How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?
My craft very much reflects my personal passions. In undergrad, I was the go-to person in my social circles for resume and advice. I was fortunate to participate in career preparatory such as the Chicago Summer Business Institute and MLT (ml4t.org) and I was eager to share my learnings with others. Now I’m able to share my expertise and opinions with others around the world.
How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?
Women have been my best teachers! Whether it’s formally in the classroom or informally as mentors, women have provided the insight on navigating life as a multi-faceted ambitious woman.
Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?
Read, read, and read! I’m a sponge for knowledge. I consistently read articles, blogs, and books. I’m also a fan of listening to podcasts on the go.
How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?
I ensure that when I set goals, I define measurements for success. When it comes to longer term goals, I break down what I need to do per quarter, month, and week to accomplish it. Then, I use my journal and planner to keep track. My professional goals require creativity to accomplish them so it’s pretty easy to stay within the creative space. I’ve fallen victim to exhaustion several times but I am actively working on scheduling time for myself and intentionally managing my energy.
How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?
Mentors have been extremely instrumental in my growth. I have several mentors which I have deemed my personal board of directors. They consist of women who have served as former managers during my collegiate internships. I also have a suite of virtual mentors such as Erica Nicole of YFS Magazine, Myleik Teele, and of course Oprah! I follow them and take heed to the words of wisdom that they share.
What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?
Recognize that entrepreneurship isn’t as glamorous as social media makes it seem. It is HARD and downright frustrating. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a 9-5 and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for pursuing that path. If you do venture into entrepreneurship, stay true to who you are. Don’t look to do something simply because everyone else is doing it.
Place that inspires me the most… My hometown of Chicago. There’s nothing like working in a chic cafe downtown. Inspiration at its finest.
I feel most powerful when… I’m speaking to an audience on branding. It’s amazing to know that I’m about to shift someone’s perspective.
I love what I do because… I’m 100% sure that I’m walking in my purpose.
Best advice I have ever received… You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but you do need to be the hardest worker.