It’s so important to step away from work, celebrate life, see friends and enjoy yourself. Never cease to value real-time conversations and a few hours over good food with those closest to you!
Stephanie Sica is the founder of Orchard and Broome, the first public relations company to selectively represent ethical or sustainable lifestyle brands. Based in downtown New York City, OB grows conscious companies globally. With a degree in business journalism and background in both luxury-lifestyle public relations and event production, Stephanie created OB with the mission to support brands that do good in their respective industries for the betterment of the people and planet they affect.
Where did the idea for Orchard and Broome come from?
When I started the company, in 2013, Orchard and Broome’s primary function was wedding planning and event production. I was planning a wedding on an orchard in the Hudson Valley of New York, but lived in Manhattan and wanted to place the company locationally within NYC. I took a walk down Orchard Street and not only adored the coffee shop on the street corner, but the ring of the two street names together: Orchard and Broome. It wasn’t until 2015 that a series of very fortunate events enabled me to convert that company to its present function of branding and public relations.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day for me… is non-stop! I try to start the day with a few moments to myself. I wake up and stretch or flow (I’m a certified yogi) for just a couple of minutes before making some coffee and taking my dog (Oliver) for a walk. When I get back, I check my phone and Instagram accounts. Then… it’s off the the races! I try not to get on my computer until 8am, though.
Then, I answer emails, read some news, and update my to-do list. The days fluctuate in terms of projects, whether its pitching, or coming up with strategy, or creating content calendars for Instagram. But, I have a call with my account manager–who’s based in Vancouver–around 11am every morning and we start with saying 3 things we’re thankful for (to practice mindfulness and gratitude) then get into our recap, tasks, etc. I religiously take a break to go to the gym sometime during the day, before resuming work for a few hours in the evening. I do try to “turn off” around 7 or 8pm to cook, pay attention to my animal, clean, or do whatever else needs to be done personally. Admittedly, I’m quite bad at doing nothing at all, though.
How do you bring ideas to life?
This is a tough one! I think it really depends on the project. It’s hard to say, specifically, but generally, I try to approach any task from a 360-lens. I try to consider every perspective, every possible activation/capitalization, and every possibility.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The fact that the emphasis on creating ethical and sustainable clothing and products is becoming more prominent in today’s society! I try to live my life consciously and seeing this same idea taking over the news is one that really excites me. I feel validated in decided to go down this path when I did!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I write lists. They are the best to keep organized and physically hand-writing things helps you remember better. I have tons of lists in my planner, on post-its, on pieces of paper, as well as digitally on Slack or email. This keeps me up to date on what I need to get done every hour. Writing lists also gives me peace of mind when it comes time for bed as I don’t have to think about what I can’t forget on my “to-do’s” – I know it’s all physically written out so there’s no need to clutter my mind with it at the end of the day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Go easy on yourself and trust your intuition.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
This isn’t something that nobody agrees with me on… but many don’t understand that PR is not easy! And it’s not as simple as writing a press release and sending it out to a mass mailing list–that’s probably the worst approach, actually. Traditional PR is not incredibly effective, and the way in which we do PR is tailored, time-consuming, and mentally taxing, but so worthwhile. It’s entirely better outsourced, rather than a business owner trying to do it all themselves. It’s a full-time job (and a stressful one at that!) for a reason.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Practice meditation. It’s so important to quiet your mind and practice mindfulness, daily. With the amount of distractions that surround us and the constant stimulation, I find a sense of calm quieting it all and having a pure moment, all to myself. I meditation every day in the evening, before bed.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Honesty and transparency. I am incredibly upfront and honest with my clients, journalists and anyone I cross paths with. I am honest in what I can and can’t do for a brand, even if that means not signing with a particular company. When it comes to journalists, I always take an honest approach and want to curate an organic relationship with them. The same goes for my employees–honest, open lines of communication, with a level of respect and consideration.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve realized the hard way that relationships are sometimes not worth fighting for. It’s so important as a small PR company for us to selectively choose the right clients who share the same ethos, but also to hire the right kind of people to work alongside me every day. This is something I’ve failed at (a few times).
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why? (personal or professional)
Brunch for my friend’s birthday. It’s so important to step away from work, celebrate life, see friends, enjoy yourself. I value real-time conversations and a few hours over good food beyond words.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Since my FT account manager works from Canada, it’s so important that we’re able to communicate daily. We use Slack, WhatsApp, Asana, iMessage, FaceTime, email… trust me, this is super important when there are various aspects of my company that we need to chat about simultaneously. Slack is great for quick conversations re: work and categorized tasks, lists, and conversations, WhatsApp for our international calls, iMessage for on-the-go messages, FaceTime for video chats, and email for many a-things.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Four Agreements”. Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. All of his four agreements seem simple enough, but when you truly start practicing each daily, it will change your life.
What is your favorite quote?
I get asked this a lot, but I’m not sure I have one!? I’m inspired by a lot of quotes. I love this one:
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
– Booker T. Washington
- Practice mindfulness and gratitude everyday – try starting your day with listing (even if just in your head) three things you are grateful for.
- When tackling a project, try to approach the task from a 360-lens – try to consider every perspective, every possible activation/capitalization, and every possibility.
- If you don’t already, try meditation. It’s so important to quiet your mind and practice mindfulness, daily.
- It’s so important to step away from work, celebrate life, see friends and enjoy yourself. Never cease to value real-time conversations and a few hours over good food with those closest to you!
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