Life Stylist & Entrepreneur

SARAH AKIBA / Life Stylist & Entrepreneur / Interview


Interview on Thursday, December 14
Location: AWOM Lab


First of all! Tell us about a day in the life. What’s your routine like?  How do you unwind down at the end of the day?


A day in the life... well, I wake up and get dolled up, yes every single morning I sit at my vanity put my moisturizers on and lip liner and get dressed for the day. That is probably one of my favorite parts of my day is getting ready and taking my morning selfie to inspire others to look good and start the day strong because I truly believe when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you do good. 

I than get my morning kick by stopping at Starbucks and getting an dirty chai latte and doing my morning Instagram posts for all of my business and personal accounts and check my emails while people watching. Starbucks is a great spot for that. 

After that my day really begins I head to my workspace AWOM lab where I have atleast two photo shoots a day to create content for with my brands or others, than have about three meetings to curate some sort of event or any business venture I have planned and after that the day is pretty much over. 

To unwind I either come home and watch one of my shows or I go have dinner with friends

Tell us more about your beginnings in the industry as a fashion stylist? Who were some of you first clients and how has your style evolved and changed since then?


I started in the fashion industry when I was 17, I interned for a couple of magazines but my first internship was with stylist Rachael Russell. I always wanted to start my own clothing line but, styling was more affordable and I was really good at putting different looks together. By the time I was in college I had already opened my first online boutique, my first store front, and closed them all because I was a young creative always changing my mind. 


From fashion to philanthropy and mixing it in between! How do you manage to handle different projects at the same time? 


This is something I still struggle with every single day I am a one woman team and having so many things going on it’s really tough to manage it all. My secret is whatever I wake up feeling like I want to work most on that day I go with. Everything stems from passion for me, it’s higher than any amount of money.  


We’re especially in love of your project AWOM Girls Club – tell us more about it and what made you pursue it?


AWOM Girls Club is a subgroup in my non-profit Angel Watching Over Me. I go to a school every Friday and created a group of 6-8th graders during lunch time to speak on female leadership, inspiration, anti bullying, personal hygiene, and just a true support group for these girls that don’t have many resources or people to look up too. Girls club really just fell in my lap. A woman came into my moms antique store one afternoon and asked if she sold any tea cups. After some conversation with this woman she further explained why she was looking for these cups hosting a mother daughter tea party at Olsen Middle School to try and teach these girls lady like etiquette and get their mothers or grandmothers involved. My office is right over my moms store so she asked me to come downstairs. The busy bee that I am I told her I really don’t have Time I have a lot to do.. she told  me I wouldn’t regret it. Little did I know it was one of the best encounters of my life. Within a weeks time I put together a full production fashion show and dressed 50 girls, got them free hair and makeup, and a runway. After the fashion show one of the students got on the mic and said “my name is Dorianne and I am 13 years old” she lifted her sleeve and showed the crowed her arm “I have been cutting myself for as long as I can remember because I don’t feel beautiful, but today because of Ms. Sarah, I felt so beautiful”.. that’s how I became Ms. Sarah on Friday's. 


And then you developed AWOM CLUB clothing, a brand with such powerful story and cool aesthetic – tell us more about the inspiration behind it? 


AWOM Club is a performance brand. I say performance because my father had a brand called that in Paris back in the day, and because it’s a verb an action.. that’s what this brand is I.t takes action to make a difference through a piece of clothing something you wear, it’s a representation of taking something superficial and making I.t meaningful. I know fashion, so I took what I know and what I believe in and combined I.t while still giving back. 


Where do you envision yourself and your brand going in the future? 


I’ll answer with this - God laughs when you make plans. Also, I change my mind constantly I just hope to continue making a difference. 


If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?


Anywhere in the world... I just want to be present. In the moment. It’s really hard to do that now a days. I want to be here right now in this moment. 


Have you had any mentors in your life? What’s the best  advice you’ve received in regards to your career as an entrepreneur?


My mentors are my parents. My father who is no longer with me but inspired me to create all of this from my loss. And my mother who inspires me every single day to be a successful woman. The best advice I’ve ever been given is that I don’t need to rely on anyone for my success, continue to do exactly what I love and the love will come back. 


Piece of advice you’d give to all the girl bosses trying to make it out there?


Don’t try to go above anyone. Remain equal and humble. Shake hands with everyone equally no matte what their status, because status doesn’t exist. and don’t let anyone bring you down, if they do move on without them. 


We’d love to know what are your absolute favorite Antidote pieces? 


My favorite Antidote piece is the team. I know you meant clothing but you guys are a big part of the puzzle and my favorite piece  



Interview by Erika Greco