Boss Lady: Samantha Hahn

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Samantha Hahn, a New York-based illustrator, author and the creative director for an amazing new book box subscription company called quarterlane. Samantha takes us through the daily hustle of playing many roles in this industry and shares with us her passion for success. 

Samantha Hahn
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career. 
I’m a Brooklyn based creative director, illustrator and author. I work with a range of clients such as: quarterlane, the Paris Review, Vogue Japan, Lela Rose, Marie Claire, Chronicle Books and Apartment Therapy.

2. What is a typical work day like for you?
It really varies. I often have a couple of illustration projects going at once and I’m creative director at quarterlane so I’m often sending off interview questions to authors, planning lifestyle photoshoots or having plotting and planning sessions with founder Elizabeth Lane about our upcoming season.

3.  Can you explain your involvement with quarterlane books and how you got involved? 
I came on shortly before the launch to do some illustrations. I wound up really connecting with Elizabeth the founder, who is the amazing book curator as well. I wound up advising on the site and brand visuals and staying on as creative director along with Courtney Peterson. I spearheaded the launch of an editorial sister site called The Edit where we conduct author interviews, lifestyle features, book reviews and where we simply celebrate our love of reading and reading culture. It’s honestly the most fun project I’ve had in a long time. I really love collaborating with Elizabeth and being part of such a brilliant brand as it rapidly grows. My role has become nebulous. It’s not just simply visuals. If I have an idea I pitch it. We have a really natural, humanistic and organic way of working together which I love.

Samantha Hahn- quarterlanebooks
4. Out of all of the hats you wear, whether it be illustrating, publishing, writing, etc. what is your favorite role? 
That’s a hard question and it varies from day to day depending on what I’m working on. Sometimes at the start of fashion week I’m so excited to illustrate shows but by the end I want to use a different part of my brain, so working on quarterlane feels like heaven. Then a publisher will reach out with an amazing project to create a set of notecards for The Smithsonian of famous gems and I’m all excited to put my brush to the paper again. I love coming up with concepts for lookbooks and have recently had the pleasure of creative directing some for people whose work I’ve long admired. My main passion is collaborating with people and companies I admire. At the end of the day, that’s what I thrive on.

5.  What social media platform has been your biggest form of success for marketing yourself and quarterlane books? 
For myself I would say Instagram. I don’t have a ton of followers but my quality of followers is good. A lot of editors and art directors and brands I work with follow me there so it’s a nice way to showcase what I’m working on or what’s come to fruition. I run quarterlane’s Pinterest which is still pretty new but is growing all the time.  I love curating images that speak to the visual mood and tone of quarterlane. The Edit is my main focus though. There’s an endlessly fascinating stream of people and books to showcase and it’s just thrilling.

6. When it comes to building a brand, what is an important lesson that you have learned? 
I think having a clear vision of who you are speaking to is essential. It can be a group of people but picture the brand as a lecture that you are sending a flyer out about and see who would file into the auditorium to listen. That’s your audience.

Samantha Hahn

7. Your illustrations are beautiful and full of variety, is there a specific subject that you enjoy drawing the most?
I love painting the female form. I do this mainly through fashion illustration. It’s just an opportunity to celebrate movement, gesture, texture and color.

8. Are you currently working on any of your own books at the moment to publish? 
Gosh no! I did 2 and that’s enough for me at least for the foreseeable future. Doing a book takes tremendous bandwidth and emotional, intellectual and creative energy. As aforementioned I thrive on collaborating and doing a variety of projects and I feel being the sole author of a book just sucks too much out of me and isn’t the platform I’m most excited about. I’m happy to do other people’s book covers though and who knows, maybe someday I will get an idea that I just can’t imagine not publishing. It could happen but not for a couple of years at at least. I’m still recovering from my last book.

9. Who is a Boss Lady that inspires you?
Christene Barberich, global EIC of Refinery 29.

Behind the Boss Lady: Samantha Hahn’s Mood Board
Samantha Hahn

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Boss Lady: Maureen Petrosky

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Maureen Petrosky, author, television personality, chef, food stylist, and entertaining and lifestyle expert. Maureen shares with us her exciting career, her passion and inspiration for creating, and her advice to women pursuing dreams in entrepreneurship. 

Maureen Petrosky
Image via Jeff Wojtaszek

1.Tell us a little about yourself and your career. It’s been a whirlwind.
I started off behind the scenes at Food Network and have been working both in production and on-air for twenty years now-which sounds crazy long. But time flies when you love what you do.

2. Describe a typical work day.
There’s no typical work day. One day I may be writing for 8 hours straight in my home office, one day I might be tasting vodkas in Amsterdam and the very next I could be in hair and make up for the TODAY show. I don’t do typical and this work style suits my undiagnosed ADD perfectly.

3. Whether it’s for a TODAY show segment or for an upcoming article, can you explain your process for creating wonderful recipes, lessons, crafts, etc?
I see everything in life as an opportunity to learn, to improve my skills and my lifestyle and in turn see them as teachable moments too. I do a lot of thinking in bed. At night before I fall asleep or in the morning before I get up. It’s the only time the rest of my life is quiet around me. It can be a word in a book, something my kids say, or something I taste that inspires me. I want to make a beautiful life accessible, not daunting.

The Cocktail Club by Maureen Petrosky

4. Can you name two domestic gurus you look up to and why?
My mom and Martha. I grew up in a house with seasonal decor vignettes, beautiful tabletops and a lot of fun. I mean who else’s parents were making green eggs and ham for St. Patrick’s Day or serving pink Farina for breakfast on Valentine’s day? My mom was the original inspiration. It’s in my blood. And then of course Martha. She took it to another level that lets all of us now have parties and make a career out of it. And now with her latest collaboration with Snoop, I have to give her mad props. She keeps pushing herself and that I admire.

5. When it comes to entertaining for either small or large gatherings, do you have one expert advice to share?
Pour a drink first. It makes getting ready more fun, and that’s what it’s all about, having fun. Don’t forget that.

6. How do you mix social media when hosting or entertaining? Do share at all, and is it in real time or do you post later? 
I guess the evil of social media is a part of everything we do. I hate to miss the moment so typically I post later, after the fact. I try to document our moments but it’s more important to me to actually engage in them and be present.

7. What is your most successful form of marketing?
Getting out of the house. Really, as a creator you can spend endless days hulled up in front of your computer. It’s important to meet people face-to-face. All aspects are important, getting by-lines and being on TV are immensely successful outlets, but I get those jobs because I meet people and make connections. You will always be your best PR.

Maureen PetroskyImage via Jeff Wojtaszek

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I barely know what’s coming this year. That’s the nature of entrepreneurship. You need to be able to roll with the tide. You throw twenty ideas out there and if one sticks it’s a success. I just hope in 5 years to be happy and healthy and creating beautiful, interesting work.

9. When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing most?
Hanging out with my family, hosting happy hour, and Dragon boating.

10. Do you have any advice for those looking to enter the world of entrepreneurship?
Anyone who wants it badly enough can be their own boss. But you have to recognize if you have the personality for it, brace yourself for irregular paychecks, schedules and being on call 24/7. If you’re game for that here are a few tips: only work with people you like, spend a third of your time reaching out for new work and making new contacts, be responsive to emails and texts immediately, pick up the phone and call people- it’s much more powerful than an email, exercise and take care of yourself- you are your business card, dream big- then aim bigger- if you fall somewhere in the middle you’ll have succeeded.

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Boss Lady: Gabrielle and Brittney Flank

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business.This week we chat with Gabrielle & Brittney Flank, sisters and founders of The Frosting Company, an Artisan product line that is free of gluten, parabens, sulfates, phthalates and artificial preservatives. These two inspirational ladies share their story of hardwork and dedication as young entrepreneurs all while spreading awareness.
The Frosting Company

1. Tell us about yourselves and your career.
Gabrielle
: I am an 18 year old high school senior, Huffington Post blogger, entrepreneur, philanthropist and public speaker who promotes a message of positivity.
Brittney: I am 24 years old and I am a graduate of DeSales University with a degree in communication. I am the co-owner of the Frosting Company and enjoy spending time with my family and giving back.

2. What is a typical work day like for you ladies?
No two days are ever the same. We usually start with a morning meeting where we go over what we want to accomplish for the day. Gabrielle is a senior in high school and has to schedule time to do her school work. Brittney usually is the one to check and respond to emails. We manufacture all of our products in house and mid-day we work together on fulfilling orders.

3. Where did the inspiration behind the Frosting Company come from?
The inspiration for the Frosting Company came after Gabrielle was diagnosed with cancer. Because of Gabrielle’s diagnosis we became aware of the harmful chemicals and toxins in many of the beauty products we were using. We learned that your skin is your largest organ and after Gabrielle’s cancer diagnoses we became aware that a large percentage of what you put onto your skin is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. We wanted to design products that we felt safe using, were beneficial and that everyone could enjoy!

With our passion and love for natural products we decided to create our own line of Artisan products that are free of gluten, parabens, sulfates, phthalates and artificial preservatives.

4. Starting a company with your sister must be so exciting, how do you delegate who does what in the company?
Being sisters is a really great advantage because we know each other so well. We know each other’s strengths and weakness and can play off of that.
Gabrielle: I have always had a love and passion for science. So formulating products came naturally to me.
Brittney: I was a communications major in college and have always enjoyed the administrative, creative, and marketing aspects.

The Frosting Company

5. Can you explain how your products are made and what makes them so different from other products?
Our story is one that people can really relate to. It is important to us to use organic, fair-trade, food grade and natural ingredients. We use the finest and most delectable ingredients in order to create a luxurious experience each and every time. We wanted to create a line that was great for your skin and that people enjoyed using at any age.

6. What has been your most successful form of marketing so far?
Social media by far has been our most successful form of marketing. It is amazing how technology allows people to connect with each other from around the globe. Because of social media we are able to communicate directly to our consumers with a push of a button.

7. Where would you like to see The Frosting Company in the next 5 or so years?
In 5 years we would like to see the Frosting Company as a household brand. We want to work to continue to educate people to know that what you put onto your skin is just as important as what you eat.

8. Who is a #BossLady that inspires you?
A #BossLady that inspires us the most is without a doubt our Mom. She is an entrepreneur herself and continues to give us guidance and inspiration. Our Mom is our biggest cheerleader and has always encouraged us to pursue our dreams.

Behind The Bosses: Gabrielle and Brittney’s Mood Board
Gabrielle and Brittney's Mood Board More on Gabrielle, Brittney and The Frosting Company:
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Boss Lady: Brianna Carlisle

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business.This week we chat with Brianna Carlisle, Director and Managing Editor for Fig Kennett, a guide to all of the fabulous shopping, dining, arts, and events in and around the town of Kennett Square. With a brand new holiday edition just recently launched, Brianna shares with us everything from her favorite parts of the job to her aspirations for the magazine.

Boss Lady- Brianna Carlisle  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I am the Director and Managing Editor for Fig Kennett. Prior to this role I spent several years in corporate marketing, several years at home with my babies, and several years as a portrait photographer and blogger. I love that new seasons of life bring new opportunities and I am currently in my dream job where I can apply all my previous skills and passions into one role. I am also a wife, mom  and lover of the small town life.

2. What is the mission behind Fig Magazine?
The mission of the magazine is to help people fall in love with all things local. We like to say that we cover all things fresh, fashionable and flavorful! But it’s more than that. The goal is to lift up small businesses, encourage economic sustainability and create collaborative communities. We do this by featuring hyper local businesses and business owners who make our town so special. My job is to make sure each brand that appears in our magazine is represented well and that their unique goods and services are given great respect and attention. I take this job very seriously. 

3. What is a typical work day like for you?
A typical day starts by putting my kids on the bus and then heading in to work at my downtown office. I’ll work on content creation, advertising proposals, design approvals, and meet with my advertisers. And everyday includes a walk around town to chat with business owners, grab something to eat, and snap a few photos for social media. I like to end my work day by making a list of to-do’s for the next morning. My Kate spade planner is a lifesaver.

4. As a managing editor for Fig Kennett, I can imagine you are a busy lady. What is your favorite part of the job?
I love the collaborative aspect of photoshoots. The advertiser has ideas, I have ideas and my photographer and designers have ideas. Together, we find creative ways to visually represent a brand. Sometimes you go into a shoot thinking you have a specific plan and it ends up evolving into something completely different. I’m not a strict planner by nature, so the spontaneity of the photoshoot days keeps things fun for me.

Boss Lady: Brianna Carlisle

5. Can you describe the process that goes into producing just one issue of the magazine?
Each issue follows a seasonal cycle of curation of content, photography, design and then publication (both in print and digitally.) So I am constantly working with my creative team to ensure that each and every page is perfect. A large part of the process involves dreaming and visualizing. But there’s also a lot of strategic planning and scheduling that takes place in order to create the beautiful end product. The production process from start to finish is art in itself.

6. What have you found to be your biggest challenge with magazine editing?
I would say the biggest challenge for me is sticking to those tight publication deadlines. Often we are doing photoshoots entire seasons before you see them in the pages of the magazine. Most of the photoshoots for the Holiday issue were done on an 80 degree day in September. So you constantly think a season ahead.

7. Where do you hope to see the magazine in 5 or so years?
The magazine grows as Kennett Square grows. And that’s the really exciting part. In five years I see many new business and residents flocking to our small town of Kennett Square, and thriving. As that happens, Fig will be here to cover it all. We want to continue to be the premier guide for shopping, dining, art and events around town. The name of the magazine, Fig, was chosen because it’s a very historical fruit that represents abundance and prosperity. That’s always our hope for this community and I believe our magazine helps to creatively communicate that messge.

8. Who is a #BossLady that inspires you?
I am always inspired by Lara Casey, who is the Editor-in- Chief of Southern Weddings Magazine, and the Founder of the ‘Making Things Happen Workshop’ & paper planners. She has built a stunning magazine and succesful business, all while staying fiercely devoted to her family and faith. She is a very inclusive person who genuinely wants all women to succeed in whatever career or path they feel led to. I find that I relate very much to that. And I also loved that she is not afraid to share her business and personal struggles openly. Because no #bosslady is perfect and it’s refreshing to be honest about the obstacles we face as women to keep all those balls in the air.

Boss Lady: Brianna Carlisle

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