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The Style Line x AELLA x Made Real Modern Women Meet Event

the style line aella collection bloomingdales made real the sill small girls pr modern women meet

L-R: Eunice Cho of AELLA, Mallory Blair and Bianca Caampued of Small Girls PR, Rachel Schwartzmann of The Style Line, Eliza Blank of The Sill, Nicole Williams of Made Real Photos by Bridget Badore for The Style Line

Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Photos by Bridget Badore for The Style Line

On April 28th we joined forces with AELLA collection

and Made Real Vodka on an event that celebrated our mutual love for entrepreneurship, community, and of course style. Enter Modern Women Meet Up, our dual panel discussion and shopping event that further touched on topics of modernity in style, what it means to be a woman in this day and age, and finding your personal and professional passions. We held the event at AELLA’s beautiful pop-up at Bloomingdales here in New York City and had the immense pleasure of moderating an inspiring conversation which featured our interviewees and dynamite entrepreneurs Eunice Cho of AELLA, Mallory Blair and Bianca Caampued of Small Girls PR, Eliza Blank of The Sill and Nicole Williams of Made Real Vodka. After our discussion, we joined guests at the AELLA pop-up for an evening of shopping and drinks. For those who were unable to attend, today we’re thrilled to share highlights from the evening featuring insight from our dynamic panelists and beautifully captured moments by Bridget Badore for The Style Line.

Please introduce yourself!

Eunice: I’m the Founder of AELLA. Ever since I started AELLA my work has been my life; and it’s been hard to keep it from bleeding into most areas of my life, but I don’t mind it. The feeling of creating something that our customers love gives me the biggest sense of fulfillment. I do love cooking whenever I can find the time, I love my friends and I love eating with my friends. On any given weekend if I am not working, I am probably traveling with them, even somewhere close-by.
Eliza: My name is Eliza Blank and I am the Founder and CEO of The Sill – a plant design studio and retail shop, with a presence online and at 84 Hester Street in New York City’s Lower East Side. Admittedly, I’ve been completely consumed by the business for nearly 4…going on 5 years. But I love every minute of it! I do value time off, time to reflect, and time with friends and family.
Bianca: Hi I’m Bianca, I’m the other co-founder of Small Girls PR and Creative Director, leading the Creative Team that handles digital campaigns, influencer and social projects, events, stunts, etc. The thing I value most in life/outside of work is free time. It’s hard to come by or recognize – need it, always looking for it, cherish it when I have it. Also dancing.
Mallory: I’m Mallory, the co- founder and CEO of Small Girls PR. I enjoy kitsch, pranks, a good hustle, and the sudden yet recurring realization that the universe is so much bigger than we could ever comprehend! I value cleverness, efficiency, and loyalty.
Nicole: My name is Nicole Williams and I am the head of Made Real Vodka. In addition to Made Real, I also consult fashion start-ups on their development and marketing strategy. Outside of my life in vodka and fashion… I’m a globetrotter, dog mom, food enthusiast and city cyclist.

We love AELLA’s solution-driven approach to design, and with that in mind want to talk about the “fast” norm -what steps do we need to be taking to ensure quality control in an increasingly connected age? 

Aella is the opposite of fast fashion. Our product line is very focused and tight and we don’t introduce new styles all the time. We only produce and introduce something new when we feel that it is necessary. So our development and design process is what dictates our distribution and marketing and sets the tone for them: because we are not introducing products all the time, we are able to tell very consistent stories and keep our supply chains tight too.Of course, as our brand grows, we will be expanding our reach and presence through a wider product range. However, Aella was born out of creating the idea of a uniform and a wardrobe workhorse. That, by definition, will always keep us philosophically at odds with fast fashion. 

What does modernity in fashion mean to you?

Eunice: Modernity in fashion means practicality and utility that is unfettered by rules made by men. Ever since the end of 19th century, womenswear has been progressing away from garments that restrict- physically and socially. Everyone should be dressing for herself and what her life is about.
the style line aella collection bloomingdales made real the sill small girls pr modern women meet
Eliza: Like many of the women today said – modernity in fashion means being myself. That evolves over time, and can even change day to day depending on what the day brings. But ultimately, letting fashion be a tool to express who you are — not something that is dictated to you.
Bianca: Being able to wear whatever you want, whenever you want, and being comfortable in it.
Mallory: Modernity in fashion means versatility – being able to be “dressed appropriately” for everything from a board meeting to a new client pitch to an art opening to a warehouse party with the same outfit.

Nicole: It means writing your own rules and using fashion as an extension of your personality.

Eliza, why do you think NYC was a good place to create a business like The Sill and what advice can you offer to crazy busy modern women (whether in a city or the ‘burbs) who may need a little more balance between digital detox and experiencing life’s little treasures?

Eliza: Plants are a living, breathing (yes!), thing you can nurture and take care of; a task we find our New York City customers really relish in. Watering and caring for a plant creates that moment of pause in your day – a moment every city or suburb dweller needs.
My advice… buy a plant of course! Create a reason to pause in your day and connect with something tangible.

On The Style Line we use personal style as a lens in which we tell our stories. How do you celebrate personal style and why do you think it’s such an important aspect of EVERYONE’s life in this day and age?

Eunice: Embracing who you are and dressing for yourself are great confidence boosters. It’s the confidence that turns heads and allows you to command a room. So dress to be comfortable in your own skin! I personally love the idea of finding what works for you and sticking with it as a uniform.
Eliza: Style is all about confidence – and being confident in oneself is one of the most important areas you can work on – in and out of “work”.
Bianca: I often say my style knows no gender or age boundaries. I’ve described it as “14 year old boy, meets grandpa, meets grandma (I love old lady laces and orthopedic shoes), meets ballerina who lost her way”. We rep a curated kids’ clothing box called Kidbox and I tried it out by ordering a box for 14 year old boys… because that is actually my style. My box came and I loved every piece in it. At the same time I still fold in the nudey peach, tulle, lace  and girly side of me. My style reflects what I’m digging in my life at the moment and who/I want to reflect. Do you.
Mallory: I am a grown woman who wears more pastels than a My Little Pony. I feel no shame.
Nicole: Personally, I celebrate personal style by having fun with it. I embrace the process of getting dressed and enjoy playing with my look day-to-day. In the world of Made Real, style is so entwined with everyone’s personal brand and that comes through in the stories of the inspiring women we share. We’ll cheers to that!

What can you offer to modern women who are looking to break out on their own/pursue their own passions?

Mallory: Everyone who works at Small Girls PR is a micro-entrepreneur. Just because Bianca and I founded the company does not mean we got here on our own – you can champion change, make a meaningful impact, and pursue passions even as part of a greater team, so long as it’s the right team (one that is open and nimble). I’d encourage women to act as agents in their own organizations just as much as I’d encourage branching out to start their own.
Nicole: The big advice for anyone with a dream is to leverage the people around you and not be afraid of asking for help, guidance and direction. At Made Real, we say that self-made a doesn’t have to be solo for that reason… because we’re all stronger, together!

Do you have any secrets or things you can share with the group on how you’ve managed to not necessarily find a “work/life” balance, but embrace the good and bad that comes with entrepreneurship?

Eunice: I have been working on focusing on the moment, whether it is a moment of calm or during a work crisis. It’s easy to be endlessly stressed out or preoccupied about work at all times, but I think this makes you unproductive and inefficient. I like to take breaks so that I can come back to work-related challenges with a fresh mind. Most importantly, it’s crucial to share your thoughts with those around you when things are bad. People love to hide their feelings when things are not going well because of shame, pride, or fear…but this is a huge mistake. It will only make you feel isolated when chances are- your friends and team members are there to help you! 

Bianca: Meditating. I swear by it. I do it every day, sometimes multiple times a day. We did the PR for a meditation studio in NY called MNDFL, and the idea is that it’s a place for busy New Yorkers who might not be into meditating or the spiritual aspect of it, to come in and be able to sit and breathe for 30 minutes. It’s so important in helping maintain clarity, ease anxiety, and let’s you be present as you go about your day. I also carry crystals around for good energy (I have 2 in my pocket right now actually).

the style line aella collection bloomingdales made real the sill small girls pr modern women meet
At the office, our team is like our family and we also have fun with it. We infuse everyone’s personalities into our company culture, which is important since it’s not just me and Mallory anymore – there are 25 of us and there are so many things that each person can offer both professionally and with their passions, quirks, and likes.
Mallory: Pursue a career that matches the lifestyle you already enjoy. Small Girls PR is made up of the kinds of people who are the first to download an app or share a “lifesaving” product with their friends because we are insatiable when it comes to novelty and also naturally evangelize the things we like. This gives us an advantage in the industry by having team members who stay ahead of the curve of their own volition and are also natural storytellers. Find a career that goes with the grain of what you’re already doing.
Nicole: It’s not a secret per se, but as mobile apps and brands continue to rise, I try leverage these tools to get as many of my weekly chores done on-the-go. So whether it’s ordering my Instacart groceries by phone, bottles of Made Real on Minibar, hiring a task rabbit, or using Uber Rush… I try to gain a few extra minutes here and there. It’s almost like adding an extra hour to the day!