Pamela Schein Murphy has passion and more. A native New Yorker, she began her career as an intern at Mirabella and then climbed up the masthead at Fitness, Elle and Glamour. Then she branched out to create her first solo venture—a national lifestyle magazine called Madison which focused on celebrity, art, travel, fashion and design.
But that still didn’t quench Schein Murphy’s unstoppable drive. She worked for a Literary Agent at ICM. (“I loved reading, hated agent-ing,” she says.) Then Schein Murphy took a turn and produced the films Purple Violets and Something Borrowed with Ed Burns.
In 2005, when Schein Murphy was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, she put her entrepreneurial know-how to work again. She established the R.E.S.T. Initiative, which brings massage therapies to chemotherapy treatment rooms to comfort patients like her. The program still runs today at the NYU Clinical Cancer Center.
Ultimately Schein Murphy joined her husband in the restaurant business. She headed up the marketing and branding division of their restaurant group, Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy. (They launched Landmarc in 2004.)
“Sounds kind of all over the place, right?,” says Schein Murphy. But as she points out, each job played to her strengths: analytical thinking, highly detailed organization, creativity and writing. “They were also all fairly entrepreneurial and allowed me the space to create something from the ground up,” she explains. “A magazine, a film, a book, a restaurant.”
All throughout her journey, her secret to success stayed consistent: making lists.
Schein Murphy has always been a go-to resource for those who know her. She has recommendations for everything from charitable causes to travel destinations to cocktails to accessories. But only those closest to her got to enjoy the benefits of her expertise.
However a few years ago on Mother’s Day her daughter, who was 12-years-old at the time, purchased a web domain to help bring her mother’s top selects to the public. With a push from her daughter, Schein Murphy launched The Select 7. Through the daily website Schein Murphy shares her favorite items in her own shoppable format.
When the demand for content outpaced her personal storehouse, Schein Murphy began seeking out the people who inspired her most to lend their own expertise to the site. To date, The Select 7 has featured hundreds of Select Guests. Since 2016, each one has shared their favorite items, destinations, experiences and philanthropic causes every day of the week since 2016.
Between the website and Instagram The Select 7 has grown to reach nearly hundreds of thousands of online fans per month. She shared more.
Jeryl Brunner: Can you talk about the early days of Select 7?
Pamela Schein Murphy: I taught myself how to use the platform. I wrote, designed and sent out newsletters. The next thing I knew, I was fully doing two full time jobs. So I changed course, dropped my restaurant gig and refocused The Select 7 to be about a different guest each week rather than my selects. Because honestly, the world according to me can get real old, real fast. I started out asking friends to participate and then as word started to spread, I branched out.
Today we have featured more than 200 people across The Select Guest and The Select Set verticals. There is no real formula for how I choose who we feature. It’s a gut feeling. Everyone has an interesting story to tell. And I love that I’m able to share the stories of strong, powerful, interesting people. For me it’s also really about bringing back the original intent of social media, sharing information and creating community. We’ve featured everyone form Olivia Culpo who has a bajillion followers to women like Candice Hoyes or Mary Peffer.
Jeryl Brunner: What has surprised you about The Select 7?
Pamela Schein Murphy: What amazes me the most is people’s willingness to share their stories, to let us into their worlds for a week and to be authentic. This is not a shiny, glossy, airbrushed world that we have created. It’s the real world of all of our guests, and it’s meeting these people each week, and entering their real worlds.
Jeryl Brunner: Many people would love to create a website or start a business but don't have a lot of money. What would you recommend they do?
Pamela Schein Murphy: The beauty of the Internet is that there is almost no overhead. It can be as simple as you, a laptop and an idea. Then once you dip your toe in, you can decide how far you want to take it. I spent a full year doing this work in the middle of the night on my laptop in bed so that it didn’t interfere with my day job or my family. It wasn’t until I was pretty sure the idea was viable that I took the plunge and turned it into a full time gig.
But the money part is an issue for sure. For starters, sit down and decide what you’re comfortable spending on your own with the idea that that money could very easily never come back. There are also tons of funds for entrepreneurs that you can apply for (especially female entrepreneurs). Right now I am starting to look at VC options as well.
Jeryl Brunner: In the sea of so many platforms, why should someone visit The Select 7?
Pamela Schein Murphy: We have fresh content every single day. Over the course of the week, every morning we “unlock” each guests’ content. Throughout the week we publish The Select Set plus my own Select Files and Select City guides. There is a constant influx of new information. But more importantly is the fact that the site is authentic and real. We don’t pay for play. Our readers can trust us. To me, that’s the most important thing when recommending anything to anyone. You want to know that your source can be trusted and is giving you their true thoughts and observations.