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Life & Work with Samantha York

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha York.

Hi Samantha, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My relationship with Instagram has always been to bridge the gap between where I am and where I want to be. I’ve always been curious about my style and experimented with almost every style until I found the right fit. I grew up being taken to thrift stores and having to use my imagination and limited sources to create these outfit ideas I would often come across. My story starts around middle school when my friends and I would take the bus to the Galleria or West County and then add a stop to Goodwill or Salvation Army. I enjoyed the entire process of sourcing the inspo, looking at what I have versus what I “needed,” and letting my creativity do its thing. The first year a good friend of mine used to take pictures of me in the hallway at school between classes or during lunch, but they were always headless pictures. I never wanted my face to be part of what we were capturing because the outfit was the only thing I wanted to be acknowledged. This style of taking pictures is what gave me a platform of 10K by my sophomore year of high school! Through posting anywhere from 2-4 times a week, having a VERY stylish group of friends and creatives at school who naturally pushed me, my platform grew. My followers mainly consisted of New Yorkers, and being from St.Louis was a culture shock for me. These were the people I was pulling inspiration from daily, and they were the same ones recognizing and connecting with what I was putting out on social media.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I don’t believe anyone’s road to success is smooth unless handed to them. I respect so many people from STL regardless of what they do because we’ve all adopted a hustle mentality. Do what you need to do to get where you need to get. My largest obstacle from age 17-19 was the amount of time I had. I did ballet for 16 years and moved to Boston by myself at 16 to pursue it at the Boston Ballet School. To dedicate the rest of your teenage years to going after an art at a pre-professional level takes discipline and time. I was running out of days/times to express myself creatively because I was training 6 days a week. My page was at a standstill until I quit after my apprenticeship year when I was 19. Consistency will always be my largest obstacle, and it’s completely mental.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Content creation has become a stream of income for me for the past few years which I am incredibly grateful for. I have been able to work for brands such as Puma, Reebok, Footlocker, American Eagle, Dr.Martens, Pandora etc. These were all companies I once wanted things from and couldn’t personally afford in both middle and high school so I have always felt proud of those larger companies for that reason alone. I think the key to my success is creating my own lane, remaining humble and in the student role. I am constantly pulling inspiration from other people, creators, cities, styles etc and I just embody what feels true to me. You are your own superpower that no one else will be able to have so that naturally sets me apart.

Aside from content creation, my full time job is as a Talent Acquisition Recruiter for Aritzia. I am responsible for fully staffing (at the associate level) 5 Aritzia stores on the East Coast. As a natural born introvert/observer I have become very passionate about people through my retail experience. I started with Aritzia in 2019 as a sales associate and it was my first retail job. Three years later I was moved to New York by the company to be in the corporate office so I have had a very fruitful journey. I have set a personal mission of sourcing talent that will push the company in new directions and diversify its stores. I was lucky enough to have leaders around me who were able to see my potential and really create a career for me and I want to do the same for others.

Is something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Something surprising about me is that I am adopted! I am very blessed to have been adopted by a family who allowed me to navigate the many different versions of myself freely, have always supported my wins, and pushed me to do better! If you know me personally, you know I keep my family close and private, especially on social media.

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