It was after reading an article about Ashton Kutcher making a spoof video – complete with product placement – that Stephanie Horbaczewski had her light bulb moment. She promptly quit her managerial job to found StyleHaul, essentially a new type of ad agency, with a vision of translating the fashion editorial space to digital, social and multi-platform trends by working with more than 5,000 of these ‘real people’ or, to you and me, fashion and beauty vloggers currently ruling the internet. Today, not even five years later, StyleHaul has (deep breath) 6,500 channels in 63 countries that reach 140m women each month, collectively viewing 1.5bn video views and 10bn social impressions across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine & Snapchat (that was one hell of a light bulb moment, then.) We catch up with Stephanie to see how a day in the life of the queen of digital entertainment pans out like.
6AM: “We have almost 100 staff worldwide and have offices in NY, Chicago, LA, London, Singapore and are just about to launch in Brazil. Needless to say, I’m always on the move. I start very early in the mornings, usually on the social platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook checking out industry news and everything that’s going on with my creators [this is Stephanie’s term for the vloggers in the StyleHaul umbrella.] I’ll also be taking calls. I like to feel caught up by the time I get in the office.”
8AM “If I’m in the office, I’m typically in meetings all day. I’ve given up my own personal office to another executive because I think it makes more sense sitting out with the team. I think it’s a better place to work. You don’t learn anything when you’re isolated in your own office.”
10AM “I’ll make time for a snack - my current morning treat is frozen grapes. Then I’ll want to catch up with all of my incredible creators from all around the world; I want to find out what they’ve been up to.”
1PM “We have a great vegan food delivery service that I try to order from but my schedule’s just not regular enough even for that. So some wonderful member of my team kindly goes and gets me something to eat. Even if my day if perfectly planned, it never turns out the way it looks in my calendar. And, no, I don’t stop for lunch.”
2PM – 6PM “It’s more meetings, meetings, meetings. Because this is a global, 24-hour business, the speed of the system actually moves faster than humans can. It’s developing at such an incredible rate and I think you either thrive on that energy - and it encourages you to keep busy - or it crushes you. There are only two choices. But, for me, this is such an exciting space. I’m so inspired by the people we work with, our community, our creators and the people that are on my team, so for me, the work is energizing and inspiring.”
6PM – 6AM “I’m getting a lot of heat from both my friends and my co-workers to clock off a little bit more, but that’s just not in the nature of what we do. I mean, this is a 24 hours, global conversation; clocking off isn’t realistic. Plus, I get a lot of work done after dark. But, recently, I have made a big change for me, which is to stop sending e-mails to the office at night because colleagues see that they’re from me and they think they should respond. I want to at least better manage how I am with everyone else, so I save everything when it’s done until the morning and send it then. Luckily, I don’t need much sleep, perhaps six hours max; it’s just kind of who I am.”