A CEO, a designer, a writer and a philanthropist walk into our showroom… and what do they have in common? They’re all what we call a Girl Boss. These women are inspiring because they recognized their passions in life and went for it – and they are successful! We had a little Question and Answer session with them all about how they got to where they are, achieved their success and their advice.
Be sure to checkout our Glam & Gowns Vlog for the full interview to learn more about each incredible leader, their business and their advice for success.
Meet Mae Karwowski, Undra Duncan, Lauren Mangiaforte and Noura Boustany Jost – our girl bosses of the day.
Mae is the CEO and Founder of Obviously, an influencer campaign management platform. At Obvious.ly Social, They build custom networks of 100s of influencers with the right target audience for brands such as The New Yorker, Shinola and Uniqlo.
Undra is the Owner and Creative Director of Undra Celeste New York, a women’s contemporary clothing line aiming to empower women. Undra is a fashion industry professional with over 12 years of experience in design, product development and fashion entrepreneurship.
Lauren writes novels, such as The Boys Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, poems and most recently she is working on a play. She also runs her own website where she reviews novels, produces poetry and more.
Noura Boustany Jost
Noura runs her own photography and videography business, Noura Jost Photography and Videography in addition to being the Director of Media and Public Relations at the Dare Tactic, a non profit organization that gives people the opportunity to create art that they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Question: How did you get to where you are in your career?
Mae: I started out by running social media for a large company and Gilt Groupe, and saw the opportunity to do it on my own. I wanted to lead a team and build a business.
Udra: Ever since I was little I’ve been passionate about two things: owning my own business and fashion. I studied business in school and worked for fashion companies for about 5 years, but then I was inspired to go out on my own.
Lauren: For me it started very early! My parents have stories of me reciting poetry by the age of 2! I clearly remember running down the hallway during grade school having poem ideas in my head. I considered being an english professor, but during university I realized that professors had a lot of time to do research, but not a lot of time to do their own writing. So I moved to New York and pursued writing.
Question: What challenges have you faced?
Mae: One of the biggest challenges I faced was making sure everyone took me seriously – I am leading, and I am a powerful CEO at this company.
Udra: While a large part of the fashion industry caters to women, there are always obstacles. Starting a fashion business is very difficult – you have to either have a lot of capital or run your business very ‘lean and mean’. You have to be mindful of where you allocate funds – trends in the industry change so quickly. One of my biggest challenges is staying ahead of my competitors who may have more resources.
Lauren: For any girl boss, artist or business owner, I think a major challenge is not comparing yourself to others. Being competitive is a good thing – being comparative is not.
Noura: Luckily my coworkers are supportive, love women and want them to succeed. However when it comes to nonprofit organizations, it is difficult to get money to keep it going. When it comes to trying to get outside people and companies involved, they don’t always take me seriously because I’m a woman and representing a nonprofit organization.
Question: Do you have any advice for a girl trying to get into your industry?
Mae: Social Media is easy to get into! You need to start creating, networking, being active, and being as innovative as possible.
Udra: Start with yourself! Be true to who you are and your aesthetic. It’s a bit different now from when I started out – you now have social media, so if you can build your own brand you can relay it to the world and create an interest and following. This is a great cost effective way to get out into the world.
Lauren: I think this is the greatest time to be alive for writers! There are so many ways to get your work out there – social media, blogging, or print. But start as soon as possible to get your work out there! Harness your own creativity – follow your heart, do not edit yourself based on what you think people want to read.
Noura: Know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re interested in a not for profit business, specifically a theater nonprofit with outreach programs, you’re not gonna have a lot of money to get started – it takes a lot of fundraising and hard work!
Question: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Mae: Negotiate! Sometimes people, especially girls, tend to take what is given to them. I’ve found that people actually respect you more if you push back and ask for more.
Udra: Persist! There are so many quotes, books, sayings, it’s almost cliche, but it is absolutely the truth. No matter what industry and what you want to do, if you’re excellent and persistent, and you persist in excellence – you will absolutely succeed.
Lauren: Tell people who you are and what you want!
Noura: As cliche as it sounds, it’s okay to fail!
Be sure to watch the video for some closing remarks and additional information from each incredible girl boss!
A Girl Boss is all about owning who you are. The Girl Boss movement all started with Sophia Amoruso, an American Businesswoman who started out by selling vintage clothes on eBay and then launched the business on it’s own retail website, called Nasty Gal. Nasty Gal developed a devoted social media following among young girls, and the business grew exponentially. At the height of this, Amoruso published her book #GIRLBOSS
Amouruso stepped down as CEO in early 2015 to focus on the #girlboss website, the Girlboss Foundation, which provides funds to “women in the worlds of design, fashion, music and the arts with financial endowments to achieve their goals. (girlboss.com)” as well as an upcoming Netflix Series. According to www.girlboss.com,
“Today, Girlboss enables women to connect – across social, digital, and experiential platforms to discuss and share knowledge about career, entrepreneurship, personal finance, relationships, and more.”
At Faviana, we believe in empowering women – our mission is to help women feel good and to celebrate themselves. Part of feeling good and celebrating who you are is being a girl boss – owning who you are!
So be a girl boss, find your inspirations, passions and go with it. Be who you are, embrace who you are. Get out there, get creative, and get started. You are in charge of yourself, you are your own boss. Find what you love and go for it.
Thanks for watching and be sure to watch more of our videos and subscribe to our Glam and Gowns Vlog Youtube channel here! Tell us how you are a girl boss by tagging us on our blog’s Instagram @glamandgowns, Faviana’s Instagram @Faviana_NY or Twitter @FavianaNY!