Interview of Stacy Igel of Boy Meets Girl. Photo Credit: @SophieElgort
I always try to recall how long I’ve known Stacy but between admiring her work and our run ins at events the line is blurred and all I can answer that with is… a while. She’s a true inspiration and someone who has more job titles than me, and somehow does it all and manages to always have a smile and not a hair out of place. I’m so proud to call her my friend and she’s the only person I know that uses Post-It’s the way I do, in bulk. To say I admire her is an understatement and so excited to have her for this weeks boss series. So here we go…
Tell us about yourself?
I am the Founder & Creative Director of BOY MEETS GIRL®, a young contemporary streetwear brand founded in 2001. We have also been coined as “the original give-back athleisure brand.” I am a proud mom of son @dylanreidigel. In my sleep I write a lifestyle blog, Behind the Seams™ with Stacy Igel and also co-created and co-host the #MOMSGOTTHIS podcast which was recently featured in Forbes “Podcasts Created by Women You Need to Be Listening To Right Now!” And is up for the 2018 People’s Choice Podcast Awards. Charity and giving back has always been a big focus in everything I do. I have been a chair several years for the Young Survival Coalition ILP Gala: https://fashionweekdaily.com/stacy-igel-young-survival-coalition and I am a brand ambassador for the NSCC’s BullyBust campaign. I am also a frequent lecturer & panelist on subjects such as social media, branding & entrepreneurship.
You do it all! How do you time manage? Are there any apps/tools you use to make your life easier?
Every day I am learning. I use my Outlook calendar, I use my BOY MEETS GIRL® notebooks for meeting notes, and I recently bought a BLOOM daily planner that I am mixing into all the above to keep me organized. I use my memopad a lot, as well as EverNote and Google Docs. I also can’t forget about Post-Its! They’re all over my desk.
What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?
Be prepared to work like you’ve never worked before.
Being a talented designer is not enough. You need to learn how to be an effective marketer, networker, salesperson, service provider, writer, stylist, merchandiser and psychiatrist too.
Work with multiple vendors and never stop sourcing potential new ones. It gives you leverage and protects you from catastrophes.
Last, but not least… BELIEVE! I quickly learned the importance of hard work and customer service. There are a lot of amazingly talented people in this world. While you may not always be the most 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.
What are some of the most successful ways you’ve grown your brand?
The list goes on, but these are key: believing in myself, trusting my team, having a stomach of steel (I wish it looked that way, I’m getting back – haha), letting go, being patient, hustling, continuing to go with my gut, and as always, SAY.DO®.
Are there any books, tradeshows, groups, resources that helped you in this journey.
There is no book that can teach you this business [when I write mine, I will let you know]. I had many internships (Donna Karen, Zandra Rhodes, CNN Style With Elsa Klensch), worked in retail (Gap, Foxes, etc) and held jobs in the Fashion the industry (Elie Tahari and Izod), and made sure I had a lot of experiences before I started my own — it helped me to see what I was getting myself into. There are books that will inspire you. I read a ton of biographies and autobiographies, as well as watch a TON of documentaries and now listen to a few podcasts including #MOMSGOTTHIS wink wink.
I started my business doing trade shows. My first one put me on the map. It was a show at the Chelsea Market with sixty designers and Bergdorf Goodman was my first buyer – the rest is history. I did six trade shows a year in NYC, Los Angeles, Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas, and Chicago. I built my brand on the streets of New York City and at trade shows at a time when there was NO SOCIAL MEDIA! When the world of blogs and social media came into play, I was already 6+ years into the business & I knew the future of this medium would be huge so I navigated social first, before I ever had other help me. I speak to my consumer, and I spoke about “humanizing a brand” at a conference called FASHION 140 – and that is exactly what I have done. I still, to this day, oversee all social outlets and thank all of our customers every single day on Instagram on their posts they Their posts keep me moving and believing I am doing the right thing everyday so I hope to be able to always communicate in this manner. I do now have an incredible Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager for @boymeetsgirlusa platforms, but I am still very involved. I run all of my own @stacyigel accounts, but I believe social media is so huge for anyone starting out now. There is so much access, but even with this access – to others you still need to effectively know how to be smart.
Umm hello Meghan Markle wore your shirt… tell us that story!
In this business, it’s about relationships – and I have been fortunate (even with no family in this business) to build a business and meet an amazing community of friend and business colleagues. Meghan came through our mutual good friend, Claudine, who’s studio Caravan Stylist Studio had some BOY MEETS GIRL® items. Meghan fell in love with the BOY MEETS GIRL® COCO Hoodie & snagged it there.
You’re the queen of partnerships, any advice on how to approach, negotiate or create a successful partnership?
Thank you for my title, “Queen,” I like it! My advice is to partner with people who are right for you and what you stand for, and then if you see eye to eye on the project – magic is made! All of my partnerships have a different story, and that will be in my book one day. Some partnerships sitting over a dinner party, some will happen because brands or artists approach me. Some concepts tie into NYFW or other events, while some are because I think that person or brand would be amazing in collaboration with BOY MEETS GIRL®. Once you figure it all out, hire Bellizo and Igel law firm to negotiate your deal! You need a legal team to help you with all of these projects. I spend 50% of my week on contracts, I should have been a lawyer!
Lastly, be really smart on who you work with and make sure you identify all details before you jump into the project. This is the key to success! I have been giving back with my brand since inception (2001) – and partnering with people who share those values is important to me! With BOY MEETS GIRL®, we give back with almost everything we do, that alignment is key.
What’s next for you?
I will continue to take BOY MEETS GIRL® global and create exciting collaborations.
Thank you Stacy for all your BOSS advice!