#ImAGirlBoss: DJ Coco Robert

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Name: DJ Coco Robert
City:
 New York
Industry: Music
Twitter: @cocothedj
Instagram: @cocothedj
Website: cocorobert.com

Tell us what you do!

As much as possible. I DJ for companies and brands like the NYC Ballet, SCOOP and Equinox. I collaborate on projects involving clothing lines, products, and more recently, apps. I’m curating a series of summer events for Rise City Swimwear. I produce online content for VH1/MTV and write on their music blog… though I’m feeling a little disloyal right now, considering I also have a Lifetime television series being shot in my apartment.

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Did you go to college? If so, where?

I first thought I should have a true “college experience.” Luckily, my mother reminded me how easily I could get bored in New York, and how much that would be magnified in a college town, so NYU ended up being my one and only application. I actually transferred into University of Southern California after freshman year, but never booked my flight once I figured out that, at NYU, I could pull off graduating in three years.

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

I’ve always wanted to work, even growing up — before I had any reason to. If my sister and I didn’t have lemonade to sell, I’d pop popcorn. In high school, I would offer to intern for anyone in a cool industry who said I was too young to work for them. Often I just made up things I could do for people. I met a partner in a well known denim company, and hosted a casting call for their campaign. A string of supermodels came out of the dressing room in the label’s jeans, and it was just 16-year-old me behind the desk, asking them to turn for polaroids.

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

Independent, driven, passionate.

Define “girlboss” in your own words.

A woman who continuously sets and exceeds daring goals, utilizes doubt as motivation, remains unconcerned about stereotypes, norms, or expectations, and capitalizes on the knowledge that success is dependent on herself.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

My closet has lots of leather and lots of black t-shirts. I like to stick to basics and then add one or two striking pieces. I’ll wear high-waisted printed pants with a plain tank, or all black with a stand out blazer.

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Favorite brand right now?

The Row

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

My slouchy black Alexander Wang bag. It’s simple enough to bring to the gym in the morning and classic enough to transition into the night.

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

A good lip balm.

Go-to nail color?

Black or nude.

What makes you feel badass?

The look on tourists’ faces when I jaywalk on my way to MTV Networks in Times Square.

No girlboss is perfect. What’s your vice?

Chocolate chip cookies, joy rides, online shopping, and a good bubble bath.

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What song makes you feel like a girlboss?

“Diva” by Beyonce

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

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

“You can do that.” – My mom, on everything.

Advice to future girl bosses:

The only difference between impossible and possible is that the former is even more rewarding to accomplish.

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#ImAGirlBoss: Lara Parker

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I love talking to people who work at BuzzFeed. Not only do they have, like, THEE MOST KICK ASS JOB EVER AND I WANT TO BE THEM — but also, they’re super articulate, and witty, and ridiculously cool in general. Lara Parker and I connected on instagram a few months ago, and I quickly fell in love with her amazingly hilarious sense of humor and incredibly vulnerable honesty (read this!). It quickly became clear to me that she was a #girlboss, and that I should share her #girlboss-ness with all y’all.

NAME: Lara Parker (that’s like Lara Croft)
AGE: 23
CITY:
 Los Angeles
HOMETOWN: Morgantown, IN (I’ll give you $5 if you’ve heard of it)
INDUSTRY: Editorial — I’m a WrItEr
SIGN: Taurus baby
TWITTER: @laraeparker
INSTAGRAM: @laraeparker
WEBSITE: laraeparker.com

Tell us what you do!

I am a staff writer for the Los Angeles bureau of BuzzFeed. I write (mostly), tweet a lot, and blog in my free time. I write a lot of BuzzTeam (insert list joke here), but I’ve also dabbled in some personal essays.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I graduated from the University of Indianapolis in 2013 with a degree in Communication that focused on Public Relations. Very Samantha Jones meets Indiana. Kidding. It’s a small liberal arts college on the southside of Indianapolis that has a fake Starbucks, but a ton of cool people.

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

I wanted to be a marine biologist mainly because I thought I would be the one to discover that mermaids are, in fact, real. This might still happen — that’s all I’m saying. It doesn’t matter that I puke on boats and don’t know how to dive. Minor details.

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

Like many college students, I entered my junior year of college not knowing what the hell I was going to do with my life. Everyone around me was all like, “I have this internship, and this job, and this perfect life.” And I was like, “Um, I really like watching Bravo?” One particularly low day, I was on Tumblr, and saw this quote about traveling to find yourself. I had always wanted to study abroad, and after spending a month in Greece after my sophomore year, the travel bug infected me.

That night I started researching places to study abroad — and just like that — I decided I was going to go to Australia. It sounds so cliché now, but for the first time that year, I felt like I had finally found my path. I feel like we all search for that path… and going to Australia my senior year was mine. While I was in Australia, I started a blog to keep my family updated with the things I was doing down under. I started noticing that more and more people began to read it. It was insane to me that people cared about what I had to say, but what was even more insane was how much I enjoyed it. I kept blogging, and when I returned to the states, I didn’t stop. I started writing about everything. During that time, I got diagnosed with some health issues, and that’s when I realized how important writing was. Not just for me, but for everyone to know that they’re never really alone. I kept writing and writing and then I discovered BuzzFeed, and applied for their editorial fellowship straight away.

Any obstacles along the way?

I was actually turned down by BuzzFeed. I sat on my couch and cried for a bit, then decided that I wasn’t done yet. So I applied again, this time for a Travel Intern position — and I got it. However, a month into my internship, the travel vertical was kind of becoming obsolete, and they didn’t need a travel writer as much. So I had to kick my ass into gear and really prove myself. In March of 2014, I was offered a full-time position, and I’ve been here since. Proof that you really can’t give up on your dreams, even if everyone else has.

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Who is your idol?

I have too many idols, almost all of them being women that I follow on Twitter. Women are amazing, you know? Fucking amazing. And the more women I meet, the more in awe I become.

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

Courage. Adaptability. Optimism.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I want to still be writing, but also expanding my scholarship in memory of my late best friend, and helping women all over the world with healthcare. I never want another woman to have to go through what I, and so many others, have gone through to find out what’s going on with our bodies. I want to be sitting in a Starbucks, and hear someone talk about having a painful vagina, and know that it’s no longer taboo or weird in any way.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

Being completely yourself with absolutely no apologies and allowing everyone else to do the same.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

Forever 21 meets Buffalo Exchange meets I saw someone wearing this and googled it until I found out where they bought it.

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Favorite brand right now?

ASOS. Mostly because I’m too lazy to shop anymore, and I just looked through my browser history, and there’s a lot of that.

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

HATS. Never have a bad hair day again.

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

GIMME BROW by Benefit — it’s an eyebrow brush but also a life changer. Take my word for it

Go-to nail color?

Black like the emo girl I always wanted to be when I was 16.

Coffee order?

I don’t drink coffee, so I order a hot chocolate with caramel, and pretend it’s coffee because coffee sounds cooler

What makes you feel beautiful?

Making other people smile.

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What makes you feel badass?

Writing openly about my struggles and being able to say, “this is hard.”

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

OK DEEP DARK SECRET HERE … but If The Buddha Dated. It’s about finding love on a spiritual journey, which I’m not that into — but it’s also about refusing to settle and kicking bad dating habits, which I am VERY into.

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

I eat the fuck out of Spongebob Push Pops — ORANGE BURST FLAVOR — while watching “Southern Charm.” No one is perfect, OK?

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

Always, always obsessed with twenty one pilots. They just GET me.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

“Comeback” by Ella Eyre — girl don’t take no shit, and neither do I. HAHA, sometimes.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.”

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

“Be on your own side.” -My friend, Will Schnabel

Advice to future girl bosses:

Don’t do something to prove others wrong. Do it to prove yourself wrong.

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#ImAGirlBoss: Erika De La Cruz

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NAME: Erika De La Cruz
AGE: 24
CITY: San Diego + Los Angeles
HOMETOWN: Los Banos, CA
INDUSTRY: Entertainment + Broadcast Media
SIGN: Taurus
TWITTER: @_ErikaDeLaCruz
INSTAGRAM: @Erikadelacrz
WEBSITE: Erikadelacruz.com/blog

Tell us what you do!

I’m a radio personality. I serve as Promotions Director and Video Entertainment Host for Easy 98.1 FM. I also just wrapped hosting the Fashion Week San Diego Spring Showcase. What’s sleep?

Did you go to college? If so, where?

San Diego State University — #GoAztecs!

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

Peter Pan’s girlfriend! Aside from those aspirations, I wanted to “put on shows for people,” and often subjected my family to theatrical narrations, dances, and rap routines.

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

I grew up in a really small town — Los Banos, CA! When it came time for college, I attended SDSU. After a ton of “different ideas for majors,” I got my degree in Communication & Media, with an emphasis in public speaking & interview. Along the way, I picked up as many internship/volunteer opportunities, and went to as many office hours, as possible to integrate myself into a community of people I wanted to learn from, in industries I wanted to learn more about. I started working in LA doing some red carpet correspondence on the weekends and fell in love. Then started working on a Morning Show in radio in San Diego, which I also loved, and eventually found that — in this industry — fashion, pop-culture and all the other stuff I love are often part of the deal! I love this multi-media world. 

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Any obstacles along the way?

I definitely experienced some set backs, like the economy circa 2009. That lovely economy threw a few huge hurdles my way — financial aid, foreclosure, loosing a few loved ones. But from that, I think I developed skills that, to this day, are the reason I’m pursuing what I love. I feel like sometimes there’s an expected “surrendering” reaction when drastic, unexpected things happen (the easy route), but instead I reacted with, “Nope, I’m going to maintain every last detail of my life, thank you very much.” I think the obstacles can push you to really fight to stay in what I call the “Winners Circle,” (optimism/drive/accomplishment.) Sure, you have to fail at things sometimes, but I think aiming to stay in that circle gives you a consistent target!

Who is your idol?

Keltie Knight really inspires me! Her positive energy and instinct to lift and encourage other women is contagious. Ellen De Generous, Ivanka Trump, and Will Smith are pretty amazing, too.

What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?

-Belief meeting Behavior (Praxis)
-Gratitude
-JU JU ☺

Where would you like to be in five years? On your television.

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Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

She pursues her passion, and puts her strengths into killing it every day. She inspires, and lifts others, and has genuine desire to “tag team it” with like-minded individuals. She trusts her dream and aspirations, and that’s what makes her tick. I’ll credit Marie Claire for the term “Passionista,” which I’ve taken to heart. I literally have it taped to my wall; it embodies the #girlboss for me.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

Classic. I gravitate toward pieces that are flirty, but still elevated. I really enjoy bright solids, and have an unexplained weakness for jumpsuits.

Favorite brand right now?

BCBG Maxamara.

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

Topshop basics. All of them.

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

Buxom mascara

Go-to nail color?

French Tips. Like to keep it classy!

Coffee order?

Café au lait (fancy for: coffee with frothed milk). 

What makes you feel beautiful?

Getting dressed up is fantastic, but I’m a sucker for a cute pair of PJs while your hair is still done! Slipping into a pair of “matchies” or a “nighty” after a show makes me feel super cozy, cute and HAPPY!

What makes you feel badass?

Nailing a project. There’s no better feeling than doing the prep work for a segment or event — and killing it. I feel like I’m great with the “idea” portion, but the will power comes in the research and leg work for me. After the follow-through, I feel pretty #badass. 

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

Project Runway. I will sit forever, unproductively lost, in that show.

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

Can Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran just form a band? I feel like it’s possible.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

“Blank Space” by T-Swift.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

There are so many! Here are a few I really like:  “Belief does not sit on the couch and wait for success to show up.” –Bob Proctor “You can fail at doing something you don’t want to do, so you may as well go for your dream.” – Jim Carrey “You can never be over dressed or over educated.” -Oscar Wild

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

When I started working in-studio for the very first time, I had an amazing morning show host guiding me — “Lenny B” of More Music Mornings. I stepped into my first “big conference room” meeting with the rest of the company department reps, and I was a little bit intimidated, not wanting to stand out for having a bright PINK laptop cover and a glittery violet phone case. I was already the youngest and one of the only females in the room, so I took off both before the meeting so I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. But afterward, Lenny asked where the heck my “Erika” stuff went? And reminded me that I had gotten there because of being me, and to never be afraid of that. *Maintain Authenticity. That’s what I learned. It applies to so many situations and decisions that have come along since. You can’t really connect with people until you’re comfortable in your own skin. And for interviewing, that’s especially important.

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Advice to future girl bosses:

Don’t let challenges scare you! See them as opportunities. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, and are on your team, because you eventually develop the same mindset and habits as them. Get as many internships as you can. And be nice to everyone — it will come full circle!

#ImAGirlBoss: Allegra Cohen

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NAME: ALLEGRA COHEN 
CITY: NEW YORK
HOMETOWN: CHERRY HILL, NJ
INDUSTRY: FILM
SIGN: LIBRA
NOMINATED BY: RACHEL DOYLE 
TWITTER: @allegracohen
INSTAGRAM: @allegracohen
TSU: tsu.co/AllegraCohen
WEBSITE: imdb.me/allegracohen

Tell us what you do!

I am a film producer with a focus in brand integration, and also work as an actor in television, film, commercials, and voiceovers.

I am a Curly Connoisseur, empowering women and girls to embrace their naturally curly hair.

I am an all-around connections specialist! 

Did you go to college? If so, where?

Montclair State University with a double major in Theatre and Sorority – go Delta Phi Epsilon, Alpha Eta chapter!

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

My mom used to let me watch all her soap operas with her instead of taking a nap, and as I got older, she and I would record them on the VCR, and watch the episodes after school. I became completely engrossed in the romantic and outlandish storylines. So pretty much since the age of three, I wanted to be Barbara Ryan on As the World Turns or Lois Cerullo on General Hospital.

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

I grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ, and my original claim to fame was appearing on the Al Alberts Television Showcase singing and dancing to the “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News. I went off to college to study Theatre, and in my last year, as we were preparing for our acting showcase in Manhattan, a very talented and successful voiceover artist, Chip Bolcik, came to speak to our class about his work in voiceovers. I had never understood what a voiceover was, and in that moment, I made a decision to explore every facet of the entertainment industry when I graduated.

In order to support myself, I sold entertainment for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and have danced at over 1,000 of these parties in the tri-state area. I went to voiceover bootcamp, got my demo reel, and landed my first voiceover agent. As I was sitting at one of my first voiceover audtions, a gentleman sitting next to me passed me his laptop, and asked me to read a couple pages of a script he had just written, and told me to tell him what I thought of it. I instantly told Joe Narciso that it would win the New York Television Festival, and I wanted to help him make it. The show was called Split the Difference, and it was the first project I co-produced.

Not only did it win the NYTVF, but NBC bought the show. Narciso and his wife, Charlene, convinced me that producing was my calling. It was challenging for me to embrace the producing idea, as I was so set on pursuing my acting career. But I soon realized, I didn’t need to choose one or the other.

I went on to produce several web series projects, short films, and then I was invited to a table read of a script to fill in for an actress who wasn’t able to make it. I met Jason Chaet and Rick Moore, the director and writer of Putzel, which I ended up acting in and producing. I learned to enjoy the process of filmmaking even more and rising to the pressure of challenges that come up on set – everything from finding a last minute lox slicer stunt double to acquiring a key location at low or no cost. After almost five years of my coming on board, Putzel played at over 50 film festivals around the world, and was released internationally by Filmbuff. You can now see it on iTunes and stream it via Hulu.

I was hired this summer to join the producing team of I Am Michael, starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts, and Charlie Carver. My producer role spanned brand integration, product placement, clearance, deal negotiations, music licensing, wrap party brand sponsors, and post-production follow up.

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I leverage people’s strengths so everybody can work at their greatest potential. Usually, what holds people back is money. Producers want to make a great film. I want them to make a great film. For example — taking the wardrobe department as an angle — great wardrobe is an essential part of the creative process, but smaller indie films don’t have the budget to kick that visual up a notch. On the other side, I have a designer with gorgeous clothes but not enough capital to finance a large marketing campaign. My magic is pulling the two factions together — James Franco will look hot in that jacket, the film has a visual upgrade, and the coat gets eyeballs the designer needs. I pull those two relationships together and now everyone’s working—everybody wins. I love it when everyone walks away a winner. It’s so much fun! And isn’t that what being a “girl boss” is all about? We bring fun, energy, and universal abundance to the table.

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After huge success working with the I Am Michael producers and director, Justin Kelly, I recently returned from our film premiere at Sundance, a highlight of my career. I am currently in post-production for my latest feature, Manhattan Nocturne, starring Adrien Brody in this niche producer role I’ve created and in development for several other projects.

Any obstacles along the way?

Plenty of them — which is par for the course and so brilliant when you can overcome them.

In the middle of my sophomore year of high school, I was rushed to the hospital, and after emergency surgery, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammation of the bowel. It has been a long road, in and out of hospitals, but I am happy to say that for the last five years, I have been in remission. But I first had to face my Gastroenterologist prescribing me to go on IV drugs or other strong medications I would’ve had to be on the rest of my life. I respect my doctors, but I just knew that wasn’t the story for my life I wanted to tell. I chose to say I’m healed. I decided to go against the doctors, and risk the chance that they could have been right, but I had to work with them in a way that felt authentic to me. I was able to collaborate with them on minimal meds, diet (including an anti-inflammatory way of life called THE PLAN, by Lyn-Genet Recitas) and exercise, and now, my reward is that I am a Healing Ambassador for Crohn’s and Colitis, and I am leading the crusade on Women’s Health helping people change the way they are looking at their situations and advising them on health and nutrition.

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Who is your idol?

My family — my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Especially my brother, Dov. I think of him, and am instantly inspired to be the best version of me. He genuinely looks at life in the most selfless way and how his contribution in words and action will best serve the world.

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

I have been told my greatest strengths are being proactive, a great listener, and having a tenacious spirit.

Where would you like to be in five years?

Happy in wherever life takes me; surrounded by loving friends and family; making an impact on the world by providing service to others; more time, freedom and flexibility; 100% fearless!

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

Girl Boss is redefining the meaning of a creature who is immature, worthless, and past her prime. Rather, she is a woman who is fully grown, conscious and workin’ it! And when it comes to boss, no dominators here (except in the bedroom), but a new take — being open, listening, leading, making powerful decisions, and having creative vision.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

I am a versatile fashionista! I love experimenting with the latest trends, and glamming up my professional looks. I agree with many that true beauty comes from within, however, it’s important to me to live up to my appearance’s full potential. You can’t underestimate the importance of a first impression, and how making the extra effort in our look strengthens positivity and confidence in ourselves, and invokes that energy in those around us.

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Favorite brand right now?

My go-to brand is BCBG. The mission behind their brand — good style, good attitude — resonates with me. And my favorite stylist, Diana Gilbert, at their Flatiron location works with me to add pieces to my wardrobe that are professional-chic, and easily function day-to-night.

I have a healthy obsession with Ariana Rabbani. Her line makes me feel feminine, elegant, romantic and NOW. I adore her butterfly necklaces and can’t get enough of my ear jackets – they’re diamonds attached to gold that go behind your ear so that it looks like there are sprinkles of diamonds on your earlobes!

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

My Hawke & Co Packer Coat! Super warm for the winter on its own, and also fits under my big winter coats. The coolest part about it is you can roll it up to fit into its own jacket pocket.

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

I have fallen in love with all things Arbonne. It sits with my values, it’s vegan, cruelty free, Ultra-Swiss Premium formulation, and the products do what they say they’re gonna do. A true girl boss leads from the front, and I believe there should be no toxic footprint in the name of beauty!

Some of my faves include: RE9 Anti-Aging line, Genius, Mascara, Tinted Moisturizer, Pomegranate Fizz Sticks

Go-to nail color?

I’m really into ZOYA which eliminates toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP from its polishes – as for colors: Myrta and Haven!

Coffee order?

Jet Fuel + Coffee Mate Coconut Creamer.

What makes you feel beautiful?

Dancing – any time any place to Top 40, in my favorite dance cardio class, Body Conceptions, at Beautique in midtown, and Xbox Dance Central competitions.

Attending a Glamour Gals makeover, and spending time with our amazing volunteers.

What makes you feel badass?

Hearing YES after no, no, no!

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

Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus.

It’s actually considered a children’s book, about 2 caterpillars on the search for meaning. The major lesson I took from the book is that we are all here on Earth to become our full selves, and in doing so, many times in our lives we’re gonna have to let go of the past, embrace it, and hope there’s a beautiful butterfly experience on the other side. We don’t need to compete with each other, we can all be free to fly and help others fly along the way.

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

Marshmallows.

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

One of my musical idols growing up was Tori Amos, and this summer when I was working on I Am Michael, the director and I wanted to get her permission to have James play a few notes of “Silent All these Years” on the piano, and to use “Crucify” for the end credits. Tori and her manager, John Witherspoon, invited me to meet her in her dressing room after her to concert at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. I hugged her and realized her music and lyrics never left me. She once said, “Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.” As I’ve been listening to her music again the last few months, I’m listening with different ears than when I was in high school. And her honesty and edginess are empowering.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

If I’m feeling a little feisty, “You Oughta Know” by Alannis Morrissete or “Nobody’s Supposed to be Here” by Deborah Cox. If I’m feeling super uplifted, “Roar” by Katy Perry and “Starships” by Nicki Minaj. And if I need a little boost in not caring what anyone thinks, “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift. 

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.” –Khalil Gibran

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

1. “Being shy is a waste of time.” – Marcia R. Hinden, Best MOM ever

2. “Focus on what you can control.” – Dr. Suzanne Trauth, Montclair State University professor

3. My friend and mentor, Jordan Baker-Kilner, gave me a book of essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson called Self-Reliance. She encouraged me through this gift to trust my inner voice rather than conform to what society expects of me; to retain the outspokenness of a child who freely speaks her mind; to take pride in my individuality; to live up to my own ideals, even if I’m criticized in the process.

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Advice to future girl bosses:

1. Have the courage to be imperfect
2. Be present, focus on the moment each step of the way, have a deep, passionate vision, don’t worry about the future, and then let go of the outcome.
3. Turn complaints into requests, ask specifically for what you want – how can you fix that, where do you start, who else can help you, how can I help you?
4. Not everyone is gonna like you, you can’t please everyone.
5. Embrace confusion.
6. Dream bigger, think better, NEVER GIVE UP!
7. Don’t judge, yourself or anyone else.
8. Possess an attitude of gratitude.
9. Don’t burn a bridge.
10. Surround yourself with your own special team of experts.

#ImAGirlBoss: Numa Perrier

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NAME: NUMA PERRIER aka MISS NUMA
City: LOS ANGELES
INDUSTRY: ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT 
SIGN: SAGITTARIUS
NOMINATED BY: TAYE HANSBERRY
TWITTER: @missnuma
INSTAGRAM: @missnuma
WEBSITE: numaperrier.com

Tell us what you do!

I’m an artist and actress. As an actress, I’m known for my role as Chick on The Couple, which is now in development at HBO. As an artist, I work in photography, film/video art, and large scale installation where I often recreate my memories and dream life. I’m also Co-Founder and Creative Executive at Black&Sexy TV.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I did not attend college. I studied under Milton Katselas for acting.

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

I wanted to be an actress, though I was writing from a very young age (7 or 8), and always had an interest in the arts.

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

My entire life has been unorthodox. I lived a complex childhood, was raised partially on a farm, and traveled to some obscure places. I’ve always been a person on the fringe. I’ve always been ambitious and competitive. Along the way I attracted like-minded people, and we built things together, or they supported my work as mentors, benefactors, or fans. Those alliances helped me tremendously. I’m tenacious and use my creativity–not just to create–but to solve problems, and this has helped me to get where I am as well.

Any obstacles along the way?

Of course. It’s no fun without a little tension. However, my biggest obstacle is always myself. When things aren’t going well, it’s because I’ve messed up on communication with someone, or not trusted myself, or simply had the wrong attitude or perspective on the situation.

Who is your idol?

I try not to idolize anyone, but I really love and respect Jill Soloway. Our work, The Couple and Transparent, screened together at Sundance 2014 panel, and we got to know each other after that. We had lunch, and I felt so refreshed afterwards that here is a woman who has put her life on display with such finesse and love – I’m very impressed by her.

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

Tenacity, Humor, Foresight. 

Where would you like to be in five years?

In 2020? I’d like to be a woman you come to if you need real financing for a film or art project, and that I’m in the position of abundance to give it to you. I’d like Black&Sexy TV to be a household name that the entire community can be proud of and benefit from. I’d like to be seen and heard on a world scale in my artwork, and play meaningful roles in films and series which excite me. My daughter will be eight years old — I’ve already made promises to her about what her life will be like when she turns five. We’re on our way.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

We’re in a time where women of all ages are trying to reconcile what it means to be a feminist, or have agency over our lives. The term Girl Boss illustrates this juxtaposition to me. We’re girls – we’re feminine – but we are bosses making our own decisions, starting our own businesses.

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Describe your style/fashion sense:

I’ve always been drawn to well-made classic and understated pieces. I love comfort and casual chic. At the same time, I also love a strong statement piece — vintage or modern. I’m very minimal with accessories, and would rather focus on my hair, great shoes, and a bold lip. For me, it’s always a balance of playfulness, sensuality, and clean feminine lines. I absolutely love the fun and creativity of coming up with red carpet looks — it’s one of the great perks of working in this industry.

Favorite brand right now?

Apple.

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

Topshop has a great high waist stretch denim that puts everything in its right place. My waist is slim and hips are thick, so my girls with this body type — go over there and get you some. They are under 100 bucks I believe.

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

Mascara. I abhor false eyelashes, but a little mascara is a must for me even if I wear no other makeup — which is often the case when I’m not on set.

Go-to nail color?

I always try something new with nail colors. Really depends on my mood. Right now I have a grey scale on. Before that, I had a bright blue. All depends.

Coffee order?

Lots of cream. No sugar.

What makes you feel beautiful?

Wearing well-made clothes. Dim lights. Good hair days. Creating.

What makes you feel badass?

Bikram Yoga and training with the relentless Boba Andric! Making impossible deadlines happen.

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

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

Sleeping in and eating everything on the Do-Not-Eat list.

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

I love indie artists Fritzwa, Alex Isley, Gwen Bunn, B. Jamelle – all artists that have been featured on Black&Sexy TV. 

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Gonna have to take it back — the Lil Kim verse on Mobb Deep Quiet Storm.

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What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

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

Don’t explain. Don’t complain. A dear elder friend told me this. When I take this advice, it’s always in my best interest.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Take a voice class. Then use your voice well — the one people can hear and the one people can feel.

#ImAGirlBoss: Colleen Curlin

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NAME: COLLEEN CURLIN
AGE: 29
CITY: LOS ANGELES
HOMETOWN: EL PASO, TEXAS
INDUSTRY: MUSIC + TELEVISON
SIGN: SCORPIO
NOMINATED BY: MARGOT STEPHENSON
TWITTER: @lamvf
INSTAGRAM: @robofem
WEBSITE: lamvf.com

Tell us what you do!

I’m a music supervisor at Bunim-Murray Productions, currently working on Real World for MTV. Most other hours of the day, I’m the co-director of the LAVMF (Los Angeles Music Video Festival), a film-festival dedicated to music videos.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I graduated from University of Southern California with a B.S. in Communication.

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

For the longest time, I wanted to be an astronomer – I am so intrigued by space, the moon and stars, and the thought that we are just one part of a very massive universe.

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

I came to Los Angeles wanting to be in PR, just like Samantha Jones in Sex & the City. Once I realized there was an industry where I could work and enjoy music at the same time, I was sold. Through college, I was lucky to have internships in multiple fields of the music business, but ultimately ended up at Interscope Records focusing on digital marketing after graduation. After three years there, I had the opportunity to make the leap to music supervision, and I’ve been at Bunim-Murray since 2012. The LA Music Video Festival came into being in 2009, with Sami Kriegstein, and we’ve been building it from the ground up over the past six years.

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Any obstacles along the way?

Of course, most of my internships were unpaid, so there were lots of late nights waiting tables/odd jobs to help pay the bills. Plus, when I made the switch from the label to licensing, there was a lot to learn, but I’ve been so lucky to have amazing managers and mentors.

Who is your idol?

Amy Poehler. I love her sense of humor while still being such a boss. Plus, I love her passion/projects that empower young girls — check out her web series, Smart Girls at the Party.

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

Collaborative – I love working with other people. Everyone has unique strengths, and it’s almost always impossible to get “it” all done on our own.

Positivity – Things will not always work out or look the way I expected them to, so I try to keep a positive outlook, and hopefully that shines through the work.

Determination – I’m very goal-oriented. When I set my mind to something, I try to see it through. Whether it happens exactly how I pictured doesn’t always matter.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I’d love to be creating content — film, television, or online — with my friends. I feel so lucky to have some very talented friends. I’ve always thought it would be such a gift to create and collaborate together.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A “Girl Boss” is anyone who is unafraid to take risks that bring them closer to what they want, and knows that working together and empowering other Girl Bosses helps everyone.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

I definitely wear a lot of black, sequins for special occasions, and a leather jacket almost always.

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Favorite brand right now?

I’m pretty hooked on Dolce Vita boots right now. I just bought myself two pairs of black booties, which I definitely didn’t need.

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

I love my necklace from Bound.la. Emma hand makes each piece. She’s crazy talented. I get more compliments on it than anything else I wear.

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

Am I revealing too much if I say Psst Dry Shampoo? That stuff is the best.

Go-to nail color?

I’ve recently rediscovered “Tickle My France-y” by OPI.

Coffee order?

Iced green tea. 

What makes you feel beautiful?

My friends – I’m so lucky to have a really close group of girlfriends. Having that kind of support system from a group of women is really special.

What makes you feel badass?

Waking up knowing that I’m living in this city with my dream job and really amazing people in my life.

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

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – I love her work on vulnerability and living whole-heartedly.

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

Television, specifically Pretty Little Liars.

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

I really love all the women coming up or coming back in the new music scene – I’ve been obsessing over FKA Twigs, Elliphant, Azealia Banks, Ryn Weaver, and Conway to name a few.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Really anything from Beyonce. 

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

There is this really great quote on “wholeness” versus “happiness” from Hugh Mackay – it reminds me that in addition to being happy there are so many other feelings, like frustration and disappointment that contribute to our wholeness.

“Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for, and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things, which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Ask yourself, ‘Is this contributing to my wholeness?’ and if you’re having a bad day, it is.” – Hugh Mackay

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

Someone recently told me, “If it doesn’t make you a little nervous, it’s probably not worth it.” I like that. It reminds me that we should pursue the things that might make us a little uncomfortable in order to grow.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Be kind to everyone that you meet. You will mostly likely meet them again.

#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.

KavitaandAlexis

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.