Sarah, the Busy Honey Mustard Bee
by Miranda Sam
In early September, I met up with Sarah Murray of The Honey Mustard Fashion and Media Services. We sipped tea and TEAZ at Turks Café on the colourful Commercial Drive. We talked about her humble beginnings, the Vancouver fashion scene, and her role as a fashion social entrepreneur.
There are a few things that the Vancouver fashion scene needs. One of the top priorities is providing more publicity for local fashion designers. I was surprised to find out that Sarah is firstly not a native Vancouverite, and secondly, never planned to become a publicist.
Having interned at FASHION Magazine in Toronto, and worked as Beauty Editor at Canadian Hairdresser Magazine, Sarah decided it was a time for change. Her philosophy about helping others on the way to success began when she volunteered at the Yaletown Farmers Market. She would walk through the exhibits talking to designers. "I don't think I ever pitched them on anything… I think it was just more put my face out there and get my name out there. It was more networking than a hard sell."
Through organically networking and "doing good work for other people," Sarah built enough contacts to start her own company. In 2004, she established The Honey Mustard as the go-to fashion and media services firm in the city. They're never short of clients, servicing 20 to 25 designers and retailers at any given time. When asked which was her favourite local designer, she responded with a bright smile, "I love all of my designers!" Most recently, The Honey Mustard worked on BC Fashion Week's Generation Next show and the Ishara store opening at Oakridge Centre. This busy Honey Mustard bee personally attended both events.
Murray also founded fashion industry association Fashion High, which works to promote local fashion to the public. Some initiatives include "seal of approval" stickers that inform consumers that stores are local and sustainable, after fulfilling 3 of 6 criteria Another consumer relevant drive is the Style Schedule. This fall, it included 17 days of style worthy events around Vancouver.
By the time our tea runs out, Murray rushes home to check email before going to a 6 hour strategic meeting to plan the next three years of Fashion High. It's "always changing, always developing, not necessarily morphing into different things but becoming more fine tuned." And like Fashion High, so is she. In all that she does, she's genuinely interested in helping other people. We're looking out to see where this lively social entrepreneur will take the Vancouver fashion scene next.
To contact Sarah Murray, please visit her website at www.thehoneymustard.com. For more information on Fashion High, go to www.fashionhigh.ca.