Female Disruptors: Skyy Haarsma of The It Girl Guide On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Be consistent. In today’s day and age where there is such a voracious appetite for content, you must be consistent. I needed to take time off from TIGG to do my finals. Up until that point I had been experiencing amazing growth, but even a two week break affected that. I realized that being consistent was going to be a crazy task, so I’m learning how to schedule and delegate if I’m going to grow my brand.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Skylar Haarsma.
Sixteen-year-old Sky Haarsma did not want to return to her high school in Southern California when it opened back up during the pandemic. Instead, she enrolled in an online school and started her own fashion site, The It Girl Guide (TIGG). She was tired of hearing from out-of-touch fashion writers featuring topics for people older than her or designers that are out of reach for the average Gen Zer. Now TIGG is the go-to resource for attainable, trendy Gen Z fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I’ve always loved fashion and playing in that world. I knew that as I got older and started to think about a career and my future, I wanted to make sure I was in an environment I loved — fashion. When my high school went online during COVID, I was able to use my time the way I wanted, and I loved being able to do that.
So my dad and I made a deal — I could stay online and at home as long as I started my own business. That’s when I came up with The It Girl Guide (TIGG). I love TIGG because it became a creative outlet for me where I could show people what’s hot, not only in fashion, but in my life as well. In a way, it’s a really personal blog — just me, sharing what I like and what I know.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
The big fashion blogs fail to connect with my generation, so I provide a service for an unmet need. In my experience, no one has been aggregating the fashion trends that I see my favorite it-girls wearing. I took what they were wearing, my own personal style, and my own budget, and I combined those to create the advice I give on The It Girl Guide. I think there are a lot of girls out there looking for the same things I was searching for.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I wouldn’t call this funny — it was actually quite stressful. For the first rendition of my website, I hired a designer who I really respected. The design was great, but it wasn’t TIGG. I really had to dig deep and ask myself what I liked. In the end, the site you see is what I came up with, and I’m really happy with it. Even my dad fought me on it, but he’ll admit this is the best version. It taught me to trust myself, trust my vision, and stand up for what I know is right for TIGG’s brand.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
My dad has been my biggest mentor, 100%. I couldn’t have done any of this without him, from brainstorming ideas at coffee shops together, to him helping me make a website, and everything in between. I’m very fortunate to have someone who helps me in any way he can.
I’ve also learned a lot from him. He teaches me how to think about my business and be confident, and he even helps me stay up to date on trends. It’s funny to me because I’m always like, “How did you know the new Lexxola just dropped?”
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
There’s a lot to unpack in that question, but in short, being disruptive can be good when there is like a product or an industry that needs disruption, for example, Harry’s Razors or the iPhone. This is usually a good thing for consumers, since we get a better way to experience or purchase a product.
But I feel there are times when you have a disrupter that is net positive for humanity but has negative consequences. Take Uber or Lyft for example. They disrupted the taxi and delivery industry, but they also underpay their drivers to keep the user prices down and don’t give them necessities like insurance. Is this good? Most companies now have to deal with the “how” to handle these issues. Those that do tend to last longer than those that don’t.
Can you share 3 of the best pieces of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
- Think deeper. Our first ideas are usually influenced by the obvious. Even when you say, “I like that.” Why? Why do you like that? Digging deeper was difficult for me in the beginning, but now the answers help me guide people that I work with, whether it’s my website, for socials, or anything else I do for TIGG.
- Be consistent. In today’s day and age where there is such a voracious appetite for content, you must be consistent. I needed to take time off from TIGG to do my finals. Up until that point I had been experiencing amazing growth, but even a two week break affected that. I realized that being consistent was going to be a crazy task, so I’m learning how to schedule and delegate if I’m going to grow my brand.
- Confidence is key. But a great pair of shoes also helps. Nuff said.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
I want to expand beyond fashion and provide a more holistic approach to The It Girl Guide. I want to include what to eat, where to go, what to watch, who to see. I want to create a cheat sheet to living your hottest life.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
I feel when a woman uses her sexuality in a confident manner, they can easily be dismissed. When a guy is confident, even arrogant, it is often praised in our society. Women don’t get the same privilege.TIGG is unabashed in the clothes we choose. My body, my clothes. If you have an issue with how I’m dressed, understand that’s your issue, not mine.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
I loved Emily Ratajkowski’s book, My Body. She talks about objectification and empowerment, and I love it because you can learn a lot from it. But I also think it’s super cool that Emily has this amazing mind and wrote this amazing book because people would just kick her smarts aside, and she proved everyone wrong. It taught me about being in charge of your own body and your own self; I really like that. I think I could be her best friend, or her kid’s babysitter.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I hate it when people hurt animals. I wish I could teach people to be kinder and more respectful to the other species we co-inhabit this planet with.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” I love this quote because it keeps me motivated and reminds me of the bigger picture, which can be applied in all aspects of my life, not just for TIGG.
How can our readers follow you online?
Instagram: @theitgirlguideofficial & @skyhaarsma
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Thank you so much for the opportunity!
Female Disruptors: Skyy Haarsma of The It Girl Guide On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.