Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. Today, we are so excited to chat with the fabulous entrepreneur Stacy Igel, who started the fashion brand Boy Meets Girl, which launches it’s partnership with Nordstrom’s today (see below for exclusive link)!
1. What prompted you to start Boy Meets Girl?
I always knew that I wanted to be a designer. My mom was an entrepreneur and I definitely inherited that “go get them spirit” from her. I started out dressing my pre–K classmates and staging fashion shows from my school cafeteria.
Throughout college and even after graduating, I found myself continuing my love for sewing and designing for my friends, who were like walking billboards! From that point I started taking orders from friends of friends – I sewed, promoted, sold and shipped the line from my bed essentially.
The first time I met my husband’s parents was for dinner at their apartment. While they were giving me the tour, I noticed a picture frame containing silhouettes of their three children from when they were younger. My parents had a similar picture of my sister and I from when we were about the same age. I thought about us and how we still both had these young, playful, carefree versions of ourselves inside of us and I knew right then and there my brand would be called Boy Meets Girl® and that I’d use our silhouettes for the logo. The logo driven product came first and we have been growing the collection organically from there.
2. What does a typical day look like?
Well, my typical day routine has definitely changed since last month. On October 4th, I welcomed my second baby Dylan Reid (the first being Boy Meets Girl®) into the world.
Since October 4th, I generally wake-up at 4am to pump (I am breast feeding). While the first thing I do after waking up has changed slightly since my son was born :), I still make time every morning to grab my phone and look through all of my alerts that feed in from all my various social platforms and review emails that have come in. In between feedings, I find time to read WWD (my bible to what is happening in the fashion industry) and theSkimm (which is perfect highlights of world news for me). I usually post an Instagram post in the morning too (yes even on Maternity leave). And somewhere in between get dressed, have breakfast and kiss my husband :).
Below was my routine before Maternity leave and how it has changed on Maternity leave (in bold)…
-Before get to the office I usually stop in my favorite coffee spot, Gregory’s, and then start with reviewing emails and then the meetings begin.
-Now I get Starbucks from time to time around the corner from me and then after I finish feeding Dylan Reid I STILL review emails and respond. You’re probably asking what? Isn’t she on Maternity leave? Well my version of Maternity leave is being remote but I am still working from remote.
-I break up meetings each week with my teams. So every week I have web, social media, sale, pr/marketing, licensing, and design meetings… In between those meetings my inbox fills up with 1000 emails and sometimes I am requested in other meetings. So my day can change from day to day as things always come up.
-I break up meetings each week with my teams the same way as noted above in red still on Maternity leave. In between feedings my inbox blows up even more (lol!). I make sure to spend quality time with Dylan Reid. We listen to a lot of music together (Bob Dylan, Wyclef, Bob Marley, Bon Iver baby playlist and much more) and I read a lot of books to him. We also dance and I am trying to teach him guitar while I am still learning. We also open presents each day together. Its like Christmas everyday and we are so grateful for all the love but if I didn’t keep up with all the presents the house would look like we were upside down so of course I have a google doc spreadsheet making sure my thank you notes are all going out on time and tracking all the goodies for DRI. I have also made sure we enjoy walks in the park while the sun is still shining in NYC. And we get lots of visitors because everyone wants special time with Dylan. I am so grateful for our family and friends.
-The end of the day is me time or at least I try to get that time. I leave the office anywhere from 7-10pm. I have events 2-3 times a week and try to work out during the week too.
-hmm well me time not so much in this new role as mom and business lady. But, the end of the day is special..Daddy comes home and we get to bond with our new baby. Bath time is amazing. Dylan loves the water!
I could write a lot more but I will save that for you all for another time.
3. What is your brand’s most successful form of marketing?
I think that it is tough to identify only one form of marketing that has contributed to the success of Boy Meets Girl®. However, I am a big advocate of social media, which for me, is such a wonderful way to connect directly with my customers. Through various outlets, including my website, blog, Facebook pages (Boy Meets Girl) and (Stacy Igel Fan) and, Twitter (Boy Meets Girl) and (Stacy Igel), Instagram (Boy Meets Girl) and (Stacy Igel), YouTube, Pinterest (Boy Meet Girl) and Stacy Igel, Tumblr (Boy Meets Girl), Polyvore (Boy Meets Girl), I am able to constantly communicate with not only my fans and customers, but also with various people within the industry. I have made some good friends and learned a lot about fashion, technology and business through social media. I think it’s great that I can discuss fashion and my brand with people who care about these things as much as I do. And I take my audience’s feedback very seriously. Social media is like conducting a 24/7/365 focus group. Interacting with my fans is one of the most important things to me and for my brand – I’ve been building honest, mutually-beneficial relationships in fashion for years now, it has to be organic.
4. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Coco Chanel famously said “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” I agree. I draw inspiration from a variety of eclectic influences: vintage clothing, the vibrant New York art and music scenes, Hollywood glamourati, street style, etc. I believe that fashion is influenced by style, culture, art, music functionality and accident among many other things, which is why I never leave my home without my sketchbook. I also always listen to music while designing.
5. Who are your personal and industry mentors?
Personally, both of my parents had their own businesses. I think it was my mom who told me that, in order to run my own design business, I was going to have to learn much more than simply how to make a pair of shorts or a dress. She was right; designing, while important, is a small part of my daily routine. I am so grateful for my well-balanced education. I’ve always been a worker, just like both of my parents. Work ethic is a learned trait I think. I knew what I had to do, organized myself, and just went for it.
As far as business/industry mentors and role models, there’s Ellie Tahari, Zandra Rhodes and Elsa Klensch, all of whom I’ve worked for and all of whom are or were insanely hard workers in their own right even after they’d “made it.” That was an eye opener for me. I was smart enough to recognize that the hard workers were usually the individuals who got the big opportunities in life. They were also the ones who were prepared to capitalize on those opportunities.
6. Where do you see Boy Meets Girl in 10 years?
What I want is this company to last forever and continue to be original and to really stand for empowering women. We celebrate freedom, empower women and sell confidence. That is my claim to fame.
I think, in many ways, Boy Meets Girl® is still an emerging brand with a lot of room for growth. The quality of the product – design, fabric, etc. – is where it needs to be. I would like our e-commerce and social media to become the most user-friendly and engaging brand discovery and sales platform in fashion. The website and our e-commerce is a crucial discovery tool for us. We have to make sure our message is focused so that visitors know exactly who our brand is and what we stand for. On a related note, I’d like to have a larger international presence. The brand is big enough now to begin doing that slowly and smartly. I also see combining brick and mortar stand alone stores across the country! I want to continue to take my brand to all the platforms that I have been building. Many partnerships and collaborations are in the works with both smart and talented people. I am looking forward to expanding and taking my brand to everywhere I have dreamed it should be and working with leaders in the industry.
7. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
1. Be prepared to work like an absolute dog.
2. Being a talented designer is necessary but not sufficient… You need to learn how to be an effective marketer, networker, salesperson, service provider, writer, stylist, merchandiser and psychiatrist too. The designing is probably the most fun.
3. Work with multiple vendors and never stop sourcing potential new ones. It gives you leverage and protects you from catastrophes.
4. Work hard and provide great service. While you may not always be the most talented, creative, charming or brilliant person in the room, you can be the hardest working and most dedicated — that is something that is totally within your own control. By working hard, my bosses took notice at my earlier jobs and my employees take notice now. It’s leadership by example and I think it fosters loyalty and camaraderie.
Just for fun questions:
Favorite movie: Airplane. I can recite quotes from it!
Signature scent:Kai perfume oil
Words of wisdom: My motto is: Think. Say. Do!
My favorite quote is: “A person is a success if they get up in the morning and get to bed at night and in between does what they want to do.” – Bob Dylan
You can shop the Boy Meets Girl® Nordstrom exclusives on Nordstrom.com here.