What is your “title” at M&G?
Co-founder / CEO
Take us through a day in the life at M&G in your shoes. Do you have any routines or rituals you find important?
My days are always changing depending on what time of year it is. We just came off of holiday season, where I spent most of my days at our popup or directing inventory out of our warehouses. During our buying season, Natalie and I will spend many days at different trade shows and hours in front of the computer developing our new lines. Last week, Ayhan (my husband) and I traveled to Korea to visit our new jewelry manufacturers. This week, I spent a good amount of time with our Regional Manager planning our sales strategies for the year, and the redesign of our original store. So really everyday invites new adventure!
In the mornings, Ayhan and I generally drive into the office, so we have a long commute. We really spend that time talking about our upcoming plans for the day, month, year, and/or personal goals. This morning routine is the most important part of my day. We will also talk through any doubts we may be having about certain paths. So, it’s really a therapeutic, admittedly, sometimes heated commute, and also sometimes the only uninterrupted time that we have together. Unless we decided to jump out of the car, neither of us can escape it!
What were you doing before M&G?
Before M&G, I worked with Ayhan on our other brand Studio Manhattan. We started Studio Manhattan seven years ago, and went through all of our retail entrepreneurial learning curve. Obviously, we continue to learn everyday as Mulberry & Grand grows as a brand, but Mulberry & Grand benefited greatly from our previous experience with Studio Manhattan.
What’s one thing that surprised you in your path up until now?
That your path really is connected. At first, especially after I finished college, life seemed random. Opportunities for work that I took for instance, seemed to have no connection, and they were completely unrelated to my Art History and Archaeology studies. But now, I realize that each, and completely different, job that I took I was able to learn something invaluable that I use everyday.
(Lesson 1) During my internship, I learned how to format a letter – she thought I was crazy that I’d never been taught. But my mentor’s meticulous attention to detail taught me that in business proper punctuation resonantes. (Lesson 2) Being fired from David Yurman’s VP Assistant position; talk about Devil Wears Prada. The second week after I started, the VP hired her second assistant, who on her second day wore the same exact Prada shoes the VP was wearing the day before. The VP noticed the had the same shoes, told the assistant she had great taste, and they instantly connected. I got a side smile from the assistant, and rolled my eyes. But the next thing, that happened was the other assistant was in the office with the VP choosing outfits for an upcoming event, and I was getting the boot. Lesson learned, dog eat dog world. Make connections fast, even if it means spending your entire paycheck on a pair of designer shoes. (Lesson 3) IT Start Up – I learned that no one is above answering the phone, taking out the garbage and cleaning up after themselves. I learned a million other skills, but that was the most significant. If you aren’t willing to do the little things, then who will? (Lesson 4) Working for Liberty Mutual, taught me valuable sales skills. I suggest everyone right out of school takes a job in sales. I learned how to cold call, how to sell, and how to work under pressure. Everyone needs these basic skills. Fast forward a couple more jobs, and I’m able to tie all of these into what I do everyday.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Working with my husband.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Working with my husband. LOL.
What’s one thing you would still like to learn?
Oh that’s a tough one; I think that I still have so much to learn about everything.
If you could have coffee with one person who would it be & why?
Michelle Obama, I love her. She’s so intelligent, strong, and most of all I love the morals she teaches to her children. When they go low, we go high! I will never forget that.
If you were a hashtag what would you be?
Tell us something weird about yourself.
I eat popcorn every night. Is that weird?
Follow Emily! @EmilyGuggino