She’s one of the few brand owners who also make for the most stylish of ambassadors. Samantha Wills has taken her bohemian-luxury brand global, and is expanding into products beyond jewels.
In an exclusive interview with Three Quarters Full, Samantha speaks to me about her business, the wanderlust lifestyle she shares with her captive social media audience, and what she has in store for fans in 2014.
You’ve just launched a new mantra bangles range, and you include affirmative mantras on many of your pieces. What inspired that approach?
We get such an overwhelming response every time I hand write beautiful quotes, so I thought it would be nice to wear beautiful words. So we created the Beautiful Mantra series from there.
What is your favourite piece with a mantra?
I like the ‘Live This Moment’ because so often we wait for ‘when something happens’ or ‘when this falls in to place’ and we wait and wait and wait – but living is right now, so it reminds me of this daily and I think that is important.
What has resonated the most with your customers?
The entire collection has had a huge response! So much so, I went straight into designing a new collection of them after their first day in the market!
You are not only a style icon, but also a great example of a healthy approach to life. How important is it to you think positively, and how has that helped you in your own personal growth?
That is very lovely of you to say – thank you! I think the concept of ‘thinking positively’ is very easy to say, but when you are having a really shitty day, or one of those weeks where it seems like EVERYTHING is against you, thinking positively is sometimes impossible. What I have learned as I have gotten older is that the moment will pass. I find great comfort in knowing that this challenging time you are in right now will not last forever. But you have to just sit it out, weather the storm – and most importantly – acknowledge that it might be really uncomfortable and painful – but it will pass.
When I interviewed you last year, you acknowledged that engaging in social media can be difficult sometimes. I.e. you can have an “off day”, just like everyone else. How do you deal with those moments?
The beauty of platforms like Facebook and Instagram is that you can post media and comments that are positive and give shine to others – it is not about body language or tone, which are hard things to conceal when you are having an off day.
What can you share with readers about an overall healthy approach to life? E.g. diet and exercise, and self-pampering.
I love anything with sugar in it! And in my 20’s, I didn’t think twice about eating as much of it as I liked. I think I approach my diet differently now – mainly for internal health and also to ensure you are mentally focused. Sugar and sweets are now on-occasion foods. I really try to eat well and as old school as it sounds, drink loads of water – this is an incredibly different approach than I took in my 20’s! As far as self pampering, in NYC, ALL nail salons have masseuses in them – this is genius. When you are waiting for your polish to dry, you can pop into the chair for a 20-minute massage, I see this as the perfect self pampering treat!
What does an average Samantha Wills day look like?
My average day revolves around design, creative briefs, shooting content, creative planning, marketing and social media calendars… the time spent on each changes pending what is going on at that time, but they are the basis of my job. The PR & promotion of my job I try to condense into set days and in blocks, media interviews and shoots, shooting for my blog, or in stores – pending on travel and location, this is a little hard to manage!
What advice do you live by?
Find out the things in life that make you happy and make conscious efforts to do more of them!
Who inspires you?
My boyfriend Will inspires me – he has an energy for life and for saying yes to the most last minute of adventures that makes me live my life a different way. Since I met him, I feel like I get much more time out of my day and fit a lot more adventures and experiences in.
What advice do you give to people who see you as an inspiration and are pursuing creative pathways?
Persistence. It is going to be hard, and some days REALLY hard. It requires persistence, and patience and saying yes to every opportunity (in the early days). I used to have a sign on my desk that said luck is where preparation meets opportunity…. Opportunities usually come at the most inconvenient of times, so always be prepared – do whatever you need to do.
Find out the things in life that make you happy and make conscious efforts to do more of them
Can you share a favourite recent moment that took you by surprise?
I went to an Australia Day party in NYC this weekend. It was hosted by Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness. I have always known their reputation for being incredible humble and down to earth, but meeting them in person left me walking away feeling like a better person. It is really hard to describe, but they are such warm, caring & invested people.
What’s coming up for the SW brand?
SO MUCH! 2014 will see handbags launched (in stores July) & SW Eyewear (in stores October) and lots of exciting things in between!