by Jennifer Chan | Mon., May. 13, 2013 12:00 PM
In this week's edition of Trendsetters at Work, we're back in the Big Apple to check out the ultra-chic offices of The Knot.
The massive wedding site has become the hub for helping brides-to-be plan their big days, and their gorgeous offices are pretty dreamy, too!
We sat down with chief content officer and founder (and super mom!) Carley Roney to get the scoop on her fascinating career.
Here's what we learned:
How did you get started in your career? When I got engaged in 1993, my fiancé and I both realized that the wedding resources at the time could not help us with planning our wedding. We somehow pulled it off, and then three years later decided to launch TheKnot.com, which is now XO Group Inc. We wanted to be a one-stop source for brides and we also wanted to keep our consumers with us past their wedding, which was the thought process behind TheBump.com and TheNest.com.
Describe a typical day for you. Pure madness. I am up at 6:30 and I do 100 jumping jacks (that's all the exercise I have time for!). Then shower, breakfast, walk my kids to school, get into the office by 9 a.m.! Once I get to the office I have calls with the West Coast developing TV shows, pitches from entrepreneurs, I move from meeting to meeting to check how my second set of children—The Knot, The Bump and The Nest—are doing, and by 7 p.m. I am back to being a wife and mother.
Tell us about your work environment. For everyone at XO Group Inc. we have an environment that is light, bright and full of bubbly and very, very bright people. It is very fast-paced, but we like to have fun! Our whole office is very open with incredible views of the Brooklyn Bridge and New York City.
And what about office décor? Similar to my personal style, I like to keep my office space clean and crisp. Modern and simple with lots of white and very open—I love it!
Describe your office style. What do you typically wear to work? I would classify my closet as effortless yet stylish, definitely more downtown. When I am forced to dress up, I prefer clean, chic silhouettes, and when it comes to work I continue to keep my look comfy and crisp but always professional. Oh! And I have a shoe fetish. I will never forget the moment I discovered Louboutins. I always like to have heels on, but running to and from work I wear Repetto ballet flats.
Where do you shop for work clothes? For work clothes, I love Diane von Furstenberg, J.Crew, Helmut Lang and Michael Kors. Anything that does double duty for me in my wardrobe is a blessing! I can mix up a J.Crew skirt with a funky necklace and blouse, or a smart DvF dress and Michael Kors heels. Throw on a blazer and it's perfect for work during the day and my children's school fundraiser at night. It's the mixture of prep and professional, key staple pieces with fun designer threads.
The best part of my job is…Knowing that we actually help people and make their lives easier is something I truly love. Seeing the responses from our audience as well as knowing that we have provided friendships and a community for so many across the globe is touching. I also cannot forget to mention seeing all of the wonderful, intelligent people that work for us. It is a great sense of achievement to see how excited our employees are about what we do.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received? It's not a popularity contest. It's better to be respected than loved.
Tell us about your beauty must-haves. My go-to is Giorgio Armani silk foundation. On most days, that's all I wear. It gives a fresh look and I don't have to wear anything else to feel beautiful, but cannot live without my Dior mascara and NARS blush.
What fuels you during the day? I start with a latte for breakfast (plus any toast left on my kids' plates!) For lunch, I will most likely go the fish route with a salmon burger or grilled Teriyaki, really anything. When it comes to snacking I am all about dry roasted almonds!
If I wasn't doing this job, I would be…I studied film and television at NYU's Tisch School of Arts, so I would have been a photographer or documentary filmmaker, something I also have passion for.
Can you share some advice for aspiring career girls? Be willing to make sacrifices. It will come in the form of free time, money, your social life and friends. Love what you do! When you do, everything from going to work to everyday life will be always enjoyable.
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