This year went by so fast! I still can’t believe it’s December. Besides being the month of festivities, December is the last month before 2019. This year we focused on shedding light on the beautiful people in Miami, we featured 12 amazing girls that are pouring their hearts out to everything they do. We chose to close out the year with a bang by featuring powerhouse Sarah Akiba, the founder of AWOM the lifestyle brand, Lab the female co-working space, creative agency, and photography studio, and Angel Watching Over Me Foundation. By night, a celebrity wardrobe stylist.
Akiba was born in Paris, France to immigrant parents from Morocco. She then moved to Miami and studied business communications at the University of Miami - first one in her family to not only graduate, but attend University. A natural born entrepreneur and go-getter, at only 16 Sarah became a wardrobe stylist and 3 years later opened her first online store called thatsSoAkiba.com, first of many successes. “I made a bunch of money and went abroad to study in Israel” says Akiba. Following her return from Israel, her father was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away fairly quickly, thats when it all shifted in her work. She started building AWOM, her baby. And here she is, changing the world one day at a time.
Tell us about your non-profit AWOM.
The non-profit Angel Watching Over Me is all about support. It is female owned and female led which is part of its charm. I think it’s very important to have a support system with people who have experienced similar situations. That’s my take on why people become so wise, it’s because they have experienced things. So, with that I created support groups every other week for people who lost a loved one. We are now three years in! I also started Girls Club at Olsen Middle School, an inner city school in Broward County where I talk to 179 young girls about self love, self care, personal hygiene, anti-bullying, suicide, and bring in other female entrepreneurs to help guide them. Also, for Thanksgiving we feed over 200 families at Olsen Middle School. During Christmas time, AWOM hosts a toy drive for families in need. Most importantly, AWOM has expanded into a direction for future female leaders with AWOM Girls Club at Olsen Middle School.
How do you do it all? What’s a day in your life like.
I wake up and take about 30 minutes to get ready, which is my favorite part of my day is choosing my look. I then rush out for my morning coffee or tea at Aroma every morning. I love it there because everyone knows me by name and greets me with a smile. Its the perfect way to start my day! During my coffee I write down 6 things I am grateful for in that very moment, this is what keeps me present, I then check emails and head to my studio AWOM Lab to really start my day of meetings with new clients to help them grow their business, plan a large event, figure out how I'm gonna change the world with my foundation, and lastly always end the day with a design meeting for my clothing brand. By night, I can turn into a wardrobe stylist. I really have no exact day because planning a day for me is very tough in my industry, but I love it.
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Miami? I'm from Paris, France and I have been in Miami for 23 years!
What’s the best thing about this city? All of the amazing and eclectic people. You walk around and never hear only English. I love this melting pot.
What’s your favorite spot in Miami?
It would have to be the Grove, theres such a culture there.
Can’t leave the house without?
Keys, wallet, phone… and a pack of gum.
Coffee or tea?
Favorite coffee shop in Miami.
Winter in Miami, love a cool breeze and beaming sun!
Best way to decompress at home.
Sit on my couch and re-watch seasons of Sex and the City.
My mom <3
What’s on your reading list.
25 and Self-ish by Brittany Berger - taught me that its ok to put myself first at times!
What are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of everything I've accomplished at 26, sometimes I forget to appreciate myself.
How do you usually start your day?
I love my breakfast egg whites gives me energy!
Do you have a morning routine?
Yes, coffee, egg whites, and an hour yoga class at Green Monkey.
What is the first thing you thought of this morning?
To go pick up my meal plan!
What’s your go-to fitness routine or regimen?
I love yoga, I'm not big on working out.
Where do you practice?
What is your approach to nutrition?
Eat everything in moderation, and don't forget to enjoy!
What are your lifestyle “must-do’s” and your absolute “no ways”?
Must- do take an hour for myself a day (which almost never happens, but I set the intention!) - No way’s- cigarettes.
What’s your “passed down from Mom” beauty secret?
If you look good you feel good!
Best beauty tip you ever received.
What’s a beauty secret you want to share with us.
Hydrate your skin and body, it starts with the insides!
What’s your must have beauty product.
Kiehls face wash.
What’s your philosophy about beauty.
If you feel good mentally it will show on the outside.
Favorite social-media platform.
Last google search.
A quote from the Talmud - “every blade of grass has an angel that bends over stand whispers, grow! grow! grow!”
Person you text the most.
FASHION & LIFESTYLE
Best cocktail in Miami.
Soho Beach House - Picante De La Casa, but I don't really drink.
Favorite line a movie.
“if you're a bird I'm a bird” - so cliche I know.
La Vie En Rose - Edith Piaf
What’s your favorite city in the world.
Where do you want to travel next.
What words do you live by.
Courage. Be courageous every day. My father taught me that.
How do you describe your personal style.
I dress up every single day with a different intention. So I would call it eclectic for sure!
Who’s your favorite artist.
I don't know yet.
I don't have one, I think they all bring something unique to the table!
Describe your go-to outfit.
Adidas by Danielle Cathari - its oversized, comfortable, and avant garde for street wear.
All-time favorite clothing purchase you ever made.
My Miu Miu’s that are so colorful and feminine. Definitely my favorite purchase!
Where did you go on your last trip?
I was in LA and pretty much spent my time at Soho House there admiring the view.
Person you admire the most. I admire people in general I think that a lot of the world is seeing a lot of negative, but the world is filled with good people and kind strangers. I admire them. But, if I had to choose it would be my family, because they all play such a key role in my life and are so hardworking it keeps me going.
I must say I smiled a few times reading and writing this! Thank you Sarah for your commitment to helping others and empowering women. Keep up the great work in 2019!