I own a dance studio in Greenwich, CT. We have 350 students, and emphasize versatile training in various dance styles. Like most small business owners I wear lots of different hats – some days I’m a designer (or try to be!), some days I’m an advisor for my students, some days I’m directing my fantastic team of 12 teachers and managers…First and foremost though, I’m a dance teacher.
When I graduated from college I had only ever had two jobs – I’d been a dance teacher and a cocktail waitress, so it was time to amp up my business skills before doing my own thing! I moved to Manhattan and took a job in the corporate world. While I lived in NYC (the world’s official Dance Capital), I went to every dance performance I could afford, took technique classes and kept an inspiration journal of what I hoped my studio would be like.
I’ve always loved interior design, and went through a phase where I would take books out of the library on architecture and décor. Someone told me once that being a designer involved a lot of math (which I’ve always been terrible at!), so that dream didn’t last long.
I can honestly say that I would like to be doing the same thing, only I hope to have found a better balance between my work life and my family life. My husband and I have three young children, two boys and a baby girl, so if I can somehow master the balancing act, I’ll be living the dream!
I’m determined, I’m empathetic and I’m an extrovert. My Dad used to call me a “social butterfly”, especially compared to my older sister who graduated at the top of her class from Princeton. My ability to build relationships with people is probably my greatest asset.
I think success probably means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, I feel most successful when I feel that the work I’m doing makes a direct and positive impact on other people’s lives.
Failure is when you stop trying. Admittedly, I read that on someone’s Instagram feed the other day, but it makes sense!
How long can this answer be? Yes, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and used to really beat myself up about them. Now, I find that if I realize my mistakes and acknowledge the fault, it helps me to take note and move on.
Outside of my family, I’m most proud of the community that has been built at Greenwich Dance Studio, between the students, the teachers and the role that studio plays in my beloved hometown of Greenwich.
Take risks, be curious, now’s the time to explore! Whether that is through travel or work experience, realize that you have a relatively small amount of responsibility at this stage in life. Strive for simple needs, and even if on a very small scale, make philanthropic giving a part of your life.
With the incredible invention (and curse!) of the iPhone, I have to allow myself to be disconnected from work, and thus keep my phone out of my sight when I’m with my family. I try to tell myself that no matter how urgent the e-mails/texts/voice-mails may seem, that they can wait.
Right now it is a book my sister gave my kids for Christmas, called The Invisible String. It is a beautiful story of a mother telling her kids about how we are always connected to the people we love, even when we can’t see them.
Lazy days on a quiet beach, where going to dinner is the biggest event on the Itinerary.
Fork & Anchor is a small general store located in East Marion, NY, a blip of a town, on Long Island’s North Fork. In all it’s iterations, the location has been serving local customers since the mid 1800’s, providing daily essentials and serving as a meeting place for the community. We currently stock everything from eyeglass repair kits to local farm fresh eggs and produce, signature sandwiches and salads, locally made specialty products, and general daily needs. Food is our focus but we also have become a meeting place and information source for both visitors and locals. Everyday is entertaining!
Ever since our late summer days cooking farmstand feasts for friends, we knew we wanted to start something together. When we hit our thirties, the opportunity presented itself to us. Erin has worked in the food and hospitality industry for many years, and Lucy has a serious passion for cooking. We were drawn to the east end of Long Island as it was close to our home base of NYC, but a world of difference away. The positive vibes we got from the people we met on the North Fork, and the burgeoning agricultural community encouraged us to post our flag there. We loved all that the North Fork had to offer but felt that there was a void for a general store that offered tasty sandwiches and provisions as well as highlighted what other people were creating in the food/agricultural community around us.
LUCY ~ Having someone else to discuss the business with, who cares about it as much as you do and knows the business as well as you do, really helps working through decisions. Owning your own business is a lot of work and to have the capability to split responsibilities with someone you trust is very helpful and more efficient. I think that I am very lucky to have Erin as my partner because we always seem to be thinking about the same thing no matter how minute or random it may be.
ERIN ~ It is awesome to be able to work off each other’s energy to fuel the momentum of the business, and even more awesome that we see eye to eye on just about everything. There is more laughter in the workplace, which is a great, necessary thing, and our mutual respect for each other’s contrasting strengths makes our business that much stronger.
LUCY ~ Defining roles and sticking to them is a challenge. Because we are small company, we both need to know everything that is happening and the vendors that we deal with on a day to day basis. But, we also need to let each other handle the parts of the business that we know the other is stronger at. Sometimes you feel like you are in the dark about something because the other person is handling it, but you trust each other and know that it is under control.
ERIN ~ Well… when that someone else is your best friend, you have to be cautious to not let work issues bleed into your time off the clock very often.
LUCY ~ I graduated from college with a fine art degree in graphic design and photography. In my last few years in college I interned at a graphic design and photography firm that was run be three very creative people. I joined their team after college and began styling photo shoots for them. I then moved to NY and worked for fashion editors at magazines and assisted really amazing freelance stylists. While working as a stylist for a large apparel company, I one day realized I had enough of the fashion world. With the encouragement of my husband, I enrolled at French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. I took an intensive cooking course and came out with a certificate; my husband told me he never saw me happier. A few months later we opened up Fork & Anchor.
ERIN ~ What began in high school as a summer job working at restaurants morphed into my career, and there was no better city to become entrenched in the wine and hospitality industry than New York. I started my own consulting company in 2005, planning events and writing wine lists for new bars and restaurants. I had it made…what could be more fun? When I felt that I was ready to sink my teeth into a physical space of my own, and felt the urge to move out of the city, I began dreaming with Lucy about a store of our own with gourmet provisions. We were first to see the space that we are in now and went for it without looking back.
LUCY ~ I still feel pretty young but, a soccer player, a photographer, or a fashion designer. After owning the store for a few years, I now realized, as a kid most of the time was spent creating a grocery store in my house complete with checks and credit cards created on our Mac and I dreamed of having an old school credit card swiper and a conveyer belt system to put groceries on. I guess I always knew… it just took a minute to figure it out.
ERIN ~ A writer and illustrator. I spent hours at my drafting table sketching. I remember loving my writing assignments at school, and even taking a cartoon sketch class. To this day my grandfather and mother want me to write a novel…we’ll see about that.
LUCY ~ Just still enjoying life and making people happy and well fed!
ERIN ~ I’d like to have grown my family, and matured the Fork & Anchor brand. We are only into our fourth year, so there is plenty yet still to accomplish. We just launched our product line, and I’d like to see it in many markets ten years from now alongside our cookbook featuring our seasonal recipes from the North Fork!
LUCY ~ Creativity, respectfulness, and patience
ERIN ~ Determination, patience and loyalty
LUCY ~ Happiness.
ERIN ~ That point in life once you’ve nurtured your well-being, grown to like yourself, and have chosen to do the work you enjoy and be the person that makes yourself and others feel good.
LUCY ~ Not understanding and not being considerate of your environment. I think that this applies to most things. Its important to have a clear vision of what you want, but being flexible and not having an ego about it, is very important as well. Erin and I used to sit outside on the store benches, before we took over, to see who was shopping and what they were buying. We wanted a place that was clearly our vision but we also wanted everyone to shop there.
ERIN ~ Never trying. I remember the advice I was given when I decided to work for myself, was that I could always go back to working for someone else. I kept that notion close, and it made me courageous, because I knew the worst thing that could happen was that I would get a job for someone else if my entrepreneurial endeavors didn’t pan out.
LUCY ~ No. Life is a process and I believe that you learn something valuable every step of the way. I may be far from what I studied in college but all the different paths of my career have helped me make better decisions.
ERIN ~ Sure, there have been a few times that I’ve sworn I’d never do this or that again, but none that I can say were ever drastic nor devastating, and always a good learning curve.
LUCY ~ I am very proud of the trust and respect that we have earned from the community. I believe that we have created an environment where anyone can walk in, feel comfortable and, of course, eat well!
ERIN ~ Looking back, I realize that I never take the easy road with anything I do – personally or professionally…so, it makes me proud to think that somewhere inside of me there is an unconscious drive to challenge myself and push boundaries so that I can experience more of what life has to offer. And I also am proud to be a new wife and mother. The depth of what being a mother entails is incredible, and I’ve only yet cracked it!
LUCY ~ Don’t be afraid of anything.
ERIN ~ Don’t underestimate what you can learn from those before you. Ambition should be encouraged but not overvalued. It takes hard work to get to where you want to be, and if you want to aim for the stars, take the time to learn your trade by putting yourself out there, opening your own doors of opportunity, and traveling to unfamiliar places that might challenge you and your notion of things. Enjoy being single and have fun. It’s one of the most liberating and enriching periods in your life. Oh – and spend less time basking in the sun!
LUCY ~ While I live in the North Fork for 85% of the year, my husband is back in Brooklyn working and living in our home. Its of course not easy, but I like to think that because we don’t get to see each other every day, when we do, we take time for each other. Its concentrated but it feels strong and important. I try to go back home for a day or two every week, and then in summer my husband comes out every weekend. We also have loads of friends that stay during the warmer months, which is great, since I don’t get to see them all that often. We have a wonderfully peaceful place where I stay in Orient where I practice yoga, and get to take long runs with ocean views. Exercising and meditation is very helpful for me to clear and organize my mind.
ERIN ~ I make the time that I am at work really count and try to be as proactive as possible so things that need to be done don’t hang over my head. For better or for worse, I’m a multi-tasker, and when I hustle to get things done efficiently, the more I enjoy my free time and being with my family. Yoga helps a ton with staying balanced and refreshed, as does frequent swims in the water, especially during our busy summer season.
LUCY ~ I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books, which are whimsical and funny. I bought my nephews some and then they introduced me to Mo Willems. He comes from the Sesame Street crew and writes very silly books that have an understated life lesson. Warm friendships between a pig and an elephant or a duck driving a school bus, they are all great fun.
ERIN ~ The Polar Express. There is something very magical about the images in the story that have stuck in my memory until this day. Every year, my mother tirelessly transformed our home into an enchanting Christmas wonder, and I think the warmth of that feeling of Christmas as a child fueled my interest in the book.
LUCY ~ Great food, secluded beach, reading, sleeping, sunrises, sunsets, scuba diving, yoga, just my husband and me.
ERIN ~ Always love cultural immersion involving new food, language, and drink, and a day exploring a place doing some sort of activity followed by a relaxing evening meal.
I am the owner and designer behind Lulu Frost jewelry. I do so much for my job, everything from designing jewelry, of course, to managing a talented team of individuals, to traveling for work and doing trunk shows on the road.
I was fortunate enough to begin my career during my senior year of college. In lieu of getting a more traditional job, I opted for starting Lulu Frost and I was extremely blessed to have my designs take off from the get-go. Barneys New York was my first retail partner and I just ran with it, never looking back. Since then I’ve grown the company to employ over 16 people, and our work is sold globally. I’m extremely proud of building Lulu Frost from scratch and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
I wanted to be a painter or artist of some kind.
I would love to still be at the creative helm of Lulu Frost but also envision managing/owning a fantastic art gallery in the city somewhere. I want to be one of those fabulous 40-something women in heaps of jewelry with a kid or two in tow.
Drive, Passion and Persistence.
I define success as doing your very best, each and every day … with a little wiggle room for some slacking off once in a while 🙂
Failure to me means not trying as hard as one can.
If I have, I wouldn’t define it as such – it’s all been a part of my learning process and a part of getting to where I am at this moment, for which I am all grateful.
From a business standpoint, I’m most proud of creating a company with good values and ethics with a happy working environment. We do our best to put an interesting, unique and quality product into the world and it gives me joy to do so every day.
Do it all the same way – don’t change a thing.
This is something I’m still working on. I need to find more time for exercise and personal hobbies in my life – for good or bad, a bit too much of my time is still dedicated to my work life. Someday!
I love Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic. Great memories of reading with my momma in the 80’s, can’t beat that!
Sitting on a beach with my fiancé Marlon Taylor-Wiles in a flowing caftan reading a great book with a Pina Colada in hand, mixed with a little of adventure in the form of a hike. For eight days straight.
We find talent for Runway Shows, TV Commercials, Print Advertising, Fashion Editorials, Independent Films, Music Videos, and Online content. Our unique approach encompasses street scouting for “real people,” working with established talent, up-and-coming talent, and cultural innovators.
HUSTLE, HUSTLE, HUSTLE. I started as an unpaid intern for fashion stylists and magazines. Then interned for renowned fashion photographer Steven Klein resulting in my first job. After working for Steven Klein and learning the ropes of the fashion industry I knew I wanted to work for a female entrepreneur. The opportunity to work for innovative Casting Director, Jennifer Venditti (JV8INC) came up and my career took off. I worked for JV8INC for over four years and developed the interest in casting, confidence in my own vision and valuable business principles. Before starting ZAN CASTING I took time off to travel and redefine my values… that time away from the grind was invaluable in setting up my NYC based company with a core commitment to “keepin’ it real.”
I wanted to be creative and run my own business. I didn’t have a name for what I wanted to be… but I definitely found it.
I love my job and I love creating an agency that has career opportunities for other creative professionals. What we do keeps us on the cusp of what is current and cool… Here’s hoping I can still be around in 10 years!
Driven, Organized, Curious.
I don’t think failure exists. There is always an opportunity to get back up and work hard to fix whatever mistake was made.
YES. I’ve learned a lot and am constantly growing.
Projects where we have found undiscovered amazing talent with true stories that bring to life the human spirit (i.e. Lanvin Advertising, Google Chrome Commercials.)
Loeffler Randall Fall 2013 Lookbook, Photographer: Tom Hines, Stylist: Kat Typaldos
An amazing mentor gave me this advise and it worked: Find the person/company that you admire and offer to work for free. An apprenticeship is the best way to learn the ropes and get your name out there. The experience is invaluable. I waited tables at night, interned during the day, and never looked back.
It’s important to work hard and be available for your clients, staff, work relationships, etc. At the same time, it is important to know when to step away and enjoy life away from work. For me, my work is about people and culture so I could always be working… but that’s okay. If you enjoy what you do and let go of feeling boxed in by it, then accepting your career as an invaluable part of your identity can only help you flourish.
Currently, Forever Young by Bob Dylan (Illustrated by Paul Rogers). Because my baby girl loves when I sing it to her… and the words are so so true.
Our amazing Southwest, USA road trip. Hiking, rock climbing, getting lost in the wilderness.
I lived in Boulder for 4 years during college. Blue sky, fresh air and healthy living… this is my happy place.
Climbing the red rocks, skiing the fresh powder, hiking through the narrow canyons.
I spent a few days on the beach here with one of my best girlfriends. La Barra / José Ignacio… beach bliss.
Amazing food, friendly people… I’ve skied, climbed, beached, hiked, prayed, drank, you name it… Love Italia.
5) New Zealand
I spent a month in New Zealand hiking by myself. The ferry from the North Island to the South was unforgettable. This is a magical land.
I am passionate about making Americans smarter about the world, especially young people who are hungry to engage with the world around them. I started BYkids with the belief that we can understand the world’s challenges — and how to best meet them — through the personal stories of young people.
BYkids is a global movement that uses storytelling through film to inform, engage and inspire action. BYkids provides kids around the world with the training and the video cameras to make short documentaries about their lives. Renowned filmmakers mentor these young people in the art of filmmaking. Once shot and edited, our films are streamed into half the schools in America and are for sale on Amazon.
As a print journalist at The New York Times, I saw how many stories don’t make it onto the front page. As a documentary filmmaker, I saw the potent ability of film to move people. As a mother, I learned first-hand that kids tell honest stories. Working for George Soros with his After-School Corporation, I saw how you can change a life just by listening. When my husband – who is thankfully fine – was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s and started chemo, it both scared and inspired me into getting on with my life. I started BYkids and it has been a crazy ride of good fortune ever since.
When I was young, I dreamed one day of becoming a trapeze artist in the circus. Then I wanted to be the lion trainers like the couple in Born Free. As a teen, I wanted to be the editor of an international cultural magazine.
I would like BYkids to become an international brand. I also hope to be successful in sparking an educational revolution that helps teachers use moving image in every classroom in America. This is how kids learn and there is currently a dangerous chasm. I call it the textbook divide.
Organized, curious and generous. A lot of hard work helps, too!
Success is the ability to help make the dreams of your loved ones come true and to be a meaningful part of making the world a better place. Personally, it means having enough time every day for quiet reflection and putting things in priority.
Failure is ever saying, “I’m bored.” Failure is being too afraid to try. Failure is not understanding that everyone has a story and you have to ask enough questions to get that story.
Of course! But that is how you learn.
As the Business Section’s graphic editor at The New York Times, we inherited a story late in the day from the Foreign Desk about the Japanese hunting the Minke whale. I had to create a graphic in record time for the front page. The reporter gave me the coordinates of where the whales were being hunted and the art department made a map. A full graphic a photo, the map and details was finished minutes before the paper closed and went out to New Yorkers. I exhaustedly returned to my desk to mentally check everything. 4 coordinates, but with the equator couldn’t that be up OR down? I called the art department and they verified my suspicion. Reporter agreed. We had the hunting going on in the Antarctic and it should have been the Arctic! For the second edition of the paper we were able to fix it, but I was sure I would be fired. The only word ever said, was one of the top editors passed me and softly said, “boy those Minke sure can swim.”
Other than that, I always ask lots of questions and am willing to take risks, which would be a big mistake not to do.
My kids. When they say I am a good mom — that is the ultimate compliment.
I would tell her two things:
1) To travel non-stop.
2) Be fearless. I believe that fear is the only thing holding anyone back. Turn off any voices in your head of doubt and replace them with voices of “if not now, when? If not you, who?”
When you are passionate about what you do, it’s not so hard to balance these two parts of your life. Having a loving family, a yoga practice, a bike and a steam also helps keep the balance. Having dinner together every night helps. Finally, I bring my family into many aspects of my work. My daughters are on our national Junior Committee and help with our annual benefit. My husband helps with the business side of BYkids. And, when I am not working, I am off. I am not a phone addict, so my family gets full attention.
The Dot by Peter Reynolds. It is a manifesto to bravely make a creative mark and see where that leads. We all have the creative spirit!
Vashti’s art teacher says, “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” Vashti sits paralyzed in front of a blank piece of paper thinking she isn’t an artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. “There!” she says. That one dot is the start of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery.
One husband, 2 kids, tall mountains to hike or deep blue oceans to swim. I like learning on vacation so anything from climbing Kilimanjaro to a yoga retreat at Esalen.
1) The MET (New York)
2) The Prado and Reina Sophia (Madrid)
3) The Gold Museum (Bogota)
4) The Louvre (Paris)
5) District Six / Robben Island (Capetown)
I am most proud of how my daughters have grown into the women they are today – as mothers they are loving, conscientious, devoted and fun. This is the most rewarding thing for me to see because I believe, being a mother is truly the most serious and important work you can do – far more than any other job out there. How many other jobs affect 2 generations down the line? But, before our girls became wives and mothers, both my husband and I were very proud of the independent, productive, well-balanced individuals they had become.
I know and value the role we play in the family and in the wider world as well. We are the nurturers, the peacemakers and peacekeepers. We know how to multi-task all day, no matter what we are doing. I think women have an amazing capacity to accomplish so much. We are strong and fierce but tender and loving as well.
Your 20’s are hugely significant because, for the first time, you really have your freedom…. no more school schedules, teachers or parents hovering over you. Now you can decide things for yourself. It’s scary but exhilarating. I loved being on my own. My 20 something self was a bit reckless and very anxious to try new things and take on the world. I loved my independence. I learned that actions have consequences – not all of my decisions were good–but, that’s the point… it’s where the real learning begins.
I made a lot of mistakes – that’s the time to do it, no one is depending on you and mistakes are important because you learn from them – but I made a lot of good choices, too. Whatever happened, I wanted to stand on my own and not ask for help. I learned a lot from my job, too. I was lucky enough to work for two different women – in an office full of women – who were smart, sensitive, successful role models. One of the most important lessons of all that I learned at that first job was to set my priorities – see those clearly and then organize my time around them. That lesson has stayed with me for my whole life.
When I turned 40 I thought – what else was there – what a ridiculous notion. In fact, I remember going for a walk with a neighbor and very dear friend around the time of my birthday. She was very cool in many ways and about 15-20 years older than me. When I shared with her how I felt about turning 40 she literally laughed at me and pointed out how much of my life was yet to be lived. She was a fabulous role model too – very chic, well-traveled, raised 6 children and had a fun loving husband. She just died about five years ago in her late 80’s – what a great life she had. I once read a quote that I thought was so wonderful and you get it the longer you live: “growing older is a privilege, not a curse”.
I have a lot of them – seems like I spent a lot of time being proud and truly enjoying the company of my girls. Our girls were not too challenging or difficult as they were growing up, and I was always grateful for that. But, this is not about what didn’t happen, it’s about the fact that our daughters were accomplished, loving and respectful to us as parents and fun to be around and grew up to be such nice people… among many other things. I consider myself an extremely lucky mom because of how close and supportive we are to each other… in the good times and bad.
What’s not to love–this is the best time ever!! Just when parts of your body don’t work as well as they used to and all the rest of the stuff that goes with aging – along come these fabulous little creatures that literally are there for you to love as much as you possibly can and the best part is, they love you right back. Grandchildren are the definition of pure joy and love. It is the reward for all those years of the relentless hard work of parenting and housework.
Our goal as a couple is to be healthy – after that anything is possible. Because now, like in our 20’s, we have our freedom back – decisions are made not because we have to but, because we want to do something. I want to continue to enjoy and be grateful for the life I have for as long as I have it. I spent most of my adult life serving others as a community volunteer and I hope to continue to do that… it is so rewarding.
The breadth and depth of my children’s accomplishments. I am awestruck at the way they manage the complexity of their lives as spouses, parents, friends, daughters and sons, and how they have grown into some of the most decent and interesting people that I am so proud to have in my life. They truly are an inspiration.
Resisting cultural and family pressures to conform to a very narrow definition of what a woman should be in the 1950’s in Belgium. I held onto my dreams to explore the world and to continue developing my own interests. I accomplished that with my Dad’s support and a loving husband who shared that view.
Don’t settle down too quickly, explore, experience, be a bit on the wild side. Some things are meant to be done when you are twenty and settling down is not one of them.
This may be the time to reinvent oneself and reevaluate where the next twenty years will lead to. What new things can one explore or what old dreams as yet unfulfilled can one dig up and revisit and make happen?
The happiest memories always have to do with being together as a family, whether around the dining room table or on a vacation or special holiday. Nothing trumps togetherness and the sharing of experiences — it is binding.
Very much the same as a mom. It is being together with them and watching each grandchild developing their own personality, growing up from little babies to little persons and now that they are older there is the added pleasure of watching them interact when they are together. Can’t wait for those get together times, they are the best.
To stay fully engaged in life. To achieve this goal I have started to mentor students and I just started my first online course to become certified as a navigator for the ACA (Affordable HealthCare Act). But my most important goal and wish is to continue being a part of my children and grandchildren’s life.
I think of myself as a textile designer, although technically I’m the Chief Creative Officer of SERENA & LILY — a home decor company based in Sausalito, CA. There, I design or direct the design of all patterns used on our textiles (bedding, rugs, etc.), I direct the design of all of our products, and I oversee the creative side of the business (i.e. graphic design, photoshoots, website etc.). www.serenaandlily.com
Non-linear! I was a Psychology major, undergrad, and always thought I would go on to be a Clinical Psychologist. In between Undergrad and Grad School I took time o and worked at a Tech rm. I realized my day would not be spent being a therapist, and had an inkling I wanted to do something more creative. It was then that I picked up a paintbrush for the first time and started painting designs on furniture. Lo and behold it got shown in a local art/craft gallery and sold, so I made more. It sold, and I thought I would re-direct my path and go study art and design. After a BFA and time in Florence studying, I started a business doing Decorative Painting for private clients in Denver. Upon moving to San Francisco, my client base became Interior Designers and Pottery Barn Kids Catalog (as their decorative painter on catalog photoshoots). I continued to take classes to expand my range of “mark-making” and studied textile design and screenprinting. At that point I developed my own line of hand block-printed fabrics, which I sold through Interior Designers. Soon after, I met my business partner Lily; she owned a local children’s boutique (Mill Valley Baby & Kids), and she and I commiserated about how few great options were on the market for baby bedding. The rest is history.
Great question. I want to be serving the same role at Serena & Lily, but with more of me to go around to my kids, family and friends thanks to all the talent that surrounds me there…maybe even leaving me enough time to paint again!
I believe in unlimited possibility, I’m internally driven (always have been), and I’m perpetually inspired.
If I’m proud of and satisfied by the product of my effort.
If I make a mistake I don’t learn from.
Lots, but I always learn from them and build on that learning. So “mistakes” become the course of things.
The team of people we have working with us. We are like a family and I’m honored to have them all putting their time and energy into a common cause that started with me.
You don’t need to know what you want to be when you grow up. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, learn what feels right and what feels wrong, and adjust accordingly. But above all else: follow your own internal compass…no one but you can know your path.
I’ve learned that it’s all about presence. Presence makes time count, and it becomes about quality over quantity. Since there’s never enough quantity, you might as well have quality.
Currently it’s Fireboat (by Maira Kalman), an amazing children’s book about a fireboat that became an unlikely hero fighting res from the Hudson on 9/11. It’s a touchingly gentle way to introduce 9/11 to kids and an absolutely lovely story.
Not having to make a single decision, sunshine, and great food. If I have all three it’s an epic vacation.
1) Copenhagen, Denmark
Incredible shopping, lovely people, phenomenal style
2) Marrakech, Morocco
Lush exotic otherworldliness
3) San Sebastian, Spain
Low-key, jet-set beach
4) Telluride, Colorado
Jawdroppingly stunning, but still-rough-around-the-edges mountain town
5) Paris, France
The most beautiful city in the world. Still.
I am the president of a luxury beauty company, Le Métier de Beauté, a highly curated line of color cosmetics, skincare and treatment products. Le Métier de Beauté, which loosely translates to “the craft of beauty,” is available in more than 100 luxury retailers around
I wanted to be a doctor until I learned that there was blood involved. In high school, I turned my attention to journalism and public relations and have worked in related fields ever since.
Assertive. Self-aware. Intuitive.
Success is learning from failure and moving forward. In building a business (and in life), there are a lot of hiccups, missteps, and duct tape. The trick is not to get hung-up on what went wrong, but learn from the experience and build a better approach for the next time.
Failure is a necessary part of the learning curve. Everyone makes mistakes; not learning from them is the real failure.
I’ve made many, many mistakes over the years and I would make all of them again. My mistakes and successes have made me who I am today.
Two things: 1) Talk and listen more. In my 20s I wish I had spoken to more women, older than me or further along in their careers, to help me get a better sense of the proverbial road ahead and shape my longer-term goals. And, 2) travel. I didn’t take a semester abroad (big, big, big mistake!) and went straight from college to working full-time. Although I had the chance, I never took time to travel and see the world. Exposure to different people, cultures, and histories is important in the development of perspective and empathy. I’ve been fortunate to travel with my various posts and have spent time in some amazing places – but when you are working, it’s hard to truly immerse yourself in and appreciate another culture.
For her strength, focus and kindness, my mother is my heroine. In the face of adversity – from good ol’ boy politics to fighting ovarian cancer for more than a decade – her grace and poise never ceases to amaze, inspire and motivate me to be a better human being.
Forgiveness; forgiving yourself for not meeting self-imposed expectations is liberating and frees you to do and be your best. But the most important “trick” is to find a great partner in life. Mine, my husband, helps me maintain balance, perspective and, possibly and most importantly, a sense of humor.
With two young boys and a growing company I haven’t had much time to contemplate an alternate career … that said, I am passionate about empowering girls/women to achieve their goals and I am an advocate of anti-bullying and would love to work to further these
It’s hard to pick just one… When I was a child, I loved the adventures in “Tell Me a Mitzi” by Lore Segal and “In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak. More recently I discovered, with my boys, a beautifully imaginative and illustrated world created by Chris van Dusen. We started with “If I Built A Car” and our collection continues to grow.
Somewhere slightly remote with breathtaking views – beach or mountains – surrounded by my family, friends, good food, delicious wine, and great conversation.
1) Red Lodge, Montana
It’s a tiny, rustic, mountain town known as the “gateway to Yellowstone National Park” via the death-defying Bear Tooth Highway … I know it as home; it’s where my parents live, where I got married, and where the people smile and say hi to total strangers, because it’s the polite thing to do.
I traveled to Mexico during college and lived in Cuernavaca for several weeks to study Spanish. I fell in love with the culture, the art, the food and the people.
Because it’s the most romantic city on earth.
Family, friends, my Longhorns, country music, Tex-Mex and margaritas. Need I say more?
5) New York City
No explanation needed.
You could say I started young. As a child I was always the banker in Monopoly. Funny how labels stick. My first job out of college was an auditor for a bank – NationsBank. I also took the job because it paid $2,000 more than other job oers. Which taught me a great life lesson at an early age; never chase money. Let money chase you. I was an auditor for 366 days, 5 hours, 22 minutes. I remember this because it was the first and last job where I stared at my watch waiting for 5pm “quitting time”. My next position was in marketing for the bank and that opened the door to my creativity. After 7 years running their Olympic Sports partnership program, I visited my brother in San Francisco and fell in love with the intellectual stimulation and diversity of the West. I quit my secure job with the bank to jump into the internet boom by helping to lead a dot com, Quokka Sports, through their IPO. Next I tried my hand as CEO of an Adventure Travel company, Adventure Collection. In 2002 though, my mum was out visiting, and she and I got to talking about what it was that I TRULY wanted to do. What would get me jumping out of bed every day? What would make great use of my skills and passions? Within a few months there I was – opening my own vintage home furnishing business, Maison Rêve www.maisonreve.com
Like I said, there I was as the perpetual banker in Monopoly. I also used to sell icicles every winter. We grew up in Montreal, Canada and snow magically fell almost every day forming mountains of fresh snow right outside my front door. A child’s dream. I loved knocking icicles down from rooftops and displaying my collections on snow banks to trade with something one of my friends in the neighborhood had collected. When I reflect now on why I loved doing this, it was the way I could use my imagination to tell stories about each icicle and how mesmerized my friends were when listening to the stories. If we all think of moments in your life when you are “in the zone” using your gift, you will realize your true purpose in life meant to be shared. Only recently have I realized mine is as a storyteller who inspires people to see the wonder of life in simple things all around them.
My favorite three words have always been Belief, Imagine, Inspire. Just typing them gives me goosebumps. I think they carry so much power and magic and are aligned with my values. So I hope I can continue to use my imaginative storytelling to inspire people to believe in something greater than themselves that awakens their soul and brings love and goodness to the world.
Choosing love over fear. Living with compassion, kindness, joy and reverence for life. Inspiring my two young children, Finnegan and Delphine, and my husband David, and others in my community to define their own beliefs and live courageously by them. When we look at conflicts within ourselves, within marriages, communities, races, nations, between species, between our planet and us most everything can be resolved by each of us choosing to live by the values of love (compassion, kindness, truth, forgiveness, joy, hope…) over fear (anger, jealously, frustration, sorrow…). This is what really defines success rather than anything externally pursued. Having once pursued external rewards at the expense of my own values, I know first hand it doesn’t lead to personal fulfillment. And choosing love over fear throughout the day is easier than it sounds. It’s waking up each morning and making that simple decision “I choose to act in love over fear as best I can throughout my day.” I bet you will start connecting with people you maybe never have before. Doors will open up to you as the Universal force works through you to bring more love into the world. Life basically gets more peaceful and joyful.
When I don’t learn from experiences that are here to teach me and grow my soul. When I react in a contracted state, not open to learning from each experience and repeat the same responses that aren’t working for me. My soul fails to grow in that moment and I postpone bringing the next stage of enlightenment to myself.
Thank goodness, yes, many. For these have taught me the greatest lessons, far greater than the successes. Lesson like not chasing money but trusting the right amount will chase me when I pursue my purpose. Learning not to compare my success to others or to our culture’s current standards of success but rather be guided by my own values. Most of the mistakes I have had in my career happen when I am not clear about my personal beliefs. So I now have my beliefs written down and I chose experiences that are aligned with them.
That when I was living a crazy fast paced life and found myself way off course with my values, which was a good couple times, I found the courage to course correct. It took belief. Trust. Slowing down so I could reconnect with myself and hear my inner voice. It’s never easy. But I know first hand that that is exactly when you gain the most enlightenment. These pivot points in my journey have always reminded me how worthy I am. How connected we all are to one another as ONE humanity. How everyone is born out of purpose, no life is an accident. How sacred our planet is. It helps me feel the magic of the Universe. When I reconnect with myself the world always brings me opportunities that are in alignment with what I was meant to do during my time on earth. So I hope everyone course corrects when their inner voice whispers they are sailing away from their beliefs and purpose.
Great question. To look for, practice and apply the tools that will enable me to stay in touch with my authentic self, not my ego. Meditation. Yoga. Taking walks, connecting to nature. Write down my values so I have a clear guide to make decisions.
Marianne Williamson for having the courage to speak from her heart on issues our country needs to hear. Oprah for leading a spiritual movement. My mother for inspiring me to live with simple, joyful values and keeping that wonder for life. She is so amazing especially given she grew up from her infancy to age 18 in an orphanage in Switzerland during WWII. Yet she never lost that wonder.
Well that one’s not easy either, but I have found that if I focus on clarifying exactly what are my true values, then stringently stick to making decision by them, then balance can’t help but come. One of my values is living every moment. Really living and breathing in every one. I recently learned this requires creating “white space” around moments rather than packing in one To Do after another throughout my day. This way if a moment grows — say I run into a friend and we get into a deep connection – I make time to be present and enjoy it. Let it grow. I used to always be thinking of all the things I had to do each day so there was little white space left. I missed lots of spontaneous opportunities for fulfillment and chances to share and receive gifts with others.
I remember as a child always looking forward to the page in Goodnight Moon where I could say “Goodnight Mush”. I think its because my Mum made boule (French for porridge) and seeing it on that page, all by itself, with nothing else around it, well it always just felt like home. It’s the simple things in life isn’t it?!
Exploring a new culture with our kids so they learn how to relate to all cultures, appreciate diversity, and feel the expansiveness of our world. Our family recently returned from a month vacation at a farmhouse in France. We didn’t connect to TV, Internet or do all the touristy stuff. We just became locals in the culture, tasted all they had to oer (the food was amazing on a daily basis), read a lot of books after the kids went down (see list below) and enjoyed simple moments like watching the sun going down every evening. A perfect vacation.
1) Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson
2) The Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukav
3) French Kids Eat Everything, by Karen Le Billon
4) The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents, by Deepak Chopra
5) Clean, by Alejandro Junger, M.D.
I am a bicoastal landscape artist living and working in the Bay area. I say bicoastal because I spend a part of the year on the East Coast and Europe and the rest of the year here in San Francisco/Marin. My paintings are on large canvases with tons of colour, light, strong horizon lines, oceans, barns, trees…pastoral scenes…I love playing with colour and pushing it in my paintings whether in an ocean, sky, barn or field. My studio is on Union Street in San Francisco (I share a wall with A Day in May :-)) and I am represented by galleries on both the East and West Coasts. The doors to my studio are always open to visitors when I am painting. You can find me there about 8 months of the year and the other times I am on the road with “travel” as my middle name. I need it so – for inspiration. During those months I have a camera on me, sketching, spending time with my family who lives in all places around the world…Europe, Africa, Mexico…and I come back with a sketchbook full of notes, watercolours and so much that needs to pour out on the canvas. It’s a balanced existence in some ways, although quite hectic too.
Nancy Drew. Or a veterinarian. I was never convinced I could make a living being an artist.
1. I love working with people.
2. I have somewhat of a business sense combined with the fact that I absolutely love what I do for a living. That is the key. You need to love what you do.
3. I love to create places on canvases that let people slow down, and find a place of quiet for a while.
Loving my work and racing to the studio almost daily because I want to not because I have to.
Being an active family member as both a mother and a daughter. Traveling the world with my family and showing my children the world outside their world.
Not taking risks in life. In every aspect of life.
Of course! It’s the key to learning anything in life and getting more self condent. It’s mandatory. And never regret. Ever.
Travel as much as you can before you settle. Do what you love for a living and you will nd a way to make a living doing it. It might not make a mint, but you will wake up happier for it. Explore all your interests, make mistakes, it doesn’t matter. Take risks and never regret. You only get one life and you need to live it. In the end, work for yourself. Don’t be on anyone else’s time clock.
My parents. They are both in the design and architecture worlds and explore non stop. They are endlessly curious, intellectual and inspiring all at once. They opened my eyes to the rest of the world by traveling with me right from the get go. I was in India five times before I was 15. Crazy, but true. They never defined their trips by having a child alongside. I was along for the ride no matter what.
I’m still learning that every day. I think it’s a life long challenge. Listening and watching my children gives me balance. They are always in the moment which for me is the best lesson in life. Cherish every moment we have. Breathe it all in.
I work hard, I travel hard. It’s my motto. I have consciously chosen to close down the studio various months of the year and open myself up to inspiration, travel, family and friends. Living in the Bay Area keeps me apart from many places I want to be at all at once…and so I try and keep the balance of being very disciplined in the studio during my eight months to create the inventory for the shows and the galleries before I hit the road with my family and have the one on one time with them. I created that world for myself and for my family. It feels great to have that balance and working for myself has made it so.
Travel photographer. Or most likely a gallery owner supporting my wonderful artist friends. That’s in my next life.
“How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers and all his other books…. Why? Because he is the best children’s book illustrator and all his books send out the most wonderful messages to the little ones…I never stop smiling as I read them.
It would be a combination of cultural sites, language, eye opening experiences for my children, and then some down time on a white sand beach with clear waters and a snorkel by my side.
The daily gratitude of life and dedication to all things beautiful. (See my Blog for this summer’s experience there with my husband and children)
The most powerful travel experience I have ever had for both the people, culture and architecture…I could go on…Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia…I am in love with Asia…
3) Europe (France, Switzerland, Italy…)
It never ceases to amaze me that one can experience so much history, language, culture, landscape, and architecture so close knit together…and to be able to drive from one to another and feel the changes within hours…wild.
I love the Mexican culture, the language and am particularly fond of San Miguel de Allende where I got engaged and married and return to year after year with my husband and our children.
5) Block Island
My home away from home on the Atlantic Coastline.
We are honored to have Bridget Brown launch our Women Who Inspire campaign. Both of our businesses, A Day in May Design and Bella Bridesmaid, started around the same time and we shared studio space in a San Francisco courtyard in the early days. We often found ourselves comparing notes, our entrepreneurial frustrations, and offering support to each other’s fledgling businesses. In the short time that we asked Bridget to fill out our Women Who Inspire questionnaire, and before we launched this campaign, we are happy to report that Bridget has sold the Bella Bridesmaid franchise! Not only did she build her business from scratch, she successfully franchised it, and now has sold the franchise. To the girls at A Day in May, she continues to impress and we look forward to following the next phase of her career which we have no doubt will be equally inspirational. In the meantime, we raise a glass to Bridget and wish her some rest and relaxation so she can pat herself on the back and soak up her impressive feat.
I’m the founder of Bella Bridesmaid….we are a nationwide company of over 40 boutiques specializing in chic, modern and wearable bridesmaid dresses. We work by appointment to give the bride and her maids a memorable, enjoyable and stress-free experience! We carry an assortment of designers and styles for all budgets and tastes.
I started Bella Bridesmaid in San Francisco in May of 2000 when I saw a lack of chic bridesmaid dresses in the industry, and franchised the company in 2006.
A lawyer. (I went to law school). Or own a dress boutique. Check and Check!
An ability to read people…I’ve got a great first impression, gut instinct!
By how many trophies and medals you have won? Kidding! There’s no “bridesmaid” Oscars…….
I’d have to say success for me is defined as having it all (whatever your “all” may be!), appreciating that you have it all, and enjoying it. For me that means being grateful for what I do and waking up each day excited to see what happens. And for meeting my husband…who has led me down an incredible path the past 12 years into a life filled with excitement and joy.
Ohhh wow. I think I’m supposed to say “there are no failures because otherwise you wouldn’t have successes” but I think every small business owner knows it’s hard to NOT to accomplish something you’ve set out to do. I’ve always tried to look at failures as a necessary evil. I wouldn’t have been able to successfully franchise my business, which is essentially teaching someone the secrets of your success, without making a lot of mistakes to know what pitfalls to avoid!
Singular? More like mistake’S…plural. Sure, lots. I learned early on that I had to trust my gut. The times I didn’t were mistakes.
Take it easy! I went straight from college to law school…I thought that was the norm. When I showed up to my first day, I was one of the youngest ones there by a long shot and every – one else had life experiences, or had traveled and explored the world. I thought it was a race…I know now it’s about the journey.
My mom. She’s such a kind and lovely person and makes time for everyone important in her life. She’s smart, beautiful, and is so great at showing people that she cares. I aspire to be more like her every day.
I struggle with this daily. The right answer is to turn on the email and phone at a certain time each night, right?
I *do* try to get a few classes of Pilates in each week, mainly for an hour free time-frame where I can rest my mind. Ok, and for Madonna arms. I also think it’s key to have a notepad and pen on your bedside table and write down any worries or thoughts you have at the end of the night. It alleviates the fear of forgetting something important and allows you to shut down!
Something that involves being surrounded by puppies, pretty dresses, interesting fonts, and lots of time to scroll through Pinterest.
I still have my favorite childhood book on my bookshelf. It’s called “Bridget’s Growing Day” and for obvious reasons I thought it was written for me. And because I’m 5’1. I didn’t grow that much but it gave me something to aspire to!
1) Copenhagen, Denmark
My husband and I are fans of most Scandinavian countries, but Copenhagen is a favorite. We visited in the dead of winter, December, and it was bone-chilling cold, but every bar and restaurant had candles in the windows and a warm and cozy ambiance. They even have a word for it…”Hyggelig”..which translates to “comfortable and snug”.
2) Barcelona, Spain
This city has it all….culture, amazing food and nightlife, and a laid back attitude. It’s so easy to walk the entire city and take it all in.
3) Ambergris Caye, Belize
Hard to get to and a very recent introduction to cars on the island (we only saw a few!) make this a true getaway. Our favorite memories are an island with only iguanas for inhabitants and amazing snorkeling/diving o the barrier reef.
4) Stockholm, Sweden
Another top Scandinavian destination….the land of beautiful people, literally! Everyone is 6 feet tall, blonde, and incredibly stylish. We visited for New Years Eve and took a boat ride around the archipelago…one of 30,000 islands and islets! (most are tiny and uninhabited…..)
5) Paris, France
Enough said. In the words of Audrey Hepburn, “Paris is always a good idea”.