#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: Alexis Kleinman

"Alexis Kleinman Portrait"Photo via Damon Dahlen

NAME: ALEXIS KLEINMAN 
AGE:24
CITY:
 NEW YORK, NY
HOMETOWN: AVONDALE, PA
INDUSTRY: JOURNALISM
NOMINATED BY: TAYLOR TRUDON
TWITTER: @AlexisKleinman
INSTAGRAM: @Kleinman
WEBSITE: HuffingtonPost.com/Tech

Tell us what you do!

I’m the editor of HuffPost Tech.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I went to Princeton.

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

I was super into art growing up, constantly drawing, painting and sculpting. I wanted to be an artist.

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

I stumbled into journalism my freshman year at Princeton. An older Princetonian with whom I had gone to high school was an editor for The Daily Princetonian, the school’s newspaper. I had a super strange first week at school, and she asked me to write about it for a freshman series they were doing. I loved writing the story, and got a positive response from people who read it. From then on, I was hooked. I started writing for The Daily Princetonian every week, eventually developing my own (fake, nonsensical) advice column, and becoming the editor of the paper’s Arts & Culture section. Throughout college, I took as many journalism classes as I could, and had internships in New York every summer at places like Lucky Magazine and The Oxygen Network. After graduation, I got an internship with HuffPost’s Business vertical. After a few months, I moved to Tech, where I’ve been for a few years.

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Any obstacles along the way?

I’m super hard on myself. Thankfully, working on the Internet has forced me to toughen up a lot.

Who is your idol?

Amy Poehler. I’m obsessed with comedy, and I’m an improvisor and comedian myself. Amy is creative, smart, shrewd, and hilarious, all the while maintaining such an air of warmth about her.

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

Humor, determination, and hard work.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I’d like to be writing cool stories with fun people.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A girl boss is a woman who knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to work for it and ask for it.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

My style is sort of modern urban preppy.

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Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

My grandfather was a jeweler, and lately I’ve been wearing this woven gold ring that he made. I love it.

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

I’m obsessed with Clé de Peau foundation. It has just enough coverage without being cakey. Plus, it has a gorgeous sheen that makes your skin just glow.

Go-to nail color?

I’m really into navy blue right now.

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

Tina Fey’s Bossypants taught me a lot about how to be a professional, funny, smart woman in the workplace and out in the world.

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

My iPhone. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but as a tech editor, I’m super attached to my phone. One of my goals for 2015 is to stop using my phone right before bed. It’s really bad for you!

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

I’m a musical theater girl, and lately I’ve been listening to “Hedwig And The Angry Inch. It gets me amped up.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

“Stronger” by Britney Spears.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
― Nicolas Chamfort

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

My dad always told me “if you’re on time, you’re late.” It’s so important to show others that you value them and one of the easiest ways to do that is by respecting their time. I always try to show up around 10 minutes early to wherever I’m going.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Work hard, but don’t take anything too seriously. A positive attitude is contagious.

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Follow Alexis’s #girlboss journey on Twitter + Instagram

#ImAGirlBoss: Margot Stephenson

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NAME: MARGOT STEPHENSON
AGE: 28
CITY:
 LOS ANGELES
HOMETOWN: MADISON, NEW JERSEY
INDUSTRY: SOCIAL MEDIA + CONSUMER ELECTRONICS
NOMINATED BY: LAUREN OTIS
TWITTER: @margotenenbaum
INSTAGRAM: @margotenenbaum

Tell us what you do!

Hi! I run all global social media marketing for Sonos.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I went to Elon University. I have a B.A. in Broadcast Communications & New Media. 

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

A one-hit wonder! One great song, lots of great outfits, then back to life as usual. Still sounds good actually…

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

I started my first internship at Epic Records when I was 17, and was attracted to marketing on emerging social channels. One thing led to another, and I ended up doing six unpaid internships at different record labels and marketing agencies as an undergrad. That helped me land a job doing social media at Interscope Records after college. After that, I switched over to the agency side, working at WME and a small social agency helping brands market products on social media platforms. I joined Sonos almost 2.5 years ago.

Any obstacles along the way?

Of course. A career in social media is challenging for the same reasons that it’s wonderful. So many components are constantly in flux: user trends and behavior, technology changes, new platforms, etc. It’s the job of the social marketer to keep her company in front of all of these shifts, which makes one skilled at facing many different type of obstacles.

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Who is your idol?

Patti Smith. I love her rough-around-the-edges style and unconventional approach to art.

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

Optimism! I believe we choose how we see a situation. It’s always best to find the positives, and use that positivity to inspire any team.

Relationship Maker. It helps to make meaningful connections with anyone you find interesting. Especially in a city like LA, everyone ends up working together at some point.

Hard-working. Everyone has to put in those 10,000 hours. I think it’s a Stephenson-born trait that we like to put our heads-down and just get sh*t done.

Where would you like to be in five years?

Definitely ‘making’. Whether it continues to be creative for social channels, unique experiences at events, or more work on personal art, I hope to grow through creation.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A woman who is unafraid to listen to her inner voice in a cluttered world, and has the courage to act based on what it tells her. Someone unflappable in her pursuit for meaning that uses her learnings to contribute to a broader community.

Recycled-Novelty-ImAGirlBoss-GIRLBOSS-Margot-Stephenson-Social-Media-Manager-Sonos-by-Whitney-Leigh-Young-3[Photo via Casey Catelli]

Describe your style/fashion sense:

Right now: black, leather, and gold sparkles.

Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

My new Madewell colorblock coat.

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

I like using the new Wood & Salt Jo Malone scent.

Go-to nail color?

Black. ☺

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

Lately, working through The Artist’s Way workbook by Julia Cameron has been a really moving experience. So many thanks to my friend and photographer Casey Catelli for gifting it to me.

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

Instagram.

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

The Pretenders!

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

“Feather” by Little Dragon or “Gold Lion” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize that, in life, they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

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

It’s hard to choose, because I’m lucky to receive so much advice from my sisters and parents so regularly. My best friend reminds me to never be afraid to fly that freak flag. Advice to future girl bosses: Culture/media tells women that we should aspire to marriage and wait patiently until that opportunity arises. I hope to be so fortunate as to find a partner in life, but there’s also much more to life to uncover until then. It begins by looking inside, creating, and learning to have fun by yourself.

Recycled-Novelty-ImAGirlBoss-GIRLBOSS-Margot-Stephenson-Social-Media-Manager-Sonos-by-Whitney-Leigh-Young-2[Photo via Casey Catelli]

Follow Margot’s #girlboss journey on Twitter + Instagram

#ImAGirlBoss: Kirbie Johnson

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NAME: KIRBIE JOHNSON 
AGE: 28
CITY:
 LOS ANGELES
HOMETOWN: GEORGETOWN, TEXAS
INDUSTRY: ENTERTAINMENT + BEAUTY 
TWITTER: kirbiejohnson
INSTAGRAM: kirbiejohnson
WEBSITE: popsugar.com/beauty
BLOG: kirbiegoestohollywood.com

Tell us what you do!

I work for POPSUGAR as their on-camera beauty reporter. It’s a hybrid job, and I love every minute of it! I combine my love of beauty, people, and being on-camera with reporting, writing and producing. One day, I could be trying out the latest beauty craze (like body wraps) for our show (POPSUGAR Now). The next day, I could be interviewing Sofia Vergara. Producing is a big part of my job, too. So I help to conceptualize each segment, and cut it down with an editor in post. I also contribute to the site by writing a few articles a month.

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Did you go to college? If so, where?

Texas Christian University. I studied Advertising and Public Relations. At TCU, that degree is part of the journalism program. When I left, I felt confident that I could secure a job in reporting, PR, marketing — whatever I wanted. I also had graphic design experience, which has helped me to no end at POPSUGAR. I don’t know why I didn’t go for broadcast journalism, but everything worked out just fine. I also minored in business. Currently, I sit on TCU’s national alumni board and also the LA alumni board — I have a lot of love for my Horned Frogs. It’s grown so much since I’ve been there, and I love the direction we’re heading in.

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

I always wanted to be in entertainment! When I was four, I would entertain my grandmother and her friends in the living room with my one-woman show. I dreamed of being Julia Roberts, so growing up, I participated in plays and musical theater. Once I hit high school, I fell in love with writing and graphic design and thought that, one day, I’d want to be like Oprah: hosting my own show and running a magazine. I considered being an agent or producer while in college, like the late Bernie Brillstein, and I’m not writing-off either of those! But right now my path has taken me on-camera.

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

I probably re-wrote this four times — ha!

I moved out to LA right after graduating from TCU. In April 2009, I was interviewing at companies around Dallas when I met with an event planner. I had started my blog in March – at the time, it was “Kirbie Needs a Job.” I wrote about my passions and what I aspired to do. A big part of that was moving to LA, but I was suppressing the urge because I didn’t know anyone there, and I had a serious boyfriend. When I met with the event planner, she, point blank, told me to move to LA. She looked me up before our meeting and said she didn’t regret the life she had, but she always wondered, “What if I had moved to NYC?” The next day, she put me in touch with an LA-based event planner, Rachel Hollis, and I interviewed with her on the phone for an assistant job. Once she formally offered me the gig, I called my parents and told them I was moving. This was all two weeks before graduation!

Once in LA, I networked as much as I could — through TCU alum, through clients at the airbrush tanning salon I worked at (my assistant job was unpaid), etc. One of my roommates introduced me to the wife of the late Warren Cowan, Co-Founder of Rogers & Cowan, a huge entertainment PR firm. I ended up getting an interview there, met some great entertainment contacts, and was able to take hosting courses and write my freelance beauty column for Examiner.com. About a year and a half in, POPSUGAR advertised for an on-camera beauty reporter who had writing experience.

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Any obstacles along the way?

Duh! If you haven’t been to LA, it’s a huge life adjustment. Zero parking. People are unfriendly. Traffic is miserable. Gas is insanely expensive. But I knew it’s what I had to do. My first year, I shared a bedroom, worked as an airbrush tanner in-between assisting with big events and taking extra work (CSI, Melrose Place, How I Met Your Mother, etc.). I lived off graduation money the first year.

I’m blessed that I have had some truly amazing people walk into my life; people who believed in me and supported me. My boss at R&C, Mark, allowed me to leave early and cover events for my column, and go on auditions on my lunch break (and sometimes during work) because he knew that, ultimately, I wasn’t meant to be at R&C. And I love him for that. I worked at various salons before securing my gig at Rogers, where I had plenty of people treat me like I was beneath them. (Always be kind to the front desk people, please.) And there were plenty of times I cried and wondered if I was on the right path. (I am.)

Who is your idol? 



I don’t have an idol, but I respect anyone who has the hustle in them. Oprah. Ryan Seacrest. Simon Cowell. I’m working on a music show and my dream is, one day, to work with Simon Cowell on it. I know he would eat it up. Any woman who is independent and is working hard for her dreams or family — hats off to you. The biggest influences in my life, though, are my parents and my grandmother.

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

I feel like someone else should be answering this! Let’s see: perseverance is a must. No matter what anyone says, keep going and believe in yourself. Have a thick skin. I’ve been told a myriad of things: I’m not the “right” age, I’m not pretty enough, not skinny enough, etc. Don’t let other people’s opinions of you hold you back. Everything is subjective — you might not be their cup of tea, but you could be the perfect fit for something even better.

Faith. If I didn’t have God, I would be a mess. He keeps me at peace.

A sense of humor. If you can’t laugh at yourself or your circumstances, you’re never going to get past the struggle.

Where would you like to be in five years?

  • Hosting or corresponding — sitting on a roundtable show would be a dream, or hosting a music or travel show. Anything that involves interviewing people!
  • Producing a few series (with my own production company). 
  • Acting as a contributing editor for a beauty, music or tech magazine. 
  • Publishing my second book. 

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

“Girl Boss” cannot be defined! There is no perfect definition. She’s any woman who is taking charge. She’s the stay-at-home mom who is working to make the best life for her family; she’s the single CEO who is running a company. Regardless of what she’s doing, she’s confident and believes in herself. She doesn’t let anyone make her feel unworthy — because she knows she is! More so, she believes in others and helps as many people as she can.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

Flirty-Casual. At POPSUGAR, everyone jokes that there’s a “Kirbie dress,” and it’s basically anything you might see Zooey Deschanel wearing on New Girl. Fit and flare dresses are what you’ll see me in on-camera, mostly because I hate wearing pants, but usually, I’m very casual. My “uniform” would be black Paige Denim, a white tee (Rag & Bone make the best), tan booties, and a beanie. I’m also a slave to the romper. I believe I would have been in my prime in the 70s! If there’s a big event, I try to get into a romper.

Kirbie and Zooey Insta

Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

JBrand Long Sleeve Sheer Top – I definitely didn’t pay $195 for it. I got it for $60 on sale at Nordstrom. It was magical.

My favorite thing to do is order furniture and clothes off Instagram! My favorite account is Whiskey&Honey. A classmate from high school runs it with her husband, and I bought the softest, pale yellow sweater a month ago. Everyone comments on it. It’s vintage!

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

Mascara, hands down. Right now, I’m all about Charlotte Tilbury’s Five Star Lashes. Frankly, I’m obsessed with her entire line. It’s worth every penny.

Quick tip when using mascara: dust your lashes with powder first. This helps separate them with a fan-like effect instead of them clumping together. Let the first coat dry by brushing your teeth, then apply the second coat.

And dry shampoo is my savior. Triple Sec from Drybar is great for adding texture, volume, and eliminating oil. Plus it comes in a travel size!

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Go-to nail color?

I’m a sucker for nail art, but my go-to shades are Fiji or Butler, Please from Essie. If I want to go dark, I wear RGB in Slate.

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

If you’re moving to LA to pursue a career in entertainment, Bernie Brillstein’s It’s All Lies and That’s The Truth is a must-read. One line that’s always stuck with me: “Just remember that Jim Henson started with a felt green frog.”

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

My sweet tooth, doing too many things at once, and some would call it a vice (I don’t), but I love One Direction and I don’t care who knows it.

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

Nick Jonas’s album is really good. Betty Who, Tove Lo or The 1975 are usually blaring in my headphones. I’m listening to Taylor Swift like every other woman on the planet. When I’m feeling moody, I’ll listen to Sam Smith, Banks or Jessie Ware. And if I can convince you to listen to 1D, I think you’ll like “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” “Stockholm Syndrome” or “Change Your Ticket.” 

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Right now it’s L.A. Love (Fergie) and Do What You Want – Samantha Ronson Remix. (Lady Gaga)

FergieKirbie

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius
Shine, baby! You might not be perfect, but it’s better to be yourself and go for it than sit on the sidelines.

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

When I moved to LA, I asked to take coffee meetings with several high-profile execs. One thing they consistently told me was that time is a hard thing to ask for — if you want to pick someone’s brain or want to get a job, do all the legwork. For instance, send a short email with a time, day and location of where you’d like to meet and what you’ll be discussing, not “can we get coffee and chat?” If you’re looking for a job, attach all pertinent documents to the email, and include the job you’re applying for in the email. Don’t email people asking if they know of any job openings. Unless they’re a recruiter, there’s a small chance they do. Instead, let them know what you’re looking for. If you’re unsure, it’s best that you figure out at least one direction (heh) you want to go in before asking for help. Focus is key.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Don’t let other people’s opinions of you deter you from being yourself. Have confidence, put in the hard work, and don’t feel sorry for yourself. And always give back when you can.

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Follow Kirbie’s #GIRLBOSS journey on Twitter + Instagram

#ImAGirlBoss: Julia Lang

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NAME: JULIA MIRIAM LANG
AGE: 28
CITY:
 NEW YORK, NY
HOMETOWN: NEW YORK, NY
INDUSTRY: MANAGEMENT + SOCIAL MEDIA + FASHION 
NOMINATED BY: CHRISTINA ZAYAS
TWITTER: @geeksndfashion
INSTAGRAM: @JuliaMiriamLang
BLOG: JMLjournal.com

Tell us what you do!

I am a shop manager at Bloomingdale’s for Majestic Tees, and I run my own website, JML Journal, which has many upcoming projects.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I was born in Africa and raised in Germany. We have a different system over there. But if we would compare it, then yes, college and university after.

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

It changed all the time. Once, a teacher. Then, someone famous (lol). 

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

My story comes from hard work, dedication, and most importantly — guts. I risked everything to move to NYC, and live my dream. I could have either become homeless, or made it. There is so much more to achieve, but the second one happened. Some call it crazy to risk a good life for the hunger of doing great. But, for me, it’s all I want, and I listen to my inner voice more than anything else. You should too.

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Any obstacles along the way?

ANY? I can’t even tell you how many. And some were SO BAD that I can’t, and don’t, even want to talk about it. My life is full of up and DOWNS. But it wouldn’t be MY life if it would be any different. It makes me the strong person I am. But it’s definitely not easy at times.

Who is your idol?

My mom, my dad, and my brother. They are the ones teaching me everything!

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

Honesty, being brave, and pushing hard. 

Where would you like to be in five years?

Running my own business.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A “Girl Boss” is someone like me (lol) — a female who is independent, strong, smart, and has her shit together, at least when it comes to the business side. Because I kinda suck when it comes to love (or was it just bad luck?). Not sure, but confidence is the key.

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Describe your style/fashion sense:

Clean. High-End. Sporty.

Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

My suede Saint Laurent bag

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

Concealer all the way! I tend to have puffy eyes in the morning. Other than that, a peachy lipstick. ☺

Go-to nail color?

Burgundy.

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

Same.

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

Sugar. I have a serious sugar addiction, which I overcome at times, but it’s really hard. Will I ever be a skinny bitch, tho???!! And love — love is my weakness. I would do anything for the right man by my side, which is good and bad.

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

I love Wynter Gordon. She helped me a lot when I first moved to NYC. Her song “Stimela” inspired me a lot!

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Ha, WYNTER GORDON – STIMELA! Because she simply is the definition of a #girlboss to me!

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What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“The strongest people are the most sensitive ones.” 

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

I think that most of the best advice comes from my two best friends, Jane and Marcus, who are both living in NYC with me. Marcus is simply the best and so is Jane. No matter what’s going on, they have the answer. Marcus always opens my eyes to see the beauty and greatness in myself, which we often oversee. He makes me believe in myself.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Be brave! Grind hard every single day. And have guts!!!!!

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Follow Julia’s #GIRLBOSS journey on Twitter + Instagram

#ImAGirlBoss: Lauren Sachs

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NAME: LAUREN SACHS 
AGE: 27
CITY: NEW YORK, NY 
HOMETOWN: PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL
INDUSTRY: PR + BRANDING + DEVELOPMENT
NOMINATED BY: NADESKA ALEXIS

TWITTER: @AurenlayPR
INSTAGRAM: @AurenlayPR

Tell us what you do!

I work with up-and-coming talent, as well as established personalities, companies, and artists to develop, brand/re-brand, publicize, and market them to targeted audiences.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

The University of Florida. Go Gators!

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

April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I pursued it, too – journalism school, then Hearst Corporation before landing in my current field.

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

As mentioned, I wanted to be a journalist from as far back as I can remember. A lot of our home movies are narrated by me with a microphone in hand, bossing my little sister around and ‘reporting’ on things like the weather and who everyone’s favorite painter should be. (Normal I was not). I went to University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, and eventually landed a string of internships at publications in Florida and New York City. For my senior year of college, I decided to forgo my final football season (a cardinal sin at an SEC school), and skip out on the typical party-hard-somewhere-in-Europe study abroad experience. Instead, I opted to spend a Semester at Sea. For four months, my home was a boat. We sailed in a full circle around the globe, and I saw and explored 13 countries in South America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. It was, by far, the best decision I’ve ever made in my life — eye-opening, inspiring, exhausting, uplifting, excruciating, beautiful. Upon my return, however, I was shocked to find that much had changed in my absence. The economic downturn of 2008 left me with few remaining connections I had worked hard to build in the journalism industry, and I found myself with a degree, a head full of memories, and ideas, and thoughts… but no job. It took me a few months of cold-calls, networking, and forging connections, but I eventually landed an internship at my current company. I was hired within two months, and the rest is history.

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Any obstacles along the way?

Too many to count. I would say the most difficult part of navigating the business world for me was identifying the fine line between being nice and garnering respect. It took me a while. Everyone respects a Girl Boss, but no one likes a bitch. Unfortunately, people sometimes feel the two can’t be mutually exclusive. I strongly believe you can demand respect while still being kind. I do not believe there is any excuse for unnecessary rude behavior – we’re all in this together. That being said, when one of my own is wronged, watch out.

Who is your idol?

Diane von Fürstenberg. She has substance to go with the style. Daughter of a Holocaust survivor, she’s a self-made powerhouse, not just in fashion, but in business and philanthropy, too. She has long championed women’s rights, human rights, community building, education and the environment.

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

Perspective: I credit travel for planting the voice in the back of my head reminding me that a missed
deadline or frustrating conference call is not the end of the world – or a reason for your day to be
ruined. Of course, there is zero chance this works all the time, and sometimes I have to reboot myself
like a computer, but the world is a big place and our daily ‘struggles’ are really not all that tragic.

Understanding: I can usually see things from another’s point of view. Sometimes, it can be a detriment. When it comes to people, I tend to see the micro rather than the macro. Whether or not we want it to,
the personal can, at times, creep into the professional, and no one deserves to be kicked when they are down. I think a healthy dose of understanding – up to a certain point – only serves to strengthen relationships, partnerships, future teamwork, and morale.

Emphasis on knowledge: I like knowing at least a little bit about a lot of things. Enough that a conversation with virtually anyone is possible, which is, of course, a huge asset in a professional setting, but also in our personal lives. I treat cultivating knowledge a bit like part of my job. I’ve read Vanity Fair cover-to-cover every month for years — even the articles that aren’t of the utmost interest. Twitter, of course, is a great source for instant, personalized information, and I love what the ladies of theSkimm have done.

Where would you like to be in five years?

Goals are great to have, but I can’t pretend to know. Things happen so quickly, and change so radically. I definitely hope to be my own boss, and I would love to be running my own company. I hope that, wherever I am, I am able to enjoy a good work-life balance, and that I am able to travel. I’m the biggest believer in the wonders of travel in terms of fostering creativity, understanding, and community. If I could, I would make travel a possibility for every young person. I respect nothing more than crazy hard work, but life is meant to be lived, too.

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Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A Girl Boss knows who she is, and doesn’t see the need to apologize for it, nor does she see the need to put it on anyone else. We are all girl bosses in our own ways, and a real Girl Boss recognizes that.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

I have always been very, very drawn to the bohemian glamour of 1920s Parisian culture, and the dark freedom of late 1960s America, so my style meets somewhere in the middle. I gravitate toward classically tailored looks, but I like to ‘mess it up’ a bit.

Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

It’s not exactly ‘right now,’ because it’s sort of an ‘always’ for me, but big earrings are what you might call my thing. Like, really big. For whatever reason, and no matter the closet crisis, I tend to wind up in a black something – jumpsuit, dress, whatever – and huge, often colorful earrings. Maybe it’s because I waited to pierce my ears until I was 20 (too scared), so now I overcompensate.

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

Lotion. I love lotion. It’s like the ultimate luxury to me. Beautiful, fragrant lotions. I don’t discriminate, but I do have favorites.

Go-to nail color?

One coat of Essie Picket Fence, two thin coats of Essie Ballet Slippers on top. 

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

To Kill A Mockingbird. When I first read the book as a young girl, on a surface level I related to the main characters, whose father is a wise lawyer and a hero to them in the same way my father was and remains a hero to me. But the book became about much more than that – life’s shades of grey, triumph in the face of evil, injustice, the first real dose of reality for a little kid, etc. I think I lost a little bit of innocence when I read that book the first time, but then, and every time since, it opens my eyes. It makes me want to be a better human.

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

Shoes. It’s a very real problem. I actually dream about them.

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

I’m a big Jessie Ware fan. Somehow her music matches any mood/weather/situation.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

“Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“What you seek is seeking you.” ― Rumi

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

“It is what it is.” It’s my mom’s go-to line. There’s comfort in the blunt reality that some things, like a scuffed shoe or lost bangle, can’t be undone. It happened, it’s in the past, and it’s time to move on. But there’s also a challenge to the simplicity of the statement – some things are not as they are or should be and, with work, can be modified.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Support each other. Women supporting other strong women is the right thing to do, not to mention that the assistant of today is going to be at a company you apply for tomorrow, and all it takes is one anecdote to seal the deal one way or the other. Support each other, and keep it classy. At the end of the day, no matter what goes wrong, no one can fault someone who kept their wits about them, head held high, and attitude in check.

Follow Lauren’s #GIRLBOSS journey on Twitter + Instagram

#ImAGirlBoss: Noa Griffel

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NAME: NOA GRIFFEL
AGE: 24
CITY:
 NEW YORK, NY
HOMETOWN: NEW JERSEY 
INDUSTRY: PHOTOGRAPHY
NOMINATED BY: MEREDITH TRUAX
TWITTER: @NOAGRIFFEL
INSTAGRAM: @NOAGRIFFEL
WEBSITE: noagriffel.com

Tell us what you do!

I run my own freelance photography business, and I’m the In-House Photographer for Tory Burch, where I get to travel the world and photograph many different events, runway shows, musicians, celebrities, and editorial work.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I received my BFA in Photography when I was 17, and then got my MFA in Computer Art at the School of Visual Arts immediately after.

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

So many different things. First, I wanted to be a veterinarian, then I wanted to run away and join the circus, then I wanted to run away and photograph the circus. I remember when I was 13, in my first black and white photography class, telling my teacher I wanted to be a photographer and photo editor for a music magazine. By the time I graduated college, I knew that all I wanted to do when I “grew up” was continue to make things, regardless as to what the medium was. I like to make things.

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

It’s quite a long story, but I’ll try to give you the condensed version. A lot of little things came together to get me here. I moved around a lot as a child, skipped a grade in middle school, and then began taking college courses full-time at night during my year-and-a-half stint in high school. I was too young to get my GED, so I transferred into a university that did not require proof of graduation — so long as I had a full year’s worth of college credits under my belt — and transferred in as a sophomore student. During my undergrad studies, I juggled multiple jobs as an artist assistant and photo editor at a gallery. After I graduated with my Bachelor’s, I went straight to SVA for my Master’s. I used my time in school as time to get real world experience, so I applied for internship after internship until I found myself interning with the in-house photographer at Atlantic Records. Somewhere along the way, one of the executives of Warner Music Group discovered my photography, took me under his wing, and helped push my career further than I ever imagined. From there, I was introduced to Tory Burch, the kindest woman I’ve had the opportunity to work with. She brought me in to work at her company after I graduated from SVA. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work as In-House Photographer for the brand, Tory Burch, and continue to develop my freelance career simultaneously. Working in the industry helped me meet a variety of clients that have hired me to shoot both personal commissions, along with editorial work for magazines. Music photography, fashion photography, food photography, editorial, advertising, travel, portraiture, documentary — you name it, I’ll shoot it. It’s the culmination of all these experiences that have brought me here.

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Any obstacles along the way?

My age. I’m still learning how to feel comfortable in my own skill, and am still developing my own personal style. I’ve also always had a bit of social anxiety having missed that development stage in high school, so it’s difficult communicating with people that have been working professionals for years. Some people view it as me being inexperienced, some occasionally see it as a threat, and some realize I’m not trying to climb any social ladder or compete with anyone, and think it’s worth taking a chance on my work. A lot of people think I’ve been handed all of these amazing opportunities. It’s easy to forget that success should never plateau, it’s always a work in progress.

Who is your idol? 



Joan Rivers for her brain. Dovima and Anna Karina for their style.

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

Naiveté, tenacity, and sincerity. I started working professionally at a very young age. Every experience in this industry is so new to me, so I’m sure I’ve come across as naive in how I’ve approached certain situations or people. I dive into projects without fully knowing what I’m getting myself into, or maybe ask for things that other people would not ask for. Occasionally, being brazen works against you, and people think you’re stepping on their toes, but everything I do is laced with good intentions, so I try to learn from my mistakes if I handle a situation the wrong way. That being said, I’ve always put my all into every project that comes my way, and I’d like to think that’s why the work keeps coming! My clients put a lot of trust in me, which has helped me realize the importance of loyalty, sincerity, and privacy.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I’d like to continue traveling around the world, always on to a new adventure. I’d like to either be represented by an agency or start a creative solutions agency with friends.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A girl boss is self aware. She trusts her instinct, and does her best to tune out the negativity. To be a great “girl boss,” you also have to be kind to others, and know when to let others shine.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

Eclectic, erratic, and experimental. It’s usually a little too reflective of my mental state.

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Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

It’s winter time, so I’d have to go with my shearling lined frye booties. My feet have never been happier.

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

Now that I’ve embraced the red lip look (& lipstick in general) for the first time in my life, I’d have to say Urban Decay F-bomb lipstick.

Go-to nail color?

Icy/Frosted Blue. 

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

Milan Kundera – The Unbearable Lightness of Being 

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

Retail Therapy. Online sales specifically.

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

Run the Jewels and Killer Mike and El-P’s solo music in general.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

“Extraordinary Machine” – Fiona Apple

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“There’s only one very good life, and that’s the life you know you want, and you make it for yourself.” – Diana Vreeland

“It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” Jean Luc Godard

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

Be kind to yourself. My mom gives me that advice pretty much any time I talk to her on the phone.

Advice to future girl bosses:

Always listen to, and try to understand, what other people are saying, but let your gut instinct speak to you the loudest. Be kind to others. Meet conflict with grace, and remember that every experience in life is one you can learn from.

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Follow Noa’s #GIRLBOSS journey on Twitter + Instagram