Our recent sit down with Raney O’Keefe felt more like a coffee date with an old friend than an interview
…in no small part because SIMB and Raney go way back! At the beginning of her career, Raney began collaborating with some of the heavy hitters in the Atlanta bridal scene, such as the amazingly talented Amy Osaba. Lucky for us, our paths ended up crossing, and she’s been wow-ing us ever since! Raney’s background in theater really spurred her love of hair and make-up work. As if she wasn’t talented enough, Raney is also a lash extension stylist who will really make you want to bat your eyes. Raney derives a lot of inspiration from her many travels, and we were so lucky she shared some of her ideas on the windows of Studio 1658. The mossy and romantic vision on the windows of the studio was the result of a big marketing project in Savannah.
Savannah isn’t the only destination that gets Raney’s creative juices flowing. You can visit her blog RIGHT HERE to read about topics as diverse as European trends, hair, makeup, and where to buy her favorite beauty products in Nashville.
We sat down with this worldly woman to see what makes her tick.
1. WHAT’S YOUR DAY-TO-DAY SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
I’m an early riser, but not an early starter. Coffee, and quiet, screen-free time is a daily ritual. A typical work day might include 3-4 lash clients, some admin time at the computer, exercise, and dinner with my husband. Others might include a makeup client at the studio or a production shoot. Many Saturdays I have a wedding, but I’m really cutting back on these as well, and rather being a little choosy about which ones I feel will be a good fit.
2. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
A travel agent/concierge! Hands down. I travel (with my husband most times) about 12 weeks out of the year and would love to turn this passion into a business. I’m completely immersed in the points/miles hobby so many of our trips cost us much less out-of-pocket than people would imagine. I’d love to help others realize more travel potential via this points/miles method.
3. WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
I’m so inspired by other people taking chances on themselves and truly taking risks. Maybe that’s a career change, maybe it’s selling everything and living in/traveling in a van, maybe it’s starting a new business or painting your house in rainbow stripes. Whatever! But choosing what brings you the greatest joy regardless of what you think you “should” be doing get’s my wheels turning and really excites and inspires me.
4 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
Freedom and control over my schedule. I can say yes or no to just about anything.
5. IDEAL STYLE OF WEDDING?
This is a tough one, because just like my sentiments about people living their best and most authentic lives, I think this excites me about weddings too. If someone is expressing themselves in a way that feels poignant, authentic and in true celebration of self and of love with their partner, then I feed off of that! Now all of that being said, I love celebrations that are a bit left of center. Being asked to dress up in a certain way (costume), or participate in a new and foreign ceremony or ritual, hearing music and eating food that’s totally new to me…I love that!
6. WHY DID YOU JOIN STUDIO 1658?
First, because Max asked me:) Second, because many collaborators in this group are near and dear to my beginnings as an artist and business owner in this city. And lastly, because I’m very introverted and saying “yes” to a designated group or club and the various commitments that might arise from it are a stretch for me so I wanted to push myself to be involved!
7. FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A STUDIO 1658 COLLABORATOR?
Freedom of expression. There are a lot of creative ideas in my head for styled photo shoots, small parties/gatherings, future window displays, etc. I know that I’ll have a lot more creative allowance here with the Studio than in many other situations within the bridal industry.