Calling all my fellow SoCal friends! It’s one of the best (and most fabulous, might I add) times of the year again. Fashion Island’s StyleWeekOC® will celebrate the best in Orange County style this Saturday, September 15th. Presented by SIMPLY, the definitive style experience will include panel discussions with highly acclaimed experts and influencers in fashion and beauty and in-store parties showcasing the season’s top trends.
I got the chance to talk to SIMPLY founder, Sarah Boyd - a former PR guru who created this incredible digital network to connect the style makers she encountered on a daily basis with brands, events and other opportunities. It’s an inspirational home base for industry leaders and hopefuls. I asked Sarah about the conference, her professional background, and even got some awesome insider advice too. She’s the definition of a boss - a true creative and an unstoppable female entrepreneur. She’s come a long way and there’s no stopping her any time soon. Take a glimpse into Sarah’s inspiring path below and get excited for this weekend!
1. What inspired you to create and found SIMPLY?
I started SIMPLY back in 2012 because I absolutely loved to connect people in the industry and saw that there was no platform for that. I found myself doing it on a daily basis and thought ‘why not create a space that’s kind and all about connection’?
2. What does SIMPLY offer that you feel other female-owned networks don’t?
I think since we're kindness and inclusiveness first, our talent gravitates towards us to be their managements. Since we're speaking to brands daily on their behalf, they prefer having a team that represents them and is easy a pleasure to work with.
3. I see you have a PR background – so do I! What did you like and dislike about it, and how did your strength in the field influence SIMPLY?
Yes I did it for close to 10 years and I loved the daily pitching and meetings with designers, stylists and really seeing brands build. I wasn't a fan of the thankless clients (some of them) who seemed to ALWAYS want more. I wanted to do something where I was changing lives, and with SIMPLY I do that through our networking opportunities at events. So many people I've seen make connections at SIMPLY that the led them to their dream career.
4. What do you think is the secret to building a successful brand like yours from the bottom up?
Persistence for sure. The moment you think you're going to quit, keep going because that's when you beat out the competition.
5. Did you ever think that SIMPLY would become as big and successful as it has become?
Honestly no! But each day I focus on what's next and how we can continue to grow and expand.
6. How do you think is the best way to keep people interested in your business?
ABI - Always Be Innovating! And also create a sense of community.
7. What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
I love getting to wear many different hats and that every day is completely different. I would get so bored doing the exact same thing day in and day out.
8. What’s your best tip of advice for fostering new relationships with celebrities, brands and influencers if you’ve never met them before?
Luckily many of my clients have come to us via word of mouth or I've met them at an event or dinner. Sometimes they'll do their own research online and find our contact on another talent's site and then reach out. It really depends! But my suggestion for making new relationships would be to put yourself out there and go to events, tell people what you do or want to be doing.
9. What's the one thing you're most excited about for this year's Style Week OC x SIMPLY panel?
I'm excited to hear about all the fall trends directly from the fashion & beauty experts! Plus the production is so beautiful, I'll be getting so much content for my Instagram feed :-). For me, I like to get a ton stocked up so I don't need to worry about posting for a couple weeks!
10. In this year's panel, you have some really amazing speakers including one of my favorites, Lo Bosworth! Why did you choose these certain influencers you did for this?
Yes we're very excited about this year's speakers! We choose them based on their popularity in the region. Of course Lo has a ton of fans in Orange County and she's become quite the entrepreneur since her days on Laguna Beach.
Didn’t I tell you she was awesome? Seriously, just by reading back through our conversation gives me another level of drive to just keep going. PS - ALL about the Laguna Beach reference!!!
Men’s Fashion at 2 p.m. Moderated by TV personality and celebrity stylist Daniel Musto, Ashley Weston, top celebrity menswear stylist; Doug McLaughlin, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of NOBLEMAN Magazine; and Jose Figueroa, menswear & lifestyle blogger, will discuss trends in men’s fashion.
Beauty at 3 p.m. Los Angeles-based lifestyle influencer Louise Roe will join Scott Cunha, celebrity hair stylist (Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Chrissy Tiegen, Nicole Richie) and E! beauty expert; Ali Landry, actress and founder of RE/ SHAPE; Emma Willis, celebrity makeup and hair artist (Becca Tilley, JoJo Fletcher, Jana Kramer); and Lillian Babaian, of Studs and Sapphires, for a highlight on the latest in beauty, moderated by Ali Grant, founder of Be Social.
Fashion at 4 p.m. Lauren Bushnell, ABC’s The Bachelor alum and founder of Dear Rose Wine & Bellevue the Label; Kat Tanita, of With Love from Kat; and Sophie Elkus, of Angel Food Style, moderated by Nylon contributor Sam Gutstadt, will share their insights on women’s fashion.
Keynote Speaker at 5 p.m. A special Q&A with Lo Bosworth, Orange County native, reality TV star and founder of Love Wellness, will give guests an opportunity to engage with Lo and ask her questions about fashion, beauty, wellness and more! Sarah Boyd, founder of SIMPLY, Inc, will moderate the Q&A.
See you there?!