We’ve been so fortunate to be able to connect with many inspiring people over the past 10 years, since TVM’s inception. There’s nothing more important to us than supporting and encouraging those creating and cultivating their dream paths.
One such soul is Sacha Strebe. Wind the clock back to the very beginning and Sacha was the editor of our local, go-to for fashion and lifestyle on the Gold Coast, ‘Tuesday’ magazine.
A breath of fresh air for Gold Coast media, Sacha injected her style-savvy, forward thinking, innovative flair into the publication, always supporting new and exciting cultural projects along the way (TVM included).
Sacha’s equally talented husband and denim aficionado Troy, designed his own denim range Debris Blanc in those days and we were so excited they wanted to showcase at our humble event, alongside a whopping eight other stalls (yes, that’s right, nine stalls total at our first ever TVM event!), with toddler son Neon in tow.
We have proudly followed her career journey since, as Sacha moved to Melbourne to pursue a role as the digital director for a trade show company where she ran multiple blogs, social media, and newsletters for a show called Décor + Design.
She eventually relocated to Los Angeles (her husband is from the U.S.) and landed her dream gig as editorial director of MyDomaine—a home décor and lifestyle website founded by the creators of Who What Wear.
After four years with MyDomaine, Sacha announced her departure and took a new direction in her career as the editorial director of Create & Cultivate—a platform that helps women to create and cultivate the career of their dreams.
We thought it was a great opportunity to chat with Sacha and delve deeper into this concept. How do you in fact, manifest and achieve your dream career? After all, it appears she herself has done just that.
Sacha, you are one hard-working lady who has always been one-step ahead of the digital game since we’ve known you and we have so much respect for you as a woman, mother and in your career. In our opinion, you are the true definition of an influencer—where does this come from, it seems as though it’s ingrained in you, what was your childhood like?
Firstly, thank you. That is such a nice compliment. I guess it comes from my parents. They are both really hard-working people and always pushed us to be the best versions of ourselves. My dad was incredibly self-disciplined from his work to his physical and mental health, so it definitely rubbed off on me. He runs about 15 kilometres around three or four times a week and has a six-pack in his 60s. My mom often runs with him or does her own sun salutations and yoga at home. Growing up in a family of five we always had to do chores around the house and dad never let us off the hook. He taught us that through hard work and persistence you could master your craft and achieve your dreams. But there isn’t a success story in history worth hearing about that didn’t happen as a result of putting in the work. I have carried this work ethic into my adult life, and I am only just now seeing it start to pay off—I turn 40 next year. It proves good things really do take time.
Can you tell us how you managed to secure your first dream gig in LA?
My husband is from Arizona. After living with me in Australia for eight years (we got married and had our son during that time) we moved back to the U.S. to pursue our career ambitions. We also wanted to be closer to Troy’s parents as his father (who is a Vietnam vet) had been having health problems.
We sold everything and moved to the States with no job prospects and a few boxes of books and records (the essentials, of course). We landed in Arizona first to stay with family, but the plan was always to live in L.A. I knew I wanted to work at Clique, the founders of Who What Wear. It had been a dream of mine and a permanent on my vision board for years (I even applied for WWW jobs from Australia). I saw a listing for MyDomaine lifestyle editor and applied immediately.
Within a few days they emailed me requesting an interview. I had two interviews and completed an edit test before securing the role. I worked remotely in AZ for two weeks while my husband was in L.A. looking for apartments. We found the dream 2 bedroom 2 bathroom home in Silver Lake and we’re still here. We love it.
Tell us about your time at MyDomaine. Your days must have been so varied and never the same, talk us through the type of projects you were responsible for?
Working at MyDomaine was an incredibly exciting time for me. The site had just re-launched from being a purely home décor site to a lifestyle platform and I was responsible for helping them expand into the new content categories. The company was in its prime and both influencers, celebrities, and brands were super excited to work with us. Within a year I was promoted to managing editor where I was responsible for the calendar and ensuring a varied content mix across all categories, kept the editors on deadline, and worked closely with the editorial director on strategy.
I was in that role for a year before being promoted to editorial director. In that role, I managed a bi-coastal team of seven extremely talented editors and was responsible for the editorial vision, direction, and tone of the site while also looking for new and creative opportunities for the brand to expand both editorially and experientially. I expanded the site well beyond its home décor roots to create an all-encompassing digital lifestyle publication and community that inspired and empowered women, and in turn, helped MyDomaine reach a lifetime traffic high.
Being on set shooting the homes of people I admire was definitely a highlight for me. Getting to know Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent and being invited into their family home to tell their love story was incredibly special. Another pinch-me-moment was seeing my editorial concept, Womaneer come to life as a Power Lunch and being able to host it with 200 incredible women in L.A. MyDomaine was a very rewarding four years.
Who What Wear was such a digital pioneer and one of the first platforms we ever read religiously. You were employed by and worked very closely with media powerhouses and founders Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr (Clique Media). Were the pair mentors for you during your time at MyDomaine?
I vividly and fondly remember the first WWW newsletters. They were truly doing something different and disruptive and I couldn’t get enough. It was around the time I had my son, Neon and I was feeling frustrated at home in need of something to fuel my creativity again while on maternity leave. WWW inspired me to start a blog and keep writing. That really helped me connect with other inspiring people online (it was a very tightknit and small community at that time) and really keep my hand in it. I dreamed of working with them for years and would often apply online for jobs that were listed even though I knew they wouldn’t hire me.
My logic was clear though—the more I applied, the more they’d see my name so that one day when I was in the States, they would remember me and call me in for an interview. I’m not sure it worked but I think the universe was listening because when I did get the job, Hillary Kerr recognized me (we used to tweet each other) and called me into her office with a big smile, a warm embrace and incredible welcome. I will never forget it. She has been my biggest champion ever since and even now, despite not working at MyDomaine anymore, she is a huge advocate and supporter of mine. I’m truly grateful and honoured to have her on my side as a mentor.
You were very much instrumental in turning MyDomaine into what it is today, was it hard to leave something you considered your second baby?
It was really hard and truthfully, I cried a lot. It took a few weeks to really digest everything, to recognize and commend myself for what we created at MyDomaine, and to be proud of that. It’s important to take a moment and celebrate personal milestones. We don’t do that enough as a society. I learned so much during my time at MD but it truly was time to move on. I was ready for a new challenge, something that pushed me mentally and energetically.
Your new role is editorial director of Create & Cultivate, how did you transition from MyDomaine into this new position?
I wasn’t really actively looking for anything. I was taking my time and even considered consulting or starting my own advisory when I received an email from C&C’s publicist (who is a good friend) to let me know that they were looking for an editorial director and if I’d be interested. I had worked with the C&C team a few times during my time at MyDomaine when they asked me to moderate a panel at SXSW and then again in Chicago at their conference. The team had always impressed me with their efficiency and kindness, plus the CEO Jaclyn Johnson truly is a powerhouse and I have huge respect for what she has built and the movement she started. It’s inspiring.
You recently mentioned your mission statement in your former role was to ‘empower women to be the CEO of their own lives’ and your new role will entail giving young people the keys to unlock their full potential and cultivate the career of their dreams. What do you think is the key to cultivating your dream career?
Hard work. I don’t think you always know what your passion is, and to be quite honest, the idea that we have to find it can be confusing and frustrating. Especially, if, like me, you have more than one and can’t decide which one to run with. I’ve always been hungry, unafraid of hard work and the person who is the first to arrive and the last to leave. I guess you could say I’m an intrapreneur—I think with an entrepreneurial mindset when I’m working for someone else.
Nowadays, you can really broaden your prospects and try new things to test out a new business idea or career while you’re working full time (and getting a reliable paycheck with benefits). You just have to be prepared to burn the midnight oil but that’s good preparation for when if you do launch your own business, if that’s the end goal, of course.
I started a bi-weekly newsletter before starting at C&C which is now my passion project. Every two weeks I rotate between Stylexicon (design newsletter) and Skinlexicon (beauty/skin newsletter). I get the biggest kick out of seeing new subscribers each week. It’s so rewarding and exciting when people sign up and trust you with the prime real estate of their inbox.
We don’t believe there is any luck involved when it comes to achieving success and I am sure you will agree! We like the quote ‘luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’ (Seneca) – what are your thoughts on this?
I 100% agree with that. Oprah says it all the time on her Super Soul Sunday podcast and it always rings true.
People talk about finding a work-life balance. To us it seems as though your career is very intertwined with your life in general. Tell us about how you manage to make it all work?
Some days its more work and less family, and others it’s more family and less work. You just have to be flexible and go with it while ditching the guilt. I let that go a long time ago and to be honest I have always felt like mom guilt was invented as a way to keep women down and stop them from pursuing careers. We shouldn’t feel guilty because we want to contribute to society or embark on creative pursuits that nurture our soul and make us feel connected to the world. I’m a much happier person, mother, friend, wife, sister, and woman when I can do what I love and feel fulfilled by my contribution. I’m also incredibly lucky to have a very supportive husband who values gender equality and truly wants to see me succeed. We share everything, including house hold responsibilities and he actually cooks during the week. I love him so much.
We love keeping up with your busy life via Instagram (@sacha.strebe) and you have connected with so many incredible and high profile people in the lifestyle space, some of whom have become great friends. Tell us, who has been the most interesting person you have interviewed, to date and why?
Ahh there are so many but I definitely loved interviewing my friends Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent. Telling the story of their young family was so moving and so special to me. They truly are paving the way for other LGBTQ+ families and showing us all that love trumps everything. This is one of my favorite quotes from that story; “We’d walk through fire for our kids, but we’d walk through it holding hands.”
You and your family have made quite a life for yourselves in LA (with one killer apartment to boot!) how have you adjusted and what is Troy working on these days?
We absolutely love it here. It’s home. We have created a little sanctuary in this house and the energy is filled with love and warmth. I just wish my family lived closer because I’d love for them to visit and come over for a cup of tea. Troy is the senior wash designer at Paige denim now and really doing amazing things over there. We’re also quietly working on a few small projects together so stay tuned.
If you could offer up one piece of advice to anyone wanting to create his or her dream career, what would it be?
Be authentic. I know it’s an overused word but it’s honestly the first thing that comes to my mind when reading this question. Everything feels so saturated and homogenized now, especially in media and on Instagram, but it’s the ones who are true to themselves and authentic to their vision and creative path that stand tall above the rest. If you want to disrupt the space and do something different or compelling that grabs people’s (limited) attention spans then you have to get comfortable with yourself and resist the urge to do what everyone else is. Find out who you are and do that because no one else can be you better than you. It’s slightly cheesey but it’s true.
If you could interview anyone at all, who would it be and why?
Oooh that’s tough but probably Kristin Stewart or Tracee Ellis Ross because they’re both unapologetically themselves, they never compromise.
Favourite podcasts – SO many!/
Armchair Expert, Goop Podcast, Boss Files, WorkParty, No Limits, Offline the Podcast, Oprah’s Master Class, Super Soul Sunday. Second Life, Super Women, Recode Decode, The Barney’s Podcast (episode 3 with Noor), Him & Her With Skinny Confidential, Unstyled, Secrets of Wealthy Women, Vanessa Wants to Know and more…
Favourite book/read - Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie or Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
Favourite thing to do in LA – Walk the Silver Lake junction visiting the shops and cafes with Neon and my husband.
Biggest inspiration/s - my mom and dad!
Follow Sacha via her instagram @sacha.strebe and you can also subscribe to her new personal newsletter.
Thank you so much for your time, Sacha! x