Discover how this working mom, style star and new REALM Fine + Fashion Jewelry collaborator makes affordable fashion look expensive and work/life balance look easy… even when they are not.
We all want it, don’t we: work/life balance… the fulfillment of our dreams... luxe looks for less.
With a loving family, 10k+ Instagram followers and a knack for turning out immaculate OOTDs on a budget, Sarah Zutell seems to have mastered that elusive trio. Except that, like many of us, this working mom and creator of Easily Suede
struggled to find her niche and admits that sometimes just getting through the day is cause for celebration.
In this second installment of our series “Meet the Empresses,” highlighting the real women of REALM, we caught up with Sarah just as she returned from a Florida trip with an array of glam photos -- and a flu bug that laid low her entire family -- to talk about style, life and why REALM fits so perfectly with her mission to “easily sway” people into buying pieces they love without breaking the bank.
REALM: How did you develop your (fashion) look and your outlook (on life)? SARAH ZUTELL: I was born in the city of Philadelphia, but grew up in the country -- Lancaster County. I feel like both places have influenced my style over the years. I went to a small school where everyone knew each other and I always craved getting out and experiencing life beyond my little bubble.
Then I attended the University of Delaware for Biological Sciences, which is funny to look back on now. I never really knew what to do with that and I didn’t want to go back to school. Once I met my husband and we married, I settled down and started a family. I have two handsome sons who are my life, but I started to get that feeling again of needing to get outside my comfort zone and begin a new chapter.
And that new chapter was…?
Blogging! I started blogging in 2015, which then transitioned into primarily Instagram.
I needed to fill a void. I was only working part time and I was a new mom, but I was missing something. A hobby, maybe? So, I turned my love of fashion into a brand: Easily Suede.
Why the name “Easily Suede”?
As someone who always fell in love with the most expensive items, I needed to find quality options that were still affordable. I wanted to “easily sway” people into buying pieces they love without breaking the bank.
What are some of those tricks for looking like a million bucks without spending much?
- Shop online. There are some really great, unique brands out there that are still affordable, just not common store fronts. Some of my favorite places are Storets and Verge Girl.
- Do your research. See what trends are popular each season. Find an outfit you like and create a "look for less." Companies like H&M or Zara take what's in fashion and make it affordable.
- Accessorize. You can take a simple outfit like a white tee and skinny jeans and really make it pop. Grab some jewelry, a cute headband and a great bag and you're ready to go!
How does REALM mesh with the philosophy of Easily Suede?
While I'm all about affordable clothing to keep up with each season's trends, I still love to invest in quality pieces that are timeless. Go out and buy that designer bag that goes with everything. Splurge on a quality blazer or coat. And of course, choose the REALM pieces that fit your style so you can wear them for years to come!
What’s your fave REALM piece?
I have to pick just one?! Probably my first pair of earrings, the Empire Contour.
I never take them off!
Describe your typical day.
Get the kids up and ready for school, enjoy my morning coffee, head to work, come home and make dinner, put kids to bed and work on my posts.
Who is the strongest woman you know?
I don’t have just one. I think we all are fighting our own battles the best we can.
Any words of wisdom to share?
“Never give up on your dreams.”
How do you #ReignThoughtfully?
I just do the best that I can each day!
Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your style and story with all of us.
We may feature your question on a future post here or on social.
Sarah’s adventures in fashion and life @sarahzutell