Despite the rocky retail landscape, Ramy Brook Sharp has managed to grow her advanced contemporary label, Ramy Brook, every year since launching it from her bedroom in 2010. Today, she runs the company with her husband and a staff of 45 from a showroom-slash-office space in New York City’s Garment District. The company saw 40 percent growth in annual sales this year and is projecting $30 million in sales in 2018.
Not bad for a brand that relies heavily on sales from wholesale partners, specifically department stores. “They just work for our brand,” said Brook Sharp.
She calls the brand being picked up by Bergdorf Goodman in 2011 her first “big break.” It has since expanded to retailers including Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Shopbop and Saks Fifth Avenue. It’s also sold in the Ramy Brook flagship located on Prince Street in NYC’s Soho neighborhood and on ramybrook.com, which has recently undergone a revamp.
Thanks to monthly drops, each sales site sees fresh product on a regular basis. “People get bored,” Brook Sharp said. “I get bored, too.”
Plans for the near future include expanding the brand’s department store footprint, finding new boutique wholesale partners on the East Coast and in the Midwest, and going after international business, a first for the brand.
Below, Brook Sharp shares a recent day in her life, which includes a wardrobe change, plenty of wine and a celebration of the debut of the Ramy Brook soft shop at Bloomingdale’s in Boca Raton.
6:30 a.m.: The alarm goes off. I wake up my kids so they can get ready for school — they’re 13 and 15, plus I have a 19-year-old in college. I’m still half-asleep, so I have a cup of coffee. Nobody eats breakfast, because we’re always rushing and too late.
7:00 a.m.: I always try and jump-start my day with a workout. SoulCycle is one of my absolute favorites; I’ve been taking the same class since the studio launched in 2006. Today is going to be a long day with a lot of traveling, so I make sure to prioritize this time for myself to keep my energy up. I always wear Nike running pants, a sports bra and a T-shirt that comes off in the first five minutes of class. I have two favorite teachers: Janet, who teaches at the Upper West Side location, and Stacy on the East Side, where I live. Today, I stay close to home. Sometimes, if I have enough time, I’ll run through the park to go to spin, with a friend. That’s when I eat too much the night before.
8:00 a.m.: I want to get my hair blown out afterwards — at Valery Joseph on 79th and Madison — so I shower at the gym to save time.
8:40 a.m.: I head home. I packed the night before, because I always feel so rushed in the morning. I get dressed in the Ramy Brook Paris sleeveless dress and our James jacket; the outfit is comfortable and it looks put-together, so I can wear it from the plane to my meetings in the afternoon. I put on makeup — I always wear a Laura Mercier lip gloss, either Sparkling or Bare Naked — and check my list of things to pack to make sure I remember everything: Chargers, check. Computer, check. Book, check. I quickly grab something to eat — I’m a big fan of bars: Luna Bars, Fiber One bars, Quaker Oats chocolate chip bars. The Quaker Oats ones have the least amount of calories and leave me starving; I need something more substantial today, so I go for a Luna.
9:00 a.m.: I’m packed and in the car headed to JFK for a one-night stay in Florida. We have an event scheduled at Bloomingdale’s in Boca Raton, celebrating the opening of our soft shop in the store. I plan to use the time before the event to check in on our Miami shops at Neiman Marcus and Saks. I don’t typically have a ton of time to visit our department stores out of state, but it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. It’s energizing getting to meet customers while they shop my pieces and speak with sales people about how their clients are interacting with the collection — especially in areas so different from New York, where my business began. It’s also important. There are so many brands; we’re competing in a huge contemporary world. The more we get out there and voice what we would like, the more [the associates] communicate with us. It really helps the growth of the business.
10:00 a.m. Pre-flight, I always stop at Hudson News and get all the weeklies: Us Weekly, Star, any magazine with good gossip on the cover. I always buy pretzel nuggets and a Diet Coke — they serve it on the plane, but I want my own so I don’t have to wait. This time, I buy cough drops, too — I’ll be talking to so many people, and I don’t want to lose my voice.
11:00 a.m.: On the plane. I love to watch a movie on flights, because it’s something I don’t get to do very often. Usually it’s a romantic comedy or the hot movie of the moment. If there’s no screen, I’ll read — and typically, I fall asleep for a little bit.
1:45 p.m.: We land in Miami. It’s so crazy flying from NYC, where it was 40 degrees, to sunny Florida.
2:00 p.m.: I call an Uber to head for Saks at Brickell City Centre.
3:00 p.m.: I meet my sales team in the Ramy Brook section of the store. It’s the first time I’m visiting this space, and I talk with everyone on the floor. Every store is different and merchandises the collection in a different way. Here, there’s a whole display dedicated to holiday dressing and each outfit is Ramy Brook.
3:30 p.m.: My sales team has rented a car, so I hop in with them and head to Bal Harbour. We meet with the management and sales teams at Saks and Neiman Marcus. They’re great partners, and they have some great feedback on our holiday collection.
4:00 p.m.: We get in the car and head to a late lunch at Makoto, which I hit every time I’m in Bal Harbour. I get on the phone; I’m on the phone all day, every day — mostly for work, some personal. Plus, I’m always trying to Insta Stories everything and I’m constantly making little notes on things I want to try across the company.
4:15 p.m.: Lunch is with a few members of my team and one of my dear friends who moved to Miami from NYC. I order sushi: spicy tuna over crispy rice. I also get edamame and a glass of wine.
5:30 p.m.: We hit the road for Boca Raton. I head into Bloomingdale’s to change into my event outfit — our black Iris pants and Veronica top — and get my makeup touched up at the Laura Mercier counter. Gotta love department stores!
7:00 p.m.: The DJ is playing, the champagne flowing and there are so many women already shopping as the Bloomingdale’s event kicks off. Local blogger Jessica Brown (@fashionablyjess) assisted with the guest list for tonight — she brought out such a happy, energized crowd! I loved meeting everyone, posing for pics and helping the women pick out some looks from our shop.
8:00 p.m.: Funny, but a lot of my friends’ moms live in the area. I had reached out to them about the event in hopes that they would stop by, and they did! It is so exciting seeing so many familiar faces.
9:00 p.m.: The event winds down, and we head back to our hotel. I’m still buzzing from the event. So many new and old friends came out to show their support for Ramy Brook, and it showed: We did over 28 percent of our average total weekly volume with Bloomingdale’s in two hours, in one location. I love Boca girls!
9:30 p.m.: I FaceTime with my kids and husband on my way to a late dinner with the team.
10:00 p.m.: We go to the Italian restaurant at the Boca resort, Lucca. We are starving. We have a bottle of wine and share appetizers. I wind up getting the salmon, even though I’m in the mood for steak.
11:00 p.m.: I head to my room to veg out. The hotel lets you sign into your Netflix account, so I start watching “Stranger Things.” I make sure I’m sleeping by midnight — tomorrow’s an early flight back to NYC.