Tell us what you do!
I’m a TV Host, Entertainment Reporter, Producer, Pop Culture Expert, Actress, Blogger and CREATOR!
Did you go to college? If so, where?
Yes, graduated from Ithaca College – majored in Broadcast Journalism with minors in Dance and Musical Theater.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be a professional dancer — and I became one at the age of 13 when I joined the Columbia City Ballet! I’ve always been drawn towards entertainment and entertaining.
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
Oh boy — hard work, persistence, talent, ambition, and a great support system! I’m so grateful to have parents who have pushed me, and encouraged me in all of my many endeavors and passions. Being from South Carolina, there is a tendency to stay in the south for college. It was actually my mom who found Ithaca College, and challenged me to head to upstate New York for school. After completing their Los Angeles semester program, I fell in love with this city, and knew this was where I wanted to be! My internship landed me my first paying job in the biz as a Production Assistant for E! News. I consider my time working my way up the ranks at E! to be my entertainment grad school, so it’s super cool when I appear on the network today as a “Pop Culture Expert.” I took that experience and transitioned into working on the other side of the camera as talent, but I continue to actively produce as well. It’s much more fun being a part of the creative process than just showing up and reading a teleprompter. I also recognized early on the importance of establishing yourself as a brand, so I diligently work on building my entertainment and pop culture brand, as well as developing the female-centric lifestyle website and brand I co-founded, appropriately titled DirtyandThirty.com. My days and weeks are anything but boring. I’m actually answering these questions on a 12-hour flight home from the Zurich Film Festival where I just spent the past two weeks as the official correspondent. I hosted the closing night awards ceremony, Q+As with the likes of Antonio Banderas, Josh Hutcherson, Benicio del Toro, and Zach Braff, and hosted a daily talk show. When I was a PA at E! News, did I imagine my life could be like this? Hell yeah! Dream big!
Any obstacles along the way?
Of course! I’m a true believer that no one will work harder for you than you! I learned early on that just because you sign with a certain agent or manager, or book what you think will be a life-changing job or opportunity, it does not mean you are going to be successful. Your show could never see the light of day, and your agent might never send you out. This is a tricky business because you must put your faith in others, and a lot of times you may get burned. But at the end of the day, I love what I do! I have a wonderful and supportive husband, family, and incredible friends, so I “keep on keeping on,” because I’m exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to be doing. I face obstacles everyday! This business can eat you up, so it’s important to stay strong and keep your head up. And most importantly, you must be true to yourself! There will be plenty of opportunities to create and call your own shots! Carpe Diem!
Who is your idol?
Another question I get asked a lot, but I like. Answer = my mom! She’s a true steel magnolia who inspires me daily!
What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?
Tenacity, talent, and transparency.
Where would you like to be in five years?
Of course you had to ask this — I always ask people this question, and they give me “the look,” but it is a good one! I’d like to be Executive Producing and hosting my own talk show while pursuing multiple other projects behind-the-scenes in the scripted and digital space. I’d like to continue to encourage other women to own their unique voice and support one another. A few more — be a loving mom, write a book, get my yoga certification (yoga changed my life), work hard on myself and my marriage, and be happy and appreciate every moment of every day. You never know where life will take you, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
I’d like to quote Beyonce: “A Diva is a female version of a hustla.” A Girl Boss is someone who takes her future into her own hands, stands up for her beliefs, and owns her passion and dreams. And makes sh*t happen!
Describe your style/fashion sense:
To be honest, I can be all over the place, depending on what I’m working on. I’m a Southern Belle born and bred, so I love a good dress and some fab high heels. But I also love the California BoHo Chic vibe, and could honestly live everyday in a maxi dress, bralette, and havianas. On my days off, you can catch me everywhere in Fabletics head-to-toe, and on the red carpet — well, that’s always fun! Oh, and I LOVE color!
Fav clothing item/accessory right now?
My two new hats I just bought at this killer hat shop in Portland, Oregon. Bad hair? Yeah right!
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
My Clinique Superpowder Double Face Powder. It’s an amazing compact that has enough coverage that you won’t be screwed if you are out bare-faced, and suddenly need to head into a meeting.
Go-to nail color?
Nude. It makes my fingers look longer.
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
I love to read and consume about one to two books a month. The first book that really inspired me was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I find inspiration in everything I read — the character of Katniss in The Hunger Games, Tina Fey’s story in Bossypants… inspiration is truly everywhere.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
Easy — reality TV. I’m sorry, but “Bachelor in Paradise”… YES, PLEASE!
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
I’m loving Zedd! I interviewed him at SXSW, and love his spirit. I just saw him at Encore Beach over the summer, and it was amazing!
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
Gotta give a shout out to my girl XTina. Christina aguilera – “Fighter.”
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
“Carpe Diem” – I do it everyday!
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
“Trust in the process!” – My hubby. I try to do that everyday.
Advice to future Girl Bosses:
No matter what you do, be happy!! Happiness is a choice! Even when times are tough, you can find your happiness by plugging into what you are truly grateful for!
Do YOU know a Girl Boss? Nominate her in the comments! And, HEY — if you share this article, be sure to use #ImAGirlBoss!