If you follow any bloggers, stylists, fashion industry insiders, etc. on social media you’ve likely heard mention of #SimplyStylist.  Simply Stylist is an annual event that brings consumers, tastemakers, and industry experts together to socialize, network, learn, and more.  The event, which is hosted by Catt Sadler, came through Chicago a couple weeks ago and was a huge success as always!  So much so, that it left us wondering about the woman behind the whole thing.  Meet Sarah Boyd.  Sarah is a former fashion publicist, turned entrepreneur, on a mission to help women break into the often intimidating industry.  Here’s what she had to say when we caught up with her at the conference…

For those unfamiliar with Simply Stylist- how do you describe it?

Simply Stylist is a community.

How did you first come up with the idea?

Through my 10+ years in fashion PR, I was constantly ‘connecting’ different colleagues in the industry. I wanted to create a platform built around networking and building new relationships. I also loved watching trends be born – and realized that the people working behind the scenes were really the ones creating the trends (and the jobs that everyone coveted). These stylists, editors, bloggers, makeup artists never got the spotlight and I wanted to put them on a pedestal and let our attendees learn from them.

How do you define the Simply Stylist “brand”?

Kindness is number one. We set the tone of all of our conferences with an inspirational speaker to motivate and drive others to chase their own dreams and make them a reality.

What criteria do you look for when bringing in experts, speakers and hosts for Simply Stylist?

First and foremost, they must have an inspirational story and interesting path to success.

What candid advice do you give to women (or men) looking to break into the fashion industry?
My biggest advice is to intern. Pick a few of your favorite companies where you see yourself working in the future, or a person you aspire to be like – and do anything you can to get your foot in the door. Follow them/comment on social media, email them and continue to follow up with your resume. If you show persistence, they will appreciate that!

Tell us a bit about your jewelry line with Capwell + Co?

That is a project very close to my heart. We did a 5-piece capsule collection and all the proceeds went to our charity partner, The Farley Project. The Farley Project is an anti-bullying foundation (also our Simply Stylist charity partner). There are two necklaces, one bracelet, earrings and a ring. Many of the pieces can easily transition from day to night (which fits my lifestyle perfectly)!

As someone with great style- What are 5 items every woman should have in her closet?

Some great staples every woman should have in her closet include a perfectly fitted leather jacket, skinny jeans that fit like a glove, tailored black blazer, red cocktail dress and at least 1 designer handbag & 1 designer pair of heels

Indulge us and talk fall fashion for a moment… What’s on your radar? Any trends you’re looking forward to? Items that need to be purged immediately?

OK! I’m still trying to savor my summer wardrobe. Fall IS my favorite season for fashion though. I am not someone that is a slave to trends, I wear what looks good on my body type and what I like at the moment.

What’s been the most rewarding moment of your career thus far?

It’s always the day of our Simply Stylist Conference. It’s so much work and planning leading up to it – and the day finally arrives and I get to meet hundreds of enthusiastic, passionate women. It solidifies that I made the right decision to start Simply Stylist.

[Photos By Hallie Duesenberg]

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