#ImAGirlBoss: Kavita Mehra

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NAME: KAVITA MEHRA
CITY: JERSEY CITY, NJ
HOMETOWN: CARTERET, NJ
INDUSTRY: NONPROFIT 
SIGN: GEMINI
NOMINATED BY: JOYA DASS
TWITTER: @kavitamehra
INSTAGRAM: @kavmehra
WEBSITE: www.KavitaMehra.com

Tell us what you do!

I’ve spent nearly 15 years in the nonprofit sector, and I’m currently the Chief Transformation Officer for Boys & Girls Club of Newark (BGCN) — the first in the organization’s 78-year history, and one amongst the few across the 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation. My role requires me to work directly with the Chief Executive Officer to grow and manage all aspects of the organization.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

Indeed. New York University followed by Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? (i.e. movie star, doctor, unicorn, etc…)

My sister had a t-shirt that I absolutely loved—it had Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech inscribed on the back. When I was very young, I was inspired by Dr. King’s profound contributions, and I knew I wanted to work in a space that addressed a greater social issue.

How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

I am far from being “there.” But someone once told me that failure teaches more than success. I hold that to be true, and have tried to learn from each failed experience. I’ve also observed and listened closely to those I admire, and I’ve tried to emulate their pursuit of success.

Any obstacles along the way?

Each of us has faced obstacles. During my formative years, I encountered a considerable amount of racism, which, at times turned into violent experiences. My family came from humble means. I started working when I was 14, and by 16, I had already worked a 100+ hour week. However, I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything I have experienced defines my life, and reaffirms my commitment to the nonprofit sector.

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Who is your idol?

That’s a tough question, as I am not sure I have an idol. There are people in my life that I view with a sense of veneration, and it is those individuals I choose to keep close. I do, however, have my fair share of girl crushes, and that list is long and distinguished. Individuals who have influenced my life include my mom and my better half—they are my inspiration in all that I do.

Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:

Grit, hustle, and staying humble (and hungry).

Where would you like to be in five years?

Success is a moving target. I am not sure if I will ever be able to answer that question.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A smart, hard-working, dedicated leader who empowers those around her.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

A dear friend recently described my style as “proper, with an edge.” I’d have to agree.

Favorite brand right now?

Reiss, Karen Millen, and All Saints.

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

Selleria Anna bag by FENDI in Asphalt Gray.

What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler.

Go-to nail color?

Phenix by Chanel.

Coffee order?

Soy latte.

What makes you feel beautiful?

Doing something for others — even if it’s a small act of kindness.

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What makes you feel badass?

Winning.

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace is a recent source of inspiration.

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice? (i.e. Chocolate, tequila, Justin Bieber, etc.)

Vegan cookies—a box in the house is quite dangerous. And, of course, handbags.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

Goldspot, specifically Evergreen Cassette, which has been playing on a loop at home and at work for the last few weeks.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Without a doubt, it is “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” by Tupac Amaru Shakur.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“When you are no longer needed, you will be flicked away like a fly in milk.”—Karni Mehra. Stay humble and stay hungry, because anyone is replaceable.

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

A former, highly demanding boss once shared, “Leadership is not a title. It is about inspiring those around you, no matter your position.”

Advice to future girl bosses:

Cut out the noise, and focus on working harder and smarter than those around you.

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#ImAGirlBoss: Katie Krause

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NAME: KATIE KRAUSE
CITY: LOS ANGELES
HOMETOWN: WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA
INDUSTRY: TV + DIGITAL MEDIA
SIGN: VIRGO
TWITTER: @Katie_Krause
INSTAGRAM: @_KatieKrause
WEBSITE: KatieKrause.net
BLOG: TheDaysOfKate.tumblr.com

Tell us what you do!

I am an entertainment producer/host at Entertainment Tonight — and I pinch myself every day that I get to say that! I create content, write scripts, and interview rad people like Miley Cyrus and Steve Carell. Sometimes, I’m in the studio producing and hosting, while other days I’m in the field. I book events and interviews, and even write editorial articles. Every single day is different. You wear a multitude of hats with a job like this, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I did! I went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and graduated with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

How far back are we going here? Ha. When I was around eight years old, I wanted to work with animals, and was ready to study marine biology and become a dolphin trainer. This was clearly in addition to putting on musicals and choreographing dance routines with my siblings (which we forced our parents and parents’ friends to watch), because becoming a pop star at age eight was also an interesting ambition — but I obviously hadn’t heard myself sing at that time. My poor parents — it’s not pretty! But, around the age of 15, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to go into broadcasting, and ended up starting a news show at my high school with my incredible teachers. In fact, the show still exists to this day! We produced news packages and shot/edited our own pieces in addition to anchoring the weekly newscast. I’ve been hooked ever since!

How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

Oh man! I know I’m going to leave some stuff out, but here goes nothing!

I knew exactly what I wanted to do in high school, and I had some incredible teachers and mentors to help me along the way. When I went off to college, I knew I had to study broadcast journalism – and AGAIN, was blessed with inspiring, dedicated, and hands-on professors. I still talk to most of them, too! I made sure to get involved with our campus news show during my freshman year, and learned every facet of our university’s morning broadcast from anchoring, directing and producing, to writing, editing, and running the teleprompter. During my junior year, I interned at Entertainment Tonight and The Insider in Los Angeles. It was a dream. Crazy how things come full circle in life.

When I graduated, I had no idea how to turn my dreams into a reality without going the “small market” news station approach. I knew I wanted to focus on entertainment, and decided my best shot was moving back to Los Angeles. Without a clue in the world as to what to do or what steps to take, I accepted a job in PR, because let’s be honest – a job out of school is a job, amiright? After a while, I realized how unhappy I was not pursuing my dreams, and ended up finding a small entertainment website to intern for.

During my time there, I was able to develop the video initiative, and launched a YouTube channel for the company called HollywireTV. My friend, Ruben Garay, and I co-created and developed a YouTube series called The Hollywire Hot Minute – initially called The Hollywood Hot Minute. I re-launched and re-branded the entire website, ran social media, booked interviews and events, and really utilized my time at the company to learn and develop relationships. Eventually, I went from intern to part OWNER of Hollywire in less than three years. From there, I was approached by Clevver Media/Alloy (now Defy Media) to launch a YouTube channel that was part of Google’s $100 million initiative: ClevverNews. I developed, produced, and hosted the original programming, including a weekly series called “Rumor Patrol” alongside my co-host, Deidre Behar. I was so excited about the opportunity that I even took a pay cut, because I was more motivated by the exciting challenge than by the money. For me, this career has never been about the money. It can’t be.

In September of 2014, Deidre and I created/developed/executive produced and hosted a daily show called The Daily Hollywood Rundown. Funny story — our bosses nixed the idea numerous times, but after months of meetings and pleadings, our persistence paid off, and we were granted the chance to build a dream series from the ground up – and really, what more could you ask for?! We did everything from designing the set, naming the segments, and picking out music, to developing the format, pulling assets, and then producing and hosting the show every day. It truly was an incredible learning experience that I’m forever grateful for. The show has since led ClevverNews to over one million subscribers on YouTube, and brings in an average of 150,000-200,000 views per episode — nearly a million a week! I truly still love our show! From there, I freelanced quite a bit before accepting my current position at Entertainment Tonight.

Any obstacles along the way?

A TON. I mean, it’s not a journey without obstacles, right? Dreams never come easy. LA can be a hard city if you don’t surround yourself with the right people. You have to keep a good head on your shoulders, and remain positive even when you feel like your world is crumbling — because it will feel like that sometimes. One specific example? At Hollywire, we had no budget initially, and for the first six months, I worked for free while maintaining part-time jobs on the side to make ends meet.

Another? Well. I think for anyone, when other people take your ideas, or take credit for something you did, it stings a bit. But, like everything else, you just have to find the big lesson in it, learn, and move onward and upward. The key to overcoming any obstacle is to just keep going and to continue giving it your best. Bad things happen, but don’t let those things define you, hinder you, or hurt your soul.

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Who is your idol?

Not sure I have any idols, per se. But I love, love, love KELLY RIPA. And Oprah. And Ellen. But yea, Kelly Ripa is the coolest.

Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:

I feel weird answering this!! Hmmm… PERSERVERANCE. Faith. Positivity. Creativity. (That’s four, sorry!)

Where would you like to be in five years?

In five years? Oh man. I would LOVE to be on a talk show. I’ve always dreamt of being a host/producer of a show like The View, but for a younger demographic – a show that tackles issues that guys and girls in high school or out of college and beyond need/want to know about — of course with a fun celebrity/entertainment spin. A TRL meets The View type program. Would you watch?!

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A Girl Boss is SO many things. Let’s see if I can give this a shot. A Girl Boss chases her dreams. A Girl Boss is loving and kind, and has a heart full of gratitude for each and every opportunity she has. A Girl Boss empowers other women rather than views them as competition. A Girl Boss knows that the sleepless nights and the blood, sweat, and tears that come with pursuing a dream are not only part of the journey – but that those hurdles make the journey worth it. A Girl Boss knows what’s worth sacrificing and what isn’t. A Girl Boss doesn’t wait for things to happen or for people to hand her things, but goes after them, and makes things happen herself. A Girl Boss is constantly learning and trying to improve. A Girl Boss always goes the extra mile. A Girl Boss stands up for what is right, even when others are too afraid to do so. A Girl Boss has a creative vision, and the ability to predict trends before they become the norm. A Girl Boss can wear a multitude of hats and does so without complaining. A Girl Boss always gets back up when she falls down, and holds her head up high. A Girl Boss isn’t afraid to jump or take a risk. A Girl Boss follows her heart but makes sure to use her brain too. A Girl Boss isn’t just self-serving, but cares about those around her. A Girl Boss is filled with passion and ambition. A Girl Boss has an unquestionable faith in her journey and in herself. Every girl has the ability to be a Girl Boss.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

I’m all over the place, ahh! Sometimes I’m the ultimate girly-girl in a floral sun dress, while other days I feel like my best self in jeans, combat boots, and a tee or some booties and a fedora. Sometimes I just want to wear an oversized sweatshirt, and wrap myself up in a plethora of blankets, so that I’m cloaked like Voldemort or The Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs whilst lounging on my couch with some pizza and wine. Stylish, I know. But on other nights I want to paint the town red with my friends in some fierce colorful lipstick, tight jeans, and stilettos. I guess it depends on the day?! Whatever I’m comfortable in at that moment?! Does that count?

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Favorite brand right now?

ALWAYS J Brand jeans, and I recently found the cutest dresses from TopShop

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

Always a chic leather jacket. I have a studded one from TopShop that I always throw on over a cute dress, or pair with grey jeans and a tee.

What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

“Angel” lipstick by Mac. And MASCARA. MASCARA. MASCARA. I am also obsessed with seven second leave-in conditioner by Unite, because Lord knows my hair needs conditioning! Also, coconut oil. Lather that stuff allll over your face – it will rejuvenate your skin!

Go-to nail color?

Right now, I’m rocking Bikini So Teeny by Essie

Coffee order?

Non-fat double dirty iced chai! Or, sugar-free vanilla soy latte. I’m one of those girls….. #basic, I know!

What makes you feel beautiful?

Honestly, no amount of makeup or clothing or anything like that makes me feel beautiful — although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel fab after a blow-out. But I feel beautiful when I’m happy and content, and doing something I love, like spending time with my family, having a wacky dance party with friends, or playing with dogs. I know it’s cheesy, but I feel most beautiful when I’m smiling; when I’m genuinely happy.

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What makes you feel badass?

Doing the things people think I can’t. Proving people wrong when they underestimate me. And hmmmm… hiking to the top of a mountain, and just standing there and overlooking the city below. Such. A. Good. Feeling.

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

I liked Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. Also going to throw out Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go, andddddd the entire Harry Potter series, because the fact JK Rowling could even envision that entire magical world, and then so eloquently and perfectly bring it to life is inspiring in and of itself.

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?

I’m obsessed with Taylor Swift. Does that count? Also, cookie butter from Trader Joe’s — talk about heaven on a spoon. They also have cookie butter ice cream now, and it tastes like Christmas in my mouth. It’s a problem.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

I love so much music. Right now, though? The 1975, Halsey, Andrew McMahon (everything he does is perfect), Sam Smith, Ella Henderson, Marina and the Diamonds, Betty Who, and this band called Pvris, and of course, TAYLOR SWIFT, because every lyric off 1989 speaks to my soul. Also loving Fifth Harmony’s new album — it’s so fun!

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

I want to say “Shake It Off” but how cliché is that?!? Also, “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore!

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

I have so many! 

“Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” – Maya Angelou

“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” – Amy Poehler

Jeremiah 29:11 is everything to me. “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

My mom has always been my biggest supporter. She’s seen everything — the lowest lows and the highest highs. She just tells me to be my true, authentic self when it comes to work and life in general, and to do things from my heart. She also always reminds me that nothing is ever as bad as it seems in the moment.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Don’t be afraid to take some risks and TRY. Always fight for what you believe in, and know that with passion and talent comes criticism and people who will tell you that you can’t do things. Just keep going! Lift one another up, because the world needs more women empowering women. Be a light. Remember that the moment you’re about to give up is the moment you’re closer to your dreams than you realize. Remember to reflect. Often we get so caught up on what we don’t have or what we haven’t achieved that we fail to realize what we do have, what we have accomplished and how far we’ve come. Have some faith. Trust your gut. And be nice.

#ImAGirlBoss: Angelique Velez

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NAME: ANGELIQUE VELEZ
CITY:NEW YORK
HOMETOWN: MEDFORD, NY
INDUSTRY: BEAUTY + FASHION 
SIGN: TAURUS 
TWITTER: @angeliquemakeup + @breakups2makeup
INSTAGRAM: @angeliquemakeup + @breakupstomakeup
WEBSITES: angeliquevelez.com + www.breakupstomakeup.com

Tell us what you do!

I am a freelance makeup artist, as well as the CEO & Founder of Breakups to Makeup, which is an accessory brand for beauty lovers and enthusiasts.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

Yes, I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Education from the University of Miami and a Master’s in Creative Art Therapy from Hofstra University.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? (i.e. movie star, doctor, unicorn, etc…)

I wanted to be a dancer on In Living Color. (That was when I actually thought I could dance.)

How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

It’s been a bit of a journey, but I started doing makeup right after graduating from college. I have always had a love for it, but never really applied it on anyone other than myself. After graduating from college at a time when it was difficult for just about anyone to find a job, I decided to move back home to New York, and was able to find a job at a local makeup counter. It was the only thing I could find at the time, but I instantly fell in love with makeup. There was a time while I was attaining my Master’s degree when I was literally working seven days a week, because I knew that I wanted to build a decent portfolio, and eventually, freelance. After attaining a full time job at one of the first makeup schools in New York City, I thought that I had achieved what I wanted. I was not only counseling students in a career that I loved, but I was networking and still involved in the industry. Little did I know that my artistic side would take control, and there came a time where I had to decide if I was ready to leave the comforting 9-5 world with health insurance and benefits to pursue my dreams of freelancing and becoming an entrepreneur. Through a lot of back and forth and contemplating, I decided to choose the latter, and the rest is history. I was picked up by an agency in NYC, and also began teaching at Chic Studios NYC. I was able to combine my love for makeup with my educational background and have never been happier.

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Any obstacles along the way?

LOL, there were so many obstacles. But the biggest, I have to admit, is what fostered my brand Breakups to Makeup. Going through a major breakup, like many can relate to, left me feeling completely empty and lost. Makeup was the reason I kept going. It was literally the reason why I got out of bed in the morning — to make others happy. It helped me find myself again.

Who is your idol?

I have SO many idols, but my biggest is my mother. She is my hugest inspiration, and is the reason why I am the woman I am today. She taught me to never give up, and to pursue your dreams, no matter what they are. She is also one of my biggest supporters.

Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:

It’s hard to limit it to three, but I would have to say staying humble, believing in myself, and never stop dreaming.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I personally would still love to be freelancing as a makeup artist. As far as my brand, I want Breakups to Makeup to be a known/staple brand in, not only the beauty industry, but in the fashion world as well.

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Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A “Girl Boss” is a woman who isn’t afraid of society’s stereotypes and goes for hers. She is someone who believes in herself, and chases her dreams no matter what.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

My “style” is that I wear what I like, no matter what. I have been this way since high school. If I like it, and I feel it flatters me, I’m wearing it. I’m not really into “trends.” I just like to feel good in my clothes! I like things that are flowy and comfortable. I’m also really into boots! I can shop for them all year long.

Favorite brand right now?

This one is REALLY hard, because I like so many different brands. I’ll answer it in a different way — my dream brand to work with during fashion week would have to be Betsey Johnson. Her clothes are so inspiring, and she takes risks. She is also so humble, and is in this industry because she truly loves it!

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

My boom box necklace — you rarely catch me without it. It reminds me of who I am, the time when I grew up, and that fashion always repeats itself.

What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

It’s hard to pick just one, but I would have to say my DiorShow mascara. Mascara, in general, is something that I can’t live without, but I particularly love this one.

Go-to nail color?

Essie’s “Spin the Bottle.” I wear this on my toes all winter long. As far as my hands, it’s whatever goes. I’ve been mixing colors lately and have been adding glitter.

Coffee order?

Caramel Latte with skim milk and splenda. Hot in the winter, iced in the summer.

What makes you feel beautiful?

It sounds corny, but my boyfriend. The way he looks at me—uggghhh did I just say that?! LOL. 

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What makes you feel badass?

When I close a deal on something that I didn’t even think was attainable. I make lists for myself, goals for my brand and personal life. So when I actually accomplish one of those goals, I feel real badass; especially when wearing my two-finger ring and sporting my brass knuckles phone case. 

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

I got #GIRLBOSS for Christmas, and am about to start it. So excited! My go-to book for inspiration is Kelly Cutrone’s If You Have to Cry Go Outside.

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?

Oreo cookies and Doritos (regular or cool ranch). If either of these are in my apartment, they will literally be gone in a day!

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

The Weeknd and Drake. I don’t think I would ever be able to do a shoot with either of them — I wouldn’t be able to hold my makeup brush!

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

“Survivor” by Destiny’s Child (don’t judge me). Oh, and for some reason, “Jenny from the Block” by Jennifer Lopez. I want all of the rocks that she’s got! Also Eve’s “Who’s that Girl.” Am I showing my age yet?

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” -Steve Jobs 

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

My mother always taught me to believe in myself. There will always be other brands or other makeup artists, but none of them are you [me]. I am constantly second guessing myself or what I want to create, especially for Breakups to Makeup, because I am scared people won’t like it. But she always reminds me to keep going.

Advice to future girl bosses:

YOU are the boss of YOUR life. No one else is or ever can be. Always believe in yourself, and never give up. If there is something you want to do that you can’t stop thinking about, go do it and don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t.

#ImAGirlBoss: Jordan Salcito

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NAME: JORDAN SALCITO 
CITY: NEW YORK
HOMETOWN: DENVER, CO
INDUSTRY: WINE + HOSPITALITY  
SIGN: LEO
NOMINATED BY: NOA GRIFFEL 
TWITTER: @jsalcito
INSTAGRAM: @jordansalcito
WEBSITE: www.belluswines.com

Tell us what you do!

I oversee the beverage programs for Momofuku, and I founded Bellus Wines.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

Haverford College in Haverford, PA. I also went to culinary school at Johnson & Wales, and am part of the Court of Master Sommeliers.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? (i.e. movie star, doctor, unicorn, etc…)

Film director, lawyer, marine biologist, food critic… 

How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

I fell in love with wine through a winding path that involved cooking with Daniel Boulud, and an article that didn’t work out for the New York Times. My paternal grandfather used to make wine in his basement, so wine, for me, occupied both a space of familiarity and of intrigue. The two jobs that led me to where I am today were a hostess position at Wylie Dufresne’s wd~50 when the restaurant opened, and a job in the kitchen at Restaurant Daniel. Working with Wylie opened my eyes to the passion, creativity, and intellect in the restaurant industry, and working with Daniel made me realize I wanted to work in the industry instead of write about it. Daniel also led to my first opportunity to work harvest in Burgundy, which then led to working harvest regularly, which led to starting Bellus Wines. 

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Any obstacles along the way?

The main one was realizing that sometimes the universe has a better idea of what you should be doing than you do yourself. A few things that felt like obstacles at the time are, in retrospect, the very turning points that led me to better opportunities.

Who is your idol? 



Audrey Hepburn for her style and grace. Amelia Earhart for her fearlessness. Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton for breaking boundaries elegantly. Coco Chanel for her vision. Maya Angelou for her wisdom. My sister, Kendyl, for her empathy. My sister, Anne-Marie, for her sense of humor.

Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:

A strong work ethic. Curiosity. Self-reflection.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

Someone who creates her own paradigm, listens well, fights elegantly for the things she believes in, and does it with honesty, grace and style.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

During the day, sweaters or t-shirts and a great pair of jeans. On the dining room floor, a well-tailored dress and Céline v-neck pumps.

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Favorite brand right now?

I’m in love with Proenza Schouler for everything from bags, to lip liner, to dresses. Alaïa for special occasions.

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

Aurélie Bidermann rose gold lace cuff.

What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

Caudalié ‘Pulpe Vitaminée’ moisturizer, Glossier ‘Balm Dotcom,’ and YSL’s Touche Éclat.

Go-to nail color?

Pale pink during the summer. In the winter, dark red.

Coffee order?

Tea, usually. Espresso in Italy.

What makes you feel beautiful?

My husband and my girlfriends make me feel beautiful. In a different way, so does a great pair of heels and a gorgeous dress.

What makes you feel badass?

That feeling I get when I’ve accomplished something I set out to do. Finishing the wine list at Momofuku Ko was a great feeling, as was bottling each new vintage of our various Bellus wines. Team dinners are also some of my favorite moments. Connecting on that level – and mapping out our visions together is perhaps the most badass of all.

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Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

Loved #GIRLBOSS. Also loved Walter Issacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and Simon Sineck’s Start with Why.

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice? (i.e. Chocolate, tequila, Justin Bieber, etc.)

Dark chocolate and margaritas in equal measure.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

Daft Punk! Especially “Instant Crush.” 

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

“Flawless” by Beyoncé.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela 

Also love Thomas Jefferson’s “The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

“Whatever you do, make it great or fail trying.” – David Chang.
“You have the ability to create your own paradigm in life.” – my friend, Jennifer Heller.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Keep an open mind, do something you love, and work hard for the things you believe in.

#ImAGirlBoss: Janelle Gutierrez

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NAME: JANELLE GUTIERREZ 
AGE: 23
CITY: LOS ANGELES 
HOMETOWN: LAGUNA NIGUEL 
INDUSTRY: FASHION 
INSTAGRAM: @changeofpolish
BLOG: changeofpolish.blogspot.com

Tell us what you do!

I currently work for Nasty Gal as their Clientele Supervisor at the flagship store on Melrose Avenue. I oversee all the clients our stylists develop, and help them build the proper relationship to give our Nasty Gal customers a new luxury experience.

Did you go to college?

I graduated from FIDM with a Merchandise Marketing degree.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

I discovered my love for fashion when I started high school. It was then that I knew I wanted to become a stylist, and help people with their wardrobe. Before Nasty Gal, I was a stylist, and helped style fashion shows, photo shoots, shopped for clients, etc.

How did you get to where you are now?

In high school, I started taking fashion classes after school. I got an internship with Nordstrom, a job at Forever 21 (because everyone needs to work retail), and promised myself I would go to FIDM and continue networking. After high school, I moved to LA, enrolled at FIDM, and got an internship at a women’s showroom. I started working for LF Stores, and that is where I learned all about how to work with clientele. It was my first job where I really got to show people my talent with clothes. It was also crazy knowing that people would only come to the store to shop with you, and that they truly trust what you have to say. It was very rewarding. After LF, I moved to a more serious styling job. I was a senior stylist for a company called Stylehaus — a members only personal styling service. Stylehaus really opened doors for me — I got to travel, and go to Céline and Lanvin to pull for clients. I met a lot of amazing people, and learned a lot about myself. It was a growing experience.

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Any obstacles along the way? 

In every job and internship I’ve ever had, there have been moments where I questioned myself. Am I good enough? Do I know what I’m doing? Am I cut out for this industry? There have been times where things got so hard, and I wasn’t understanding anything, and kept messing up that I told myself I was leaving fashion, and was going to go back to school to do something else. Thank god for my amazing family and friends for always talking some sense back into me. Now, I just get back on my grind, and look back at all my amazing accomplishments. And know that I have a lot more work to accomplish.

Who is your idol?

My dad. I know — cheesy. But it’s true. My dad is an amazing man. Incredibly intelligent, hardest worker I have ever met, and the most loving father and husband. I could write a book on my dad’s accompaniments and what he has taught me and my siblings. Everything I do, I do for him and my mom. He is my biggest fan, and motivates me everyday.

Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:

Family, confidence, and never taking “No” for answer.

Where would you like to be in five years?

CEO of my own company (that I am slowly building with my sister). Stay tuned to find out more! 

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Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A girl with passion, creativity, and ambition. She gets shit done, but still lives life to the fullest. She believes in herself, and never gives up. She also has bad ass style, and thinks everyday should start off with champagne. 😉

Describe your style/fashion sense:

I never know how to answer this question. I don’t put any labels on my style. I honestly just wear whatever the heck I want. Yes, I do look at trends, and love a good street style blog, but overall I just love clothes. If there is anything I can say about my style, it’s that I am not that girly, and I love taking chances. You can never have too many white shirts (I live for white T-shirts and button ups). 

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Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

My mom just gave me her mink fur coat that is literally as old as me — 23 years old! Its black, hits right above my bum, and it’s pure perfection. I am so that asshole in LA wearing a mink coat in 75 degree weather while grabbing coffee.

What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

I cannot live without my Le Labo lotion and perfume. It literally rules my life.

Go-to nail color?

I’m always loving a good shade of grey, but I love trying on all colors (expect pink). Never been into pink nail polish.

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No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?

A killer pair of shoes and some wine.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

Alt J and Milky Chance are my obsessions right now.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Any song that gets me movin’ and groovin’! 

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

My older sister has always given me the best advice. I can’t think of anything in specific, but everything we talk about is golden. She is a god. 

Advice to future girl bosses:

Keep pushing, and make sure you are always dressed to kill.

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#ImAGirlBoss: Rachel Doyle

RachelDoyle

NAME: RACHEL DOYLE 
AGE: 32 
CITY:
 NEW YORK
HOMETOWN: BOSTON, MA –> COMMACK, NY
INDUSTRY: NON-PROFIT + SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP 
NOMINATED BY: LAUREN BERGER
TWITTER: @ggfounder + @glamourgals
INSTAGRAM: @ggfounder + @_glamourgals
WEBSITE: GlamourGals.org

Tell us what you do!

I am the CEO and Founder of GlamourGals.org. “GG” is a not-for-profit that inspires and organizes teen volunteers to provide ongoing companionship and complimentary beauty makeovers to women living in senior homes. #ggmovement

Did you go to college? If so, where?

Yes, Cornell University.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

I remember always telling my parents that I didn’t want to just paint the picture that hangs in a gallery — I wanted to be the one who owns the gallery.

How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

I think three things have brought me where I am today. First, surrounding myself with people who are more talented than I am. Second, a lot of hard work and sacrificing my social life in college, because I knew it would pay off in the future. Number three, being open to learning new things and accepting change. There are so many moments when you are building something from nothing, and you just have to “roll” with it.

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Any obstacles along the way?

Plenty! From funding, to self-doubt, to not having enough time — but I think one of my greatest skills is being a creative problem solver. I love the process that gets you to the solution or next step.

Who is your idol?

I love comedians – they make something that is so hard look so easy. Like Ellen DeGeneres or Chris Rock. But my real idol is my mom. She has a Master’s degree, had a full-time job, and still put dinner on the table every night for the family. She is my hardest working GG volunteer and best friend. She brings practicality to anything that she helps with in order to get the job done, and is a great shopping buddy.

Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:

Hard work, open-mindedness, and creativity. 

Where would you like to be in five years?

In a happy and comfortable place in life, but ask me in five years for the details.

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Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

Someone who takes charge, but is confident enough in her self to mentor and invite others into her vision and work, because she knows that can produce much greater results.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

It totally depends on the day and how I am feeling. Sometimes, I am preppy chic and other times more bohemian preppy – I guess I always have a little prep!

Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

Clothing Item: A navy blue dress jacket in a quilted fabric, black lapel and pop of hot pink under the collar (best bday gift from my husband – I got to design my own jacket!). 

Accessory: Men’s Irish cap from Old England. It pulls together any outfit, and hides a bad hair day.

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What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

Mascara.

Go-to nail color?

Lately, nothing. Because I don’t have time to paint and let my nails dry. I hope to change that in 2015, and when I do, usually light pink because it doesn’t show chipping fast.

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

Eek — I need to read more, but I love Sunday Styles from the NY Times!

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?

Bloomingdales! If I could buy groceries there, I would.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

Anything Top 40.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Katy Perry’s Firework. Sometimes you can’t take yourself so serious.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.” – Albert Einstein

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

Just figure it out, and get it done. Can’t remember exactly who, but I know that this phrase has made it into conversations with Lauren Berger (fellow #girlboss) to my dad!

Advice to future girl bosses:

It’s all about the execution. Everyone has ideas. It is getting the work done after you have set the plan or shared the idea that makes it real.

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Follow Rachel’s #girlboss journey on Twitter + Instagram

LIFE: My Story Is Still Untitled

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Let me ask you something — when you were a kid, and people asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, what did you tell them?

Think back to what life was like at eight years old. You painted a picture with your words any time someone asked you about your dream job. Conjuring up a grandiose future in which you live out your wildest dreams, your ideas for the future were limitless and ever changing. Maybe you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer. Maybe you wanted to be a fashion designer. Maybe you wanted to own an amusement park where everything is elephant-themed, and the workers ride elephants, and all the food is elephant-shaped, and you get a free elephant on the way out!!!

Okay, maybe that was just me. Regardless, it was always, “Sky’s the limit, kiddo.”

Flash forward about 10 years or so, and you’re a “grown up.” Pressures rise as you feel forced to pick career paths or colleges, and you’re pretty upset when “elephant amusement park operation” isn’t on the list of majors to choose from. When “real life” is on the horizon, the dreams of your eight-year-old self seem nostalgic, distant, and—suddenly—not so plausible. An uncomfortable dissonance arises between what you may have expected for yourself and what is actually happening, like, right now. Suddenly, you’re a college girl or a 20-something and the world is spinning faster and faster each day. People you know are getting engaged. Homegirl from high school is pregnant with baby number two. Your friends are pursuing actual careers, and you still have no idea what you want to do with your life.

And you know what? That’s okay.

I am unashamed to say that I truly have no idea what I’m doing after I graduate (and P.S., I graduate this May). I haven’t drawn up a five-year-plan, nor do I have a job waiting for me after I toss my cap in the air. It took some time to come to grips with the fact that I don’t know what the future holds, and it’s fine that I don’t.

My first three years at college were spent with little direction, taking general education credits just to get by. With my many passions and interests, I had trouble channeling them down one path. I couldn’t decide on a major, let alone a career. My undergrad years quickly dwindled to its final fractions, and I began to worry about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. While dealing with the anxieties of an uncertain future, the unsolicited opinions of others sent me into full-on ‘freak-out-mode’. Family members and friends who asked me what I wanted to do post-grad seemed absolutely appalled when I told them plainly that I didn’t know.

“You haven’t been looking for jobs or internships?!”
“What do you mean you ‘don’t know’? Aren’t you about to graduate??”
Listen, Aunt Linda. I’m just as clueless as you are.

You may find yourself in a similar situation, and you sit back and wonder, “Should I have my shit together by now?”

The short answer I have is “No”.

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It’s okay to not know. It’s okay to have a heart bursting with passions that cannot be narrowed down to one category. It’s okay to be uncertain, because the night is still young, my friend. What’s not OK is sitting idly by and comparing yourself to the achievements and paths of others. Instead of worrying about what you don’t have, focus on the things you know to be true.

I know I’ll never be a pharmacist like my roommate, nor a lawyer like my pledge sister. Math and science have never been my strong suits, but I can write a poem that’ll bring you to tears. I love to write. I love to talk. I love to connect with people. It took me until my second semester of my senior year to be proactive and apply what I have learned about myself to the first steps of my future. Now I’m writing for this blog y’all are reading!

The common misconception is that people who don’t know what they want to do for a career are lazy. A lack of motivation is not the reason they haven’t found a job or applied to grad school; they simply haven’t figured it out yet. The key is to find what makes your heart sing. What drives you? What keeps you engaged and excited? What thing do you just really, really like? Take that thing—big or small—and try something new with it. As cliché as it sounds, you never know until you try. Blogging and writing never seemed like a career path I would take, but here I am, simply enjoying the process of spilling my thoughts out on to a page and connecting with people through my words. I may never write a screenplay or sell hundreds of thousands of books someday… Or, maybe I will. It’s fine that I don’t know. For now, I’ll keep exploring my options, and never set limits on myself. And I dare you to do the same.

There is no definite formula for success. No one choice will guarantee happiness and fortune. Hard work, positivity, and a willingness to try will ensure that you’ll see the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. When you were eight, your ideas of the future were vast and promising. Inside of all of us, that eight-year-old little girl still dreams with reckless abandon. Follow where she tells you to go and enjoy the journey. And if you open that elephant-themed amusement park you’ve always wanted, I’m expecting a lifetime membership pass.