Adrienne Arieff is a tastemaker, that’s for sure. She has a knack for promoting products and brands that will stand up even in the fastidious modern market. Her talent is so palpable that her company Arieff Communications (AC) attracts clients from the fresh and youthful (LUSH cosmetics and Gilt) to the established and iconic (Four Seasons and Heinz Ketchup). She is also the author of two books: The Sacred Thread and Fairy-Tale Success: A Guide To Entrepreneurial Magic. The secret to Arieff’s success? Being diligent in one’s self-actualization.
“Everybody has a little bit of self-discovery to do before they can realize where their treasure lies. It takes some thought, some leaps of faith, some unflinching honesty and some sustained effort to figure out what you’re good at, what you’re not cut out for, where your true talents lie and what will make you truly happy in the long-term,” says Arieff.
From PR Executive to The Sacred Thread
Arieff founded her namesake company in 2002 after seeing an opening in the market for strategic public relations targeting high-profile lifestyle brands including those in fashion, design and consumer lifestyle. With offices in both New York and San Francisco, coast-to-coast boutique PR firm Arieff Communications handles clients’ integrated marketing, content creation, media relations, social media, events, community building, product seeding and targeted product placement.
Already a successful public relations executive and entrepreneur, Arieff felt the pangs of motherhood calling when a close friend had a child. She and her husband, attorney Alex Berline, began planning to have a family when tragedy struck–Arieff was disagnosed with uterine fibroid tumors, which would prevent her from being able to carry a child to term. Undaunted, Arieff looked toward India– the land she visited after her mother’s passing– for a solution.
Arieff’s first published work, The Sacred Thread is her story of trials, trust and the unexpected comraderie between two women from very different worlds. Arieff recounts how the unique beauty of India was the surprisingly perfect environment during her IVF treatment, the relationship she built with her surrogate Vaina and how electing to do in vitro abroad was mutually beneficial for both families involved. While her notes were originally supposed to be a journal for her daughters, women began reaching out to her asking about her IVF experience. Arieff decided to publish her book to illuminate the often overlooked option of seeking a surrogate abroad. “I hope my book offered inspiration and help to those who may be considering alternative ways to have a child,” she says.
Onto Fairy-Tale Success
Arieff’s latest publication (coauthored by Beverly West) is Fairy-Tale Success: A Guide To Entrepreneurial Magic. The clever manual utilizes a creative fairy-tale structure to create an approachable guide for young women who dream of having a business of their own someday. In it, Arieff encourages prospective entrepreneurs to establish a “brand signature” early on. “Your brand signature should include all of the qualities that you have identified as being of vital importance to you,” she says. “A brand signature isn’t just about what you make or sell, but how you make it, how you sell it, and what you do with the money you generate.”
The seeds of Fairy-Tale Success: A Guide To Entrepreneurial Magic were planted when Arieff’s realized the necessity of strong female role-models in the marketplace for girls and young women such as her twin daughters, Emma and India. In the book, she encourages women to both seek mentors and mentees. “We all need role models in our life. And believe it or not, the missing link between a promising career and a successful one, is often, mentoring,” she says. “That’s also why I try to take people or brands under my wing who are sometimes locked out of informal networks — often women and minorities. Mentors are especially important for women who work in fields dominated by men.”
Arieff’s original mentor, like many women, was her mother. She credits her mother for instilling several of the values that serve as the foundation of her success. The lessons her mother taught her on confidence, honesty and respect are ingrained into the fibers of her being because she saw them in practice everyday. “Those messages wouldn’t have meant much if she hadn’t lived them, herself,” Arieff recalls. Going forward, Arieff passes these principles down to her daughters and generations of bright, entrepreneurial women ahead of her.