Interview
Allison Speer

Allison Speer Founder and CEO, Allison Speer Public Relations

Founder and CEO, Allison Speer Public Relations

Congratulations on celebrating the 15th anniversary of the founding of your company Allison Speer PR!

BWB: What inspired you to begin Allison Speer Public Relations?

I was Director of west coast PR for Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani from 1994-2000, and made the decision to leave when tech began booming in SF and so many retailers were opening boutiques. After six years at Armani and two years at I. Magnin, I knew I wanted to have my own retail PR and event company, and I knew how to build and establish a brand in San Francisco.

It is exciting to work with brands that are going through a transformation.

BWB: What are some of your current projects at the moment?

I am really thrilled to be in a 12-month contract with Tiffany & Co. for the opening of their newly renovated boutique in November. I have secured for them the sponsorship of the SFMOMA Modern Ball and the Opening of the SF Ballet in January. I love the new direction their chic new designer, Francesca Amfitheatrof, is taking with the Bluebook Collection. There is the Moncler opening  and we are also in a six month contract with COACH for their new SF store. They have an amazing designer, Stuart Vevers. It is exciting to work with brands that are going through a transformation. We are also in contract with Valentino and secured their second year sponsoring of the opening of the San Francisco Symphony in September, so it is going to be a busy Fall!

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BWB: You have an incredible travel and social schedule. Can you share with us some of your beauty secrets?

My beauty secrets, especially when in Sun Valley, include drinking LOTS of water, using Crème de la Mer and doing the SkinCeuticals Biocellulose Restorative Masque. I do one almost every day! I also love Chantecaille Rose Hydrating Mist when I am flying, before bed, and in the morning. Also, my biggest secret weapon for Galas is my makeup artist Bianca Rubi and my hair stylist May Ramirez who both come to my home.

BWB: What is your favorite fragrance?

I love Le Labo Bergamote, especially for summer; it is very clean. I also adore Aerin Lauder’s Rose de Grasse. It is a very pure rose scent.

BWB: What is your current skin care routine?

When I wake, I wash my face with SkinCeuticals cream soap and put on SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 tinted sunblock. That is the only make-up I wear in Sun Valley.

BWB: What is your favorite Hotel/Spa?

I adore the Auberge du Soleil Hotel and Spa in the Napa region, as it transports one to France. The new rooms by Suzanne Tucker are super chic. I also adore Le Sirenuse Positano in Italy. The owners are a lovely family. I am very excited that Skin Spirit Spa is opening on Sacramento Street in San Francisco. We are doing the PR for them, and they are due to open in November.

BWB: Do you have a favorite restaurant in San Francisco?

My favorite restaurant is Cotogna. It serves clean Italian food, and the freshest vegetables. Their amazing pastas by Michael Tusk are heavenly. Michael has also nailed the best fried chicken in SF. It is not on the menu all the time but you can request it.

BWB: What are your preferred ways of relaxing?

I love to hike in the Presidio with friends and my dachsund, Coco, to relax and escape work. I also get a massage once a week with an amazing woman on Sacramento Street named Hilary Hedden. After so many nights standing in heels, a massage is essential!

Having your own business also allows you to prioritize what is most important to you in life, and lets you achieve your goals on your own schedule.

BWB: What advice would you give to someone starting his or her own business?

I would tell anyone starting their own business that is the best thing I have ever done. Hire people you trust and who fit with your work ethic. Choose projects with clients that are consistent with your brand. If I know a company is not something I am passionate about promoting, I decline the project. Working for your self is empowering, and you own your own schedule. Having your own business also allows you to prioritize what is most important to you in life, and lets you achieve your goals on your own schedule. Time with family and friends is the biggest luxury!

Photo credit: Agency Moanalani Jeffrey (middle photo)

Katie von Strasser

Katie von Strasser is a former ballerina with a background in fashion and art. She is a devoted advocate for people with disabilities. Katie has a passion for travel and all things beautiful.
She resides in San Francisco with her family. (Photo by Darryl Nitke)

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