Sarah Akiba

Name: Sarah Akiba 

Founder: Founder of AWOM Lab, AWOM the brand, and AWOM Foundation, Le Cafe Coffee Shop 

Where you can find her: instagram @soakiba,

IMG_3783 - Sarah Akiba.JPG

What would your life look like, if all the dreams you had, ideas that sprouted up, were actually executed? If you didn’t allow them time to fester and for fear to keep you from acting? For some of us that do believe we are capable of achieving our goals, you might imagine yourself with a business. You might entertain the idea of helping others, somewhere along the lines creating various events around these things, being a voice in your community, maybe one day taking it slower and opening a quiet Cafe. But for Sarah, these endeavors would be executed simultaneously.

She founded AWOM in remembrance of her late father, and to support others enduring loss. Incorporated her fashion and styling expertise into AWOM the brand, creating a coworking space and studio for women, AWOM Lab, recently opened AWOM Girls Club room, the first safe space for middle school girls in the public school system and most recently Le Cafe, an ode to her birthplace, Paris. 

How much effect, if any, has your gender had on your path to success, specifically in your field?

Gender has played a key role in my brands and companies as my market and team is female owned, and female led.

What does success look like to you?

I love this question because people define success based on the amount of money you make. My definition goes way beyond that. It is what brings me joy and satisfaction, what makes me get up in the morning. Success to me is being able to enjoy what I create. That definitely includes the grind, dont get me wrong. I am a total sucker for hustling, but I never work a day in my life because I absolutely love what I do. To me, theres nothing more successful than that.

Any opinions or advice, on balancing relationships or having a family VS. the perception of the public of women choosing success or love?

You can absolutely do both. I saw my mom work countless hours my whole life, but always made it in time to make my family dinner and wake up extra early to bring my dad his morning coffee and baguette with butter. This wasnt forced, it was strictly from her love for her family and for her husband.

How do you remain committed to yourself and your goals? 

Journaling. I definitely write every single day as a reminder to stay grounded. One thing I have stuck to the last couple of months is writing down 6 things I am grateful for every morning. This is part of my morning mantra.

What is your "why" ?

For the angel watching over me.

“Love is the answer to all things. Love your work, love the people around you, love your life, spread love, and fall in love.” -Sarah Akiba

How much of your success Do you attribute to your "tribe" Or Circle? What does yours look Like?

I dont really attribute it to my tribe, but if Im successful they are too. My definition of success if not money as I mentioned before so If Im happy, my tribe should be happy for me. But, if tomorrow I win the lottery my circle is getting a cut lets put it that way!

2018_0330_AWOM_Lab_GDA_2412 - Sarah Akiba.JPG

How did AWOM become AWOM. You started to support people coping with loss, as you experienced losing your father and now its become just so many other things, was this the goal from the start or has it taken on a life of its own?

AWOM stemmed from a loss and then really grew into something totally different from what i had imagined. I never imagined Id be helping 179 young girls, but there is a reason for everything and this was what I was meant to do. Thats the foundation aspect. AWOM in general has become a total lifestyle for women. I have created an agency to help build female owned brands, a clothing brand that women can relate too, and foundation to better our future female leaders.

How do you balance everything? From maintaining such positive relationships with family, to owning multiple businesses, to dealing with social media and inquiries and speaking arrangements etc?

That is something I struggle with every day, but I try to just take a breath and remind myself that nothing is that serious, that everything is up to me. My time, my energy, my work, its all up to me and nothing is coming to the grave with me.

How do you rise to new challenges as you explore these new ventures?

Learning. Everything is a learning experience and I simply try to listen to others who have been in the game. Also, making mistakes is the only way to learn so im not afraid to make them.

And as someone who seems to be so good at getting companies to say “yes” to sponsor, to collaborate, what has been your relationship with “no”?

I take that no in a positive way. I dont take it as "never". I know how companies work and its not easy to say yes to everyone. They have goals and relationships of their own and I understand that.

Follow AWOM for all the cool things they are doing for woman and for the community.