BAMA Belle Smith Sinrod, thrived in the Big Apple in one of the hardest industries: fashion. One trip to Thailand, a huge leap of faith and the upbringing that encouraged her to never give up, has led this Belle to a successful career running her line of chic women’s clothing for the modern woman. BySmith helps the working woman get from the office to dinner out on the town. This focus on work-life balance, all while looking divine, is what hooked me on the BySmith line… for the work day, game day, and everything in between. I can’t imagine any other line to wear through life’s events. Read on. You’ll be ordering pieces in no time.
Name: Smith Sinrod
SEC Team: The University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide
Graduated from: The University of Alabama
Name of Your Biz: bySMITH
Explanation of Your Biz: by SMITH is a contemporary women’s line of sophisticated, chic dresses and classic day-to-night separates recognized for the use of Thai Silk, vibrant colors and bold patterns that place a spin on classic looks. Made up of versatile and transitional day-to-night pieces, by SMITH pieces are perfect for a young professional heading to meet friends after work, or for a young mother going out for date night. by SMITH recently celebrated its 10th season and is distributed online and located in national and international retailers, consistently appearing in fashion shows and media outlets across the country, like Town & Country, Southern Living, E! News and Real Simple.
How did you get your start? I developed my business plan prior to graduating from The University of Alabama. I officially started my business directly following graduation with a sourcing trip to Thailand—that’s when it all began.
So tell us, what exactly is your role? I’ve been designing my own pieces and collections from the beginning of college, but officially launched by SMITH in 2009. As owner and designer, I wear every hat. I design each collection and develop our prints each season, work with manufacturers directly to ensure our production is running smoothly, and I coordinate our wholesale business with the boutiques on a regular basis. I’ve learned a lot by owning my business and being an entrepreneur, and have found that even after six years, I am still learning and evolving my brand.
Most challenging part of your job? Most rewarding? I would say the most challenging part of all of this is making sure I keep up with the ever changing world of fashion. There are so many moving parts to this business and just when you feel like you are caught up, it’s time to design another collection, a year ahead of course. I like how fast the industry moves and how it constantly changes; it challenges me in a good way.
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing strong and diverse women wearing my clothing. Fashion is a choice and the consumer gets to pick what they like, buy it, and then wear it. It’s a form of self-expression so when my art is chosen, it makes me happy.
What is one thing your biz would not survive without? Me (and a lot of caffeine!)
What’s next? I am excited to be back in the south again and am enjoying every second of it. I am working on expanding by SMITH from New Orleans and so far, we have exciting things in the works. More to come!
Work-life balance, fact or fiction? I think that’s a fact for me. I really work to be the best businesswoman and designer I can be, but also make it a priority to find quality time with my husband, friends and family. Those are the people that encourage and inspire me daily, so it’s a win-win.
Business/career advice to other Belles? Never give up. My dad told my sisters and me this on a regular basis growing up to encourage us to be strong no matter what. Even though it’s pretty straightforward, it’s helped me navigate my career over the past few years and has kept me grounded when things get crazy busy.
What do you wear on game day? I wear one of my Barrow Tees in black or white with my jeans or my crimson East Village Skirt. A black dress is also a home run for BAMA games.
What have you found most inspiring about SEC and Gridiron Belles’ wardrobes? What I love is seeing how girls at each school show their school spirit. At some schools, people dress to the nines as if it’s a cocktail party. At other schools, girls are more relaxed with a cute T-shirt and jeans. I certainly get inspiration on how to mix and match items, particularly as many of the schools have different climates that they deal with. It’ fun to see how the girls dress weekend after weekend.
Favorite part about being an Alabama fan? My favorite part of being an Alabama fan, is the pride that comes along with the Tide fan base.
Favorite tailgate dish? Stadium dog
Game day drink of choice? There’s nothing better than a Yellowhammer from Gallettes on game day. This was my friends’ go-to game day cocktail during our time in Tuscaloosa.
What do you always have in your touch down purse? A shaker and a pen/notepad. I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings and football games are no different! I love seeing what women are wearing and often find myself jotting down sketches of some of the styles and trends that inspire me.
Coach Crush? I might be a bit biased, but I’m partial to Saban.
Heads or Tails? Tails
Who wins it all this year? Alabama, of course!