last year he had embarked on a new exciting adventure with his well researched blog entitled “Fragrant Moments”. We met for coffee and lively banter at the Ace Hotel on a rainy Spring afternoon. Besides discussing the obvious topic: fragrance, we spent a bit of time playing with the samples I had brought from a now defunct line, discussing their various notes and what it reminded us of, respectively. We both agreed that fragrance is probably the only “medium”, for lack of a better word, that has the ability to take you back to specific moments in time, from happy occasions shared with loved ones to emotional memories attached to a particular event in one’s life. As Barney puts it “I am not a critic…as I discover new things I write about them”. And write about them he does, his reviews manage to make fragrance jump from the page and feel like you can actually smell the scent he describes. According to Barney “men are quite opinionated about their fragrance habits”. I found this to be fascinating and the latest posting is a great illustration of this statement. The reviews are fun to read, entertaining and humorous and can be of great help to the man in your life whether he is discovering fragrance for the first time (yes there are still such men in existence) or, if he is among those who have graduated from Old Spice, “Fragrant Moment” will help him become an even more sophisticated customer. Either way it is a win-win proposition and there is something for everyone to learn and discover on this creatively crafted blog. As a result, Barney has been offered to write feature pieces for various menswear magazines and has been published in Men’s Health, Complex and Antenna to name a few. If that were not enough, Barney has been keeping busy on other fronts, going back to school for his Master’s degree in Public Relation and Corporate Communications at NYU and taking over the public relations for the Sarasota, Florida based men’s accessories company Würkin Stiffs®.
Follow Miriam on Twitter @miriamdriot
1. What do you love most about your job?
As a public relations professional, I’m called upon to help brands realize their business objectives. What I love most about my job is the journey to making this a reality, developing the strategy, brokering new relationships, the pitching, and of course the press features.
2. If you did not live in Brooklyn, NY where would you live and why?
If I didn’t live in Brooklyn, NY, I would live in my father’s native land, Barbados. As a child I visited a few times but it wasn’t until my most recent trips that I fell in love with the island. So much of my family history is on that island and many of the people I grew up with are from there that it just feels like a natural fit. Then there’s the weather, the food, the music and the people and it leaves you wondering, what can I do here to get by comfortably to experience this 365 days a year.
3. When not working what do you enjoy doing?
When I’m not working, I enjoy watching the Food Network with my wife, spending time with my family, working out and smoking cigars. The latter is my vice but it’s such an enjoyable experience.
4. What is your best memory from childhood?
I have so many wonderful childhood memories that it’s hard to pinpoint one. But if I could bend this question a bit, I’d like to recall a memory that includes my brother that occurred maybe 10+ years ago. I have a tattoo on my left arm of an Adinkra symbol and it means humility together with strength. While deliberating what I would get, my brother and I talked extensively about the matter and I stressed it had to have meaning. When I settled on this symbol, it felt right. Years later, my brother decided he wanted a tattoo and without telling me, he went and got the exact same Adinkra symbol. I never asked him why he did it because it was obvious. Lamont and I were as tight as two brothers could be. The love we shared was it should be between siblings, honest, genuine and everlasting. He passed away unexpectedly a few years ago and it’s one of the memories of him that I hold dear.
5. What is your favorite holiday destination and why?
Unfortunately, I don’t get to take holiday often. To make up for that, my wife and I take short trips and lately we’ve fallen in love with Philadelphia. A quick 2hr drive from NYC, the city has some excellent dining options and it’s so affordable. The quick trips break up the routine nicely.
6. Book or e-reader? Why and what are you currently reading?
Book. I love the feel of flipping pages, bending the spine and using either a napkin or receipt as my bookmark. I’m an old school baby I guess. I am currently reading “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell
7. Which social media platform do you use and how did they impact your business?
I blog on WordPress and further engage my audience via twitter. WordPress has given people a chance to understand my love of living a scented life and that has led to writing assignments for various men’s publications. Twitter gives me a chance to further share those thoughts and instantly engage with like minded people. It’s fun and time consuming, but I love it.
8. What is a true luxury for you today?
That’s a tough one. I would say true luxury for me today is time. We are all juggling so many things in our lives and I’m no different. I find that when I talk to my parents on the phone, I’m often rushing them off because I’m either running late for an appointment, writing an email or doing anything else that requires my attention. This past weekend I managed to sleep late by accident and it dawned on me that I couldn’t remember the last time I did that. It felt great but then I started to spaz as I began thinking of all the things I could have done to that point in the day already. Time is definitely a luxury.
9. What is your biggest accomplishment to date? Why?
I would say my biggest accomplishment to date was my decision to go back to school for my Masters, which I received from New York University this past May. My brother was a big advocate of education and said, “If you’re going to go into debt, why not do it for something that can never be taken away from you?” While working a full time job, I attended class at night, weekends and summers. It was grueling at times, especially while writing my thesis, but extremely rewarding when my family told me how proud of me they are.
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