Samantha Saifer Berngard, Partner, Boldface Co. Photo by Monia Ponce.
I am excited to start my Monday Profiles again…..and wanted to share a special lady’s story with you. I met Sam several years ago….when she was at CS and I was still at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago. We worked on a couple of events together and then re-engaged when she was at SPLASH. We have kept in touch over the years and she was kind to invite me to a recent panel discussion with female entrepreneurs which I thoroughly enjoyed. A fascinating presentation, lively Q and A.
Sam is definitely the face of the young modern woman, a wife, mother of two precious children and a true professional with her own business. Let’s learn about her journey.
WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR TALENT
I went to school for journalism. I always had a passion for magazines, and I was always told that I was a good writer. Ever since I was little, I was infatuated with magazines and wanted to write for them! I interned at the best New York magazines – People . . . Conde Nast, etc. all through college. I graduated college and the only job I could get was assistant to the publisher at CS magazine. I thought it would be the perfect foot in the door to eventually transition into an editor position. Little did I know, the publisher felt I had a better talent for throwing parties / events / creating marketing programs, etc. I had never done anything like it but it all came so natural. I realized that maybe I never really enjoyed writing at all (I think the deadlines made me anxious!) and that throwing events was what I really enjoyed. It came easily, and I didn’t just like it – I LOVED it! From then on, I knew I was not meant to sit behind a keyboard. Networking, meeting new people, organizing groups of people and curating awesome experiences – those are my talents!
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD “MADE IT”
I’m still not sure I have – ha! When I decided to go off on my own and join my business partner at Boldface Co., I was super nervous that it would be challenging to keep a steady list of clients and make a living vs. working for a company full time. The fact that we have never had to go after clients and have maintained a full book of business at all times . . . that makes me feel truly successful! Also, being happy with my life and loving it – that is true success.
HOW DID YOUR ORIGINAL PASSION BRING YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW
As I mentioned above, I always thought of my future self as a big time writer / journalist . . . my background in journalism led me to go to school in DC at George Washington University. It gave me many opportunities that I would not have originally had AND introduced me to all the right people. Once I decided to shift gears into marketing, event planning and now PR – I still utilize a lot of the skills I learned in school. I truly believe in the importance of every single rung when you are climbing your career ladder. Keep in touch with everyone. Don’t burn bridges with anyone and pay attention to everything!
WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR ALTERNATE CHOICE AS A CAREER….WAS THERE ONE
Now I look back in my training in journalism and wish I would have pursued broadcast journalism. I could have been the next Savannah Guthrie – ha! I am definitely a morning person, and I love to talk! I could have killed it!
YOUR FAVORITE BOOK, MOVIE, THEATER (BALLET, OPERA, SYMPHONY, TYPE OF MUSIC) LOCAL RESTAURANT
Favorite Book: The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss. I read it to my kids and it reminds me of the infinite possibilities that life offers and how much they have to look forward to!
Theater: I am a SUCKER for Bye Bye Birdie – favorite musical of all time! I go to my friend Graham’s house and sing showtunes on the piano regularly. His husband had to learn Bye Bye Birdie for me!
Local Restaurant: Le Colonial http://www.lecolonialchicago.com it’s been around 20 years and they have never changed their menu. It’s always the best experience!
I can’t remember my hobbies pre kids, but I most enjoy spending time with my kids (1 & 3) in my spare time. Everything we do together is my favorite thing to do! We have a lot of fun. If I get out on my own with friends – I sure do enjoy karaoke!
Sam and her “Crew” on a recent Windy City Live (ABC Channel 7 weekdays at 1:00) the spot was for one of her clients, Monica + Andy www.monicaandandy.com
HOME….MODERN, TRADITIONAL, ANTIQUES (WHAT ERA) ECLECTIC
Our home has a modern and very open vibe. I like to think it reminds me of a little beach shack in the middle of Bucktown. It is cozy and nothing is too expensive (everything breaks with kids!) It’s definitely a house made for entertaining. We love to have people over more than anything!
With husband, Jason, Brooklyn and Baby Billie June….they look like a photo out of Central Casting….photo by Suzy Brown for Monica + Andy.
WHO WOULD YOU HAVE AT YOUR FANTASY DINNER (LIVING OR DEAD) AND WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE
OH WOW! That is a lot of pressure. I would probably have Michelle Obama, Olivia Wilde, Madonna, Joan Rivers, Jackie O, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton and Goldie Hawn over for the most wild GNO / dance party of all time. I don’t know / care what we would eat – but I would have some excellent wine!
I’d also love for my mom, best friend and mother in law to join in because I think they would enjoy it!
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT VISITED AND/OR ON LIST
We took our son to Isla De Holbox last year and had one of the best trips ever. It’s such a gorgeous untouched island, and Mexico is a very special place for our family. We met the most wonderful people who we still keep in touch with and hope to go back soon! Italy will also have a spot in my heart because I studied there in college.
Camping with Billie June at one of the Berngard’s favorite summer vacation spots, Camp Wandawega (A nenasnote…I must do a post on this amazing place!!!) www.campwandawegacom
FAVORITE NEW CHICAGO RESTAURANT
FAVORITE CHICAGO STREET ART
I love Hebru Brantley http://www.hebrubrantley.com and his super hero mural on the Hollywood Cleaners in Wicker Park (image below).
I also love the “We All Live Here” tags throughout Chicago – reminds me how powerful our Chicago community is. . .
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED
Sweet & kind + ridiculously fun!
With Billie June at Stephanie Izard and Paul Kahan’s recent Harvest Fest.
A FAVORITE RECIPE
My favorite recipe of all time is my mom’s “Sus” chicken! It’s a family favorite but I can’t give away the recipe 😉
I also look forward to my mom’s vegetable stuffing –we have it every Thanksgiving and sometimes stuffed in chicken breast – it’s amazing!!!
MOM’S VEGETABLE STUFFING
(serves 9 – can be made the day before serving)
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
1 box (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ozs. Sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp crushed rosemary
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup chicken broth
8 slices day-old white bread cut into cubes
Make the day before: cube bread and put in plastic bag
- Large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion, celery and carrots and cook 8 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add spinach and mushrooms and cook 2 min more
- Remove skillet from heat
- Stir salt, pepper, and rosemary into beaten egg
- Pour egg and seasonings over the vegetables and mix well
- Put bread cubes in a very large pan or mixing bowl and pour vegetables over the bread cubes. Mix well. Pour cup of broth over and mix well.
Put in casserole dish, 2 quart size. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.
BLOGS YOU FOLLOW
Off for a busy day of event planning for Boldface Co. www.boldfacechicago.com, (actually getting ready for an event in NYC) which Sam does so well. Sam, a million thanks for taking time from your hectic schedule to answer the nenasnotes questionnaire and supplying me with such delightful photos!