(#SheForShe) Beyond the Social with Simply Stylist Founder, Sarah Boyd
Sarah Boyd was once that little girl turning lemons into lemonade ($$), and now she's working with some of the most glamorous women in Hollywood; checking off dreams from her vision board, and growing a community of smart, sexy females committed to “doing what they love!”
You see, Sarah is the CEO and founder of Simply Stylist – a network of trendsetters and tastemakers helping one another get ahead in fashion, beauty and tech. Her "Fashion & Beauty Conferences” take place in NYC, LA and Chicago, and feature advice from expert panelists such as Jamie Chung, Whit Port & Alessandra Ambrosio! In addition, her "Simply Stylist Sessions” take place at the Grove in Los Angeles, and offer attendees a more intimate environment in which to learn from savvy industry experts (like Mena Suvari and Anita Patrickson!).
We absolutely LOVE Simply Stylist's emphasis on “women helping women,” and are thrilled to have such a strong entrepreneur onboard our #SheForShe campaign!
Keep reading to learn how Sarah made the jump from a career in PR to the career of her dreams, and make sure to show your support for the campaign by participating in our #SheForShe IG giveaway (follow @Sarahpboydfor more deets!).
SOLO: How do you describe Simply Stylist to others?
We love connecting people….in a kind way.
We bring together cutting-edge inspirational, entrepreneurial speakers to our annual Simply Stylist conferences and monthly Sessions, we’re all about bridging the gap between individuals, tastemakers and brands in the fashion and beauty space.
SOLO: How did you come up with the idea?
I worked in fashion PR for 10 years and was lucky enough to have a sister that brought me under her wing so I could flourish in the (highly competitive) industry. I came across so many women with a strong work ethic and passion that just needed a connection! I came to a point in my career that I wanted to give back to others and live my passion for connecting, so I thought up Simply Stylist. I left my job in PR, gave myself 3 months to plan our first conference and we had over 750 attendees there. This was also when blogging and influencers were on the rise, so the timing was perfect!
SOLO: What is the most exciting and/or rewarding part about your job?
It’s such a great feeling to wake up each morning knowing that you’re doing what you absolutely LOVE, every day. My team is like my family and I also love when our events happen (after MONTHS of planning) and speaking with hundreds of attendees thanking me for creating the Simply Stylist community and opportunity for them to build all of these valuable relationships and the platform to learn from the best in the biz. It’s so gratifying knowing that I have a small part in our attendees career growth.
SOLO: What were some of your early challenges starting the biz, and how did you overcome them?
Explaining and selling the concept to sponsors and attendees! We started from scratch and it’s a concept that was very new at the time, so it took A LOT of explaining and proving ourselves. We just kept creating great events and through the help of our attendees, we gained quite a bit of buzz. We’ve held over 10 conferences now, so many people have heard of us by now – plus the blogger and influencer has also grown so many brands are seeking out opportunities like Simply Stylist to get their brand in front of our audience.
SOLO: You work a lot with celebs, and are often in the public eye. What techniques do you use to boost your confidence in situations where you really have to be "on?"
Being myself! I’m nice to EVERYONE, which is how I gained success in PR. Since that is naturally me, I of course carried that over to Simply Stylist. Staying humble helps too! Celebrities and other influencers/entrepreneurs are people too, and once they were at the bottom.
SOLO: We all experience fear and self doubt. What helps you feel strong?
Of course we’ve all been down the path of fear and self doubt….it sucks! But you’ve got to continue to see the positive in everything. On the Simply Stylist Instagram we post #SimplyQuotes to keep our fans going after their dreams (and also us). It’s daily reminders that really help. I’ve just learned to keep my blinders on and move forward. Create daily goals and an annual vision board. I swear, almost everything I put on my vision board becomes a reality!
SOLO: What were some early career experiences that really contributed to your current success & development as an entrepreneur?
I think working in PR and hearing the word ‘no’ on a daily basis definitely helped me as an entrepreneur. I had to build up thick skin that I certainly use on a daily basis as a CEO.
SOLO: What did you study in college? (and has it helped your current career in any way?)
Fashion Merchandising which included lots of business classes. It definitely gave me some insight into the different aspects of the fashion industry, lots of math and business which helps a lot with running my own business. I find myself constantly crunching numbers and using business tactics I learned in college.
SOLO: What is your advice for those who want to " do what they love" but might not know where to look - or where to even start?
Well first, come to a Simply Stylist Conference for a dose of inspiration and to build some relationships. Second, is knowing (with a strong vision) where or what you want to be. What would you do on a daily basis if money wasn’t an issue? Put a plan together and work that plan every single day until you achieve your dreams. Oh! And create a vision board!
SOLO: When working with young professionals in your industry, what traits do you most admire?
Honesty and loyalty with a dose of persistence. It goes a long way.
SOLO: For women looking to start a new venture of their own, what resources might you recommend? (What helped you develop your entrepreneurial spirit?)
I’ve always thought like an entrepreneur and figured out ways to monetize different opportunities or situations. I was that kid always hustling at our yard sale or lemonade stand! I would suggest meeting with the local small business association. They have advisors there that will see you FOR FREE to guide you through your business plan, P&L’s and really any issues you want to go over. Not many people know that it’s a free service or even that it exists but it was really helpful for me when I first started out. If anything, it was someone holding me accountable every week which kept me on track.
SOLO: Making // building connections is an essential component of Simply Stylist. What are your best pieces of advice for anyone nervous or anxious in networking // social situations?
SOLO: What does #SheForShe mean to you? Which women have supported and inspired you the most throughout your career?
Girl Power, Positivity and Strength.
I’ve been inspired by so many women! Catt Sadler (Simply Stylist host since the first ever conference) has been a huge supporter since day 1 of Simply Stylist and also such a positive ray of light! She inspires me to always see the good.
SOLO: What's next for Simply Stylist?
Future plans include a weekend retreat and adding more locations for our conferences as well as more online courses!
Thanks for being such an inspiring entrepreneur Sarah!!
We can't wait to attend our first SS session, and to watch you grow your girl-power empire! :))