Social media is often just a highlight reel of life’s most polished moments. But a scroll through influencer Lindsay Silberman’s Insta posts offers a more honest reality at @lindsaysilb. Sure, she edits stunning photos to match her aesthetic and shares dreamy videos with her hubby, Matthew Stevens (who has changed his handle to @instahusband), and their mini dachshund, Pierre, during their fanciful forays to luxury locales. But one thing’s for sure: She’s always remained true to herself.
“I’ve always been myself truly,” admits the 35-year-old, who splits her time between New York City and Miami. “But I do think back in the early days of Instagram when it was a very different time. It wasn’t cool to show things that weren’t perfect.”
She recalls an instance when she was receiving medical treatments a few years after being hit by a car in 2012. “I was in my hospital bed, and I was posting on Instagram this beautiful photo of me at a beach that I had taken a couple of months or years before, and [it] was so not at all representative,” she says. Her dad suggested she post her reality instead. “I remember a switch flipped in my brain, and I was like, ‘I just need to be my raw, real self.’ I think more people will relate to that.”
This type of “real” content would eventually change her life. The New Jersey native spent a decade in the magazine business, covering the ins and outs of beauty and luxury travel for publications like Vogue and Town and County, and building her Instagram following. With thousands of fans keeping tabs on her posts, brands began to take notice—offering to pay Silberman to collab. Satisfied with her career but itching for a change, she decided to take a leap of faith in 2018 to become a full-time content creator and influencer.
“I can’t think of the last time I had two days in a row that I did the same thing,” says Silberman during a morning in her Miami apartment. Her days are chock-full of everything from emails and meetings to shooting campaigns for brands like Sephora or Charlotte Tilbury in her bedroom with a tripod and ring light. “I feel like I’m constantly changing hats, literally and figuratively.”
Silberman is also tending to her latest venture as the founder of Hotel Lobby Candle (HLC), a home fragrance brand released during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I really wanted something on my own that was not on Instagram—sort of a brand that I could build that didn’t have my name on it,” she says. The idea came to fruition after years of traveling the world and is inspired by the scents of luxury five-star hotels. “I had this thought about turning the concept of [the] scent inside hotels into a candle.”
She admittedly had no idea where to begin and spent months researching, looking into manufacturers, and going to “Google University,” as she likes to joke. Her husband even quit his job to join her as the brand’s co-founder. Together they balance the company while playing off one another’s strengths. HLC’s first product drop in October 2020 sold out in just 24 minutes.
Today, the HLC collection features an array of 100 percent soy candles, led by the brand’s flagship Signature scent inspired by The Edition and 1 Hotels. Silberman has pored over every detail, from branding to packaging (including a hotel key card that lists candle care dos and don’ts).
Silberman says she is constantly coming up with new ideas for the brand—and she has advice for anyone considering starting a new venture of their own. “If anyone who reads [this] is thinking about launching a business or starting one and is intimidated because they’ve no idea what they’re doing or they feel they have no experience, I was the same way,” she says. “I think you really are capable of figuring things out a lot more than you give yourself credit for.”
Splitting her time between New York City and Miami, Silberman dishes on some of her favorite spots around the Magic City
Bar: Lido Champagne Bar, Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club. “On any given Friday night, you might find my husband and me posted up here drinking martinis. It’s one of my all-time favorite hotel bars.”
Boutique: Patron of the New. “It’s the most well-curated, forward-thinking boutique in the Design District. It’s where I go to discover new brands and see what all the cool kids are wearing.”
Restaurant: Kyu. “Like everyone else in Miami, I’m obsessed with Kyu. I regularly have dreams about the hot pot and Korean fried chicken, which would probably be my ‘death row’ meal.”