Charity Meets: Joe Sprott
Charity Meets: Joe Sprott
Occupation: Freelance fashion consultant for men in Washington, DC
Twitter Handle: @JRSprott
Motto: Work hard, play hard, live passionately
What are three words that best describe you? Driven, Sarcastic, Stylish
How do you describe being an entrepreneur, social media expert, and stylist all at the same time? I think that in this day and age, being a social media expert and entrepreneur go hand in hand. Ever since I was old enough to remember, my sister was always yelling at me about my fashion. Once I was 24 or so and really grew into my own, it actually became a passion. It’s an exciting time to be in DC, and to be involved in men’s fashion. Seeing the incremental changes in how men dress in the District is exciting!
What made you start working in social media, and what are three main goals that you have for the future? I’ve always kept an eye on social media, but it truly was my first creative agency experience that drew me to it. On my third day as a systems administrator at Greenfield/Belser, Ltd., I asked our IT director about the social efforts the agency was attempting to utilize. He encouraged me to check out the social team meeting. Within 3 months, I was helping lead it;in six I led it, and within nine I had officially assumed the Social Media Strategist role with an intern and copywriter to manage.
In the future, I aim to use my skills in social media for more social good. – to continue to teach others just entering the industry. I also want to bette rutilize social to leverage local and national fashion thoughts to help men in the DC market realize their potential. First impressions are important – the way one dresses immediately impacts how one is perceived and reacted to by others, especially in a town such as ours. Dress for the role you want, not the role you have!
What inspires you most about your work? Seeing the difference that I, as an individual, can make is immensely satisfying and motivating. For instance,the look of gratitude and recognition I get from the people I/we have helped with Ad 2 DC and the DC Ad Club inspires me to continue in my field. Further, the satisfaction I see in men’s eyes after they finally, and maybe for the first time, fit into their clothes properly, and see them understand how to choose accessories (what we’re limited to, that is) to truly personalize their look gives me great satisfaction.
What experience in your career are you most proud of? When my last intern from GB moved on to a new job, his potential new employer called me asking for a review. I was first very flattered that they thought so highly of me, but I was also very proud of them for pursuing of their career goals. I don’t think I’ve spoken so highly of a co-worker in my career, and I haven’t since. I’ve also never been so proud. He and I have kept in touch and each contact begins with an industry question from him, ending with a “let’s meet for coffee soon!” or similar. Getting our hectic schedules to align is something else entirely.
What advice would you share with those still in school? Remain mindful of your personal aspirations as you evolve, and expand your friend circles.
Why is giving back important to you? I’ve been giving back since I was in middle and high school, working for such organizations as Habitat for Humanity. Going to public school, you see the families that need and benefit from the help, not that my family was incredibly wealthy. My involvement with the American Advertising Federation (AAF) stems from my becoming involved with the advertising community and my desire to grow in it. Instantly taking a leadership position in Programs, building events to further creative minds both young and old, further bred my desire to give back to the community I grew in.
You made a significant contribution to The Washington Literacy Center (WLC) over the past year, can you tell us about this cause, and a little bit about your experience working with them? The Washington Literacy Center became near to my heart instantly. Ad 2 DC screens our applicants for a one-year project we do, Ad 2 chapters across the country do, as part of our Public Service initiatives. This was my year as President and Chair of the organization, and my PS chairs (Blair Coward & Kathryn Clark) had narrowed it to three options. We had them present to our Steering Committee, and WLC was nearly an instant win. It spoke to us, they obviously needed a little help and they weren’t already being helped immensely elsewhere like other candidates.
We helped leverage their students’ incredibly motivating stories and had two events last year to benefit them. One was a Date Auction that I organized at Eden, raising over $1500 with only 8 “dates” and with over 500 in attendance learning about the WLC cause. The second was their annual Love Letters Gala, where we grew millennial attendance and their donations overall. My “date” from the auction was my date for the Gala, and I couldn’t think of a better way to showcase the WLC cause. Most were moved to tears or at least a sniffle by the stories told that night, and they stick with me to this day. Seeing the passion and care in the employees’ eyes, you see that their job is their cause, and the reason they wake up in the morning. They’re an incredibly motivating group of people, and I look forward to being able to work with them in the future.
When it comes to your own philanthropic efforts, what do you look back at and feel made the largest impact on those that you set out to help? Anything that I’ve done with the Ad 2 DC Public Service team. Meeting the folks from WLC, hearing the stories from their students at the Gala last year, meeting them afterwards…their smiles and success are all I need to understand the impact we had by working with them.
What is the most creative fundraising idea you’ve come across? There was a campaign where you stopped using your mobile device and it donated to a clean water initiative depending on how long you could leave it be. Leave it to me to forget the cause, but it was truly a test to see how many notifications you could let go, how long you could go without checking that game, that Instagram feed, etc.
What events do you have coming up in Washington, D.C. that we should know about? The DC Ad Club has a series called Forward Focus, a morning/breakfast event where we feature speakers on industry topics. March’s topic is the Future of Advocacy Campaigns, on the 11th. Ad 2 DC also has their next Water Cooler Wednesday, our monthly networking happy hour, on the 25th. Stay tuned to our social channels for location!
You are always pushing the boundaries of menswear in D.C. What are some of your favorite pieces, and/or color combinations for spring? One of my favorite pieces is a garnet houndstooth blazer with elbow pads that I have from H&M; it always sparks a conversation. I also have a pair of gray/black saddle shoes from Cole Haan that have gold soles and laces – those always get a few stares and smiles. As far as combinations, I love the pink & white puppytooth (their term not mine!) french cuff shirt I have from Charles Tyrwhitt with my linen suit (H&M, linen suits never seem to last anyway) and a purple bow tie from TheTieBar. I also have a unique bow tie from an upstate Maine shop, linen, with salmon on one side, and blue anchors on cream on the other.
Favorite food: Steak Marsala
Favorite cocktail: Old Fashioned
If you could host a dinner party for 8, who would you invite living or dead? I lost all of my grandparents before age 23, so I would want both my grandmothers and grandfathers there, and my great Aunt who has also passed. Then I’d have my parents and sister, because I don’t get to see them enough.
Favorite vacation spot: We have a family condo in Garden City, SC. The sun sets over Murrell’s Inlet from our porch, across the street from the beach, and next door to the Marina.
Favorite TV show: Workaholics, Suits, and Downton Abbey (can’t pick just one)
Favorite movie: The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Favorite song: “La Vie en Rose”by Louis Armstrong
Favorite book: Confessions of an Economic Hitman
Favorite apps: Spotify, Evernote, Lyft, Clash of Clans
iPhone or Android: iPhone currently, although I’m a huge fan of the Windows Phone platform.
Favorite workout: Tennis!
Where do you get your news? Mostly Twitter (TweetDeck is a lifestyle), but the sources are mainly: Washington Post, Al Jazeera, BBC and the New York Times.
Where to spot Joe? Meet him this Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at the District Alliance For Safe Housing (DASH) Fundraiser at Penn Social (801 E Street NW) D.C. from 6:30pm-9:00pm. For more information click here.