Given the debut of “Girlboss” on Netflix, it seems fitting to pay tribute to someone I have always thought truly embodied the term: a perennial Skirt favorite, Eva Chen.
She has had the career of many women’s dreams. After starting at Lucky magazine in the credits department, she worked her way through Elle, Teen Vogue, and ultimately, returned to Lucky as its youngest editor-in-chief. She joined Instagram in 2015 as the director of fashion partnerships. One article dubbed her as the Anna Wintour of the digital age — hefty shoes that I think she fills (and then some!).
She is the ultimate resource for what’s trending. Her knowledge of the fashion world is insurmountable at this point, and I can always rely on her Instagram feed and Instagram stories (my favorite!) for a rundown of brands I should be watching and beauty products everyone will be talking about.
She is now the parent of two. As a mom myself, I can’t throw enough high fives and #yougogirls her way. She chronicles her adorable minis, toddler Ren and her new baby, Tao, in a way that I can totally relate to, but also in a manner I hope that countless others (who aren’t mothers), appreciate as insight in to inner workings of life as a working mom (a term which needs major rethinking, by the way. All moms are working moms!).
She’s an inspiration in building your own brand. From her signature #EvaChenpose to her love of tiny bags and LaCroix Water, some days I feel like I can peg what’s “so Eva” better than I can my own style!
I’ve always been obsessed with innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirt. Along the way, I learned that many entrepreneurs are successful after finding a solution within their current industry. Alli Webb of Drybar is a perfect example of this. Starting out as stylist and stay-at-home mom, she has made a multimillion-dollar business out of just blowouts. Here is why she is the ultimate girl boss:
She found her niche: Alli discovered a need women had for simply having their hair styled (and not cut). She decided to own this and made them affordable and accessible for everyone.
It started as a family affair: She leaned on her marketing expert brother to start the business and used her ad executive husband to develop the creative assets. She was also able to acknowledge when the business grew too big for her and hired a CEO to run the company.
She expanded wisely: Alli recognized the room for expansion beyond the salons. Since opening, Drybar now has its own line of tools, liquid products, and even a book!
Every morning (weekends included!) I peruse my two favorite sites to get inspiration for my professional and personal life. Those websites, Byrdie and Who What Wear, among others, were created by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power. These women are taking charge of the digital space and are amazing role models for women online and off. Here are a few ways they are leading the charge:
They take risks: Both Kerr and Power were employed at some of the top fashion publications, including ELLE, before they decided to leave and pursue their own personal ventures. Although many people would think leaving a position at a top magazine was crazy, these ladies knew that there was more waiting for them if they took the plunge on their own.
They stay busy: Although Clique Media Group might be enough for most, Kerr and Power have a lot more in their wheelhouse these days. From a successful collaboration with Target to managing some of the most successful bloggers out there, these ladies get it done.
They strive to empower: It’s always great to see successful women look to help others find their way and Kerr and Power do just that. From speaking at conferences such as Create & Cultivate, to writing books that are chock-full of career advice, Kerr and Power definitely share the wealth.
What dynamic duo inspires you to be a #GirlBoss?
As a devoted Harry Potter fan, I grew up wishing Hermione Granger was my BFF. Hermione was a talented, self-confident, intelligent young woman who likes to help others and she was my role model. Little did I know that Emma Watson, the actress that plays Hermione in the movies, would act as my biggest role model post-Potter. Here are a few reasons why I find her to be so inspiring:
She’s a fashion-loving humanitarian: Not only is she one of my style icons, but she recognizes the impact that the fashion industry has on the world. (Say “no” to fast fashion!)
She’s was named a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women: “The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly. Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting.” Just, yes. How incredible is it that she took her position as an influencer to stand up for something she was passionate about and really work to make a difference? (Make sure you check out her initiative, HeForShe.)
She knows the importance of personal development: Emma recently announced that she is taking time off from acting to focus on personal development and furthering her knowledge of gender studies. “I’m reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening,” she said. She recently started her own book club called Our Shared Shelf – learn how to join here.
She’s a killer beat-boxer. She dropped a mean beat during an interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda, making me love her even more than I already do! The entire interview is a must-see, but you can see her beat-box in this clip.
Who is your favorite #girlboss?
I have been a fan of Amy Poehler since her early days on “Saturday Night Live,” always admiring her wit and unique sense of humor. Since then, my appreciation for her talent and motivation has grown even more. She is my favorite girl boss because her work ethic and passion has led her to be a best-selling author, successful working mother, television genius, and advocate for girls around the country. Below are a few additional reasons that Amy is the ultimate lady boss.
She never gives up: For those of you that read her book, “Yes Please,” you know how hard Amy worked before she was “discovered.” Being a woman in comedy can’t be easy, but even through the criticism and tough auditions, she continued to keep her goals as a top priority.
She embraces girl power: I’ve been loving her online project, Amy’s Smart Girls, a website for women of all ages to come together for career tips, humorous anecdotes, and profiles on other “Smart Girls” around the country. The site emphasizes intelligence and imagination over “fitting in” – a mantra that Amy clearly lives by and one of the reasons she’s so successful.
She has a *smart* sense of humor: Obviously, I had to touch on her sense of humor, as it’s a key factor to Amy’s success and can often be an added bonus in the work force. Amy is the perfect example of how a smart sense of humor can benefit others, while advancing your career.