Photo Credit: Meredith Jenks
Here at LIVELY, we’re constantly surrounded by swoon-worthy women that are killin’ it in their businesses. We're launching #WomenCrushWednesday to celebrate the boss babes who provide us with a constant flow of inspiration, support, and endless girl-crushes.
Where are you from?
I’m from D.C.! I’ve also lived in South Korea, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Boston, and New York City, but I now call D.C. home :)
You have a background in technology, engineering, editorial, product design, you name it! How did those experiences bring you to Girls' Night In?
At the time when I was first starting my career, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I dabbled in so many areas, including the ones listed but also: consulting, graphic design, even bit of sales. In hindsight, everything has worked perfectly. All of these experiences combined helped me build the experience needed to build GNI. Especially my experience working at Vox Media - I learned how the editorial, revenue, and technology worlds could be combined to build a lasting business.
Here at LIVELY, we think every badass woman has had to take a risky leap of faith to get to where they are now. We call this our YOLO moment. What was yours?
My YOLO moment was leaving my full-time job at age 27 to pursue building Girls’ Night In full-time. It was SO scary and the biggest risk I’ve ever taken, but I’m happy it worked out with a lot of planning on my end.
Tell us about Girls' Night In. What inspired it and what has it become? Any surprises?
I started the company as a side/passion project during my full-time job working as a design lead on Healthcare.gov. At the time, I felt really burnt out. I also felt a ton of anxiety from the 2016 election and news cycle. I wanted to build something that brought a ton of joy into people’s lives, so I did a lot of brainstorming on what I was personally passionate about. I love bringing my friends together more than anything, so I decided to start a company that helps you have or host a “girls’ night in”. From the beginning, it’s been really surprising that the audience and market determined that Girls’ Night In was a “self-care company” when in actuality, the origins of it were much more focused on this idea of hosting people and community-building. I think it’s been a positive surprise, because the self-care world and community-building world is *so* interconnected in today’s age. You can’t practice self-care without a community to support you.
Tell us about a hard decision you’ve had to make in your business. How did you come to that decision and what resources did you use to make it?
We had a couple of launches slated for 2019. I quickly learned that at such an early stage and with such a small team, a lack of focus is the worst thing you can do to your company. With a ton of self reflection and feedback from advisors and mentors, I made the tough call to simplify our roadmap. It’s been a big lesson in terms of being patient and trusting the process. Good things take time.
Do you believe in “balance”? If so, how do you find it and manage it?
I do. At least, I believe in the practice of trying to achieve balance and consistently checking in with yourself. That is self-care at its core. For me, that means turning off all work during the weekends. As an entrepreneur, of course things come up every now and then and you have to deal with things, but I’ve found that completely disconnecting over the weekend helps me feel energized and excited to work on things during the work week.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?
“It’s your company. You call the shots.” This advice came to me when I was asking my mentor some really practical HR-related questions. I was experiencing intense impostor syndrome at this time and I was feeling overwhelmed by all the minutiae of building a business and team. This advice helped me realize that 1) there is no “right” way to do everything, 2) trust my gut and intuition, and 3) be confident in my abilities.
What’s the biggest myth of starting your own business?
That every day is a dream and also that you’re rolling in cash. It’s certainly not the case! There are good days and bad days. It feels like a rollercoaster for sure...but a fun one.
When do you feel most empowered?
I feel most empowered by my team. They’re incredibly thoughtful, smart, and passionate about what we do. It gives me energy when I see them excel and when they try new things.
I also feel empowered by our community of women around the world who have prioritized their self-care practice thanks to Girls’ Night In, and by the women who have formed new friendships and connections through Girls’ Night In.
How has your female network influenced your career path?
Most of my professional network is female, I’m not sure why. I think I’ve always been drawn to other women in the workplace. At my last job, I became great friends with my fellow female colleagues and we’d support each other, share resources and knowledge, help each other negotiate...it was so great.
What are your thoughts on “following your gut”?
As I’ve grown older, I’m now realizing the importance of following your gut. It’s usually right. If you have to force a “yes,” it should probably be a “no.”
Describe your personal aesthetic.
Casual, classic, comfortable, cozy!
3 fave LIVELY pieces?
1. The Lounge Pant and Cami in white - obviously, I love to be comfortable and chic while at home.
3. The Lace Strapless in Toasted Almond - perfect for summer tops, especially off-the-shoulder tops!