Meet Sam Machover, creator of It’s By Sam (@itsbysam). This University of Michigan grad, armed with paintbrush in hand, is transforming sneakers, denim jackets and more with her artistry. We love her inspiring outlook on life. “I am only limited by the limits I create for myself.”
1) Whats your name/ whats your business name?
My business name is It’s By Sam. I changed it from Sneakers by Sam to It’s By Sam shortly after I started the company because I didn’t want to be limited to one product. FOLLOW ME: @itsbysam!
2) Where are you in school?
I graduated from the University of Michigan (go blue!). I was an art major with a business minor. I’m one year out of school.
3) What gave you the idea to start your business?
I never thought I’d start a company. I always thought I’d work for someone else and create art in my spare time. I started my business once I realized the products of my hobby were desired and appreciated by not only my friends and family, but also strangers and businesses. It took off relatively quickly.
4) We love that you’re using paint! How did that come to be? Why not use something else?
I’m pretty sure I was born with a paintbrush in my hand. I’ve never been one to sketch my ideas down with a pencil, I just go right in with a paintbrush. Painting comes second nature to me and that has always been the case for as long as I can remember. I create giant office and home paintings as well, I just don’t post them on my Instagram.
5) Whats your favorite summer look with your designs?
My favorite summer look with my designs are my Adidas slides with my initials painted on them. I found these slides at the Adidas store and they haven’t left my feet since. I realized it wasn’t smart walking around without my own designs on my feet, so I painted some initials on them. I always see strangers starring at them as I walk around the city. This assures me that my design is successful.
I’m super excited to launch new jean jackets for the fall. Denim jackets are my favorite to paint on because the surface area is larger and they’re the most similar to painting on a canvas because they’re flat.
6) What’s your favorite show to binge watch?
I’m painting indoors all day at my studio and need constant TV playing in the background to keep me entertained. Since I need a show to just listen to and not look up at. Real Housewives reruns have been my go to recently. Mostly New Jersey and O.C. but I’m pretty open to any Housewives Bravo chooses to air that day. Before that it was Vanderpump Rules (when is this show coming back?? They can’t just reintroduce Stassi then end the season! ). It’s pretty safe to say Bravo is always on in my studio as background noise.
7) Whats your guilty pleasure?
Dylan’s Candy Bar . I am completely addicted to candy, especially gummies.
8) What was the most exciting part of your summer?
I traveled a lot this summer for work and still have more trips to come in August. It’s really nice knowing that companies appreciate my work so much they’re eager to fly me out to different locations to create art for their employees around the country. This summer I’ve traveled to Chicago, Atlanta, LA, and Las Vegas. It’s funny going to security with two suitcase full of shoe boxes. I know they’re secretly judging me.
9) What was a big moment for your business? When did you realize that it was real?
I graduated school last May. I would go into interviews with for desk positions, but the companies were usually super intrigued by my Instagram and we would end up talking about my art the entire interview. Those companies would then want to work WITH me instead of me working FOR them. That’s when I realized I really had something here.
10) Who are your style influencers/ favorite fashionistas?
I LOVE Anya Hindmarch and Kate Spade. I love how they experiment with images of everyday objects and turn them into fashion. Their work is very playful and quirky and I am truly inspired by them.
11) What are your inspirations for your designs?
My customers are my inspirations for my designs. I love hosting corporate events and working with people who claim to be “not creative at all”. Those are the people who end up allowing me to take the reins a little more and ultimately end up designing my favorite shoes!
People are always giving me advice, telling me what I should or shouldn’t do with my business. These comments, whether positive or negative, influence me everyday to work harder and really push my business to see where I can take it. I am only limited by the limits I create for myself.