Talk About Girl Power: 4 Female Entrepreneurs on Their Biggest Career Advice

Talk About Girl Power: 4 Female Entrepreneurs on Their Biggest Career Advice

At Rue La La, we are so lucky to work with so many inspiring brand partners – many of whom are women. Today, we caught up with the founders behind three of our top brands (Shoshanna, Natori, and Eberjey) to dish on all things business. Can someone say girl power

Shoshanna Gruss, Founder of Shoshanna 

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Rue La La: Tell us your best piece of career advice for young women. 

Shoshanna Gruss: Never take no as an answer. We as females have come so far, and it’s truly a testament to women not settling when someone tells them they can’t do something. Say yes to everything. You never know who you will meet and what you can learn by saying yes to a business meeting or coffee date. Most importantly, always go with your gut.

RLL: What’s your biggest personal achievement and what got you there?

SG: This year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary, which is my biggest achievement to date. I started my collection in 1998 as a recent college graduate and now have designed over 100 collections. What makes me most proud is hearing from my customers, especially the women that started wearing my line 20 years ago and now have daughters who wear it. It is such a special feeling to see my teenaged daughter starting to wear Shoshanna too.

RLL: How do you balance dressing professionally and expressing your personal style?

SG: I think layering and investing in accessories is key. You can take a classic black dress and make it something special just by accessorizing. To work, I will wear one of our fit and flare dresses and add a playful earring or a pin on my denim jacket to make it my own. If I have plans that evening I will keep the same dress on, but add a heel and a statement necklace to make it a completely different look.

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Josie Natori, Founder of Natori 

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RLL: Tell us your best piece of career advice for young women. 

Josie Natori: The possibilities for young women today are endless. Believe in yourself, and go for it!  

RLL: What’s your biggest personal achievement and what got you there?

JN: Performing a concert at Carnegie hall with the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s at the age of 50 in front of 2,700 guests was a personal highlight.  Practice, practice, practice! And determination!

RLL: How do you balance dressing professionally and expressing your personal style?

JN: Fortunately, I have always been able to express my personal style… both as an investment banker and a fashion executive.

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Mariela Rovito, Co-Founder of Eberjey 

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RLL: Tell us your best piece of career advice for young women. 

Mariela Rovito: Follow your heart. The beauty of being young is that you can change gears pretty easily if something takes the wrong turn.  You oftentimes learn more from your failures than your successes, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

RLL: What’s your biggest personal achievement and what got you there? 

MR: Might sound hokey, but becoming a mom feels like my greatest personal achievement.

RLL: How do you balance dressing professionally and expressing your personal style?

MR: Comfort is key. I wore heels every day to work for years but after some time and damage to my feet, I decided to take a more utilitarian approach. Most days in the office you can find me in jeans and a nice top.

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Ali Mejia, Co-Founder of Eberjey 

RLL: Tell us your best piece of career advice for young women. 

Ali Mejia: Be true to yourself and your passions. Give yourself enough time to develop knowledge and master the skills you need to fulfill your goals. Stay pragmatic and flexible enough to try new adaptations of your ultimate vision until it becomes financially viable.

RLL: What’s your biggest personal achievement and what got you there?

AM: Besides my family, of course, my biggest personal achievement is Eberjey’s creation. Against all odds, Mariela and I brought our dream to life. Self-funded, we were in our early 20s with no experience in business or fashion. We barely knew each other at the time, but we truly believed in each other and in the idea with such a deep drive and determination to make it work and succeed.

RLL: How do you balance dressing professionally and expressing your personal style?

AM: I dress very comfortably and casually to the office for the most part, but definitely dress up for a business meeting. I find that adding an extra layer, whether it’s a blazer or jacket, to a casual outfit teamed with a pair of beautiful heels always elevates my look. If I want to add extra oomph, I’ll throw on some statement jewelry.

By Kelly Schneider, Staff Writer

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