Meet Sara Haile

Sarah Haile for Passerbuys59.jpg
Sara is a social media manager and photographer. She is also the creator of People Who Do, a website showcasing and celebrating people who go after what they want. Growing up in a small town in central Pennsylvania, Sara always knew her creativity belonged in New York, and has tried her hand in a variety of industries that let her explore her interests in marketing, entrepreneurship, design, and the visual arts.
Top, Jeans, & Necklace, Madewell

Top, Jeans, & Necklace, Madewell

Top, Jeans, & Necklace, Madewell

Top, Jeans, & Necklace, Madewell


Recently I’ve been trying to slow down my mornings. Before I would beat myself up if I didn’t jump out of bed, get to a workout, get home to shower quickly before heading into work to be there by 9 AM. Now, whether or not I fit a workout in before work, I’ve been trying to make breakfast at home, sit at my kitchen table and dedicate an hour or so to either getting ahead on work, photo editing, or thinking about my goals for that day. This has been a game changer. I’ve found that when I get to work, I hit the ground running, so sectioning off some time in the morning to take things at a slower pace has helped me in grounding myself for that day and get some perspective on the work ahead.

On Starting People Who Do

People Who Do originated from a few different things. I was looking to update my photography portfolio at the time but I knew that with this next time around I wanted to focus my work on topics and things that I truly loved to shoot. I also wanted to contribute something positive to what I was seeing being shared online and throughout social media. I got to the point where I hated seeing complaining on Facebook or negative conversations about problems that no one was attempting to solve or do something about. The people I interview may not always be solving a problem necessarily, but they're doing things. No matter what those things may be, I love sharing how they're contributing something meaningful to the space around them and creating positive, forward momentum.

Finally, my brother passed away suddenly in 2013 at the age of 28 and while I always knew that it was important to make the most out of life, there was a much larger emphasis on this after I lost someone so close.

Top, Jeans, & Necklace, Madewell

Top, Jeans, & Necklace, Madewell

“Life can be gone so quickly so what will you do with yours? And this doesn’t necessarily mean your goal needs to lead you to stardom or make you rich - it’s more of a focus on what will you decide to do that fulfills you. I decided to dedicate this project to my brother and feature stories about people who are living their life similar to the way Mikey did.”
— On what motivates her to do People Who Do
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On Some of Her Favorite Books

Say what you want about The Real Housewives franchise but one chapter from Bethenny Frankel’s A Place of Yes always sticks in my mind: “Everything’s Your Business”. She talks about how everything you do professionally is part of your personal business or brand. Whether you work at a large company or simply for yourself, whatever you do at work or outside of it, you need to bring you to the table and represent who you are within every aspect. Also, Healing MS by Ann Boroch is pretty game changing. I was diagnosed with MS 8 years ago and it has taught me to do research on wellness and staying healthy. Even if you don’t have MS, I would recommend reading this to learn about integrative medicine research and how so many things you’re not aware of in your lifestyle can impact your health.  

On using her skills from her day job in her website

At Peloton, we’re encouraged to “think like owners” in the work that we do - I can almost apply this directly to People Who Do. Whether I’m managing social media or working on People Who Do, I own my work. At either job, things won’t get done unless I take initiative. I’m so lucky to have this autonomy encouraged throughout my day-job so it’s innate for when I dive into work for PWD. 

On Her Advice for Balancing a Passion Project with a Full Time Job

1) Do something that you love so much it keeps you up at night—I love sleep and when I’m tired it’s usually “game over”. So when I’m up until 1am editing photos or working on a piece, it’s a reminder of how much I love this project. 2) Set reasonable, quantitative goals for yourself—I definitely am guilty of creating huge, amazing plans in my head and then feeling like a failure when I don’t accomplish them. Figure out what’s doable now and kick ass at it. For example, this year, I set a goal of publishing 3 People Who Do stories every quarter but honestly, that may have been a little lofty for what my schedule was. Instead of obsessing on what I didn't do, I made sure that the stories I was able to publish were quality additions to the site. 3) Do not give up—I’m convinced if you’re doing what you truly love you won’t give up!

Top, Jeans, & Necklace, Madewell

Top, Jeans, & Necklace, Madewell

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“Make sure to take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. I’m learning more and more how much those times help me be better during the times that I’m hustling. My workout is really important self-care for me. I switch between yoga, cycling and running currently. Moving my body has been crucial to moving through life. I find a lot of parallels between daily life and the life of a workout: really hard moments, confidence, doubt, and persistence…so this time not only helps me clear my head but it also helps me be ready to tackle anything that comes at me when I leave the room.”
— On the importance of making time for yourself
Top & Necklace, Madewell

Top & Necklace, Madewell

On Shopping and Personal Style

I’m a sucker for Madewell and everyone knows it. I mainly love anything that’s classic, functional, and makes me feel good. Also, has anyone been to the Old Navy on 18th & 6th? I get the most compliments on items I find there. Old Navy, you’re killing it. I would describe my style as feminine-casual! I have days where I feel like I focus on my outfit and then others when I’m ecstatic to wear leggings and a sweatshirt. It can go either way. I will say though that it’s a high-priority for me to be comfortable, especially when I’m photographing.

On Her beauty routine

I keep my beauty routine simple. There are days where I use only moisturizer/sunscreen, Fresh’s Lotus Youth Preserve, Kiehl’s Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream, and Glossier’s Invisible Shield, and then others where mascara, eyeliner, and blush comes into play. Covergirl Lash Blast in “very black” works wonders and I love NARS Dolce Vita for blush. Every day I do air-dried hair. I don’t own a blowdryer or straightener and it has by far been my favorite time-saver. If I want to change it up a bit, I’ll apply Oribe’s Surf Comber right after my shower—I love this stuff and it smells amazing!

Top, Madewell ; Camera, Canon

Top, Madewell ; Camera, Canon

Sara's Favorite Books

Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan

This is a Call by Paul Brannigan

Healing MS by Ann Boroch

A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel

Annie Leibovitz At Work by Annie Leibovitz

Sara's Favorite Movies

Forrest Gump ;  A League of Their Own ; Father of the Bride ; Revolutionary Road

Sara's favorite places

The Elk for coffee and atmosphere

Springbone Kitchen!

Van Leewuen for non-dairy ice cream

Lilia for the best Italian

West Side Highway for running, because nothing beats running with One World Trade in sight

Upright Brew House for good go-to bar

Tipsy Parson for drinks (with my best friend Liz because we always love their music. Usually always old soul/r&b)

Madison Square Park for people watching

Angel’s Share for whiskey cocktails (even if you don’t like whiskey, trust me).

Hu Kitchen for healthy eats rotisserie pineapple

Levain for the best-ever chocolate PB cookies

Hudson Boat House for weekend kayaking