A Minneapolis style maven is on a DIY crusade to make philanthropy truly fashionable.
On a recent Saturday morning, Sarah Edwards was up early loading her yellow Jeep Wrangler with sequined jackets, faux fur wraps and enough jewelry to bedazzle an ’80s sweater. The 28-year-old had enlisted a crew of fellow fashionistas to spend their day at an unlikely destination: a local nursing home. Led by Edwards, they surprised the residents with a day of makeovers and a glamorous photo shoot.
“My mom always told me, ‘You’re better than no one. Help others in need,’ ” she said. “And I really believe that’s what makes the world go ’round.”
In the Twin Cities fashion scene, Edwards stands out: her wavy blond hair tied back with a boho scarf, a neon kimono wrapped around her body, a black diamond engagement ring on her finger.
By day, she’s in advertising; after work she’s a stylist with a philosophical fashion mind, a budding philanthropist and a renegade event planner who puts normal people on the runway. She’s a millennial, too — you know, the generation lamented for being self-involved, money-obsessed and prone to oversharing.
Edwards loves style, yet she’s obsessed with imbuing her projects with substance. Her latest is called I AM Kindness, which promotes volunteerism and goodwill, whether it be by handing out gift bags to bus drivers or giving seniors fab makeovers.
But does someone who changes outfits more often than Beyoncé have time to lead a philanthropy movement? Spend a day in the life of a woman who thinks there’s always time to be a good samaritan — and to look good doing it.
5 a.m. Alarm goes off, yoga.
7 a.m. Green juice and conversation with fiancé Jared Lukes.
8:45 a.m. Roller-blades to work.
With the Scissor Sisters blasting through her headphones, Edwards launches herself into the morning sunlight wearing a gold lamé backpack and glittery sweatshirt. Rolling through intersections in downtown Minneapolis, the stylish Edwards is hard to miss.
“I get called out all the time for my fashion choices,” she said. “But I like catching people off guard.”
After arriving at Pixel Farm, where she is the digital production company’s marketing director, Edwards makes her first outfit change of the day. (Striped black-and-white dress, yellow-and-teal head scarf, chunky red beaded necklace.)
“You know it’s going to be a good day when your boss says you look like Johnny Depp,” she said with a laugh.
Once known as the office’s bohemian rocker receptionist, her creativity and work ethic helped her move up quickly.
“Sarah is different from other millennials,” said Pixel Farm President Paul Sadeghi. “She’s a little bit old-school.”