Anna Marie Christmas and I finally met in person at Florida Blog Con a couple years ago. We had already been following each other on social media for months. And when we connected it was like we’d been friends for years. I can’t get enough of her inspired style and professional drive. Read on to get to know more about Anna, her process, and her latest venture, SIDNEY BRUCE.
“I am a business owner, artist and advocate of women to build authentic and intentional relationships. After growing up in the panhandle of Florida, in a beautifully intense and loving family, I worked in the fashion industry for over sixteen years in New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Miami and London. My first passion is creating beauty in various mediums, such as fashion design, the fine arts and creative direction for special events. I now own and operate a creative agency that focuses on content production, wardrobe styling, branding and social media marketing. I am currently expanding my company to the UK and Europe and launching Sidney Bruce, an online shopping platform featuring emerging designers, selective brands and artists from around the world.
My second passion is women connecting, leading and loving each other well. I have worked for years to create events in which women from different walks of life can have a moment to meet each other where they are and to be encouraged to keep growing towards vulnerability, truth and hope.
In addition, I enjoy adventures around the world, painting, yoga and hosting fabulous parties for my close friends and family.
My hope for every woman is to be unashamedly themselves and to live in a fierce strength out of grace and love.”
"You are loved. You are free. You are ready now.” - Anna Marie Christmas
What time of day do you like to start work? 7am
Do you want to be liked or respected? Respected
What does your support team or network look like?
I have strategically surrounded myself with like minded, ambitious, creative, kind, smart, authentic and driven people. Everything is a choice especially when it comes to relationships. People are the most important part of life and business. I currently am blessed to have a massive support team in more locations than one that embodies the above mentioned characteristics and values. In the next five years, my goal is to build a team of talent that would work out of an Orlando and London office.
Do you do yoga the morning? Have wine with lunch? Socialize with your team after work? How do you connect and also unplug to do your best work?
I love hot yoga and spin classes. I need to cry a lot so I go there to do that, sweat my stress out and to simply feel like a Wonder Woman-Beyonce-Warrior whenever possible. Getting into nature is a must for me. I need green, mountains, oceans and sky. It is imperative for me to reenergize in these places. Being at my family’s cabin in North Carolina or my Grandparent’s farm resets my perspective. It makes me appreciate the littlest of things and makes me stop. We are wonderfully and beautifully made and when I see the plants and birds I am reminded of how much I am loved and how my value and identity does not lie in how much I accomplish or fail at. I also adore hosting people in my home. I enjoy giving back to that powerful network that surrounds me by cooking and throwing fabulous garden parties under the stars.
What would your key management advice be?
Managing people is like parenting. It is the hardest yet the most rewarding work out yet. Your identity and value has nothing to do with the people you manage. Always do what is right, with no attachment to the fruit. If you make mistakes at managing others, you learn. If you successful at managing others, you learn. That is all. It isn’t about you… so get over yourself so you can lead well. If you do this, then you will not lead out of a place of fear which is the most destructive thing you could do as a manager.
What do you find the most difficult part of your job?
Learning to work out of a place of peace but still have drive, focus and ambition. It is a balancing act that I frankly have no idea how to do well. I also struggle with tedious and mundane tasks. #nopatience
How has rejection in the space you’re passionate about fueled it?
The minute someone tells me no… I get fire in my soul. I have been told before that I wasn’t a creative director, good enough, educated enough, fast enough, tough enough, dumb enough, pretty enough, small enough, rich enough, poor enough… the list goes on. I haven’t been taken seriously by family members, friends and bosses because of my ambitious goals, dreams and age. With this very project I have had people talk down to me on conference calls because the potential vendor was unprepared and they said no. I have been told no and have had to change plans, visions, goals and focus last minute. Being told no is imperative for growth, creativity and character building. Be thankful for the “no”.
What does ‘style' mean to you?
Style means one being unashamedly one’s self and that translating into their choice in appearance and presence.
Have you ever made a mistake you wish you could take back?
100%. I have lost my temper and lost a friend because of it. Nothing is ever worth proving.
If you could fix one thing about your company today, what would it be?
MONEY. I have an ongoing list of the incredible people who are way better at running certain parts of this company than I am. I am looking forward to the day that Sidney Bruce can employ and house these people to do what they do best.
Describe yourself using only emojis. 🔥🥂👑🌺🐅🗡
What are your favorite art galleries and/or museums in the world?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art for their fashion exhibits their location by Central Park and Park Ave.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
My cats, Sheriff Kitty and Pip Squeak.
Where do you go online to get inspired?
Pinterest, Spotify ( I LOVE MUSIC) and podcasts.
Predicting trends is tough, how much does research play into what you do?
Research doesn’t play into it. If you have to research it… it’s too late and the trend is upon us or already happened. Predicting trends is more about intuition and a little history more than anything.
Three books, blogs, podcasts, or Instagrams you think we need to read, listen to, or see?
Podcast: How I Built This (all episodes) - It will comfort, inspire and grow you in business.
Book: Art of War by SUN TZU - It will teach you how to do business.
Show: Game of Thrones - It will make you want to go after, stand up and fight for something. Also the costumes are bad ass.
All three of these bring you back to your humanness. It is important to understand the reality of who and where you are so you have the chance to be and go where you want to. Live in reality, fight for a dream.
SIDNEY BRUCE is an online shopping platform featuring a curated collection of emerging designers, selective brands and artists. SIDNEY BRUCE is all about shopping local without being local. Guests are able to shop a world of makers, creatives and artists. They can have special one-of-a-kind garments, accessories, and art delivered to their doorstep.