Simone Murphy is many things, but as the widely recognizable and hugely admired face (and body) of the OFFYOURFACE brand, her experience of the development of the company is insightful and revealing. Two years ago, 17 year old model and party girl Simone had privately booked her first photo shoot with OYF, unbeknownst to the rest of the team, who understandably found themselves quite baffled when the pretty (and hammered) young thing stumbled up to their promo table at a bar.
“Off Your Face!” She saw the stickers and the merch. “I’m doing a photo shoot for you tomorrow!”
“Yeah, OK, she’ll never make it”, thought the OYF tried and true. But when Simone arrived on set the next day, powering through what was left of her buzz and into painful hangover territory, she impressed OYF founder Melissa right away. “She handled it pretty well,” Melissa remembers, after dumping a bucket of yellow paint over the properly painted model fresh on the set. The yellow mess photo of Simone ended up on a t-shirt sported by Roger Sanchez in the Alps just months later, and needless to say when they met again at Café Mambo in Ibiza, he was buzzed to meet the girl off the OYF gear.
Working in bars throughout her academic career at Edinburgh University, Simone has received a lot of attention since becoming an integral part of the OFFYOURFACE brand. People approach her with accusations: “You’re the OYF girl!” which might intimidate any other teenager or at the very least present as pressure.
“How does it feel to be the identifiable face of such a popular brand?”
She shrugs it off, “Yeah, that’s me.”
And Simone certainly does a professional job of owning it all. She has learned to jump at any opportunity to be a part of operations, and found herself seemingly by accident in the position of PR Manager only a handful of months after her debut as the OYF model. 19 though she is, she loves the team and doesn’t have a problem being in charge of girls of varying degrees her senior. She quite enjoys “managing the little ones,” she says, and when I point out that the little ones are all much bigger than she in years, she smiles at me with a little giggle.
That “oh well” sort of attitude pervades Simone’s perky personality, and bleeds into the attitude entire OYF team. A smooth blend of a “que sera, sera” tune and a mantra of “living the dream” motivate the girls to bring the adventure lifestyle to anything they do. Simone explains how they are all rewarded, not only with what they report as the unparalleled experience of working with the OYF family, but with the validation of being a part of a successful and inspiring company.
“I just feel so lucky to be so involved with OFFYOURFACE. It could have been anyone else, but fortunately it’s been me to have lucked out. It grows bigger and bigger and bigger, and even at university when I see people wearing the jumpers, that’s so cool.” She pauses, her eyes elsewhere as if remembering, and she revises, “so cringe but so cool at the same time,” with a great big smile. “What’s Off Your Face,” some people ask, wondering how she makes money or turns the experience to her financial advantage as a young quasi-professional woman.
“You don’t need to know that,” she dismisses the misunderstanding. That’s not the point. “It’s not about that. Just have a good time.”
And the “just keep smiling” mantra is persistent at the OYF main camp in Ibiza island’s San Antonio area – it’s even part of the job description, albeit perhaps the most desirable part in the first place. Simone is excited that people just want to be a part of it – the company, her work, her family.
If what drew her to OFFYOURFACE was the concept of connecting people, as she emotes in our sunny afternoon chat, it’s easy to see how that would fuel her participation let alone contribute to the OYF mission. But the dream doesn’t stop there, as OYF reaches deep into the hearts of its team members to help them grow and learn, developing themselves at every turn, no matter their role or responsibility.
When Simone arrived in Ibiza last year, she felt culture shock for what could be the last time in her life. OFFYOURFACE has afforded her the opportunity to travel, and furthermore the chance to become a more cultured, connected human being. Sure, she’s proud of having worked on her tan. But Simone’s applicable skills, her capacities for business and interaction beyond the ability of her 17 year old self prior to her OYF involvement, her confidence and her ability to be comfortable in her own skin are all products of the job.
But that’s living the dream, to her. With two years left of university, Simone thinks she will go into Human Resources or Public Relations – anything that will let her work with people and personalities. She loves OFFYOURFACE, but more, she loves what OFFYOURFACE has helped her become.
Simone’s life advice: “Just boss everything, that’s the way to do it.” And do you know what? Boss she does.
By Chloe Frielen, a freelance writer from New York City who does not sit still for very long.