Hi loves! I’ve decided to start a new series on the blog called “Brunch Diaries”. The Brunch Diaries will consist of a Q&A with influential and inspiring individuals. We’re going to be talking to them about everything, from career, social life and you guessed it… brunch. As I was thinking about who I wanted to interview for this new series, Annie Spano immediately popped into mind. Annie is not only a childhood friend (she used to babysit me, and is my best friend Catherine’s big sis) but she’s also a major #girlboss. In the past year alone, she has started two companies; The Lovely Girl and Style Collective. If you don’t believe me, just keep reading.
What made you start The Lovely Girl and Style Collective?
Style Collective was formed as a reaction to an experience that should never happen to other women. In late 2015, I left my corporate job after being bullied and harassed by another woman in the workplace. The experience had left me feeling defeated and emotionally drained. I really wished that there was a better way for women to work together and help each other achieve success.
During this time, I had started The Lovely Girl as a creative outlet and became friendly with other female influencers. I started a chat group with my new friends to share ideas and support each other with the intent of promoting community over competition. The result was amazing – not only did everyone eagerly share their blogging tips and tricks to help each other grow, but also we formed friendships that added a meaningful dimension to what we already loved doing. Our small group quickly grew into a large influencer network that was officially incorporated as Style Collective LLC in early 2016. It’s been a wild ride for sure!
What has been the hardest thing about starting your own company?
The hardest thing about starting my own company has been wearing ALL of the hats and doing everything. There is literally not enough time in the day to do it all, so you have to prioritize and be smart with the money that’s coming in. I’m lucky enough that I’ve been able to save up so that I can now delegate and reinvest for some big projects that I’m working on for this fall. Balancing a personal life with a startup is my other struggle. When Cat came to visit, I was on the phone with AmEx for an hour trying to get setup as a merchant because AmEx transactions were getting declined. My payment processor never told me that I needed to setup a whole separate account for that. It’s these little things that drag you down and you have to fix immediately, that’s stressful and hard to manage at times. You have to work whenever you can fit it in.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
In business school my strategy professor talked about this quote in class. It’s so good and really give you good perspective! “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson
Who inspires you?
I love Ivanka Trump because she built a fashion and lifestyle brand that is founded on empowering the multifaceted working woman. She wants success for other women just as much as she wants it for herself. Her articles are relevant, inspiring and just really refreshing. She understands driven, goal-oriented millennial women and strives to empower them through her brand. I just love that.
Where is your favorite place to brunch?
There is this AMAZING hipster place in Portsmouth, NH called The Friendly Toast. It’s crazy inside and they have the best brunch food. Huge portions and really chill. I love going there when people come visit.
Dress up, or dress down?
Favorite place to go for a night out?
Netflix and chill. JK. I just found out what that means last week LOL. I love going to Blue Moon Evolution for dinner and drinks. I’m over 30 now so that’s what I call a night out LOL.
Vodka soda with a splash of cranberry and lime.
FASHION AND BEAUTY LIFE:
Favorite item in your makeup bag?
I literally just bought this new Tarte gel foundation and it is life changing. It has taken me 31 years to find my holy grail foundation.
If you could only bring 3 items to a deserted island, what would they be?
Coffee, phone and my hubby for company.
How would you describe your style?
Best beauty hack?
I learned about baking my makeup this past June! This is my favorite tutorial.
Foundation for Women’s Cancer. I ran a fundraiser last month so that I could donate in memory of my Mom.
What’s the one thing you cannot live without?
Where is one place you would love to travel to?
Europe! Italy and Paris are high on my list.
Everything! The sky is the limit and I want to do it all.