Women We Love: Alicia Brunker
Alicia Brunker, writer, entrepreneur, and thought leader, is the epitome of all that our Women We Love embody. Her seamless elegance and remarkable work ethic inspires us to not only be the best women we can be, but also to push our creative limits to reach our fullest potential. Alicia’s inspiration stems from her successful writing career, which has led her to pursue her true passion project, The Scope. Launching to market in October, the private members club puts each designer’s story at the forefront of the conversation, transforming tactile objects into a medium for intellectual dialogue.
1. What inspires you?
Traveling to places for the very first time, meeting new people, and strolling the streets in the West Village and NoLita.
2. Give us the rundown of what a typical day is for you.
When you’re your own boss, no two days are the same. Right now, it’s especially true, with the impending launch of my new business, The Scope, a shoppable editorial platform that sells luxury furniture and decor from emerging and established designers. Through storytelling, I want to educate consumers on the inspiration and craftsmanship behind each product on the website. Furniture shouldn’t simply decorate a room, but rather serve as a source for conversation.
If I don’t have morning meetings, I really like to ease into my day—my brain seems to be sharper in the afternoon. I’ll cook breakfast, have an espresso with almond milk, and either catch up on Instagram or thumb through an interior design magazine for inspiration.
Before heading out for showroom appointments or a midday workout session, I’ll reply to some emails. Once I arrive home, I’ll hunker down for the night and start the not-so-glamorous duties of being a writer: transcribe interviews, chase story sources, and pitch my editors new ideas. After everything begins to settle down in the evening, that’s when I like to write.
3. What’s your favorite part of being a writer?
The best feeling in the world is when an article’s subject expresses gratitude for telling his/her story. With my work, I meet so many amazing designers, CEOs of brands, and other creatives that have such interesting histories, which deserve to be shared with a larger audience. It’s satisfying to be able to capture their narratives through the written word, alongside elegant photography.
4. Proudest moment of your career so far? Biggest challenge(s) you’ve encountered?
My proudest moment is when I decided to become a freelance writer, which was also one of the most challenging stages in my career. In 2016, I decided to quit my job without knowing what the future held, but I was so unhappy in my position, I knew I had to take that leap of faith. I tirelessly cold pitched editors at my favorite publications, and, though, there was a lot of rejection, I slowly began to build a network of contacts and was given the opportunity to write. I still have a lot left to achieve, but I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made in just two years.
5. Who is a woman (or women) in business that you look up to?
I have so much respect for the women at The Invisible Collection—Anna Zaoui, Isabelle Dubern, and Lily Froehlicher. They are not only super chic and well-versed in luxury design, but they’re also hustlers. Despite their success, they continue to expand the brand to new markets with impressive collaborations, and the women just opened their first showroom in Belgravia, London that highlights refined furnishings from French talent, like Pierre Yovonavitch, Hubert Le Gall, and Vincent Darre. Swoon.
6. What is something you wish someone had told you before you embarked on your career?
My mom always told me not to let someone change the way you view yourself, but I wish I took her advice more to heart. One of the most important lessons I learned so far in my career, is not to let anyone define your worth—not even people at the top. I was once told that I wouldn’t break any ground in the luxury industry because I didn’t come from a high-profile background. For a while, I let it derail my dreams, but over time, I realized it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Today, my writing career is based on a knowledge of luxury design and travel, and now, I’m taking it to the next level with the launch of The Scope this fall.
7. If you could describe the professional world in three words, what would they be?
Inclusive, evolving, and ambitious.
8. What is a dream goal for you?
I want to be in a position where I’m fully capable of paying it forward. Whether it’s financially investing in another young woman’s company or having time to mentor the next generation of editorial hopefuls, I would love to be able to pass on the wisdom that will come from decades of navigating the industry.
9. A favorite outfit that makes you feel like a true boss?
A power blazer layered with a silk tank, jeans, and my trusty Gucci loafers.
10. How do you like to unwind after a busy work week?
I wholeheartedly believe that hot water is the best medicine. My favorite way to relax is by taking a bath with scented salts (lavender is my favorite) in complete silence. It clears my head, and sometimes, my best ideas are formed when I block out the noise.
However, if it has been a particularly stressful week, I’ll treat myself to a massage or facial at Onda, a clean beauty spa in Tribeca. The bohemian design (think whitewashed wood floors and rattan light fixtures) makes you feel like you’ve escaped to St. Barths or Tulum, even in the dead of winter.
11. Any advice for the future girl bosses of the world, particularly those who want to pursue a career as a writer?
I think future writers need to be alright with a lack of stability. Sometimes you will be juggling multiple deadlines at once, while other moments will be so slow, it’ll feel like an eternity until you get your next gig. You have to just ride the waves. In the beginning, it’s also important to have another form of income to supplement your passion for writing, because sadly it won’t always pay the bills.