Whitney Port has come a long way since her days on The Hills. At 21, she was interning with Teen Vogue and Kelly Cutrone’s People’s Revolution. At 24, she took the leap to becoming her own boss and launched her own fashion line Whitney Eve, which was a Create & Cultivate Chicago darling last summer.
Now, at 31 she’s taking everything she’s learned as a businesswoman throughout the years and is restructuring her brand, with plans to make it even bigger and better than before.
We chatted with Whitney as she gets ready for her third Create & Cultivate appearance this fall in Atlanta. She told us that in the midst of changing your brand, you have to embrace change -- even if you think you might fail. It's all part of the process in becoming a better version of yourself.
Make sure to catch Whitney on panel this fall and grab your tickets for Create & Cultivate Atlanta here now!
What is the biggest lesson that you've learned as a young entrepreneur?
The biggest lesson I have learned, though extremely cliche, is that when one door closes, another really opens! It is easy to get all bent out of shape as a young entrepreneur because so many of the trials and tribulations we deal with are the first we have ever had to deal with, and thus we have no coping mechanisms. It is important that we take deep breaths and allow initial shock and horror to pass before we get all worked up when we're hit with hardships.
What is a common misconception that people have about you as an entrepreneur? What do you do to break away from those notions?
I think people have thought that since being on The Hills I have just put my name on things and simply been a face for my businesses when actually I have micromanaged everything. I'd love people to know that I actually grew up in the fashion business and have been behind every business decision that has been made for me! I do that by continuing to take an active role in my businesses and always making personal connections. Nothing gets by me these days.
"I continue to take an active role in my businesses and always make personal connections. Nothing gets by me these days."
What would you say to the 21 year old Whitney just getting started at Teen Vogue?
I would tell myself to really nurture my relationships there and absorb all the lessons all the amazing people that worked there had to offer. In your early 20’s, you sort of think you know everything or you are too busy to make connections. I should have taken time out of filming to form relationships with the likes of Lisa Love and Amy Astley who could have been amazing mentors for me at the time and even now.
"Nurture your relationships and absorb all the lessons all the amazing people you work with have to offer."
What kind of boss would you describe yourself?
In three words, I would describe myself as decisive, pragmatic, and motivational.
Overall, I think I am a pretty cool boss! I want to drive those working alongside of me to reach their fullest potential and motivate without feeling like I am their superior.
You are currently going through some brand restructuring - what are some of the keys that you are holding on to make sure it's the smoothest transition?
I make sure that every collaboration and partnership makes sense for my brand. That I am working alongside good and like-minded people and that I am really taking the time to think about things without making rash decisions.
One of the pieces of advice we like to follow is recognizing your fears and leaning into them instead of running away - what are one of your biggest fears that you've had to lean into no matter how scary they were?
My biggest fear in work was that my clothing line would fail and people would then look at me as a failure. But I have learned that nothing is a total fail, or fail at all for that matter, that change is a great, great thing and we truly need to learn from these changes and use them to become better versions of ourselves.
"I have learned that nothing is a total fail, or fail at all for that matter, & that change is a great."
What is next in the pipeline for your brand?
I am working on multiple collaborations that you will start to see out there in the fall! One of which is an activewear collection! I am also continuing to better myself as a writer and content producer on WhitneyPort.com
#cleanskinisin or #nofilter!