It was a chilly and rainy morning last Thursday in New York City, but that didn’t stop dozens of women from joining us for an intimate “Fireside Chat” with the uber-talented designer, Rebecca Minkoff. As we settled into a makeshift study next to a faux fireplace in the beautiful Spring offices, the energy was palpable. We listened to Rebecca share honest details on everything from career advice she had received early on (no, you can’t be a dancer, singer, actor and a designer a the same time – pick one!), to what she would be doing if she weren’t a global fashion icon (indulging her hippie side and becoming a doula), and therapy (her brother and co-founder visit a therapist regularly and it’s greatly improved their relationship). The fabulous Amy Woodside from OKREAL led the Q&A and we were as inspired by Rebecca’s scrappy, take charge, go for it attitude as we were with her knack for keeping it real and encouraging her employees to support one another. Here are a few things we learned from Rebecca during their chat.
When running your own business, you are going to hear “no” a lot more than you are going to hear “yes” and you can’t let that intimidate you. She believes in moving your ideas forward and finding a way to turn negativity around. Sometimes, when things seem like a stupid idea, you need to believe in yourself and find a way to make it happen. If things sound like a terrible idea, you should do it.
On Balancing Work and Motherhood
Rebecca believes that each woman has to answer what work/life balance means for them. It’s easy to look at some fellow entrepreneurs and think, “wow, they must never see their kids”, but you don’t know the intimate details of their life and maybe that works for them. Everyone has a different threshold and you have to find your own version of balance. Rebecca opened up about going too far in one direction and how she had to learn to rein it in. For example, she doesn’t go out more than two nights a week (usually for work) and her weekends are sacred family time. Because of this, her personal relationships with friends have sometimes suffered and she struggles with FOMO just like anyone else, but this is the balance that works for her family. You need to not feel guilty about finding those balances for yours.
On Women Supporting Women
When it comes to women supporting other women, Rebecca is adamant that there is still work to be done. She has been fortunate to have been surrounded by really supportive women for most of her career and she has definitely connected more with other women since becoming a mother herself. Having a common reality has been huge for her and she is a firm believer in leaving the office to spend time with your family, pets, stuffed animals, whatever! She has talked to a lot of women in male dominated fields and it’s surprising that more women aren’t helping to foster the professional growth of the women below them. We need to help each other out instead of compete.
On Making It
When you are just starting out and looking at the people you think have made it, from the outside it looks like they can sit back and enjoy their success. 10 years ago Rebecca thought that when she grew her company to the size it is today she’d be taking long vacations and maybe running away on a cruise ship. She’s not. There is always so much more to do when you are growing your brand. There are a lot of people trying to make it out there and you can’t rest on your laurels. She realized that you can’t let them be hungrier than you are. Even in the moments when your dreams seem unattainable, it’s important to stay focused and driven. Do away with any rules you once knew, and create your own.
It was a morning to remember and we can’t wait to watch what Rebecca and her brand get up to next. Her future plans include dreams of expanding into home decor and even beauty. If we learned anything about this ladyboss it’s that she is a visionary and she’s going to make these dreams a reality.
You can find the latest from Rebecca Minkoff on Spring and enter coupon code FALLFIRESIDE to receive 20% off* the entire site.
*Offer expires 11/12/16 and is a maximum discount of $50.
Want to learn about another awesome mama? Check out more about our interview with LadyBoss Catherine McCord.