Rachel Zoe may have popularized such phrases as "I die," and "Bananas," but the multi-hyphenate who credited launching The Zoe Report as one of her smartest business decisions this past Saturday at Create & Cultivate DTLA, had much more knowledge to drop. Interviewed by friend, fellow businesswoman, and jewelry designer Jen Meyer, the impeccably dressed maven shared her savvy with the audience of 500. She also blushed crimson when Jen asked her how she works with her husband, Rodger Berman who was in the audience, and still goes home and f*cks him. "I just want you to know my nephew is here, so shh," Rachel laughed. Adding her signature, "I'm going to die right now."
"Rachel," said Jen before getting into the meat of their talk, "is quite possibly one of the most supportive friends, people, business women on the planet. When I started my jewelry company, one of the first people to support me and say 'I'm going to be everything I can for people to see it,' was Rachel."
Here are 6 of the most inspiring takeaways from Rachel and Jen.
They talked work ethic. What keeps her going?
"I love it. As I've grown from stylist to everything else, I am driven by the passion. It started with me wanting to be a great stylist and after that it was following my gut and instinct for what felt right." Later in the talk Rachel said, "I don’t think you can be good at something if you don’t love it."
What resonates through the Rachel Zoe brand?
"At the core of my brand I've always wanted to speak to, empower, and motivate young women. Give them confidence to do whatever they want to do in life. The mantra of my brand has always been: Provide aspiration and inspiration, and always be accessible. Never be intimidating. When someone shows a 20,000 dollar coat on a runway, I'm not ever saying that's what everyone needs to wear in order to look good."
What is she like as a boss?
She has an open-door policy in her office-- but she rarely spends time in it. "Roger keeps threatening to close my office because I never go in it." She likes being in the middle of the creative energy and talking to everyone in the office. "We are so synergistic throughout the company-- everyone talks, and one part of the brand could not exist without the other." As for the members of her team, she had this to say: "Don’t micro-manage people. I think if you hire talented people, you have to let them be. Let them govern their time."
"Don’t micro-manage people. If you hire talented people, you have to let them be. Let them govern their time."
What are the rules she lives by?
"It's about being honest, kind, and forthcoming. Internally and externally it's what we put out and it's how I govern my business and my life." Also adding, "Follow your gut and your instinct. I know what I know, but I know what I don't know. "
According to Jen, Rachel is a pro a balancing her life. How does she do it?
"Before I had children I felt I was very imbalanced. I was so obsessed with my career that I couldn't see anything else. I missed every birthday. I missed every holiday. I missed everything that mattered outside of work. And then weirdly when I had my first son I feel like I became better at my job. I was better able to focus, prioritize, look at really important things in a different way, and handle them in a much more sane way. I don't get worked up about things the way I used to and that has helped me achieve some balance."
But acknowledged, "Every day is different and a struggle and there is guilt on both sides when you're a working mom. You have to know you can't plan every day. It's never going to turn out the way you think it will. The ultimate goal is to be present when you're with your children and present when you're working."
What are some lessons she learned as a stylist that she's applied to her businesses?
"Really learning about people is the thing in styling that actually overrides all of the styling. You have to have patience, a true understanding that everyone is different; it's not a formula. These are not mannequins, they are people like you and me. They have problems and insecurities. Styling has really taught me that you have to work so hard for what you want in life. That this business is not always glamourous. And it helped me as a designer to know what women want and don't want."
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