Now the head of her own communications firm, Bollare, Alle Fister got her start at well-known Shopbop before it was, well, well-known. When she began, it was a small business, and after helping it grow and learning the ins and outs (plus what to do, as well as, perhaps more importantly, what not to do), she decided to branch out on her own. The results have proven her choice absolutely on point.
Originally from Cincinnati, OH, the current Playa Del Rey, CA, resident grew up in an active family, mountain biking, swimming tennis and enjoying time on the lake; she even competed on the D1 swim team at Pepperdine.
Since she loved fashion and fitness of all forms, she braided her passions together working for multiple PR brands before hopping on board at Shopbop. Below, she walks us through her unique path to her own company, what she learned along the way and her tips for budding entrepreneurs.
SBS: What was your professional journey?
Alle Fister: I’ve always had an affinity for fashion plus wellness and sports. I was a PR major and marketing minor in college, and I was fortunate to intern at some pretty incredible places like Armani and Lizzie Grubman.
After college I entered the working world at Shopbop, as an early employee. As a small business (at the time), I was fortunate to get to work on many different marketing and press initiatives for the scaling company.
As Shopbop was acquired by Amazon, I founded my own communications consultancy, Bollare, with my former employer as my first client. I’ve been able to blend my passions with my profession: Over the years I’ve worked with or launched ALO, Beyond Yoga, Lorna Jane, Splits59, Spiritual Gangster and Tavi Noir.
SBS: What did you learn working at Shopbop?
AF: I learned about being nimble. You must try, test, fail, learn, grow, succeed…it’s all part of the journey.
SBS: What were the challenges and surprises along the way with Bollare?
AF: It’s a journey. Try your best to be your best, and surround yourself with people that inspire you, help you learn, grow and reflect. And have some fun while you’re doing it!
SBS: What are things you’ve released as you’ve created your own company?
AF: We used to be able to hang our marketing hats on a singular ‘big win,’ but today, it’s about repetition, consistently getting in front of the customer and (re)(re)(re)reminding them of brands and the stories that they tell. And as a business owner, I’m constantly trying to let go of ego, around ideas or initiatives, and let the results, findings and feedback teach…and to be smart enough to hear their lessons.
SBS: What are some key traits for communicating well?
AF: Listen more than you speak: Actively listen, trying not to formulate a response when you should be actively engaged, listening and learning.
SBS: What role does social media play in marketing today?
AF: Social is an amazing microphone. I think people need to worry less about being all things to all people, and really understand who their customer is or can be. Then make a strategy to actively engage with (or cultivate a connection with) them through thoughtful use of social strategy.
SBS: What do you look for in staff members?
AF: Nimbleness, interest in the team, entrepreneurial spirit and creativity.
SBS: What advice would you give to your younger self?
AF: Be a sponge, and this too shall pass.
SBS: What are your tips for someone starting their own business?
AF: Enjoy the ride. You’ll inevitably love some days, and some days, well…you’ll learn. But both are just as important!
SBS: What's your wellness routine like? What's your version of self-care?
AF: Get outside, and enjoy this beautiful world we live in! I also really enjoy natural products: Kopari, Josie Maran, OSEA. I always mist my pillow at night with ThisWorks deep sleep pillow spray.
SBS: How do you manage all your different symbolic hats?
AF: I don’t know: I hope I do it alright! My mother has always told me: Anything you do, do with great purpose. So I try to really focus on whatever it is I’m doing at the moment. Whether personal or professional, I give it my all. I find it more effective and enjoyable than half-doing multiple things at once and labeling it multi-tasking.
SBS: How has your life changed professionally and personally since COVID started?
AF: I had a baby, and then COVID hit…and then I had another one. So between COVID and starting our family, it’s monumentally different.
This time has really helped me focus on those most treasured, whether my family, incredible team mates at Bollare or wonderful clients. It’s really a focus on being mindful of who I surround myself with and what I occupy my time doing.
SBS: What are other areas of passion in your life right now?
AF: In addition to Bollare, I’m a founding team member of ‘I Am a Voter.’ I’ve really enjoyed working on it with some of my dearest friends, inspirational people I learn and grow from all of the time. No matter what your perspective is, democracy works best when we all get involved. Help shape the world you want to be a part of! Find your passions, participate and contribute.
SBS: What types of exercise do you love now and why?
AF: Pilates, yoga, outdoor walks and hikes, being in tune with myself and nature.
The best, zaniest part of being Alle: Where do I even begin!? I never sit still. I’m always planning, traveling and exploring.
Alle’s SBS Mantra: Be Mindful. We are often go, go, go: My zaniest quality is that I’m a person who likes to be in motion, so reminding myself to be mindful and to just be is something I actively work on. And I like that (very important) challenge.
Alle’s LA Faves:
Splurge Restaurant: Plant Food & Wine
Fun Activity: Lagree. It’s so humbling.
Calming Activity: Long walks outside
Yoga Studio: Y7
Athleticwear: Sticky Be Socks!
Athletic Shoes: APL
Book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Online Resources: The SKIMM
Clothing Athleticwear: Electric & Rose