Creativity Crusader // Stephanie Irby // Smoore Designs



I’m so excited to kick off this year’s incredible lineup of creativity crusaders by introducing you to one of my favorite people, Stephanie Irby.

You’ll be getting a two-fer in February, so get excited. We have SO MANY creative people to showcase this year! I just love celebrating all of these creative minds, skillsets, and talents!

Stephanie is the CEO of Smoore.Designs, a local boutique she built from the ground up in her EARLY TWENTIES. Yep, baby genius right here. Speaking of babies, last fall, Stephanie gave birth to the Irbys’ first child, a beautiful baby girl named Della Jane. She is the sweetest little thing, and I absolutely love squeezing her when I’m at the shop.


In October, The Olive Shoe began renting a space in Stephanie’s building… you’ll read more about her building and how it came to be through her interview answers in just a bit. She is the BEST landlord, and after working a vendor fair a couple of years ago we became fast friends. Kindred spirits you could say. We have an incredibly honest, easy, inspiring friendship that helps us both have accountability in our businesses, are fellow women entrepreneurs (in a small town in the south) who can relate to some of the challenges we face, and an optimistic spirit that is hard to slow down or quench.

So, I’ll stop rambling and let you learn a little more about her! Meet my friend, fellow entrepreneur, and brilliant creative business woman powerhouse, Stephanie Irby:

1.       What is your name?
Stephanie Moorhead Irby
2.       How old are you (if you are ok with sharing…totally optional)?
Just turned 27, December 10 🙂 
I do love people with December birthdays! See…we are kindred…
3.       In what city & state do you live?
Anderson, SC – born and raised!
4.       Do you consider yourself to be creative?
sometimes….not all the time. I think I use my creative side of the brain more than I realize. it becomes more of going through the motions on a daily basis and feels not very “creative” after a while. 
5.       What toys or activities were you drawn to as a child?
Anything outside. I was a tomboy – rough and tough. We had golf carts, go-carts, four wheelers, you name it. I had a broken arm or broke leg 24/7. The doctors knew me by heart when I would come in. I was just super clumsy. Funny I turned out as sassy as I am! Around middle school I became interested in clothing. I wanted to dress up for school and look cute everyday. I was very involved in sports so getting to dress up was fun! 
6.       What inspires you?
Life itself & fashion. I love changing the store around & keeping everyone on their toes. I have always had a love for clothing and the love has grown as I have gotten older. Now my daughter, Della, inspires me to be more. I want her to know that it is completely normal to be a working mama and have goals to accomplish. I want to inspire her to be something bigger and be the best she can be. 


7.       What do you do for a living?
I own Smoore.Designs, a local boutique. I ran the Swaggin’ Wagon for almost 4.5 years which was a mobile boutique. We traveled the state for the first 3.5 years and eventually became busy enough locally that we didn’t have to travel as far anymore. We opened up a brick and mortar in August of 2018.  
8.       Are you formally educated or self-taught? (or both)?
Definitely a good bit of both. Graduated from TL Hanna High in 2010, went on to Clemson and graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in Marketing and Business Management. I like to think I learned a LOT about the world at Clemson, but honestly running your own business is trial and error. You learn a lot about yourself every day and certainly something new. I believe that my father instilled a lot of my business mindset in me as a child. His family has their own business and I loved seeing the flexibility he had, but also admired how hard he worked. He taught us about managing money growing up and learning to use our hands. We worked hard in school and made good grades because that is what was expected of us. 
I love what Stephanie says here about trial and error. I also want to mention one thing she has been very modest about – she is DEDICATED and she LOVES her clients. She trys on one of EVERY SINGLE THING that comes into her shop so she can be completely honest about its sizing and fit. She also remembers how items fit clients and I have witnessed her on more than one occasion doing two things I think are incredibly admirable: 1) Steering a client to something she knows will fit them well and suit their style and 2) Being ok with not making a sale because she knows something won’t fit a client well or be flattering to that particular client. Impressive. It’s more than just a buck to her.
9.       How do you get un-stuck if you’re in a creative rut?
I take a day or two off – the beach does wonders for me. Sometimes I just need to step away and work on something else and come back to it! Then I am ready to get back at it and have a new point of view. I can never start something and not finish it. I get that from my Dad. 
10.   How do you feel about your organization and time management skills?
I am extremely OCD to an extent. My workspace is normally super clean and I know where everything is….my home not so much. I like to have a clean house – I stay up on laundry and keeping clothes away. As far as cleaning, like deep cleaning, I am not the best. I get sidetracked super easily when I clean and end up doing 500 things. 
I am good at time management. That is one thing college taught me – I am NOT a procrastinator. I like to get it done so I no longer have to worry with it. The thought of having to finish something in a time crunch stresses me out!
11.   Do you have a routine?
Absolutely, well not so much anymore since Della came along. I like to think we still have somewhat of a routine in the mornings, but our nights are very routine. She is going to be like me I hope and like a routine. I tend to stress less when things are in order and there is a routine. 
12.   How do you deal with stress?
MEDS. Just kidding, well sometimes. I have high anxiety anyways, so I am medicated and ain’t nothing wrong with that 🙂 I get flustered when we have a lot going on at the store during our busy seasons, and I just try to stay ahead. If I get too stressed, I just make about 315 lists and it for some reason makes me feel better. 
Yes, all the lists, all the time. I completely understand both the anxiety AND the lists. I have spiral notebook after spiral notebook of ideas and lists. The anxiety, I’m sure we will discuss more in one of our upcoming podcasts…yes, that was a teaser… 😉
13.   If you have more to do than can fit in a typical day, do you get up earlier or stay up later?
Get up earlier or do it the day before. I definitely finish a task before I go to sleep, so I would start a day sooner if I knew I had time or otherwise just get up and get it done. I am a morning person so getting up early doesn’t really bother me. 
14.   How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
Shopping 🙂 I love hanging out with the family too! We go to the beach a good bit and like to go out to eat together or cook at one of our houses. We do a lot with my family – people say we are insanely close but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So thankful and blessed with such a wonderful family. 
15.   What’s one piece of advice you would tell your younger self?
Work hard for what you want, and don’t depend on anyone else to get the job done! 


And just for fun…
1.       Favorite color? Pink, duh!
2.       Describe yourself in one word. Motivated
3.       The last thing you ate was… lean cuisine pizza
4.       A favorite quote you want to share?
“Fashions fade. Style is eternal.” -Yves Saint Laurent 
5.       Do you have any party tricks? I am really good at flip cup. 
Visit Stephanie, her fabulous team, hair guru, Mak, and myself at 2710 N. Main Street in Anderson, Tuesdays through Saturdays or you can shop online at

Annnndddd…she’s also starting a podcast, with yours truly. We both get asked all the time, “How do you do it all?”. Well, we decided as an outlet to talk business, juggling, and life in general we would start a podcast. See our new shared site and hear our pilot episode HERE: {Behind} The Pink Door…coming soon (we hope – just waiting on approval) to iTunes.

Know someone we should feature? Click HERE and send us a suggestion!

Previously featured crusaders:

“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” – Henri Matisse


Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and founder/CEO of The Olive Shoe, a creativity crusader, designer, foster mom, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online shop or pop by the new office – on the “porch” at Smoore Designs at 2710 N. Main Street, Anderson, South Carolina.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Goods is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2013-2019 LAC James All Rights Reserved. 

“Celebration is my ministry. Paper is my method.” – LACJAMES

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