Tell us what you do!
I work with up-and-coming talent, as well as established personalities, companies, and artists to develop, brand/re-brand, publicize, and market them to targeted audiences.
Did you go to college? If so, where?
The University of Florida. Go Gators!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I pursued it, too – journalism school, then Hearst Corporation before landing in my current field.
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
As mentioned, I wanted to be a journalist from as far back as I can remember. A lot of our home movies are narrated by me with a microphone in hand, bossing my little sister around and ‘reporting’ on things like the weather and who everyone’s favorite painter should be. (Normal I was not). I went to University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, and eventually landed a string of internships at publications in Florida and New York City. For my senior year of college, I decided to forgo my final football season (a cardinal sin at an SEC school), and skip out on the typical party-hard-somewhere-in-Europe study abroad experience. Instead, I opted to spend a Semester at Sea. For four months, my home was a boat. We sailed in a full circle around the globe, and I saw and explored 13 countries in South America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. It was, by far, the best decision I’ve ever made in my life — eye-opening, inspiring, exhausting, uplifting, excruciating, beautiful. Upon my return, however, I was shocked to find that much had changed in my absence. The economic downturn of 2008 left me with few remaining connections I had worked hard to build in the journalism industry, and I found myself with a degree, a head full of memories, and ideas, and thoughts… but no job. It took me a few months of cold-calls, networking, and forging connections, but I eventually landed an internship at my current company. I was hired within two months, and the rest is history.
Any obstacles along the way?
Too many to count. I would say the most difficult part of navigating the business world for me was identifying the fine line between being nice and garnering respect. It took me a while. Everyone respects a Girl Boss, but no one likes a bitch. Unfortunately, people sometimes feel the two can’t be mutually exclusive. I strongly believe you can demand respect while still being kind. I do not believe there is any excuse for unnecessary rude behavior – we’re all in this together. That being said, when one of my own is wronged, watch out.
Who is your idol?
Diane von Fürstenberg. She has substance to go with the style. Daughter of a Holocaust survivor, she’s a self-made powerhouse, not just in fashion, but in business and philanthropy, too. She has long championed women’s rights, human rights, community building, education and the environment.
What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?
Perspective: I credit travel for planting the voice in the back of my head reminding me that a missed
deadline or frustrating conference call is not the end of the world – or a reason for your day to be
ruined. Of course, there is zero chance this works all the time, and sometimes I have to reboot myself
like a computer, but the world is a big place and our daily ‘struggles’ are really not all that tragic.
Understanding: I can usually see things from another’s point of view. Sometimes, it can be a detriment. When it comes to people, I tend to see the micro rather than the macro. Whether or not we want it to,
the personal can, at times, creep into the professional, and no one deserves to be kicked when they are down. I think a healthy dose of understanding – up to a certain point – only serves to strengthen relationships, partnerships, future teamwork, and morale.
Emphasis on knowledge: I like knowing at least a little bit about a lot of things. Enough that a conversation with virtually anyone is possible, which is, of course, a huge asset in a professional setting, but also in our personal lives. I treat cultivating knowledge a bit like part of my job. I’ve read Vanity Fair cover-to-cover every month for years — even the articles that aren’t of the utmost interest. Twitter, of course, is a great source for instant, personalized information, and I love what the ladies of theSkimm have done.
Where would you like to be in five years?
Goals are great to have, but I can’t pretend to know. Things happen so quickly, and change so radically. I definitely hope to be my own boss, and I would love to be running my own company. I hope that, wherever I am, I am able to enjoy a good work-life balance, and that I am able to travel. I’m the biggest believer in the wonders of travel in terms of fostering creativity, understanding, and community. If I could, I would make travel a possibility for every young person. I respect nothing more than crazy hard work, but life is meant to be lived, too.
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
A Girl Boss knows who she is, and doesn’t see the need to apologize for it, nor does she see the need to put it on anyone else. We are all girl bosses in our own ways, and a real Girl Boss recognizes that.
Describe your style/fashion sense:
I have always been very, very drawn to the bohemian glamour of 1920s Parisian culture, and the dark freedom of late 1960s America, so my style meets somewhere in the middle. I gravitate toward classically tailored looks, but I like to ‘mess it up’ a bit.
Fav clothing item/accessory right now?
It’s not exactly ‘right now,’ because it’s sort of an ‘always’ for me, but big earrings are what you might call my thing. Like, really big. For whatever reason, and no matter the closet crisis, I tend to wind up in a black something – jumpsuit, dress, whatever – and huge, often colorful earrings. Maybe it’s because I waited to pierce my ears until I was 20 (too scared), so now I overcompensate.
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
Lotion. I love lotion. It’s like the ultimate luxury to me. Beautiful, fragrant lotions. I don’t discriminate, but I do have favorites.
Go-to nail color?
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
To Kill A Mockingbird. When I first read the book as a young girl, on a surface level I related to the main characters, whose father is a wise lawyer and a hero to them in the same way my father was and remains a hero to me. But the book became about much more than that – life’s shades of grey, triumph in the face of evil, injustice, the first real dose of reality for a little kid, etc. I think I lost a little bit of innocence when I read that book the first time, but then, and every time since, it opens my eyes. It makes me want to be a better human.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
Shoes. It’s a very real problem. I actually dream about them.
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
I’m a big Jessie Ware fan. Somehow her music matches any mood/weather/situation.
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
“Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
“What you seek is seeking you.” ― Rumi
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
“It is what it is.” It’s my mom’s go-to line. There’s comfort in the blunt reality that some things, like a scuffed shoe or lost bangle, can’t be undone. It happened, it’s in the past, and it’s time to move on. But there’s also a challenge to the simplicity of the statement – some things are not as they are or should be and, with work, can be modified.
Advice to future girl bosses:
Support each other. Women supporting other strong women is the right thing to do, not to mention that the assistant of today is going to be at a company you apply for tomorrow, and all it takes is one anecdote to seal the deal one way or the other. Support each other, and keep it classy. At the end of the day, no matter what goes wrong, no one can fault someone who kept their wits about them, head held high, and attitude in check.