Adrienne ArieffAuthor & Founder of Arieff CommunicationsSan Francisco, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld
With 20 years of experience in the digital and marketing world, not only is Adrienne a purveyor of what’s in, what’s out, what’s about to hit and who to tell- but most importantly, she is a cheerleader and supporter of her peers and the women around her. She believes in community and she finds the time to make deep and authentic connections, always looking to provide others with opportunities like her own. Adrienne has worked hard for everything she has and has built all from the ground up. It is for this reason, that she is an open book and an advocate for other women trying to do the same. Her latest book A Fairy-Tale Success, A Guide to Entrepreneurial Success mentors young women looking to launch their own business, product or idea in the market place. Adrienne writes monthly for the Huffington Post and currently spearheads a mentor program for a younger generation with big ideas.
I am a hard working woman that is addicted to her iphone! I studied communications, International relations, and education in school on the East Coast.I have a lot of energy. I’m a triple-A personality.
I knew that I wanted to have my own business after being laid off. I felt lost, crying on the bench for hours, when I realized that I didn’t like others controlling my destiny. I wanted to be in control and creative, I knew if I went to work for a traditional company that my skill set would get very focused and very dull.
At my office, we do everything from fashion to large scale consumer products in sports, design and lifestyle.
I started Arieff Communications after I was laid off from a big advertising and PR firm that was part of Havas. I had received great job experience from doing trend spotting at British Vogue for a quick stint, working in PR at Burberry in London to working at a big agency between SF and NYC. My focus when I was younger was more on feminine lifestyle —strong, smart, independent, and glamorously larger than life was my motto for fashion brands. And many of my original ethos from my start in fashion I still believe in, but now more for sustainable, organic lifestyle and consumer brands from method to Colorhouse Paint to another natural beauty line we are launching in 2015.
My company continues to grow due to consistent hard work and excitement for the brands we launch, take to market and grow from 1 million to a billion.
It is exciting to work with start-ups but just as exciting to work with big brands such as adidas and maneuver how they grow and stay current.
We tend to work with style and design driven brands, as well as, consumer brands that have disrupted traditional categories (method in green cleaning to Tiny Prints in how consumers purchase).
I travel all over the world (less with twins!) and I am constantly inspired by my travels to help further grow the brands I work with.
My biggest learnings are to seek out the people you respect and listen to them speak at conferences or online, follow your own playbook and work hard, hard, hard. I constantly mentor and meet people who inspire me. I do this strategically though. I rarely go to store opening parties or local events, but I do pick and choose a few conferences per year to learn and bond with others in all areas of interests and fields. At least once per month, I make an effort to meet a new person and talk shop. “Talking shop” can be discussing what is happening in Pakistan to learning about a new science being developed. If you stay too close to your own industry, you get stale. It is important to constantly read and immerse yourself in other happenings and people.
I work to live! I love my work but like with any work it can be tedious. Overall, most days are rewarding in some facet.
I am inspired by…
1.My late mother. She was an art appraiser, collector, and student of life…She had such a great light in her. She was straight off the runway of Chanel. Beautiful woman. My style is much more downtown. She was 100% uptown.
2. Travel. My personal style changes wherever I am. When its summer, I’m a bit girlier because there’s an opportunity to be more romantic and dress up for the beach scene. Whereas in New York, I tend to go for suiting and tailoring that almost feels like weaponry for the city—but I think I’m playful in my style–I love hats and accessories. It’s always hard to put yourself in any sort of category. I hope I can sort of dance around between different looks.
3. My sister. She is a writer, NY Times columnist and the smartest human being I know. She questions everything. It is good for me and keeps me on my toes.
Twins: Emma Ananda Berline & India Scott Berline-age 5
My inspiration ahead of everything else are my twin daughters – a cliche but true. I just spent a month with them in Spain – everything is more colorful, more inspiring and happier with them. To me – they are the true definition of paradise found and travel is so much more memorable. It is so important to focus on the little moments in real time. I try to spend quality time with them everyday even with my work load. They are my priority so I make sure they get the attention they deserve, even if that means waking up at 6am on a Wednesday to make pancakes, spend a couple hours together, and enjoy ourselves down to the very last maple syrup bite.
As a mom, I bring to the table a strong instinct that you must follow your own heart and mind and not copy others. Do your own thing and be OK with that!
My daughters have taught me that life can be beautiful, colorful, innocent and magical as long as you take the time to let moments just happen. And that a hug is never boring.
Adrienne will be back next week for a tutorial with Prodigy Mireille Gutierrez!