Today we peek inside the Bag, Business and brilliant brain of the beautiful Montarna Pitt. Sydney’s PR Queen, Montarna launched her own Fashion PR + Communications agency “The Audience Agency” at the tender age of 23 and has represented some of Australia’s most stylish brands. A business owner, influencer style icon and new Mum, Montarna manages to juggle multiple projects and responsibilities, support her team, grow her business and raise her baby daughter, all whilst sporting a smile on her face, a wave in her hair and a chic blazer or lounge wear ensemble that would make a fashion editor jealous. Montarna is hard working, friendly and generous and we couldn’t wait to find out her favourite bag, beauty, baby and business tips.
What is in your JILLIAN bag right now?
“My wallet, car keys, Byredo hand sanitiser , Bangn Body lip balm, Bec & Bridge x Pared sunglasses, a few spare dummies for my 9 month old baby and my iPhone.”
Montarna with the NEW Jillian tote in Taupe
Can you share with us your favourite beauty tip?
“It took me to my late twenties to discover beauty truly does come from within, and the impact of gut health on my skin, hair and nails. Now I look after my gut with probiotics and a varied diet to keep that outer glow.”
And your favourite beauty product – the one product you buy over and over again?
“The Sisley eye contour mask – I’ve always loved it, but it’s become a saviour after broken nights with my daughter Parker!”
What is the secret to your incredible hair (which always looks amazing)? Any must have tools or products or are you just a gun with a hot tong?!
“Other than good genes (thanks Mum) I take JSHealth Hair & energy vitamins every day, I use Bondi Boost shampoo and conditioner and the GHD classic wave wand and Oribe dry texture spray are my BFFs.”
Montarna in Viktoria + Woods
How would you describe your style?
“I’d say my personal style is eclectic veering more towards the masculine side. I’ve always been quite a style risk taker playing with different looks as the mood takes me, but since having my daughter I’ve added comfort and versatility to my checklist when buying new outfits – I usually need looks that can take me from a morning walk with Parker to a business meeting and client dinner in the evening.”
Prioritising comfort + versatility in loungewear by Zara
As the Founder + Director of The Audience Agency, you represent some of Australia’s leading fashion brands, so you have access to some incredible fashion pieces – what are 3 items every woman must have in her wardrobe?
“Blue straight leg jeans, luxe white t-shirt and a black blazer.”
A wardrobe must-have: Montarna in a classic black Blazer by Annie Bing
What are some styling tips for women who want to look chic and well put together, but may not have a huge budget?
“The older I get the more I’ve realised it’s best to not get caught up in trends and instead spend your shopping budget on classic pieces that will go the distance in your wardrobe. Avoid the one hit wonders and buy style pieces that last.”
Who do you look to for style inspiration?
“So many people and places, I don’t know where to start! Some of my best friends are stylists, editors and creatives who inspire me all the time. I also love scrolling IG and Pinterest, especially at the moment while we’re based at home. Travel has to be one of the biggest influences on my style; I love drawing inspiration from different destinations and putting a fresh twist on my looks when I get home.”
Montarna in Camilla and Marc
You launched your full-service PR and Communications agency, The Audience Agency at the tender age of 23. You’d been approached by friends to manage their PR, so opening your own agency seemed like the logical next step. However, being relatively young how did you avoid imposter syndrome and self-doubt during this period?
“Starting The Audience Agency at a young age meant I was so naive and therefore quite fearless. I had so much support and encouragement from my family and friends and just dived right in. We became busy quickly so there was little time to ponder self-doubt or overthink things. I spun my age as a positive too; clients liked the fact that I’d worked on both sides of the digital shift, so I had a strong grounding in traditional PR and I was also tapped into social media and online communications.”
With multiple other PR + Comms agencies in Sydney, how did you differentiate The Audience Agency?
“When we launched The Audience Agency our point of difference was being a young, boutique agency embracing technology and social media – it was a fresh approach in an industry that at the time, was very focused on print media and traditional comms. Now we’re also known for our nuanced, flexible approach to PR and we specialise in brand activations whether that’s consumer experiences, influencer campaigns, media events and more.”
In one sentence (if you can!) what was the key ingredient to the agency’s success? If you had to distil it to one element, what was it that enabled The Audience Agency to grow to become one of leading Communications agencies in Sydney?
“Flexibility and the ability to evolve in line with the changing media landscape.”
Montarna in work mode at The Audience Agency
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given, that you didn’t follow but wish you did?
“That is a tough one as I’ve been lucky to have many mentors during my working life, and I’d like to think I take all learnings on board. Nothing particularly sticks out as something I wish I had done but I’m forever thankful to all of the advice along the way, as it’s always helped shape my decisions and landed me where I am today.”
At VESTIRSI, we like to encourage an open and honest conversation about mental health. We donate 10% of each sale to women’s mental health charities because we know what a prevalent issue this is in Australia (and the world.) We know so many women struggle with perfectionism and trying to do it all, but ending up just feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Juggling a new family with the birth of your gorgeous girl Parker, running a successful agency, balancing friends, fitness and fun – how do you do it all and what are your top tips for managing stress and maintaining positive mental health?
“I’m only eight months into my motherhood journey and I’m still trying to navigate my way through the juggle! I’m very fortunate to have an incredibly supportive family and amazing friends who have all been there for me to lean on. I knew I wanted to spend as much time with Parker as possible in her early months, and I’ve managed to work from home for the majority of this time and count on my Mum and sister to look after Parker when I’ve had client meetings or office commitments. My team at The Audience Agency have been my rock too, I trust them implicitly to run the day to day when I’m in Mum mode. Exercise plays a huge part in keeping me energised, and nightly baths with a face mask calm me down at the end of a busy day. Occasionally I’ll have moments of feeling overwhelmed, but then I’ll I take a few deep breaths, step back from the situation and try and put things into perspective – usually I’m fretting over small stuff that can be easily resolved. And a good night’s sleep is everything when you’re a working Mum.”
Montarna and her beautiful baby Parker
Your parents were entrepreneurs and you were lucky enough to travel the world with them and live in many different countries. What’s the best piece of advice your parents have given you?
“My parents are a goldmine of life advice! The best piece of advice from them, and the one that had the most impact on me was when I was debating starting my own business. They sat me down and told me I had nothing to lose, and the sky was the limit in terms of what I could achieve if I worked hard enough. I wrote my business plan the following day.”
If you could go back to 21 year old Montarna, and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
“I’d tell myself to keep doing what I was doing. I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved and of course there have been many struggles and bumps along my journey, but hindsight is a beautiful thing and it’s made me realise those issues all taught me lessons and made me stronger. I would remind myself to always trust my gut, because that instinct has never let me down.”
Montarna in Rachel Gilbert
If you could instil one belief in Parker for the years to come, what would it be?
“Be a kind person – it’s a cliché, but so powerful.”
Bonus question! As the rumour goes, in 2015 you were approached by Channel 10 producers to be The Bachelorette. You were dating Nick (your now husband) at the time, so declined. If you were single, would you have considered this opportunity? And why/ why not?
“I definitely would have declined! The dating world is wild enough, I don’t think I could have coped having the experience aired to the nation.”
No reality TV required here; Montarna got her happily ever after with husband Nick Pitt, as seen here on their wedding day in December 2018.