Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Jamie Chandlee, the CEO of Rank & Style, media site that publishes daily top ten lists of the best beauty, fashion, and lifestyle products. Jamie shares with us the journey she took to find her passion, which allows her to be a better mom and family member. In addition, we chat all things technology, fashion and more!
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career?
A few years after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, I was one of the first sales hires at Facebook Austin. I wore a lot of hats in this role beyond working with our fashion & retails partnerships. Facebook had just opened its doors in Austin, so I had a hand in recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees in my position there as well. But after becoming a mother of two, I found that it was time to move on from Facebook and pursue another challenge. As a busy mom and an avid traveler (also an online shopping addict), I am constantly on the go with less and less time to search for the very best when it comes to fashion and beauty. My two business partners and I acquired Rank & Style, a website that publishes data-driven, daily top ten lists of the best in fashion and beauty in May 2016 and relocated its headquarters to Austin. Despite professional achievements, I have to say that the greatest achievements of all in my life have been beating cancer and becoming a mother to my two children, Emerson and Maxwell.
2. What inspired you to acquire Rank & Style?
I left my job at Facebook in 2013 when I was pregnant with my daughter, Emerson. I really struggled with my identity and was in a complete rut. Being a mom is very fulfilling but I knew that I needed another challenge. I started working on the Rank & Style acquisition about a year ago and haven’t looked back since. I feel much more fulfilled in all aspects of my life, which allows me to be a better mom and cherish my time with my family even more.
3. Can you explain how the product categories are chosen?
Many of our fashion lists focus on staple wardrobe items such as the best black leggings or white button-down shirts. Our beauty lists focus on essentials too, but we also regularly introduce our readers to new trends or products that are receiving outstanding reviews online. The combination of both really speaks to our reader because she loves to build a classic wardrobe while still embracing trends in order to stay style-savvy. We also honor requests for lists, so some of our best ideas for have come from our readers!
4. Of this spring’s major fashion or beauty trends, which list do you want to see featured on Rank & Style?
Our content team at Rank & Style is incredible; they have their pulse on everything trending in beauty and fashion. Each list is really a thrill for me because I know how much they can impact our readers. I have to say that I’m really looking forward to our upcoming spring trends and essentials lists! Is it just me or is everybody in the mood for a beach getaway?
5. What excites you most about technology and the future of fashion and beauty?
I love how everything is at your fingertips. In the past couple of years, fashion has become more accessible to consumers through technology. It’s really interesting to witness this shift in focus because after all, fashion and beauty are really about the customer’s personal expression of style and self-confidence. I noticed so many designers were making their looks go live online as soon as they hit the runway during fashion week. I loved this because it makes everything truly “ready to wear”.
6. What have you found to be your biggest challenge thus far in your career?
Maintaining balance in all the most important areas of my life. This will always be a constant challenge, but over the years I have learned to focus on what is most important to me first. I carve out specific time each day to focus on three different areas: Work, Charity, Family. It’s a constant give and take and I certainly don’t have the perfect balance, but it’s something I work on every single day. The struggle for more time and balance will always be there, but when I am specific with my intensions for each day then it’s another step forward.
7. Where do you see Rank & Style 5 years from now?
A go-to trusted source for millions of consumers as the most effective way to explore the best of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products. We also want to create new ways to ingest our content whether it be an app, video, or integrations with our retail partners.
8. If you could be any Boss Lady for a day (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Sheryl Sandberg- She has been able to fundamentally impact and empower women in the workplace with her Lean In initiatives. She represents everything I look to be in a leader: empathetic, strong, believes passionately in people, all while being a tremendous mother.
9. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about going from employee to entrepreneur?
Just do it. When I reflect back on my career thus far, I always ask myself why I didn’t become an entrepreneur earlier. It took me a while to acknowledge that desire in myself and to have enough courage to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship.
10. In addition to being a mom and a career woman, you also love to travel. What are your top 3 beauty or fashion tips for traveling?
1. Drink plenty of water! I can’t say this enough because traveling is so dehydrating for your skin.
2. When planning your outfits, pack versatile basics to avoid overpacking. You can mix and match these to make lots of different outfits. I always carry-on even if it’s a 2 week trip!
3. Comfort doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style; I truly believe that you can look good and feel good at the same time. Go for edgy athleisure or loungewear pieces that can make a comfy look trendier!
Just for fun…
- favorite place to travel: st. barth’s
- can’t live without: batiste dry shampoo
- stylish sneaks: golden goose
- must have: OPI funny bunny
- beauty bliss”: clé de peau beauté
- all things: MSGM