Boss Lady: Sage Ladnier

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Sage Ladnier, the Creative Marketing and Sales Director of Ladnier Group. Sage is smart, stylish, well-balanced and a huge supporter of women in business. 

sage ladnier

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Jacksonville, Florida but I have lived all around the US from Scottsdale, AZ, Evergreen, Co, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, York, PA, New York City, NY, and West Chester, PA (and also studied abroad in Italy during college at Penn State University). I know it sounds like a lot, but while it was hard at the time leaving my friends and family, I now appreciate the opportunity to have lived in so many amazing and beautiful places. I have met incredible life-long friends along the way. I am also very adaptable to change, which has really paid off in the fashion and multimedia industry. I am now happily settled in West Chester, PA, and I always have something to talk about when I meet new people. I can’t deny that all this moving around has left me with a bit of wanderlust.

You previously worked at QVC. What prompted you to leave and join The Ladnier Group, your family’s business?
Yes, I worked at QVC for about 10 years in the buying/merchandising and marketing departments, and it was a great experience. I learned a lot about the business and learned a lot about what does and doesn’t work in the dynamic world of omni-channel retail. I also had a passion for product development, trends and understanding what the customer is looking for. I have always gravitated to the creative side of the business. However, my journey to leave QVC had its highs and lows. I decided to leave QVC to explore new career opportunities. An opportunity presented itself to me that I believed in, after a year, it did not meet my expectations and naturally, I was scared and unsure of my decision. I thought, “what am I going to do now?” I did some internal soul searching into what I really wanted to do with my life, what makes me happy, how to pursue my passion, and what I could do to help people make their own dream come true. {Because after all, we all have dreams} and my dream is to help people and work with product that I am passionate about. So, I changed course and redefined the vision of the Ladnier Group Company. It all started with me attending the Simply Stylist event in Los Angeles, which was founded by my long-time friend Sarah Boyd. I knew that this would be the stepping stone for me to reach out and network with amazing entrepreneurial women. I met some of the most talented and fabulous women there who are now my friends and clients. Together, we are making all of our aspirations come true.  It was been the best experience of my life. (Besides the birth of my son, of course. Oh, and marriage “hi, hon”).

As the Creative Marketing & Sales Director, we know that it’s important to stay up to date on industry trends, while also developing fresh ideas. What resources do you use and where do you find inspiration?
My husband used to get annoyed with me because I was always on my phone or on the computer. He celebrated the day the phone fell down the toilet at a photo shoot (true story) but it’s my job, and I have to be on it.  So, I win. As soon as I wake up in the morning I browse the social sites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Pinterest last because I know I will spend the most time on it. If I said I was obsessed, that’s putting it mildly. I find that Pinterest has a lot of insight as to what is going on in the industry. It sets the vibe for trends, stylists, bloggers and probably what I’m going to wear that day. I also love fashion blogs like “Peace Love Shea”, “Who What Wear”, “Song of Style”, “Dallas Shaw” and the “Simply Stylist Blog”. Basically, all the “knowns”, though I do like to look for the not so popular ones just to get a different perspective and step outside of all the glitz. I love flipping through magazines, especially when I’m on trains and planes. I also attend fashion seminars in New York City.  We have QVC on all the time in our office to see what products are working and which aren’t. (Yes, I can tell). I also (try) to never say “no” to an event. I make sure I can attend, because I believe in the value of networking and you never know who you are going to meet and what that “chance meeting” will lead to.

What is the biggest mistake you see clients making when it comes to marketing/branding and business?
Great question. That would be fine-tuning their product and/or collection. Sometimes people think it is all about having a lot of product but that is not always the case. I have seen a lot of success with just one simple idea. We help them scale it down to really focus on what works and what doesn’t. As a buyer at QVC, I was so over-whelmed when a vendor would come in with tables of products and everything was all over the place. That approach makes it hard to focus on any one product. You need a clear vision.

Also, I’m not so sure if this is a “mistake”, but most of the clients / designers I meet do not know how to get their product out in the market whether it is brick and mortar or omni-channel retailers. They have such great ideas and product but do not know where to go or do not have the contacts and means to take it to the next level. That’s where our team comes in. We guide them and assist them in fine tuning their collection or idea and collaborate to find ways to make it a great value and something that the consumer will gravitate towards. We only work with products that we are 100% passionate about.

You’re a wife, mom and a kick-ass career woman. How do you balance it all?
Calendars!! Calendars are my best friend. It is a juggling act sometimes. Both my husband and I travel a lot. If I am out of town, my husband takes care of our son, and if we are both out of town, my Mom, { who is obsessed with her grandson} takes care of our Mr.Awesome. No matter what, I have to pick my son up at 5:30pm so I am physically forced to leave the office. Luckily, thanks to the miracle of the internet and wifi, I am able to answer emails and calls when I am at the pool with my son. (Am I aloud to admit this?)

Just for fun…
Let’s talk fashion. You clearly have killer style. Who are your style icons?
Awe, thank you. I could talk fashion all day long. Do you have that much time? My style icons, wow, that list is long. I’m a pretty casual girl so I would say off the top of my head; Olivia Palermo, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson are my go to style icons. Jennifer is simple, chic and elegant. Kate has a boho casual vibe that I love. So I mix those looks up a bit.  When it’s time to get dressed up, they always look 100% perfect without being over the top. My go to outfit is very simple, skinny jeans, a t-shirt, blazer and heels. I never leave home without lip gloss or lip balm (Lancôme Juicy Tubes in Dreamsicle and Katherine Cosmetics, Tara lip balm). Accessories are everything. So you will always see me in something sparkly.

Cocktail of choice: Cosmo. Hands down.

Favorite movie: I love a good RomCom but I really love “True Romance”. It’s a love story but action packed. So it’s great for a date night. Plus, the soundtrack is really good! And yes, I did name my son “Noah” after Ryan Gosling from the “Notebook”. Shhh don’t tell my husband.

Have a genius idea or amazing product? Check out the Ladnier Group website and “Say Hello”. Sage is always up for a little chat!

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