A wild few weeks of travel will continue. I head to Charleston for The Southern C Summit tomorrow.  I so excited to hang out with my buddies and be inspired by the stellar schedule of events.  One favorite entrepreneur I have met through The Southern C that you need to know is

Emily Stroud of Hayden Reis

Emily STroud

What is your training? 

    

I went to the University of Florida where I majored in Advertising and minored in business.  After graduation, I worked with Merck Pharmaceuticals where I was a sales rep for 10 years prior to starting Hayden Reis. Both my education and pharmaceutical career were great building blocks for starting Hayden Reis.

What inspires you and your designs?

 

I am a born and raised Floridian and am always inspired by the beautiful sites around me.  Whether I’m on the beach, by a pool, on a boat, or just at the ball field with my children, I feel I am constantly being inspired by my surroundings.

What is your favorite piece? 

 

I have so many favorites because we offer such a variety! Right now I am really loving our the metallic collection. The rope handles paired with the metallic leather accents offer a sophisticated look to our multi-tasking bags.

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How has the your area influenced your work?

 

I live in Sarasota, Florida and am very fortunate to be surrounded by amazingly generous and encouraging people. My community might be very small, but it is very tight-knit and the support they offer me every day is tremendous. It comes from everywhere—locally owned small business and friends and family to nearby resorts and large businesses in the area. I am always pinching myself!

 

What is your favorite restaurant in Sarasota?

 

My favorite restaurant in Sarasota is Indigenous

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or Euphima Haye.

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Both are so delicious and a visit to Sarasota should be a must on anyone’s list!

 

What is your favorite cocktail?

 

Love this question—it’s so telling! My go-to cocktail is Tequila (Cas Amigos) with soda and lime. It’s simple, refreshing and clean.

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How do you balance personal life and work?

 

I have a 6 year old and 8 year old, so I try my best to only work when they are in school or sleeping.  I really try to put my work down once they are home from school.  Life is very busy and there are never enough hours in the day, but I do my best to be as present for my kids and husband as I can.  I know I will never look back on my life and say I wish I worked more but I might say I wish I spent more time with my kids so I try to live by those words.

Emily and family 

 

Dream trip?

 

Easy- African Safari

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Dream commission?

 

We have been so fortunate to work with amazing bloggers, companies, and resorts (like Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Sea Island) to design totes and accessories that suit their needs. To-date, the collaboration I was most honored to work on was with Michelle Smith of Milly. I met her at a charity event in Sarasota and she loved our line so much we worked with her to design totes for her Hamptons location. It was a surreal honor!

Michelle Smith of Milly 

 

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

 

A Hayden Reis wristlet or course! They’re fantastic for so many occasions and can even be stuffed with smaller items like gift certificates, a favorite lip gloss, or even a small electronic item for someone very special!

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Who is your style icon?

 

I love Rachel Zoe’s style. She’s the definition of effortless chic—something I am for the Hayden Reis brand to achieve.

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Your favorite up and coming designer?

 

Andrea Lieberman of ALC

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 What is your most treasured possession?

 

My wedding rings. I understand they are a possession, but they carry so much weight and meaning for me. They’re the one “thing” I would be devastated to lose.

 

What are you reading?

 

This is so sad to admit, but I don’t take time to read for pleasure. If I’m reading, it’s about a new business opportunity or even just simply emails. The good thing is that work and growing my business makes me happy!

 

What are you listening to?

 

I love Pandora and started to really love country music. Jason Aldean radio or Luke Bryan Radio are generally my stations of choice.  If I’m in a non-country mood, I’ll land on Adam Levine.

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What are your favorite blogs / publications?

 

Easy! I’m over the moon to release collaboration designs with three of my favorite bloggers this summer—Mandy Rye of Waiting on Martha;

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Rebekah Steen of Goldfish Kiss;

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and Molly Miller of A Piece of Toast. I’ve been fans of their work for awhile and we approached them about designing pieces for our 2015 Summer Collection. I couldn’t be happier that they said yes or with their designs. They’ve been creative, fun-loving and great to work with. I am a HUGE believer in collaborating and always learning from what others have to offer—these ladies have brought so much to the brand and challenged us in the best way!

 

 Best selling black and white

Here are a few favorites that I am currently coveting from Hayden Reis.

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