Sara Riff calls bullshit on having it all.
Yes, she balances her job as Global Director of Entertainment Relations at Jimmy Choo, is a full-time mom/teacher to her two adorable kids who’ve been home from school since March, and is a founding member of I Am A Voter, which helped drive millions of young people to the polls in November.
But you won’t catch her pretending any of it is easy. Her answer when asked about her pandemic wardrobe: “There are a lot of days when it’s business on the top and despair on the bottom.“
Riff is so passionate about puncturing the myths of perfection that plague women, especially in the age of social media, that she launched her new podcast “Having It All & Other Lies” in the middle of a global pandemic.
Read on for her smart advice on taking risks, her chic (but comfy) Zoom uniform, and what’s gotten her through 2020/2021 thus far (hint: plenty of wine).
I’m very lucky as I’m still working. I have my health, enough food to eat, and a roof over my head. The hardest part for me personally is that my kids have not gone to school since March… MARCH!!!! That means that there is no downtime when I’m not working or homeschooling them. THEY ARE ALWAYS HOME. ALWAYS!!! In some ways, I think that’s been a blessing, as I really can't get too caught up in anything beyond putting one foot in front of the other, but let me tell you, IT HAS BEEN REAL!!!
Getting Really Real
I launched my podcast Having It All & Other Lies in an effort to change the narrative and level up a bit. It's easy to get caught up right now in how things look from the outside, and I wanted to speak with people I admire to learn how they’re redefining what success and happiness look like to them personally.
What “Having It All” Means To Her
I’ve always been pretty locked in to my core values, which ultimately come down to family and health with a reasonable dash of jewelry sprinkled in there. We were scheduled to launch the podcast in March of 2020, and I think we all know that things did not go according to plan but after what we have witnessed over the last 10 months, I’m more aware than ever how easy it is to identify that which is really essential in my life. Beyond that, nothing truly matters.
I would LOVE to interview Michelle Obama because she has been so honest about how much of herself she felt she sacrificed during the presidency and how she is still on her journey to “becoming.” I also think Meghan Markle would give interesting insight on what her “fairy tale” really felt like on the other side of the coin.
Work Work Work Work Work
I’ve been at Jimmy Choo for 13 years. I was lucky to land my dream job very early. I oversee global entertainment relations, celebrity, VIP, and special events. And the true icing is the shoe closet!
One of my favorites, Anais Nin, wrote: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” It’s important to realize that we’re all in a constant state of changing and becoming who we are ultimately meant to be. Too often, we feel stuck by our own accord. Listen to your gut, follow your heart, and don’t get caught up in worrying about what other people will think along the way. Life is all about evolution.
Setting An Example
I hope my kids learn empathy, kindness, and to listen to the call to action when things don’t sit right with them. Mostly I hope that they keep their spirit and sense of humor because life is always a lot easier when you can laugh at yourself.
Career Highlight Reel
I’ve had many incredible moments at Jimmy Choo but the absolute highlight had to be dressing both First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry for the Inauguration. What those women are all accomplishing in their Choos is nothing short of inspirational. I’m also tremendously proud of the work we did with I Am A Voter at increasing voter participation during such an important election and launching my podcast “Having It All & Other Lies” with such amazing guests and a strong community in the midst of 2020.
Finding sweats I like!! No but really… I’m not sure that I’ve totally nailed ANYTHING. It's all ebb and flow, and the thing I’ve gotten better at is allowing space for the emotions that come along with the uncertainty that’s become the new norm. Oh, and I learned to cut my husband’s hair, so there’s that!
I find that a little bit of a face, an earring, and a top that doesn't look like it has given up on life will get me through most Zooms just fine.
My go-to face is Iris&Romeo Best Skin Days, some Kosas concealer, Beautycounter Color Pinch on cheeks/lips/eyes, Ilia mascara, and I’m in business.
Good friends, bad TV, and wine can do wonders for the soul, as can exercise when you can find the time. I have a quaranteam that has been a lifeline through all of the ups and downs of this year, always on hand with a good meme to change the mood.