Pollice Lee is proud to introduce our new series entitled #PORTRAITSOFPOLLICELEE with the goal of curating and profiling a community of strong, elegant, brave, curious and ambitious women redefining success on their own terms. We hope to inform and inspire through the content and experiences we create and in turn empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs within the creative community from the worlds of fashion, music, dance, art, culinary, and music.
The reason? Pollice Lee is more than just a luxury fashion brand. It’s a platform to showcase modern, millennial, and socially-conscious women in all their power and diversity. Through this new series we hope to highlight these women’s journeys and connect women across social, digital, and experiential platforms as we provide the touch-points that connect and unites us all, as creators.
#Portraits: "Meet Ella Drapkin, Entrepreneur, Mother, and Owner of Shoe Spice Boutique"
Meet Ella Drapkin
Ella Drapkin is a female entrepreneur, mother, daughter, and owner of the fashion retail store Shoe Spice Boutique.
You're an entrepreneur and have an inspiring story. Tell us about yourself and how you got to where you are today in building a successful business.
I was born in Uzbekistan and when I was 11 years my family and I moved to Israel and I spent my entire childhood in Israel. Many years later when I got married I was curious to see what else was out there and what the next chapter of my life held for me. I came to the United States with my husband to pursue my dreams to start my own business.
I would say that in terms of running a successful business what's really important is time (lots of time) and complete dedication to the business: being able to give 100% of my effort to the business even if it means being awake for 18 hours straight.
What inspires you?
What inspires me is fashion. Since I was a child I always remember loving fashion, initially being introduced to it from my mother and later slowly learning more about the industry through my work.
I think the most important thing to remember is to have a supportive network around you. For me, I've always had a supportive foundation from my mother to my husband and even kids. This has allowed me to continue pursuing my passion in the fashion business and continue to inspire others.
What kind of legacy or lesson do you want to teach your kids?
The lesson I always want to leave my kids is to follow your dreams and dont ever give up. I think that if you have a passion and a dream you have to follow it and go for it.
What does elegance mean to you?
To me elegance means feeling graceful, beautiful, and classy as a woman. It's a state of mind in terms of how women feel about themselves.
#Portraits: "Meet the Dancer Chasing Her Dreams Through Ballet"
Meet Agustina Sarmiento
Agustina is 18 years from a small town in Argentina and danced since she was 4 years old.
On how she landed on the biggest stage - NYC
"Two years ago I won a scholarship to come to New York City from a small town in Argentina. The director of a prominent ballet company in New York City told me that I could stay with his company and practice the art and craft of dance. I immediately jumped at the opportunity and loved it because I didn't know what was going to happen to me in the future and loved the opportunity to perform on the largest stage, that is NYC."
On perfection and her grueling regime
"When I'm on stage, I feel fire in my feet. I give everything I have and finish the performance dying, and when that happens I know that it was a perfect performance. But to be quite frank, the regimen that I have to keep up with to perfect my craft is arduous: 5-6 hours of practice before a performance, in addition to regular Pilates and swim sessions."
What it feels like to perform as a dancer
"Performance through dance is a way to express myself as an artist. I need to feel the music and dance. When someone sees me on stage I want them to understand what I’m saying through my performance, but in that moment I have to enjoy it, to truly love it. Dance makes me feel alive. I always try to express myself through dance, which makes feel like a true artist."
Dance as art
"What most people don't understand about dance is that if you’re not an artist, the performance will be boring. For example, the best lighting and the best stage are meaningless if you can't express yourself. My job as a dancer is to be an artist and to get into the character that I'm expressing."
The struggles and injuries
"In the past, I had severe knee pain. Every doctor that I visited (6 in total) told me that I should stop dancing. To be frank, that was one of the lowest points in my career as a dancer. But I persevered, took care of my body, did a lot of exercises for different muscle groups in my legs, worked with a kinesiology and now it's ok."
Ballet and perfection
"Ballet is partly about technique and partly about performance. You have to be a different character for different performances and you need to prepare for that role. If you can’t get into character you’re not an artist. Ballet by nature also requires perfection. It looks effortless when you watch it but there is so much pain that goes into creating that perfection. For me, as a dancer, I always live with pain. When I’m on stage, my toes are killing me but when you’re on stage you have to live that character. In ballet, you need perfection in technique and perfection in the acting. But I always have to keep in mind that ballet is also very subjective. Since we all define our own version of perfection what's perfect for me may not be perfect for you. I always tell myself that if I put my best effort in every performance that is enough, that is perfect."