Sammy Davis, a 2008 alumna used her education at Temple to launch herself into the New York City vintage fashion scene.
Alumna Sammy Davis has been transforming herself into the “Martha Stewart of vintage fashion,” since graduating in 2008.
Her love affair with all things vintage has led her to become a successful fashion blogger and creator of her very own brand, Sammy Davis Vintage.
By combining the skills she acquired through obtaining her journalism degree at Temple with her everyday experiences in New York City, Davis said she aspires to be the expert voice of everything vintage.
“I thought I could find my self-fulfillment through a corporate job, but I didn’t,” said Davis, who started working at Hearst Digital Media post-graduation. “You [don’t] have room for growth at a job like that.”
Her one-and-a-half year stint working as a Web assistant at Esquire.com–one of the websites Hearst oversees–left her feeling restricted from what she truly desired to do.
Now, with no commitment to a corporate job, Davis refers to herself as both an entrepreneur and a businesswoman. Over the past three years she has been using her love for vintage fashions, thrift store shopping and sustainability to expand her brand across multiple media outlets.
Her frequently updated website, sammydvintage.com, has gained a following from other vintage lovers who enjoy her styling videos, blog posts and podcasts.
Her dedication to vintage has also attracted the attention of publications like USA Today and Weight Watchers Magazine. More recently, she was given the opportunity to style a room on the Nate Berkus show.
Davis proudly attributes her success to her time at Temple.
“If it wasn’t for Temple I wouldn’t be here. I just know that,” Davis said. “What I realized about life is the things that you fear are the things you should pursue. That’s what makes your heart beat faster.”
Davis sure knows how to get her heart racing.
Originally from Lancaster, Pa., Davis was accepted to seven different colleges before she followed a former boyfriend to Philadelphia where she enrolled at Temple. Shortly after moving into her dorm, her relationship ended, but her college career was just beginning.
While at Temple, Davis focused on getting as involved in journalism as she could. She was the editor of the Arts and Entertainment section of The Temple News. She also interned at various publications, gaining both print and online experience. Over her four years at Temple, she won multiple scholarships and awards such as the Professional Golf Association Journalism scholarship and the Women in Press award. During her senior year, she left her legacy at Temple by starting Fourteenth Street Magazine and by co-creating ED2010, a magazine journalism club on campus.
Her mentor at Temple and teacher advisor of ED2010, Larry Stains remembers her time on campus.
“She is a force of nature,” Stains said of Davis. “She has the amazing energy of 12 people. When she enters a room people take immediate notice of her.”
Davis said she has plans to continue growing her brand and hopes to master the vintage niche market.
“I’m going to learn to write, to cultivate my interests, [and to] learn to communicate and make connections. Through the web and video and self-taught skills, people are creating things that they can share with others,” Davis said. “Vintage-sustainable style is a niche market, and I can create an expert out of myself in this interest.”
Davis is close to conquering that niche market through the various projects she is working on at all times. A year ago, she was traveling cross country filming a web series called “RoadHug,” in which she and her two friends discovered a vintage world outside of major cities.
She is currently focused on expanding her brand through the Internet, or as she likes to call it “the fourth screen.” She has a few different web series where she collaborates with other fashion YouTube channels. They are called “Style Wars” and “Thrift Wars.” Centered around one article of clothing, Davis and other fashionistas use their styling skills to create a better outfit. She hopes for these mini-web series to become a regular online series with its own website. She is collaborating with other Youtube channels like Style Haul and Threadbanger, where there is hope of doing something for Fashion Week.
Ultimately, Davis hopes to create her own television show where vintage can be showcased.
“My brand is all about video and manifesting a television show some day. I see it being ‘Vintage, Thrift and Flea.’ It would be a lot like ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,’” Davis said. “I would visit different things all around the country and profile them. I’m creating a personality and an expert force and using the Internet as I am. I’ve been able to really condition myself that way.”
Stephen Rose can be reached at email@example.com.