How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? For many years I was a fashion editor first at Vogue and then at O, The Oprah Magazine, followed by becoming the Editor in Chief of Hamptons and Gotham Magazine for many years. Along the way I launched a line for HSN which is still available and then opened up my own agency, Samantha Yanks Creative where I work with clients on marketing, branding, social media strategy and content creation.
What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns? The Brandt Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, Ct. and MoCA Westport are incredible in terms of local art institutions. The Lachat Town Farm had some great programming this summer including drive in movies. It’s a great question, and actually prompted me to launch an Instagram feed @curated_for_you where I document all of the places in Westport and the surrounding towns that I love. There’s a lot of farmstand content.
What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids? For me, a shameless plug, Fashwire, I’m the VP of Marketing and it’s a brilliant fashion marketplace to discover women’s and men’s fashion designers of 300+ designers from 33+ countries. I personally love our internal social media feed called MyWire where users and our designers share, tag and shop their personal style. Fashwire’s “Swipe The Edit” feature gives encourages users to be influencers as their feedback becomes part of vital brand decision making process and gives brands important insights on consumer shopping behavior. Consumers are able to see a designer’s entire collection and swipe left if they love a piece, or swipe right if they would prefer to pass on an item. For my daughter, TikTok, no question.
What’s your can’t live without beauty product? Saie mascara, Charlotte Tilbury magic cream, Clé de peau intensive fortifying cream, Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, and Laura Mercier foundation (the list goes on!!)
If you could pick one restaurant or store to come to Westport that isn’t here now, what would it be, and why? I’ll forever be a Danny Meyer, Dan Barber, Keith McNally and Thomas Keller fan. I would love to see one of them open a restaurant in Westport.
What are you most excited about in life right now? While COVID-19 and the pandemic have made things challenging it has forced people to pivot both personally and professionally. We’ve been welcomed warmly to an entirely new community and had some intimate, smaller gatherings (socially distanced, of course) that might not have happened under different circumstances.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I don’t know how to ride a bicycle. I’m open to learn if anyone wants to take that challenge on! I do love my Peloton though.
If you weren’t doing what you are today, what do you think your career path might have been? A lobbyist absolutely. I studied political science at Tulane University and while I took the path of becoming an editor, there were moments where I was driven to take the political route.
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do? Oh I’m a daredevil, I want to drive a race car at mach speed, go up in a hot air balloon and sky dive!
What is your most marked characteristic? Being fiercely loyal, deeply confident, honorable, and incredibly caring toward those I love. My circle is tight but I am grateful it has grown since moving to Westport; there are some truly wonderful people here.
What was your most memorable family vacation and why? For our daughter Sadie’s 13th birthday we took a family trip to Tokyo and Kyoto. From morning trips to the fish market to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and the 10,000 torri gates at the Fushimi Inari-taisha it was magical. And obviously the best sushi you could ever imagine.
What is your proudest mommy moment? Sadie is an amazing child. I have to say she’s kind, loyal and a great friend. I was pleased to recieve a note from her tennis coach the other day complimenting her discipline, work ethic and the extra mile she goes to in order to improve her game. She’s driven and I applaud that!
What do you most value in your friends? There’s nothing like a pandemic to discover what you already knew. But on March 16th as we all went into some version of quarantine across the country my girlfriends, (whom I have known since I was 8 years old), and I started a group chat. It wasn;t our first and it won’t be our last but it is a reminder that loyalty, raw honesty, and kindness is all we need to support one another. We’re friends from sleep-away camp and I’m happy to know my daughter is at the same camp forming the same types of friendships.