Boss Lady: Scarlett Sturgis

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week, we chat with Scarlett Sturgis, the founder of WIckbox. Scarlett combined her love of candles with her entrepreneurial drive and created the first luxury candle subscription box. Wickbox curates candles to your preferences, giving you the ultimate luxurious experience. We love their motto: “One, treat yourself. Two, let your light shine.”

Scarlett Sturgis - Wickbox - Boss Lady - Social Stylate

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I was born and raised in the South. I graduated from College of Charleston with a degree in Arts Management & Hospitality & Tourism Management. After graduation, I moved to Europe for a few years (Amsterdam & London) and worked in the corporate events industry. As a daughter and granddaughter of entrepreneurs, I’ve always dreamed of having my own business. I started Wickbox not long after moving back to the Carolinas. It serves as a wonderful creative outlet and taps into my passion for home decor.

2. What prompted you to start​ ​Wickbox?
I had a dream (literally). In the dream, I was chatting with a couple ladies in the mall about how I wanted to start a candle of the month club with candles that are much higher quality than what you can find in the mall. As soon as I woke up I started jotting down all my ideas about it and had a rough business plan and a packaging vision pulled together in a couple days. At that point I had never even heard of a subscription box, but I soon realized there was a whole market out there for them and candles were an untapped part of that market.

3. How do you make Wickbox stand out among other monthly subscription boxes?
Personalization is key! It makes a big difference that subscribers have the opportunity to complete their scent profile and we handpick their candles to match. It takes the fear out of buying candles online that you can’t smell first. Also ensuring that each candle we send out is in a beautiful, on-trend container definitely helps us stand out to those subscribers who value aesthetics and love home decor. And of course the quality of the candles is top-notch.

4. What is your most successful form of marketing? (In terms of sales.)
Instagram has been my most successful form of marketing. I’m a visual person, as are many of our subscribers, so having a beautiful Instagram feed is a great tool to drive sales.

5. Where do you hope to see Wickbox in 5 years?
I hope to see Wickbox helping women in crisis in a big way. I feel called to help women who are facing crises like homelessness, financial struggles, domestic violence, and more, and I would love to use Wickbox as a vehicle to help fuel that mission. We are already doing that on a small scale but I would love to increase those efforts exponentially as we continue to grow.

6. ​Are there any aspects of running your own business that you absolutely hate? Love?
I don’t really enjoy the monotonous admin types of tasks, but I absolutely love curating our candles each month. It’s so fun to hunt for beautiful candle containers and luxurious scents that make the homes of our subscribers feel warm and inviting — like a retreat they can’t wait to relax in.

​7. ​What tools, apps, best practices etc. do you use to stay organized?
I’m really starting to get into automating tedious tasks through applets in IFTTT, and Tailwind is great for scheduling Pinterest and Instagram posts.

8. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Traveling inspires me and fuels my creativity like nothing else. I love to experience new cultures including the unique design aesthetics in different parts of the world and the stories behind them. In my home you will find decor pieces from my travels around the globe, and those souvenirs continue to inspire me long after my trip is over.

9. Who is a #BossLady that inspires you and why?
I love the business Kendra Scott has built centered around philanthropy and family. Her business gives away so much to various charities every year, and it’s an inspiration to see how a business can experience rapid growth while simultaneously sowing into the lives of others.

10. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Make sure you do your research on how to have a successful launch because you want to make sure you capitalize on the initial buzz as much as possible. Also, having a side-hustle is perfectly fine until you can afford to make it full-time. That’s how I started with Wickbox.

Just for fun…

​Favorite show to binge-watch: Friends will always be my go-to as new shows come and go
Style icon: Serena from Gossip Girls
Cocktail of choice: Scarlett O’Hara or Mojito
The perfect Saturday includes: Exploring a new city on foot or by bike, grabbing lunch at a local market, and browsing through home decor boutiques.
If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I’d be in: Japan during cherry blossom season – I’ve traveled a lot but this one is still on my bucket list!

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Client Spotlight: Alexis Kletjian

We are so thrilled to be working with jewelry designer Alexis Kletjian! Learn about her career, style, work, and passions below.

As a small child, Alexis Kletjian grew up in the jewelry business, playing in the store owned by her parents. Now, she doesn’t just play with jewelry, she designs her own. Kletjian, an award-winning jeweler, strives to create “jewelry that will endure in quality and style, that can be counted on to be passed down through generations.”

Alexis Kletjian, Jewelry Designer - Social Stylate

Kletjian went to school to study fashion design, which gave her a comprehensive background in textiles, sewing, pattern design, etc., but her true passion for jewelry was still strong. After designing her first piece (a bangle) in 2011, Kletjian created a collection designing to sell to her friends. Now, six years later, designing jewelry is Kletjian’s full-time job.

Alexis Kletjian, Jewelry Designer - Social Stylate

Kletjian’s Memorialize collection features skulls and snakes inspired by Memento Mori. It’s a Latin phrase meaning “remember you have to die” which she interprets as a celebration of life. Kletjian wanted the skulls to have a feminine and subtle look about them that’s not obvious but still carries a special message. Other collections include Lucky Stars (her most popular), Eternal, and Lotus.

In Kletjian’s personal collection, the most important pieces to her are, “my engagement ring, my 10th wedding anniversary watch, and my Oscar Bangle. Each piece represents a milestone in my life and all three pieces involve my husband, the love of my life. I also love that I can look down at my hands and be reminded of these things.” This sentiment is echoed on Kletjian’s website as inspiration for designing, “I feel so fortunate to create pieces that are chosen by customers to celebrate their love, to commemorate momentous occasions, to signify special bonds. I believe that a piece of jewelry that is carefully chosen can be an empowering style statement as well as a physical connection to our memories and to those we love.” Kletjian loves the personal connection her customers have to the pieces and believes jewelry is an extension of our identities.

Alexis Kletjian, Jewelry Designer - Social Stylate

Currently, Kletjian’s pieces can be purchased on her website and in her Kennett Square, PA gallery, which Kletjian opened to expand her business and provide more opportunities to speak with her customers. The gallery not only features her own designs, but also pieces that are antique or unique; it;s definitely worth a visit.

P.S. Look for one of Kletjian’s necklaces in the soon-to-be-released major motion picture, Bad Moms 2! The piece will be worn by Kristen Bell!

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Giving Back: E-Racing the Blues for Mental Health

Mental Health Association In Delaware - Eracing The Blues For Mental Health - Lauren Golt - Social Stylate

The Mental Health Association in Delaware (MHA) is a nonprofit founded in 1932 with a focus on education, support, and advocacy for mental health issues. Mental Illness is a public health issue that affects one in five Americans through depression or anxiety every year. This means more than 100,000 Delawareans are affected yearly!

Since exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, the MHA hosts an annual 5K run/walk called E-Racing the Blues for Mental Health. This October marks the event’s 15th anniversary. Members of the community participate in honor or in memory of loved ones, to support the cause, and/or to exercise for their own mental health. Last year the event raised $75,000 and, if this years goal is met, the MHA will reach a total of $1,000,000 raised from the yearly 5K.

Mental Health Association In Delaware - Eracing The Blues For Mental Health - Lauren Golt - Social Stylate

Sunday, October 29th at 8:30am come out to the Wilmington Riverfront to show your support! Your registration fee and donations all go directly to the Mental Health Association in Delaware. Not a runner? Don’t worry, you are more than welcome to walk the 5K, volunteer, or donate to the cause!

Social Stylate co-founder Lauren Golt is participates in this event every year in honor of her father, who passed away from suicide in 2011. This event and the organization is very close to our hearts and we appreciate any support you can give! (To donate to Lauren’s team, For My Pops, click here.)

 

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Kirna Zabete Founder Beth Buccini Calls the Brandywine Valley Home

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Kirna Zabete’s founder Beth Buccini in her shop’s new location in Bryn Mawr. All photography by Jim Graham

Written for The Hunt Magazine by Lauren Golt

If you’re a fashionista, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Kirna Zabete, the high-end Soho boutique (and online store) where women can discover the latest designers and shop their favorites. What you may not know is that Kirna Zabete is owned by Brandywine Valley resident Beth Buccini, who graced the pages of Harper’s Bazaar’s December issue in a spread appropriately named “The Fashionable Life.”

Buccini moved to Chadds Ford five years ago with her husband and four children. “I basically left Manhattan kicking and screaming,” she says.

Kirna Zabete-Social Stylate

Photo by Jim Graham

After nearly 20 years there, the quiet countryside was a big change. But Buccini admits it has grown on her. “I can’t believe how much I enjoy the peace. I feel like I can take a deep breath,” she says. “It’s so beautiful and magical; I’m always happy to be home.”

Being a wife, a mother of four under the age of 13 and a business owner sounds taxing, but Buccini has it down to a science. She cites being “psycho organized,” a 5 a.m. wakeup time, and multi-tasking conference calls with school pickups as just a few of the ways she makes it all work. “I color code my calendar to correspond with each of my four children’s schedules, work appointments, and personal events,” she says. “Having the visual cue for what I need to be doing and where I need to be going really helps keep me on track.”

When a prime storefront location popped up on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr, only 45 minutes from home, Buccini jumped at the opportunity. “My kids go to school on the Main Line and whenever I’d talk to other moms it would always circle back to fashion,” she says.

The right demographics, an amazing space and the hunger for style gave Buccini the push she needed. “The store used to be a SEPTA station garage, so the ceilings are high and there’s great natural light,” she says.

Buccini hired interior designer Steven Gambrel—who designed the Soho store as well as her Chadds Ford home—to do the Bryn Mawr’s chic and sophisticated interior. “Steven really understands my spirit,” Buccini says.

Kirna Zabete - Social Stylate

Photo by Jim Graham

Black chandeliers, vibrant pops of color (including Kirna Zabete’s signature red), a plush pink shoe room and exposed ceiling beams give the space a fun, modern flair. It’s the perfect place to house designer pieces from Stella McCartney, YSL, Celine, Gucci and more.

When it comes to her personal style, Buccini, who was voted “best dressed” in high school, says, “I love to push my fashion boundaries, while remaining appropriate.” She cites Lee Radziwill (Jackie O’s sister) and London-based stylist Julia Sarr Jamois as her style icons and says she’s loved fashion for as long as she can remember. “I can tell you what I was wearing for every major event in my life, and in high school I used to write down every outfit I wore,” says Buccini.

When asked about upcoming trends, she says, “I hate the idea of trends. Fashion is about finding your own personal style and knowing what looks best on you.”

The past few years have been a whirlwind for Buccini and Kirna Zabete. First, she bought out her business partner of 17 years, Sarah Easley, becoming the sole owner. Next, she opened a pop-up shop in East Hampton, which, after a hugely successful season, is now a year-round boutique. Last fall, Buccini opened Kirna Zabete in Bryn Mawr and this fall she plans to open the doors on a Palm Beach location. Meanwhile, Buccini also completely revamped her website to grow her e-commerce business which she calls “a natural extension” of the brand. (We’d be remiss to not also mention that Kirna Zabete created capsule collections with three big retailers: Target in 2012, Nine West in 2013, and Gilt.com in 2015.)

With so much competition in the retail space, how does Buccini keep Kirna Zabete fresh, relevant and oft-visited? “Since opening in 1999, I’ve had the same mission: to have the best edit of the most important designers of today and tomorrow,” she says.

Buccini is known for talent-scouting, having first discovered labels like Thakoon and Veronica Beard when they were unknown designers. A great selection of clothing and stellar customer service is what Buccini believes sets her apart from other stores. She also believes that shopping is an experience and she strives to make her stores a destination women want to visit. “Everyday you have to put clothes on and you want to feel great,” she says. “I want customers to look and feel their best.”

Kirna Zabete - Social Stylate

Photo by Jim Graham

While Buccini is known to dress celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz and pal around with Jessica Seinfield, she leads a more low-key life when she’s home in Chadds Ford. The weekends are usually spent on lockdown with her family. Buccini loves to stay in and entertain, horseback ride with her children and visit her favorite local shops and restaurants. “My husband and I love La Fia in Wilmington and Sovana Bistro in Kennett Square. We also love to take the kids to Ravanesi Pizza in Glen Mills. It’s definitely the best pizza in the area,” she says.

For the perfect gift Buccini visits Wild Thyme in Centreville. (“The owner, Laurie, has the best taste.”) For home décor and a dose of inspiration she loves Terrain. (“I’ve been asked 3 different times for my company ID, so clearly I’m there a lot.”)

What does the arrival of summer mean for Buccini? “My goal is to be in a bathing suit as much as possible,” she says. “I love a great cover-up. I also love the idea of a summer dress. You pair one with flats for day and heels at night, throw on a pair of fabulous earrings, and you’re all set.”

Buccini’s upbringing in Virginia Beach is the reason she loves the surf and sand. “I just love being near the water,” she says.

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