The designer and entrepreneur on how motherhood inspires her and helps her to work smarter.
Stacy Igel is an American fashion designer, founder and creative director of Boy Meets Girl, a young contemporary label for fun and flirty girls with an edge, inspired by the vibrant NYC art and music scenes. Stacy blogs on her lifestyle blog Behind the Seams and in her sleep she is also a regular guest contributor for Olivia Palmero.
Was there a moment when you realized that you needed to start Boy Meets Girl? What clicked for you?
I always knew that I wanted to be a designer. My mom was an entrepreneur and I definitely inherited that “go get them spirit” from her.
I started out dressing my pre–K classmates and staging fashion shows from my school cafeteria. Throughout college and even after graduating, I found myself sewing and designing for my friends, who were like walking billboards!
From that point I started taking orders from friends of friends – I sewed, promoted, sold and shipped the line from my bed, essentially. I love seeing my product make others feel good.
I still just get a great thrill from seeing someone wearing the brand on the street or picking it up at a store and buying it. I don’t think that feeling I get will ever dissipate.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My mother is an entrepreneur, and she told me that in order to run my own design business, I was going to have to learn much more than simply how to make a pair of shorts or a dress.
She was right; designing, while important, is a small part of my daily routine. I am so grateful to her for pushing me to have a well-balanced education. I’ve always been a worker, just like both of my parents.
Work ethic is a learned trait I think. I knew what I had to do, organized myself, and just attacked it. Also, listening to music has always helped me be more productive. Perhaps that’s why I love collaborating with musicians.
How has motherhood transformed your career? What’s your secret to integrating work family?
I am more focused. When I found out I was pregnant, I spent some time thinking about my goals, my efficiency and resetting my lifestyle.
I realized that I can work a whole lot smarter than I did in the past. I listen to my body and know that there is a right time to stop working for the day, or to leave a function for the night, and just go home, spend some quality time with my family, give them my undivided attention, be present, and fully recharge so I can attack the next day.
Basically, I try really hard not to be the last one to leave the party anymore—which my friends and family know is quite hard for me!
What keeps you inspired and excited every day?
I just love what I do. There has never been a time when I lacked interest in what I was doing, or lacked inspiration. The world is such an inspiring place, I can’t understand how anyone can get bored or fail to find inspiration from somewhere.
I most often get inspired by or excited about entrepreneurship and great ideas! That gets my creative juices going. I have a notepad by my bed and I write down notes constantly.
Ever since I knew my son, Dylan Reid, was going to enter this world, he has also kept me even more inspired.
I have not shared this publicly before, but it took me a long time to get pregnant. I had a sense that my stressful and workaholic lifestyle might make it somewhat challenging to conceive but I never imagined I would have to consult experts and specialists attempting natural remedies and ultimately endure IUI and IVF treatments to bring my sweet Dylan into the world.
It was a difficult road, and I am so grateful for my son, and inspired by how my husband and I held each other up during a time when we needed each other so much. I know many couples can be pulled apart during fertility challenges but it truly drew us closer as friends, partners and ultimately parents.
I am inspired by our positivity along the way and hope to inspire others who might have a harder time getting pregnant. Infertility is an issue I never knew about until I was faced with it and it is something not many people talk about.
I hope my sharing my struggles helps women facing the same difficulty know that they are not alone. Dylan was worth the wait and now his smiles truly inspire me everyday.
What are your words of wisdom for other mothers wanting to turn their passion into a business?
“Think, Say, Do” and “BELIEVE!”
You can’t do it all by yourself. You need to work with and retain talented people in the areas where you are relatively weak. That’s a big one. I’m still learning every day.
What are your big dreams for Boy Meets Girl?
I want is this company to last forever, to continue to be original and to really stand for empowering women. We celebrate freedom, we empower women and we sell confidence. That’s what I want to be known for.
At the same time, Boy Meets Girl is still an emerging brand with a lot of room for growth. The quality of the product – design, fabric, etc. – is where it needs to be. I would like our e-commerce and social media to become the most user-friendly and engaging brand discovery and sales platform in fashion.
The website and our e-commerce is a crucial discovery tool for us. We have to make sure our message is focused so that visitors know exactly who our brand is and what we stand for.
On a related note, I’d like to have a larger international presence. The brand is big enough now to begin doing that slowly and smartly. I also see combining brick and mortar stand alone stores across the country!
I want to continue to take my brand to all the platforms that I have been building. Many partnerships and collaborations are in the work with both smart and talented people. I am looking forward to expanding and taking my brand to everywhere I have dreamed it should be and working with leaders in the industry.
Who is your #momcrush?
I relate to working moms so I have tons of mom crushes. I recently heard Victoria Beckham speak at the 92nd Y.
Since we both work in fashion and run our own businesses, listening to her talk about how she has balanced it all was beautiful to hear (especially hearing her talk about being pregnant while performing with the Spice Girls—great story).
She makes time for the soccer games and recitals, even with her hectic schedule. She was inspiring to listen to.
I have a #momcrush on my mom too.
I also admire my sister, she has three kids (including twins!) and she runs an aquatic center. She always does it all with such grace and manages to be there for everyone she knows. She is truly superwomen and I strive to be just like her as new mom.
Motherly: What does “Motherly” mean to you?
To me Motherly means to do your best.