As much as you try to have control over your life, there are moments that catch you by surprise. No matter how hard you work or how high you are on the corporate later, outside elements like getting let go, falling sick, or receiving news about a family emergency can turn your world upside down. You might wish for time to freeze so you can gather the broken pieces off the floor and figure out your next step, but Life isn’t as understanding as we wish she would be, and sometimes, you have to take moments for yourself to figure out how to navigate this hardship. While it seems like the ones who are trying to create their careers seem to fall victim to these type of situations, women who have already established careers, like today’s Boss Babe, aren’t exempted — they just take the necessary steps to become the next best versions of themselves.
Dria Murphy is a badass Boss Babe who never shies from a challenge. She knew exactly what she wanted ever since she was in college, and move to New York to achieve her dream of working in the fashion industry doing public relations. But as soon as she thought she had everything going the way she wanted, she got let go from a start-up company that altered her reality. Murphy decided to take control of her professional life by creating a company from the ground up called, Alise Collective. Her work ethic, passion, and vision for the future got her Google as her first client and a company that she now calls her own. Murphy could have let this bump in the road drown her, but she knew that if she worked hard, she’ll be successful, no matter the outside circumstances. As she states, “Your success is ultimately in your hands.”
San Francisco, California
West Village in New York City
An intention for 2018:
Live in the present.
NYC restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out:
The best-kept secret of Montauk:
If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret.
A song you can’t get out of your head:
All the Stars by Kendrick Lamar
Proudest career moment:
Signing Google as my first ever client at Alise Collective
Tell us a little about yourself and how you entered into the PR world.
I was born and raised in San Francisco and was always interested in fashion and public relations. I studied communications at Santa Clara University in California. I’ve always had a skill of connecting people and never missed an issue of Vogue. I moved to NYC the summer before college graduation to get my feet wet in the fashion PR world. I got internships at fashion houses, Giorgio Armani and Bottega Venetta. These experiences solidified my desire to pursue this path. I’ve been living in the West Village of New York City for seven years and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. The energy of the city is like no other.
After working for renowned companies such as Calvin Klein and Topshop, you decided to take your career into your own hands and create Alise Collective. How did you come up with this idea and why did you feel like this was the right move at that moment in time?
Growing up, I never knew that I would start a company at such a young age. It just wasn’t on my radar. I felt lucky to be able to work for such successful well-known brands, and loved the digital world within the fashion industry and how it was changing the game. (Ultimately, that’s why I joined the team at Topshop and then Keep). I had accumulated traditional fashion PR experience, start-up, and tech experience, and wanted to combine the two into something new and innovative.
Before creating Alise Collective, though, you got laid off from your startup job. What do you feel like this experience has taught you and what would you tell someone who might’ve recently been through this as well?
It sounds cliché, but everything happens for a reason. In the moment, I took the hardship way too personally, but it ultimately gave me the exact push I needed to found Alise Collective. If you work hard, no matter what, you’ll be successful, no matter the outside circumstances or events you must go through. Your success is ultimately in your hands.
In previous interviews, you’ve mentioned how important it is to have connections in the industry you work in. How do you choose to foster connections and what are some ways your contacts have impacted your life/career?
This industry is small, so you never know who will be your next boss or your next partner. As an intern at Giorgio Armani, my boss there ultimately became my boss at Calvin Klein a year later. It’s important to establish real, genuine relationships, and to approach networking as making friends. Avoid the transactional nature. I love to collaborate with new and different people and brands all the time. Having a diverse friend group has helped along the way.
When you decided to create Alise Collective, what was the transition period like from being an employee to your own boss? Were there a few things that you had to adjust to or learn?
The biggest adjustment is learning how to balance work and play. So much of what I do happens to be both! If you don’t actively separate the two, you are never truly off duty. Creating structure was a challenge at the beginning, but ultimately, I am working harder than I ever have because my business is my responsibility.
In today’s day and age, what would you say is the best way to keep your creativity going? How do prioritize passion and creativity in your everyday life?
Meeting new people all the time fuels me. New York City inspires me. People are so open to collaboration, learning new things, attending new events, and more.
What would you say is the biggest perk working for yourself?
Making your own schedule!
Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
My company has grown so organically, I’ve taken everything in stride. I’d love to continue building my lifestyle brand with partnerships, events, and collaborations. Alise Collective has built an aesthetic and curated lifestyle that can be transposed into everything we do.
Any advice for future Boss Babes, especially those looking to enter public relations?
Work hard. Plain and simple. Don’t be above getting your boss a coffee or running an errand. Go above and beyond for whoever you are working for, and it’ll pay off over the course of your career. Begin building a network of valuable friendships and contacts to draw from in the years to come. Seek a mentor to guide you, to look up to, and to inform your career path. Having a mentor to ask questions and seek guidance is so helpful.
Written by Raven Ishak
Photography via Eli Awada