SDH 011: The Power of Partnership with Sam Saifer & Carolyn Pelissero, founders of BoldFace Communications

Boldface Co. is a boutique marketing firm, creating memorable marketing campaigns and events for clients in the fashion, start up, hospitality, retail and real estate industries. They deliver personal attention to every client and project. Carolyn and Sam become an extension of their client’s brands fulfilling all of their marketing, public relations, event management, social media and strategic partnership needs.

2 years ago Carolyn and Sam joined forces to combine PR, media relations, and events for Boldface.

Carolyn started the company after being approached several times for her help in PR and marketing for new businesses. Sam came into the mix and added a social and events element to the company.

“I always knew I wanted to work for myself”

Partnership: They balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They learn a lot from each other without having to learn every aspect of the business right away.

Carolyn: “When it was just me it was hard to not have anyone to ask for insight. Not only is it nice to share the work and ideas, but to have that support system built in – It makes things a lot easier to have a partner.”

On their work: “It’s a fun way to incorporate the people that we love into work.”

Evolution of PR: “Social media is going to be a huge player in the PR world, more so then your typical print media”

“If you’re not incorporating that strategic partnership and trying to get ambassadors on board by tapping into people with a large following, you’re really missing out on a huge part of what PR has become – You just have to evolve with it.”

PR is public relations. It is how you are communicating your brand and what you have to offer to the public. It is also a very gray area. It’s going to continue to get blurred as long as social media allows people to become important in their own way.

“People are very self-important now more than ever”

Advice to become an influencer: Put yourself out there and go to as many events and network as possible. You need to look credible too. Look professional and spell check! The little things will set you apart.

“Finding the unique spin on things – The unique ones that have their own twist really stand out – That’s really important. Be true to yourself, and be unique, and don’t try to mimic what other people are doing.”

Overcoming Challenges: It’s hard not to be accessible when now you can be (accessed) at all times

Creating Boundaries: Sometimes you’re at your home office and you want to get some work done at 10 PM, but sometimes it’s a good idea to leave it in the draft folder and send it the next day if you don’t want to open up the flood gates to encourage others to do it to you.

Moment of Growth:

“You don’t need a class in anything. You take what you’re good at, your strengths, and what you like to do and turn it into your own business. You’re good as gold.”

Book Recommendations:

Carolyn: Freakonomics – Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner & The Four Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss (a repeat that we love)

Sam: Grace: A Memoir – Grace Coddington & Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

Other misc. mentions: Jenna Lyons Article

“I’m very much inspired by other inspiring women.”


Carolyn: “Working for yourself, you have to stay motivated and be a little bit of a hustler and a go-getter” | Like the news flash in college, when no one is making sure you do your homework, you have to be self-sufficient – it’s the same way when you have your own business. | “I’m way more productive now than I ever was at a desk job.” | You’re not going to get paid if you’re not doing anything or doing a good job.

Sam: “Success is a feeling that keeps you motivated.”

A Day In The Life:

Carpool + Dress the same 😉 + Early morning client meeting + Meet with Intern at Soho House + Accountant calls and emails + Keep each other up to speed working together

“Every day is truly chaos – Every day is so different, and fun, and unique, and spontaneous!”


“The way you get ahead is by doing something that you love and committing to yourself to do that, because then you’ll be happy, and you’ll work hard, and you’ll get noticed for that.” – Jenna Lyons

Sam: Ask yourself – Why do I deserve this and why do I want this? | Love what you do so much that you don’t even really know that’s how hard you’re working. | The motivated and hard working person is hard to come by.

“Work hard and love what you do.”

Carolyn: Hand written thank you notes go a long way! | Know that business is cyclical, there are ups and downs, and you might lose a client, but be patient, and know that someone else will come about. | “Enjoy the risk because it does all work out.”

“As long as we can continue to work where we are happy and confident about what we’re doing then that’s all we care about.”

::Find Carolyn, Sam and BoldFace: Instagram ( @BoldFaceChicago), Twitter ( @BoldFaceCo),

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