October 16, 2017

An Interview with Attorney and Fashion Blogger Betsy Appleton

There are a million reasons I'm thrilled to partner with Goodwill on their Style With A Purpose events, like having more reasons to thrift and making people shop a rack of things I pick out. But what I looooove, is getting to know the other bloggers, many of which I've followed on Insta, but never met IRL. Today's bitch is one of these women.

Betsy wears fancy clothes to a fancy job. And guess where she gets those fancy clothes? Goodwill. If your job requires professional outfits, but you don't want to spend a lot of money on those outfits, Betsy is your girl. Make sure and follow her on Instagram, and if you want to meet her in-person and shop a rack of items she picked out, come to our event on October 19! RSVP here. Now, please meet my very sweet new friend, Betsy Appleton!

What do you do and what is the name of your blog?

I’m an attorney by day and fashion blogger at Goldwill Digger by night.

When did you first learn about fashion bloggers? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

I first stumbled upon fashion bloggers while I was in college, but I really started to discover bloggers and the blogosphere while I was in law school. Following fashion bloggers helped me escape the monotony and stress. The idea of blogging crept into my mind during my last year of law school, but I didn’t have the time or creative energy to put into honing my craft. Also, I struggled to find my niche in the fashion blogger world. I wanted to offer helpful, unique, and informative inspiration to my peers, but I didn’t know what that looked like. I wrestled with what made my style and blog unique for many months before I pulled the trigger on a launch date.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The answer to this question changes as I venture into each new chapter in my life, but one thing that has stuck with me is a quote I heard over 10 years ago, "The purpose of life is to have a life of purpose." I keep this little nugget of wisdom in the back of my mind and constantly remind myself of my purpose.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

There is only one you. In the blogosphere with hundreds of thousands of bloggers, it’s very easy to get caught playing the comparison game. I have to remind myself that there is only one me, I am unique, and no one else can be me.

What would you do with 2 more hours a day?

Read more. I really enjoy reading, and I can never find the time to enjoy a good book. When I do find time to read, I fall asleep two or three pages into the chapter.

What has been the best thrift find you’ve made?

One word. Gucci. Specifically, Tom Ford for Gucci circa 2010. It’s an outrageous fuschia maribou fur stole, and I’m obsessed. I did not technically find this piece because my mom found it, but I am now the proud possessor so I am going to take credit for it. Plus, any time I get the chance to talk about this work of art, I do.

What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to your blog?

I have two. One is when I hit publish on my very first post. I look back now and would change a lot of things about my first post, but it was a scary, vulnerable, and important leap to open yourself (and your writing) up to public consumption. Another surreal moment was being included in a Buzzfeed feature on thrift bloggers.

Do you have a morning ritual that helps you set the tone for the day?

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. No, but really that’s the only consistent morning ritual I have besides feeding my cat.

How do you decompress at night?

I have to exercise at some point during the day. I’ve found that to be my most effective form of decompression. Also, I try to turn off everything an hour before bedtime and read until I fall asleep.

What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?

When I’m feeling uninspired, which happens often, I love to surround myself with creative and motivated women to remind me why I started in the first place. I also keep myself in check when I get discouraged by looking back to when I first launched Goldwill Digger and acknowledging and appreciating how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned about myself.

What does self care look like in your life?

For me, it’s very important to show my body love by fueling it with healthy, natural, and quality foods. This is a financial and time investment, but it’s a long term investment in my body and my health.

Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?

Most definitely my mother. She instilled me with values and drive from the womb. She alway made me feel empowered, confident, and loved. If I wanted to sell puka shell necklaces door to door, she would 100% support me!

Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?

Does The Today Show count? I watch it every morning and have since second grade! If calories didn’t count, I would eat Little Debbie’s Christmas tree brownies for every meal the rest of my life. For a healthy snack, my go-to is Trader Joe’s plantain chips with tahini sauce.

All photos courtesy of Betsy Appleton

P.S. Meet last week's bitch:  Writer, Lucie Witt!

P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.

October 6, 2017

Thrifting List for Fall

I love a good To Do list, and after reading the September Issues, I made a To Thrift list. Fall is my season. I love the weather, the colors and the clothes. Unrelated, but I also love Halloween. You, too? Good! Come shop with me on October 19!

Goodwill is hosting a meet-up called Style with a Purpose. Get personalized advice from a dozen local bloggers and shop merchandise especially selected by the experts (that's me!) to reflect our unique styles (and possible Halloween costumes). We'll share our shopping strategies and help you put outfits together.

There are a few fall trends I think will be easy to thrift:

Oversized blazers
Calf-length floral skirts
Ironic tees.

Here's the thing, some of these trends won't be around next season, and I don't know about you, but if I'm only going to wear something for 3 months, I'm not spending $120 on it. But a $6 oversized blazer from Goodwill? Yes, please. I'll take four.

Thrifting List for Fall:

1) mixed patterns
2) animal print (faux fur)
3) floral / silk bomber
4) oversized blazer
5) hard plastic accessories
7) embellished box jacket
8) stacked loafers
9) robes over jeans
10) ironic tees

@r29Fahion, @mrspress, @nytimesfashion

First up, mixed patterns. I'm so into this trend, even though I have yet to successfully pull it off. I'm currently on the hunt for patterned pants. There are a bunch that fit the bill, but don't fit my body. The search continues!

@nytimesfashion, @leandramcohen, @thecut, Michael Kors, Balenciaga, Marni

#DUH. I have in my possession an animal print blazer and a velour animal print robe that looks just like the Michael Kors coat in the bottom left-hand picture. I bought them both from Goodwill and will wear them with the indefatigable swagger of an Instagram influencer.

@nytimesfashion, Gucci

Silk bomber jackets are all the rage and I'm here for it. I've seen this trend go in a couple of different directions. First, the sexy secretary vibe up top, but also the cool L.A. girl style of Tuesday Bassen. Totally different directions, same trend. I have 2 of the floral jackets, both from Goodwill. The one I'm wearing in this picture up top was just 99 cents!

@whowhatwear, @whowhatwear, @nytimesfashion, @nytimesfashion, @manrepeller

Oversized blazers! I'm so excited about this trend because I own approximately 20 thrifted blazers. Here's what I've learned. These are a dime a dozen at the thrift stores, so start there and expect to pay $3 - $8. If you want the long, oversized blazer, it needs to already be long. I keep trying to make XXL blazers work and I end up looking like shrunken-head-Beetlejuice. I've been buying blazers about 1-2 sizes too big, and that works. Also, try mens blazers. They'll probably already be long, plus they won't have shoulder pads.

Chloe, Bally

I'm back on earrings. For the past few years, I've been keeping my earring game low-key, instead focusing on bracelets and necklaces. But I'm obsessed with earrings again. These glossy black and red accessories are everywhere. I found my mouth earrings at Pre to Post Modern. The pom pom earrings are from Zara, and the black and white ones are vintage.

@nytimesfashion, @whowhatwear, @whowhatwear, Stella Luna, @nytimesfashion

I'm into all these weird shoes! I just recently started buying thrift store shoes. First of all, almost all of them have never been worn, and the ones that have I just wipe out with a Lysol wipe. It's fine! I've got silver boots, metallic mules and stacked loafers. I'm still on the lookout for a heeled v-shoe.

Dolce & Gabbana, @whowhatwear, @nytimesfashion

I love boxy embellished jackets. Such a statement piece! And such a thrill to find while thrifting. Some of my thrifted blazers are box-shaped, but they're not embellished. I don't come across these very often, and when I do, I talk myself out of it. "Are you really going to wear a jacket with epaulettes AND fringe?" This year, the answer will be yes.

Fratelli Rossetti

Okay, this is a stretch. I bought these American Eagle stacked loafers at Goodwill for maybe $2. Despite being from 1995, they have never been worn. How do I know they're from 1995? Because I worked at 3 different American Eagle stores from 1994-1999. Shout-out to Hickory Hollow Mall, Cool Springs Galleria, and Stones River Mall! Also, shout-out to malls. RIP.

@manrepeller, @r29fashion, @blaireadiebee @nytimesfashion, @nytimesfashion, @manrepeller

@whowhatwear, @jackswifefreda, @whowhatwear, @whowhatwear, @manrepeller, @manrepeller

I hope to live long enough to be known for something other than wearing robes over jeans, but can any of us really control our legacy? Not if Alexander Hamilton is to be believed. Now that I own every available thrift store robe in the tri-state area, I'm looking to transition to dresses over jeans. I've been slowly experimenting with it, but haven't gotten the look quite right yet. The good news is, the weirder the dress, the better the outfit. So at least I'm shopping in the right place.

@nicolettemason, @shopbando, @whowhatwear, @manrepeller, @r29fashion

I love an ironic tee so hard. Finding a tee with the right logo in the right place in the right size is a really triumphant feeling. There are approximately 3 million t-shirts in any Goodwill store, so a bit of 'strategery' (is that joke still funny? were any of you even alive when George W. Bush was President?) is required. I prefer to look in the Men's section. I start with white tees in size L. I don't look in every color and I cap my search at 10 minutes.

Get a head start on your To Thrift list by shopping my curated rack at Goodwill on October 19! If you know you're coming, RSVP. Having a headcount helps know how many drinks and snacks to buy. I did mention there will be drinks and snacks, right? See you on October 19!

All photos sources are @ Instagram

P.S. Shopping tips for creating a street style look on a budget!

P.P.S. For more fall inspiration, read my September Issues report.

October 4, 2017

An Interview with Writer Lucie Witt

Welcome to another installment of These My Nominated Bitches! Today's bitch was nominated by my friend, and fellow bitch, Katie Stone. Take it away, Katie!


When I first met Lucie in law school, I knew I HAD to be friends with the big-mouthed liberal who regularly dropped colorful F-bombs with her soft spoken voice. I'm still not sure why she asked me to be in her study group, but we instantly became best friends. We both hate being lawyers and love to drink coffee and write essays and fiction (she is infinitely more experienced and talented than I am), and we've known each other through heartbreak, trauma, pregnancy and babies, and countless cups of coffee. It's hard to even put into words how badass Lucie is, so I'll just say this: I am thankful every single day that the universe led to me my person (our poor husbands live in fear that we'll ditch them to raise our babies together in a commune in the woods... and they probably aren't being paranoid). Meet my favorite bitch, Lucie! -- Katie

What is your job title and where do you work?

I have multiple jobs: attorney, adjunct professor (on special topics related to gender and the law), and writer (those are not listed in order of preference). I’ll focus on the one I love the most: writer. My fiction work is represented by literary agent extraordinaire, Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates. My nonfiction work is published in Catapult and Bust.

When did you first learn about this field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

Being a writer and pursuing a career as a published writer are two wildly different things. I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. Pursuing a career as a published writer came much later in life.

I grew up an avid reader, and on at least some level, I knew actual humans wrote the stories I consumed. As a child I wrote knockoffs of my favorite books (hey, Sweet Valley Twins). In high school I wrote a lot of bad poetry, and as an undergrad I played around with some short stories and the beginnings of a few novels. It took a long time – until I was 26 – before I started considering being a published writer as a thing I could actually do. I grew up in a low-income family where having a practical job (whether it was bartending or working a 9-5) took precedence. As far as I knew being a writer or an artist was something for trust fund kids, not someone who had student loans and came from generational poverty. At some point I realized I could do both, and I kept writing books until I found one that landed me my literary agent in 2016, about six years after I finished my first novel and started researching publishing.

But I still have a day job. And a night job.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

Persevere. It’s the single most important trait I can think of in writing and publishing. Finish the project you’re working on, and if it doesn’t sell, start on the next.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work?

Persevere, but give yourself some grace. I am not one of those writers who beats myself up if I don’t write every day. My day job gets busy, I teach a new course, and my kids have a week with school events and practices and tough homework (I have four kids, which makes things hectic more often than not). Sometimes the writing just doesn’t happen for days or even weeks (occasionally months). That used to really stress me out, and when I would finally sit down to write again, that built up stress deteriorated my writing process. Now I accept the breaks as part of my reality. I don’t bring the same baggage to my writing time, and I use the down time I’m not writing to let my ideas breathe and gain new insight on whatever project I’m currently working on. When I do come back it’s with fresh eyes and a clear head.

What would you do with 2 more hours a day?

I should say write.

I would honestly probably sleep more. I usually sleep 5-6 hours a night and I know that’s not enough.

What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?

I feel most successful as a writer when someone tells me my words changed the way they felt or thought about something in the world, that my writing made them feel seen, or that I made them cry (insert evil writer laugh).

I am most proud of my ability to ruthlessly revise and start over when needed.

How do you decompress at the end of the work day?

I’m not great at decompressing – that’s something I really need to work on. I usually go, go, go until I crash. When I am intentional about decompressing, I’ll take a walk (I’m trying to get back into running, but can’t claim that just yet) and read before bed.

Or I spend too much time scrolling through Facebook and Twitter, which is technically decompressing but isn’t great for my mental state.

What’s a fear that keeps you up at night?

I deal with anxiety issues so there is no singular fear – it’s more a constant loop of fears playing over in my head. The current presidential administration does something horrifying daily (or multiple times a day). I have Black children and a Black husband in an anti-Black country. I have crushing student loan debt. Nuclear War. Climate change.

Writing specific fears are also numerous. My book will never sell. My book will sell, and it will tank. Everyone will hate my books. I’ll mess up a character in one of my books and cause harm to a reader that character is supposed to represent. And on and on …

What is one thing everyone gets wrong about what you do?

That having an idea for a book is the same thing as writing a book.

What does self care look like in your life?

Self-care is carving out intentional time for myself and saying no to things: making time for nurturing friendships with the women in my life, for hiking and walks, for reading books, and saying no to awesome things I would love to do because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

Disengaging with social media, and, for set periods of time (have to stay informed long-term), the news is also critical.

What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?

When I’m really stuck I’ll usually organize or clean something around the house. Whatever I was trying to sort out will usually come to me if I give it a little space.

I also try to remember that I’ve hit the wall before, and I always find a way over.

Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?

There are honestly too many to name but I’ll try.

Almost all the people who have read my books and offered critique over the years, helping me grow as a writer, are women. Another writer friend has been absolutely critical in helping me develop my craft as a nonfiction writer and generous with her time and feedback. The first editor to ever accept one of my essay pitches and help me turn the seed of an idea into something fully developed was a woman.

A lot of people aren’t familiar with how literary agents work, but essentially they agree to represent your work and they pitch your book to editors at publishing houses. When the book sells, they take a commission. That means they can spend years working on your behalf before they see a cent. I’m endlessly grateful my literary agent, Caitie Flum, saw something in my writing worth taking that risk on, and she is a tireless advocate on behalf of my writing (also cool – she works at a literary agency founded by a woman, that employees all women agents).

Reading the works of other women writers, especially Black women, has been instrumental to developing my world view, my critical thinking, and helping me see things from a perspective beyond my own. My writing would be considerably lesser if it wasn’t for their example and influence.

Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?

This is hard because my favorite shows shift – I get extremely addicted to certain shows and then I move on. I’m currently obsessed with Game of Thrones and NEED to know how it will end (2019? Really?). Season two of Master of None really did live up to the hype. Long term favorites that I’ll watch again and again – Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars. I’m also currently loving Insecure and need to know when Atlanta is coming back for Season two.

I’m addicted to salt and vinegar chips and most sweets (honestly, I’m not even that picky). And while it’s not a snack, lattes are basically my favorite thing on earth (sorry, husband and kids).

All photos courtesy of Lucie Witt

P.S. Meet last week's bitch:  Senior Creative Services Manager, Amy Nathanson!

P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.

September 25, 2017

An Interview with Senior Creative Services Manager Amy Nathanson

If a confetti cannon came to life, it would be less fun than Amy Nathanson. Here is a list of things Amy owns: neon cactus, crocheted mermaid tail, mounted plush flamingo head, and every animal-shaped Kate Spade bag, including the piƱata one. We went out for drinks once and she took me to a daiquiri factory with a self-serve candy bar. Did you know this existed? I didn't.

I met Amy through our shared friend bitch, Rita Davidson, and I'm convinced that when the two of them are alone under the cover of the full moon, they turn into flamingos. Do you know anyone who can get an NHL mascot to come to their birthday party? I do, and she's today's bitch. Meet Amy Nathanson!

What is your job title and where do you work?

I am the Senior Creative Services Manager at Destination Nashville and I have been with the company for almost 3.5 years. We are an all-female Destination Management Company that works with meetings and conventions that come to Nashville. We help them create, plan, and produce themed events, dinners, entertainment, tours, and transportation. Do you need live reindeer? Five 16-foot tall guitars? A Jane Lynch drag queen? I know a guy…

When did you first learn about this field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

I’ve been in the wedding and events industry for more than 10 years. In the past, I worked for several florists and a linen company, so basically everything that decorates a table. When I worked with flowers and linens, I was sales/creative/operations combined. Creating a vision with brides and setting up weddings was fun and fast-paced, but absolutely exhausting (like, my body actually hurt) with a poor work-life balance. My first day on the job at the linen company, I made a sales call to Destination Nashville. The minute I walked into their office, learned about what they did, and saw how they worked with one another, I was hooked. From that moment on, I was willing to do whatever it took to work for them! Eight months later, I was hired.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

We’re not doctors and we’re not saving lives. It’s easy to get caught up in the highs and lows of this business—winning accounts, losing accounts, letting yourself get offended if someone doesn’t like your designs, etc. At the end of the day, and even though I absolutely adore what I do, I plan parties. I try to put it into perspective with the rest of the world and remember that what I get to do every day is pretty damn cool and makes a lot of people smile.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work?

To me, you’re really not going to be able to do the best job you possibly can until you have drunk (grammar check—oh Lord) the Kool Aid. Look for a job that physically makes you want to give 150% every day. Self-motivation is super important to me. Take ownership of your job and act like you own the company. If you’re not there yet, fake it ‘til you make it, honey.

What would you do with 2 more hours a day?

This is really funny because I was just thinking about this the other day. I totally want to take up things that I would have cried over, had my parents pushed me to do them when I was a kid. I want to learn French. I want to learn how to play the piano. I want to make all of the weird yarn crafts and dips I’ve saved on Pinterest. I’d probably also take a bunch of bizarre webinars and get certified to do questionable things.

What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?

Graduating college—hands down. Took me a while to find something that I really loved, and when I found Art History, I dug my claws in hard.

I hear you laughing about that Art History degree, but I actually got to use it this year at Destination Nashville. I took a favorite Rococo painting of mine (Fragonard’s “The Swing”) and designed an entire party around it—I wanted to go to there (thanks, Liz Lemon).

How do you decompress at the end of the work day?

I bake cakes! And pies and cookies and bread and bars... Something about measuring and stirring and frosting really calms my ass down. It teaches me patience on a level that I can understand and follow. The results are almost always amazing (tooting my own damn horn) and I get joy out of sharing them with people I love.

What’s a fear that keeps you up at night?

I’m single, I’m a homeowner, a new car owner, a cat mom, and a Kate Spade-addict with an active social life. I proudly juggle all of these things on my own and pray that they don’t come crashing down. I’m very happy to have made an awesome life for myself, but I just worry that it could all go “poof” at any moment.

What is one thing everyone gets wrong about what you do?

I am not a wedding planner! I have paid my dues in the wedding industry and dealt with my fair share of crying brides and rude mothers. It taught me a lot, and I have a lot of friends that do this for a living that I respect VERY much, but I’ll never go back. I don’t do rose petals, I don’t do shoe decals, I don’t do upside down cakes that hang from the ceiling.

What does self-care look like in your life?

Self-care is watching Pioneer Woman in bed on a Sunday. Self-care is time for a manicure, it’s meal-planning, sometimes saying “no” to hanging out, Epsom salt baths, and lots and lots and LOTS of music.

What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?

There is an Oh My Deer print from Porter Flea that hangs above my desk that says, “Be a Nice Human.” I love that and I love pointing to it when other people visit my desk and need to read it. You can be strong, intelligent, creative, and command attention and respect and STILL be a nice human being.

Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?

Pretty sure there has only ever been one creative person in my entire family—my paternal grandma. She and my grandpa babysat me a lot when I was little and they would take me to museums, public gardens, great movies, cooking classes, plays, and we ate LOTS of desserts. She cooked and baked with me, made clay animals with me, taught me how to sew, how to read, explore, and garden. She loved gold lame, sequins, sparkles, big necklaces, and big sunglasses. She was smart as a whip, insanely funny, and so incredibly kind. I am proud to take after her and I think that I got all of my best qualities from her.

Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?

My favorite TV show is either Law & Order: SVU, Pioneer Woman, or F*ck That’s Delicious (on Viceland). Favorite snack would have to be a cheese plate. I can make one virtually anywhere out of anything—it’s a gift.

All photos courtesy of Amy Nathanson

P.S. Meet last week's bitch:  Founder of Campaign Greenhouse, Kathryn Poindexter!

P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.

September 18, 2017

An Interview with the Founder of Campaign Greenhouse, Kathryn Poindexter

One of the downsides to being politics-adjacent in Tennessee is having to maintain relationships with people who either support policies or candidates that you are spiritually, emotionally, and physically opposed to. But the upside is knowing the people behind the scenes. The people busting their humps to get better candidates on the ballot, and ultimately in office. It should come as no surprise that a lot of these people are women. And one such woman is today's bitch.

Kathryn and I were introduced via a mutual friend who, rightfully, knew that we would hit it off. We met at a conference and left 8 hours later with the determination that we were, in fact, sisters from another mister. It is an offense to the female friendship gods that we do not live in the same state. Take your time reading this one. There's a lot of gold sprinkled in these long answers. Meet today's bitch, Kathryn Poindexter!

What is your job title and where do you work?

I’m the Founder of Campaign Greenhouse – campaign management tools and coaching for new candidates and races with small budgets.

When did you first learn about this field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?

I got a job after college running a door-to-door fundraising canvass for the state PIRGs. I had no idea what I wanted to do besides that I wanted to make a difference, and I wanted to be in charge. Having some autonomy and ownership that early in my career was super attractive to me, and the people were great. I stayed with the organization for 6 years and built a network of relationships that continues to be one of the most valuable assets I have.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

Know when to throw money at a problem. Money can solve a host of problems, and it’s often the easiest solution. It’s easy to operate from a scarcity mindset, and I was extremely budget conscious for awhile. But being penny-wise means you can miss opportunities to make great financial decisions by spending a little money up front. Finding the right balance is a lifelong lesson.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work?

  • We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it
  • Don’t borrow trouble

In other words, doing the right work at the right time. In my day-to-day life, this means adopting a prioritization strategy where I build things when we need them now, but with an eye to the long-term so we don’t have to build them again. I learned this as a consultant – when a client asked for something, if I could answer their question in a way that created a resource I could use for other clients in the future, it felt like a better use of my time. For example, if someone asks how much something costs, instead of just answering them, why not spend a teeny bit of extra time making a price sheet?

As with all things, it’s a balance. On one end of the teeter totter, you can get caught unprepared and have to scramble or produce inferior work. On the other end of the teeter totter, you can spend a bunch of time planning or producing stuff you’re never going to need, or that you have to re-do later anyway. The sweet spot is surfing somewhere between the two.

What would you do with 2 more hours a day?

Sleep! I just got diagnosed with narcolepsy, a disorder that means my brain handles sleep cycles differently. I need more sleep than neurotypical people do. I need it more frequently, and I have less control over where and when I fall asleep. It’s a disorder I’ve had since middle school, but am just now figuring out. Getting the diagnosis has been pretty cool – it’s explained a bunch of stuff and given me permission to try some new coping strategies, like getting a lot more sleep, building naps into my schedule more aggressively, and letting myself drink as much coffee as I want. But the answer is still always sleep.

What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?

As of this moment, Campaign Greenhouse is a core team of 8 people, an outer ring team of almost 100, we have candidates in 8 states, and we have our first win under our belts. I’m both unsurprised and incredibly proud that we have made it this far. We are trying to solve a host of big civic problems all at once in a fairly complicated and revolutionary way, and it’s starting to take off!

But I’ve been working on this since 2013, when I started it by myself, did lots of planning, and ran out of time, money, and emotional ability to hear no. There are still plenty of days that I bang my head against a wall and berate myself for not finding some nice boring job – but the fact that I’ve been able to push through the loneliness and doubt, highs and lows of expectation, disappointment and cash flow, and still show up at work every day, is a real accomplishment. (There are definitely days when I just can’t show up and I let myself have those too.)

And it’s super important that I remember to be proud of myself fairly regularly. I spend plenty of time in rooms full of men who feel more comfortable than I do taking credit for success, and my ability to appear capable, accomplished and successful next to them has real implications for my ability to make the deals I need to be successful. It’s a vicious cycle and I try to stay on the sunny side of that loop.

How do you decompress at the end of the work day?

Sleep is probably the answer to this question too. My other priority besides work is relationships – I try to spend enough time with my large and lovely chosen family, especially real downtime where we don’t have to be anywhere and we can just talk and laugh. Being outside is real medicine for me and I am actively trying to spend more time outside.

What’s a fear that keeps you up at night?

Can’t answer this because then I would have to think about my fears. I have spent many years building coping tools I need to handle fear – the most paralyzing force in the universe. I count primarily on compartmentalization – my fears live in a file room, each in a locked (and neatly labeled) drawer. They’re always accessible, but I don’t have to interact with them until one of them starts to rattle its drawer and then I deal with it in a therapy session. I started EFT tapping with a therapist about 3 years ago, and it been a monumental tool to add to my life. My close friends have remarked at how much growth they have seen in me since then. It’s a little weird, but it’s worth checking out.

What is one thing everyone gets wrong about what you do?

Strangers often think because I work in politics, I want to discuss politics. Nope! It’s still one of those off-limits topics, along with money and religion (and I’ll add in food and child-rearing). I usually respond with a big smile and say, “Well, if I answered that question I’d be legally required to charge you $250 an hour!” It’s not quite true, but it conveys the message effectively.

What does self care look like in your life?

I’ve been looking for the keys to self-care for awhile – the one or two power pieces that when in place, make everything else feel easier. I think I’ve identified one – a clean house. When my apartment is in order I’m more relaxed, I’m getting more sleep, I’m more likely to work out and eat something healthy and feel generally better about life. So I’ve started throwing money at that problem – in addition to a house cleaner, I send out my laundry and I hired an organizer to help me de-clutter and create places for everything. It feels like a life hack, like I’m cheating the system. It’s delightful and it makes me happy and sometimes I just giggle when I think about it. It’s also an easy first expense to give up, which gives me some needed flexibility in my budget.

What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?

Audre Lorde said, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” The idea that fear is irrelevant is really freeing. It doesn’t actually matter if I’m afraid; it’s a totally normal part of both life and business, and it’s not a piece of information that I need to factor into decision-making. It means I don’t have to worry about figuring out how to NOT be afraid – that seems much harder. There’s room for the fear to stay, but it doesn’t have any power.

Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?

So, so many. I feel quite closely connected to a huge cohort of women in my industry. I visualize us tightly linked at the elbows and moving forward together. Without the email groups and social media support and happy hours and hugs and tears and “that’s effed up” and “I see you, girl,” I can guarantee I would not be where I am. I would have been unable to get out of bed at least half the time. Then there are the business deals that come with that huge cohort, I’ve done pretty well prioritizing connections with women in an industry full of men. There are the almost exclusively women of color who do the invisible work to support my life – the amazing concierge at my apartment building, the people who do my laundry, the team who cleans my house. And Greenhouse specifically is built on this amazing group of highly accomplished women who have individually said, “I want to help” and are each doing pieces of the work that has to get done. One friend of mine is doing scheduling for me while she’s on parental leave from her job. It’s been a really critical resource.

Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?

I’m so behind on TV. I am waiting for Grey’s Anatomy to come back; it’s an old favorite and I always make time for it. I also really like the Mireille Enos Peter Krause show that’s happening. Homeland, in spurts, when I can handle the stress.

Favorite snack. I want to say nuts or avocado but I have to be real and say just cheese, always cheese, forever cheese.

All photos courtesy of Kathryn Poindexter

P.S. Meet last week's bitch:  Fashion Blogger, Porsche Pope!

P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.

September 6, 2017

September Issues

There is a day, every August, I awake with the memory of pumpkin spice on my tongue and the imagined feel of a thick, wool scarf around my neck, like a phantom sartorial limb, and I know it's time. It is time to buy the magazines.

I moved to New York City after college and worked for Gloria Vanderbilt's home furnishings company. My boss came from the fashion world, so my job every morning was to go through Women's Wear Daily and the trade magazines and pull trends. The things I pulled went directly onto the mood boards that hung above the collections. My point? I'm good at magazines.

My take-aways from the fall '17 magazines? Animal print, duh, but luxe animal print. Think velvet, velour, and faux fur. The Formation / military jacket is back, but with more bedazzling and a boxier silhouette. Bright, bold florals on top of more bold, bright florals, but with black (!!). Think more Heathers and less Kate Spade.

Wow, Vogue looks good to be 125 years old. Weighing in at 775 pages, this behemoth will set you back $9.99. Is it worth it? Yes. Plus, you can finally be in on all the Twitter jokes about how the liberal elites co-opted the Statue of Liberty.

This is just a page advertising Vogue's 125th anniversary edition, but I love this mix of colors and patterns. If I had a mood board, I'd put this on it.

Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Etro, Marni

Animal print!

"Ha-ha," they said when I bought a velour animal print robe to wear as a jacket. Well, dear Instagram follower, who's laughing now?

Gucci, J. Crew

I'm glad to see the return of the floral bomber jacket because I bought two last year, both from Goodwill, natch. I don't do sexy secretary, but I'm intrigued by this double floral, as opposed to how I usually wear mine - with an ironic tee and ripped boyfriend jeans.

I feel ridiculous every time I tie a bandana around my neck, but I refuse to quit trying to pull this look off. Thanks for the validation, J. Crew.

I pulled the most from this magazine, so if you only want to spend $5.99, buy Elle. It has 500 pages, so still a lot of bang for your buck. I have no idea who this is on the cover though.

Ralph Lauren, Missoni

For those of you just waking up from a coma, or not on Instagram, oversized blazers are big (heh) for fall. But don't buy a designer one. Go get one for $6 from Goodwill. I pulled these pictures because I've recently bought blazers in both of these patterns. And I just got them back from the dry cleaners, so watch out!

Chloe, Bally

Okay, two things. One, I love a purse in an interesting shape, even though most of them don't hold my iPad Mini phone. Where my 6sPlus users at? Two, I'm into these glossy black and red embellishments. Hot tip: there are $12 earring and pin versions of these at Pre To Post Modern. I bought the mouth earrings because they remind me of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Stella Luna, Loeffler Randall, Vans, Nike Air Jordan III, Dr. Martens

Those of you old enough to have had to wear stilettos until SATC went off the air will rejoice with me at the resurgence of tennis shoes as fashion. I have checkerboard Vans, but I want some hightop Airwalks and OG Doc Martens. I'm also super into these v-shaped shoes everyone is wearing.

Loewe, Michael Kors Collection

In 2005, John and I were still early enough in our relationship to do couples Halloween costumes. John was an astronaut and I was his alien bride, which was presumptuous because we had barely been dating a year. I digress. My costume was a silver lame dress (that I still have). So, two things: I am relationship psychic and fashion psychic. Take note.

Junya Watanabe Comme Des Garcons, Libertine

This picture on the left is probably my favorite outfit in all three magazines. So this is a faux-fur animal print coat over a hoodie, over leather pants. I can't even. If I die this season, bury me in this.

I had a pair of giraffe print pants in college that I TREASURED. They were from the Victoria's Secret catalogue, circa 1996. These $1,000 Libertine pants remind me of them, and of the Sigma Chi formal in Atlanta I wore them to.

Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci

I love all of this. It's hard to tell, but the shoes in the left are animal print patent leather oxfords! I swear to God, I will be haunted to the day I die by the things I don't buy in thrift stores. Years ago, I found an embellished, box, denim jacket with shoulder pads, fringe and huge gold buttons and I didn't buy it. Why aren't there time machines yet?! P.S. These mid-length tweed skirts are a dime a dozen at the thrift stores and I love them punked out like this with a hoodie, moto jacket and combat boots.

I like Marie Claire. They have a good mix of fashion, think pieces, and book reviews. There's a lot in this magazine, I had just already flagged most of it. For only $4.99, it's worth buying.


Obviously, none of us are buying Chanel, but, I found a thrifted version of this exact skirt at Goodwill recently. I had it on my rack at the September Sip, Style, and Shop event. Someone bought it. If it was you, tag me in a picture! I like these pleated skirts and I'm glad the trend isn't over yet.

Michael Kors Collection, Balenciaga, Jeremy Scott

Oh hello, more textured animal print. Is this the year I finally buy faux-fur? Can I pull off an eye patch? It's designer...

Pierre Hardy, Fratelli Rossetti

You guys, I'm going to go balls to the wall in silver lame this season. Just you wait. I love those silver stacked heel boot-shoes. I pulled the other page because there's another mid-length pleated skirt, and because I like those thick soled loafers with the buckle and tassel.


Can you tell I love this jacket? I also love this zip-up, sweater jacket. I'm really into a bright floral on a black background. Thrifted version of this, I will find you!

P.S. Want more? Check out my September Issues post from 2016!

P.P.S. I'm sharing tips on creating a street style look on a budget here.


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