Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Elbaz.
Hi Samantha, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Born and raised in LA, I have always had an affinity for the ‘Los Angeles lifestyle,’ which to me means all things wellness and movement. After graduating from USC, I wasn’t sure which industry I wanted to dive into so I got started in music entertainment at the world’s largest live event company, Live Nation, where I interned and then secured a Full-Time position on the Social Media Marketing team. Simultaneously, I found myself obsessed with apps like Snap (‘Snapchat’ at the time), so I took on a Part-Time role working night shifts (after my day job, often from 7pm – 4am) and weekends at Snap so I could meet people and understand how a smaller, start-up environment works in comparison to my corporate job. Minimal sleep was had, but I craved experience and loved the hustle.
The one constant in my life has and will always be fitness. I learned about APL (Athletic Propulsion Labs), a luxury performance footwear company based in Los Angeles, when I was in college after seeing multiple celebrities wearing them. I have always been interested in learning about the stories of Founders behind brands I like, so when I heard APL was founded by twin brothers in a business class at USC, I took that class to hear more. It may have been a mix of manifestation or chance, but I walked into a local trendy coffee shop (Alfred’s) later on and spotted one of the founders of APL (unknowingly at the time, my future and now current boss), Adam Goldston (Adam is quite recognizable, sporting a perfectly-maintained beard and styled to the nines). USC has always instilled the power of networking, so I introduced myself and LinkedIn messaged him later that night to keep in touch. Over the years, I would message Adam photos of each pair of APL shoes I bought and screenshotted whenever he responded as if he was a celebrity (yes, I still have those screenshots haha), until I finally opened my eyes and came to the realization that I loved this brand and felt I could add value. After reaching out about a position (though there was no official listing posted anywhere), a few weeks in change later and I accepted a position at APL as the Head of Social.
Fast-forward to today, I have been working at APL for 3+ years (with hopefully countless years to come) and have created a second group of people I like to call family (an APL family, that is) outside of my own. I have never felt happier or more confident in myself, and couldn’t be more passionate about my career and the APL brand.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road to my current position has been everything but smooth. Though I was fortunate enough to have a family that supported and believed in me, it ultimately took years of self-work to build the courage to listen to my gut and follow a less traditional or ‘safe’ route professionally. I took a chance on myself and transitioned to a smaller company where I was given the freedom and trust to execute a vision from A to Z. College (at least in my case) didn’t prepare me for learning how to work with different types of people and within different types of organizations, so understanding how to navigate personalities and how to ‘work your way up’ is a self-learned skill that has been invaluable.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
APL is a very small company and everyone wears thousands and thousands of hats.
I view social as 360 and touch everything from Socials, Content, VIP/Influencer Relations, Product Launches to Partnerships/Collaborations and more. New product launches are especially exciting to work on; Our team values everyone’s input equally, no matter your role or ‘title,’ so we are all able and encouraged to think big and get creative – we have a ‘no idea is too big, and anything is possible’ mentality. Seeing the world’s reaction to our new releases brings so much joy because of how many sleepless nights go into every single detail of the product itself and people’s first experiences with it.
Everything we bring to life is a result of the most incredibly talented, dedicated, and supportive team in the business. There is so much love and respect for each other so as cliché as this may sound, work never truly feels like work.
If you haven’t tried APLs before, I highly encourage you to stop by our Flagship store at The Grove in Los Angeles – they’re the most stylish & comfortable shoes and slides in the world, you’ll never want to take them off