Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie and Lindsey Philp.
Leslie and Lindsey, please share your story with us.
#SmartBlondes started as a blog two and a half years ago focusing on fashion. As sisters, we had always wanted to go into business together though we were focusing on separate career paths at the time. When we founded #SmartBlondes, it was created with the platform for us to be able to carve out a niche in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry. We have evolved into focusing solely on influencing for brands locally and nationally and added a wardrobe styling business under the umbrella of our brand #SmartStyling. We were approached about a year ago with an opportunity to break into personal shopping/wardrobe styling. Since then, we’ve successfully styled families, engagement photos, runway shows, ad campaigns and our newest venture #SmartModel where we provide an exclusive service for updated head shots. #SmartBlondes is a colorful, unapologetic, powerhouse, trendsetting brand.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Leslie Philp: We have definitely had our fair share of challenges along the way. As young businesswomen in the game, respect is a difficult thing to earn. I think in any new business you have to take the time to understand your strengths, as an example, Lindsey and I very much needed the first six months that #SB was alive to really feel out what each of our strengths were. I am marketing and advertising and Lindsey thrives with operations and financial. I think one of the biggest challenges we face is judgment and overcoming our critics. The advice I have for any young woman starting their own business, whatever it may be, is that you have to remain consistent. Find your voice and speak from an authentic place, do not ever let anyone shake you from your vision and what you would like to create. I think it’s something built into my personality, but something that I always say is that if there’s a closed door in front of you, find the window. Hold onto yourself and fiercely protect what is yours.
Lindsey: When we first went into business together, it took us a solid three or four months to realize what each other’s strengths and weaknesses were. After we divided up our strengths, the brand ran like a well-oiled machine. Leslie is more the marketing side of the house and she’s also in charge of communicating with new brands that we work with. I am more the operations and financial side of the house. So, I organize our day-to-day calendar and hammer out details for photoshoots, etc. The road is definitely not always going to be smooth but we wouldn’t want it to be smooth because that means we are not faced with challenges. If we’re not faced with challenges along the way, it means we’re not growing as people and as a brand. My advice to women who are just starting out on their journey in this industry is to always remain true to yourself. As long as you’re putting out genuine, authentic content that represents who you are then you’ll succeed. And if someone tells you no, take it in stride and keep going until someone tells you yes.
what should we know about #SmartBlondes? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
#SmartBlondes are twin digital influencers and #SmartStylists based out of Arizona. We work with a variety of brands including fashion – Shahida Parides, UrbanOG and are developing team members of Fashion Arizona. Beauty brands include an online publication called Lookvine where we provide exclusive beauty articles and some lifestyle brands that we work with include The Art of Ice Cream Experience a local pop-up art exhibit and Vitani Vodka. We operate our beauty, fashion and lifestyle brand with the message that every woman is a unicorn. We also offer a variety of #SmartStyling services including personal/wardrobe styling, editorial, family, runway, #SmartMan and #SmartModel.
We are known for our trendsetting content and our ability to bring the #SmartBlondes experience to all of our styling clients! We want you to look your best and have a great time getting styled in the process!
What sets us apart from other influencers and stylists is that we’re not afraid to push the boundaries with our personal style and we both go the extra mile to push our clients out of their comfort zone to try pieces they might not necessarily pair together.
What we are most proud of as a brand is our authentic consistency as a brand with the message that we spread of confidently rocking what you got. That message also applies to our styling clients as we pride ourselves on going above and beyond to make sure our clients feel accommodated, fashionable and that they got to walk away from an experience has not only gained new wardrobe pieces but added a new confidence to their everyday lives.
What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
In our opinion, the biggest barriers for women in our industry and in others is that though the world has shifted quite a bit in favor of women rights, there still is a societal stigma that women can’t make the tough call when in a leadership position. We feel that #SmartBlondes is working to break those barriers because we are independent, fierce, businesswomen setting an example for other young women like ourselves. Our generation is the future. As an example, the use of social media has become groundbreaking in this area because it gives women a whole new platform to be powerful and strong. Women have always been a force but with the new wave of social media in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry we have become stronger in different ways. Social media has allowed so many women to form female owned and operated businesses. For example, stay at home moms have been able to open their own small businesses via social media in order to earn extra income for their families. This type of girl power wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the rise of social media over the years. We feel beyond proud to be a part of this movement and we absolutely do not take this responsibility lightly. It’s not a man’s world anymore, we’re on the come up. Stay ready.
- We are $100 a post as influencers on Instagram with a 3 photo minimum
- Website: www.smart-blondes.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smartblondes/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smartblondes02/?ref=settings
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Smart_Blondes_
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBxj7KXUQZE7pqkMyKsewlw?view_as=subscriber
Jacqulyn Currey Photography, The Fat Photo Guy, Laura Kobes Photography, NBMA Photography, 8amfilms, James Almanza Photography