19 Nov The Rachel Zoe Interview: Lifestyle of a Fashion Mogul
Rachel Zoe has propelled from celebrity stylist to reality star turned entrepreneur. Her fashion empire boasts a self-named collection in more than 250 stores as well as online retailers, and The Zoe Report, her daily fashion bulletin, is emailed to 700,000 subscribers. Now she is expanding her audience beyond fashion to the business arena as a LinkedIn Influencer.
I sat down with Zoe to learn more about her life as a working mom at the helm of a rapidly growing company, now at 30 employees.
Do you think of yourself as an entrepreneur?
Yes I do. I will always think of myself as that girl that is 22 starting and really excited about everything and wanting to be amazing at everything. I always wanted to be the best stylist. That was it. Not that that isn’t a lot, but everything else were things that felt right or opportunities that presented themselves. I didn’t lay out a blueprint for how I wanted my career to go.
How did you decide to go premium with your collection?
Well I think it is somewhere in the middle. By definition it is “contemporary.” I am not in “designer.” I am not even in “young designer.” In my mind it was a good place to start and probably a few years down the road I will go a bit lower in price point. I think it is much easier to go to a lower price point from higher than it is to go from lower to higher.
If your life is a pie with different categories represented by slices, how do you slice your life?
I wish I could say that there was like a calculated way that I slice it but every single day is different. You can think like ‘Oh tomorrow I have 18 work things that I need to do’ and then Skyler (Zoe’s two year old) wakes up with 104 fever and the entire day changes and my office comes to my house and I do most of my meetings via phone or Skype or whatever because I am not leaving my sick child.
I try to compartmentalize as much as possible and I have the most amazing team in the world. They really set up my time in a way that is completely efficient all the time. There is never a wasted minute anywhere. There is no free time and down time; there is ‘work time’ and ‘Skyler time.’
Let’s talk about business travel. You say that you only travel one night at a time or your son comes with you?
It is going to get harder and I know that. Listen I am not delusional, I am very blessed that I can do that. I think that comes from being a mother late in life but I have built my career in a way where I have a team that can do a lot of things to a point before I step in and that helps a lot.
Where does your ambition come from?
Passion for what I do. My dad is an unbelievable entrepreneur who balanced his life as a father and a president of two very successful companies. I watched him my whole life. He coached every single softball game, every soccer game. I don’t know how he did it, but he was there. We had family dinners. And my mom was the busiest non-working person you’ve ever met. I don’t come from a family of slackers but I do come from a family of doers.
Your husband, Rodger Berman, runs your company. What is the toughest thing about working with your spouse?
He talks over everybody and talks too much so then you have to figure out the polite and political way in a meeting to tell him to stop talking and let other people speak.
Who do you go to for advice?
The people here at this table (she points to her employees and Rodger) are my family. The people I work with. And when I need real real advice I go to my dad. We always go to my dad before we do something really really big.
Samantha Ettus is the leading lifestyle and parenting expert for working women. She is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, radio host and speaker. Connect with her at @samanthaettus.
To read this article on Forbes, please click here.
Samantha Ettus is a bestselling author & corporate speaker. The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction will be released in September.