My career path is less path and more twisty walk through a confusing and sometimes mystifying forest. I, like all good, liberal arts students, majored in English and minored in psychology and women’s studies. As college came to an end, I was sure I wasn’t done being educated but unsure of what I wanted to do. So, with my desire to write, but not to be a writer necessarily, I started looking at grad programs. I landed squarely on NYU’s School of Journalism Master’s Program, specifically for magazine journalism—the perfect combo of “creative” (feature) writing and research. I was lucky enough to be accepted, got my degree and went on to work at a few magazines (Mirabella, Elle, Hamptons) before partnering up with a friend and starting my own.
Madison was a lifestyle mag with gorgeous photography, incredible writing, and a terrible business plan. We lasted for four years, though, much to the surprise of everyone in the industry. After we folded, I tried to enter the “real” magazine world but was overqualified and underqualified all at the same time, so I moved into book agent-ing at ICM, for no reason other than I loved books and I loved the agent I worked for (his name is Sloan Harris, and if he’s reading this I want him to know he was hands down the best boss I ever had). Turns out, though, I’m not agent material, so I left.
Around that time, I got married, and we had our first child. My husband, a chef, opened his first restaurant, Landmarc in TriBeCa and so I spent some time running the front of house while being a mom and starting a small film production business. I worked for a brief period with filmmaker and actor Ed Burns, made a movie (Purple Violets) and produced another (Something Borrowed), but that business was also not for me (independent films turn out to not be all that lucrative).
The natural thing for me to do at that point was to join our restaurant group full time. So I did, but not in the front of the house—because guess what? The customer is not always right. The natural hole for me to fill there was in marketing and branding, which I did for about 10 years. See what I’m saying about the twisty walkway? But there is a theme in all of these jobs: I love to put things together, love to create, love to organize.