Today’s Style Profile is a New York City-based female entrepreneur, making her mark on the fashion world. Samantha Steen is the CEO and Founder of Cami NYC, a global online brand featuring camisoles of distinctive styles in a range of neutral and vivid colors. With a focus on versatility, Cami NYC camisoles are designed to be worn on all occasions, day and night, as wardrobe staples. “I want consumers to have the power to experiment with their Cami” Steen explains, “So, go ahead, be bold with your Cami… or play it safe, just be you and have fun with it!”
NAME, OCCUPATION, LOCATION.
SS: Samantha Steen, CEO & Founder of Cami NYC, Location: New York City.
MOMENT YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO START YOUR OWN FASHION BRAND.
SS: Being an entrepreneur has always been my goal. I knew I wanted to start my own company from a young age and be in a position where I could combine my knack for business with my creative skills. Two years ago, while working in the fashion industry, I conceptualized the idea of Cami NYC. I was in search for the perfect silk camisole, something that would be extremely versatile, but not too basic. When I went to stores to look for this type of camisole I had in mind, every sales associate told me “We don’t have that, but we wish we did!” I knew this was my chance to really create something that customers were looking for.
STEPS TAKEN TO MAKE YOUR DREAM A REALITY.
SS: Identifying the gap in the market, I reached out to vendors and manufacturers to produce a camisole – I wanted to see my vision could come to life. When I wore the finished sample to work, I got a very positive response – all of my colleagues were asking me where I had purchased my cami. I quickly established my first customers. I produced more units of the camisole and began selling to friends and co-workers – all fashion savvy professional, looking for the wardrobe staple. I started working on the small business when I was not at work. It was a few months later that I realized Cami NYC was a business that required my full attention. I left my job and officially launched my new brand – designing several more styles in a range of colors. In the blink of an eye a business was born – my customers were no longer just my girl-friends, they were all over the world.
SURPRISES UNCOVERED DURING PURSUIT OF YOUR DREAM.
SS: How quickly Cami NYC has grown! I never dreamed that I would sell the number of units I did in my first week, month or year. More importantly, we began to generate a celebrity following. Fashion influencers such as Hilary Duff, Sophia Bush, Shakira, and Cameron Diaz were buying my product!
ELEMENTS OF YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE.
SS: My style is simple and feminine. I like to invest in wardrobe staples such as a jacket, skinny jean, statement shoe and handbag and mix current trends. My favorite season is Fall — you can usually find me in a pair of motorcycle boots, jeans, a cami, and a class trench coat.
MILESTONE(S) THAT REMIND YOU THAT YOU’RE LIVING YOUR DREAM.
SS: It is rewarding to receive positive feedback from retailers and customers. It is unbelievable knowing that something I created from scratch is something women want to buy… in multiples!
TOOLS / PRACTICES THAT OPTIMIZE YOUR LIFE ON A DAILY BASIS.
SS: Going to bed early and waking up early. The earlier I can get my day started the better.
LIFE ADVICE THAT YOU HOLD DEAR.
SS: “Don’t look back you’re not going that way.” I actually shared this favorite quote on the Cami NYC Instagram — It’s so important to keep looking forward, and constantly have a positive attitude. Every company, business, or person has minor setbacks, and it’s important to not let them stand in the way of improving the big picture.
WAY YOU LOVE TO SPEND THE DAY OR EVENING AT HOME.
SS: I love to cook! If I have the time, I will go to the grocery store, pick out fresh produce and make a meal — it relaxes me. Living in New York City makes it really easy to order take-out or go to a restaurant, so it is nice to cook at home every once in a while.
YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON LIVING THE LIFE YOU DREAM ABOUT.
SS: Balance. If you have a great balance between your work life and personal life and you are happy, you’re living the dream.
SECRET ABOUT YOU.
SS: I can’t tell the difference between a $5 bottle of wine and a $500 bottle of wine – they all taste good to me!
THANK YOU, SAMANTHA!