We're celebrating National Denim Day (May 13th) a little early by getting to know 7 For All Mankind West Coast Sales Director, Laura Stauth. We caught up with Laura, at her LA headquaters, to see what it's like to be at the helm of the denim industry.
What was your very first job?
Working at Valley Skate and Surf in the San Fernando Valley at 15 years old. Not too long after starting, I was "laid off" after they figured out I wasn't very talented at resurfacing skateboards.
How did you get started in your career?
I applied for an assistant position fresh out of college at BCBG Max Azria. I took on every project that came my way and was lucky enough to be exposed to many aspects of the business. Shortly after starting, the company acquired Herve Leger and I was sent on a whirlwind trip launching the line in premier department stores around the country. I fell in love with the energy, product and people in sales and knew that was where my future would point.
Who are some of your career heroes?
The person who has the most impact on my career is my mother. From an early age she taught me that I could do anything I set my mind to. She surrounded me with positivity, and instilled perseverance, balance, and patience.
What's a typical workday like for you?
Each day is different from the next working in the fashion industry. You are not only thinking about the now, but anywhere from five months to five years ahead.
A typical day can start early in the morning boarding a plane to NYC or Seattle to meet with buyers for the next season. Or at my desk analyzing selling from the previous week. One of my favorite work days starts at 7FAM's corporate office in Los Angeles when the designers share their vision for future seasons. The best part of my job is being around product I love and always seeing what's next.
Describe your office décor. What was your inspiration? Did you decorate it yourself?
My office is an extension of my personal life. I try and surround myself with things that ground me and remind me of who I am and where I have come from. You can find anything from a vintage Moroccan rug under my desk to clusters of succulents and fashion magazines covering the tabletops. My bulletin board is covered with quotes and editorial clips that constantly inspire me.
List five things that are on your desk right now: Water, three candles, Pressed Juicery Immunity Max Drops, geode book ends, and a Rolodex (yes they still make these).
What do you typically wear to work?
I am very lucky to have a closet overflowing with great denim. Everyday starts with a pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans, layered with a tee and a structured jacket.
What are your favorite stores to shop for work clothes?
Nordstrom, Isabel Marant, Barneys, and local flea markets for layering in some great vintage accessories.
What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to take 2 steps forward.
Finish the sentence…
Today for lunch I had… vegan, organic, gluten free sesame noodles (made of kelp). I try and keep things in line Monday-Friday so that I don't feel as bad on the weekends when I lose it!
The first website I log onto every day is…
The beauty product you can always find in my purse is…
Lip gloss and bronzer. I like options so I typically have 10-15 different lipsticks, glosses or stains in my bag at any given moment.
My must-have work gadget is…
My usual Starbucks order is…
Tall iced coffee, no cream, no sugar
If I need a quick break during work, I usually…
Take a moment to step outside, get some fresh air and appreciate the day
If I wasn't doing this job, I would be…
Retired on a tropical island
The best part of my job is…
Working with the most amazing team of people who challenge my entrepreneurial spirit, keep me laughing and always make me feel appreciated.