Advice for Building Brands People Love from DC’s Female Leaders

Last week I attended General Assembly’s “Building Brands People Love: Made in DC” with female leaders from Sweetgreen, Framebridge, and Chaia Tacos. They gave great advice on building a brand, pitching it to investors, marketing it to the public, and innovating it. Here were the key take-ways from the event:

🔑 Always sell the dream.

🔑 Even if there’s information about your space you need to be able to speak about it.

🔑 Use friends and family during the beta period for your e-commerce business.

🔑 Advertise on podcasts.

🔑 Reach out to people and send samples out to anyone you can, like magazines, publishers, and brands.

🔑 Talk to the community, spread your story. Combine in-person experiences with data.

🔑 If you work super hard with the people you’re with now, you’ll always have a great opportunity for you in the future. 

🔑 Practice what you preach.

🔑 Make sure you’re disrupting a market and actually solving a problem.

🔑 Be someone who takes something that doesn’t scale and figures out how to scale it. 

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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Time-Block to Stay Focused and Get More Done

It’s no secret that this generation has a problem staying focused on one thing. With social media and texting, how can you not be constantly distracted? Whenever we are slightly bored or unstimulated, we turn to our phones for some mindless entertainment. This prevents us from not only enjoying where we are but from completing important tasks.

Time-blocking is a technique that can be used to ensure your most important tasks get completed. It helps create a distraction-free environment where you can intensely focus for a certain period of time.


You can use apps like Forest to set a timer on your phone and track your progress. This app even has a graphic of a tree that you can watch grow as long as you stay focused.


Obviously never click that “Give Up” button! It will take practice but you need to stick with it. It will become easier and easier as you do it and, more importantly, you’ll become addicted to the results.

How do you stay focused on your tasks? Do you use time-blocking techniques?

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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5 Podcasts Every Millennial Female Needs to Listen to

Podcasts are my favorite way to start the morning. It is the first thing I do when I wake up. I find one in my library that interests me the most on that day and hit play. I listen to it as I wash my face, do my makeup, and get dressed for the day. I love listening to them first thing in the morning because it allows me to start my day off by learning something new. Shouldn’t we all start a new day with learning?

Podcasts ground me a lot more than music does. Music has the tendency to get me in the mood of whatever song I am listening to. And, I don’t know about you but starting my day on a roller coaster of emotions isn’t effective in creating a clear, positive mindset for the work ahead of me.

Please keep in mind that I love to learn about health and wellness and the best ways to take care of my body, so a lot of these podcasts are focused on just that. Each one of these is informative in its own unique way. Here they are.

  1. The Skinny Confidential Him & Her

skinny confidential him and her

There is something about Lauren Everetts and Michael Bostick that is real and magnetic. I love listening to their conversations with each other and the guests that they have on the show. They interview all different kinds of guests from entrepreneurs to media personalities to doctors. I can always expect to learn something new through their podcast since they ask the most unique questions. A few of my favorite episodes are #163: Dr. Steven Gundry- Are Vegetables Bad?, #160: Ed Mylett- Peak Performance, #144: Shannon Dellimore- Founder of GLAMGLOW, #143: Paul Fishman- How to Self Love, and #129: Rachel Hollis- Prioritizing Time & Maximizing Results.

2. Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth

Mind Pump podcast

This one may be surprising to many people since it is a podcast primarily aimed at males who lift weights and body build. However, the three men that run this podcast are not only highly educated in strength-building, but also economics and politics. I like to hear them discuss different current events in the first hour of the podcast before answering fitness questions for the remaining time. They are all libertarians, giving listeners a very unique and real perspective that isn’t left or right-winged.

3. Ed Mylett Show

Ed Mylett podcast

I actually discovered Ed Mylett from the Skinny Confidential podcast and had to subscribe to his podcast after hearing him talk on success and relationships. He is an extremely successful entrepreneur who brings inspiring guests onto his show and also talks about his own success. He gives real, actionable advice for every entrepreneur which is why I enjoy his podcast so much. If you want to become a marketing guru listen to episode “How to Market Like a Genius with Billy Gene” and take lots of notes!

4. The goop Podcast

goop podcast

The goop Podcast focuses on interviewing different celebrities, doctors, and female entrepreneurs. Everyone that they interview somehow connects to overall wellness or female empowerment. I particularly enjoy listening to the psychologists and therapists that come onto the show to talk about different meditation and mental-wellness tips. I recommend “Why ‘Doing it All’ is a Con”, “Gweynth x Chrissy”, and “What ‘Problem’ Kids Are Trying to Teach Us”.

5. The mindbodygreen Podcast

mindbodygreen podcast

Again, this is another wellness podcast which interviews doctors and entrepreneurs in the wellness space. I like listening to a few different wellness podcasts, even though the guests often overlap, because each interviewer asks different questions and offers a different point of view in response. Some of my favorite episodes include “Daily Harvest Founder Rachel Drori”, “Dr. Frank Lipman On The Mitochondria”, and “Max Lugavere on Brain Fog”. However, my absolute favorite episode is “Bulletproof Founder Dave Asprey About Why He Thinks Kale is Bad For You”. Asprey has such a unique view of health and the entire episode kept me so intrigued. His thoughts on health are unlike anyone else’s.

You may be wondering, why do I need to listen to these podcasts as a female millennial? I am a true believer that success and wellness are intertwined. You can’t succeed if you are mentally or physically unwell. Taking care of our body and mind is necessary in order to accomplish goals and move forward in life. As skeptical as you may be, you cannot run a business, succeed in work, or form meaningful relationships if you aren’t properly taking care of yourself.

I hope these podcasts help lead you towards success in some way, whether they spark a business idea, encourage you to make healthier choices, or motivate you to overcome obstacles life throws your way. Let me know what you think and be sure to leave me a comment sharing your favorite podcasts!

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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5 Things “Switch” Taught Me About Setting New Year’s Resolutions

I recently read a book called “Switch- How to change things when change is hard” by Chip & Dan Heath. The book discusses various businesses cases and change situations, drawing out the important steps that were taken to make that change successful. While reading this it really had me thinking a lot about my New Year’s Resolutions and how to actually turn them into habits.

Every year myself and many others set new goals, hoping to adapt habits that we haven’t been the best at achieving in the past. What can we do to finally make these new habits stick? Reading this book gave me a lot of insight on to why certain change efforts do not work and how I can finally make them work.

This New Year I am making it my goal to become a morning person. Maybe not enjoy the mornings so much, but to not dread them. I want to workout in the mornings before work and set a solid routine so that I can set myself up for the best day ahead. I’ve tried to make this happen for the last few months now but it just hasn’t happened. I feel like I’ve tried everything- from making my boyfriend call to wake me up to motivating myself with a good cup of coffee. Unfortunately, nothing has worked. I am going to adapt the things I’ve learned in “Switch” to create a successful habit and I hope you will to.

What I’ve Learned:

1. Find a way to achieve your habit in a way that influences not just your thoughts, but your emotions.

Throughout the book the authors discuss the concepts of “the elephant” and “the rider”, or our emotions and our rationality. The rider can rationalize all he or she wants but will not be able to move the elephant if he or she doesn’t really want to. It’s important for us to follow the pattern SEE-FEEL-CHANGE if we want to be successful. So before trying to change a habit, make sure you really understand WHY you want to change what you are currently doing. What is this helping you achieve? How will this impact you?

For me, I think about all the free time I lose after work from having to head to the gym, complete my workout, and shower. I feel unproductive and like I have no time for myself after a long, hard day of work. I’m appealing to this feeling of unfulfillment and lack by changing the time I wake up in the morning.

2. Shrink the change.

According to Chip and Dan, “People find it more motivating to be partly finished with a longer journey than to be at the starting gate of a shorter one” (127). By taking small baby steps to making a change and succeeding at these steps, we are growing confidence in ourselves and proving to ourselves that we really can make this change. The authors call this a “miracle scale”; we are focusing our attention on small, attainable milestones rather than the far final destination.

I plan to start small by waking up 5 minutes earlier one week, then 10 minutes earlier, then 15 minutes, and so on. If I can wake up a little bit earlier each week then I will gain confidence that I can achieve the end goal and this end goal won’t seem as drastic. After I achieve the habit of waking up early, I will add small workouts into my routine. I will start with a 5 minute workout one week, then a 10 minute one, and so on. After all, big changes come from many small changes.

3. Tweak your environment to make change easier.

Changing different parts of your environment can help make your change efforts a lot easier. We often get stuck in certain routines or ways of doing things because we associate them with specific environments. Make it a little easier to create a habit by setting yourself up for success. Change your environment in small ways in order to make this new habit easier to adapt.

I will be laying out my gym clothes every night before bed in order to make getting up and working out in the morning a little bit easier. Or maybe for you changing your environment means joining a gym that’s only a short walk away rather than a 15 minute drive. If you make your goal to eat 20% less sugar in a day than you normally do, don’t keep high sugar foods in the house. Think about all the way you can change your surroundings to make change a little bit easier.

4. Create action triggers and checklists.

Action triggers motivate us to do the things we know we need to do. They help us determine when to act on what we want to change. They help us do things that we may be putting off or avoiding. For example, if you make an action trigger to go to the gym right after you get out of work, you’re not leaving any room for you to NOT go to the gym since you leave work everyday (or let’s hope). I’m going to make it my goal to workout right when I wake up since I wake up everyday. I will know waking up means it’s time to go workout.

In addition to action triggers it is important to create checklists. According to Chip and Dan, “Checklists educate people about what’s best, showing them the ironclad right way to do something… Checklists can help people avoid blind spots in a complex environment” (221). By creating a checklist of everything you need to do to accomplish your goal, you are getting rid of any possibility of forgetting what you have to do to make that goal successful. It could be as simple as writing a list telling yourself to set up your clothes for the morning, fill your water bottle with cold water, and preparing a post-workout smoothie. Checking things off your list will also be like small little accomplishments!

5. Make your goals clear, precise, and specific.

The more ambiguous our goals are, the more room there is for us to stray from our original goal. If we don’t include ways to measure our goals, we often don’t end up achieving what we originally intended. An example they used in the book was a goal many people set for the new year; “I want to eat healthy and workout more”. While this is great, it includes nothing you can measure. While you may start out strong, it will get to the point when you begin to justify eating ice cream because you ate broccoli earlier in the week. Or you eat McDonald’s for dinner because you ate a salad for lunch. You are justifying your decisions because they technically are “healthier” than what you were doing before, even though they aren’t actually healthy decisions. I encourage you to make goals like “Eat lunches and dinners consisting of 30% veggies, 50% protein, and 20% grains” or “Walk at least 30 minutes each day”. These are goals that you can confidently say you accomplished or not, without room for ambiguity.

I highly encourage everyone to read “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath. It is a book that gives great insight in making change on a personal, organizational, or world-wide level. It is not only extremely inspiring to hear so many stories of successful change, but it is extremely educational in a practical way. Let me know what your New Year’s Resolutions are in the comments below. Follow me on Instagram to see everything I’m up to on my holiday break!

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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Independence. It is something we all aim to possess and incorporate into our daily life. It is also something each of us interprets differently depending on our own circumstances. For some independence means being able to afford rent without the help from one’s parents, and for others it means being perfectly content in one’s own company. Who are we to judge whether someone should be independent or dependent?

London fashion blogger

I have always been independent in my own interests and style. I pride myself in the fact that I dress the way I want and do what I want without the opinions of other’s affecting me. I mean it is pretty necessary to not care what others think when you are out on the streets of London with a photographer who has a camera with a two-foot-long lens pointing at you…

Although I am very independent in most aspects, I depend on my family and friends for love, support, and some good laughs. Without them I would not have turned into the person I am today.

fashion blogger united kingdom

It is weird to think about your own style as being independent or dependent, as if it were a person itself. However, one’s style is truly dependent on this concept. You either dress the way you want because YOU like it or you dress that way because SOCIETY likes it. Or in a fashionista’s case, the way the fashion industry likes it.

fashion blogger creative shot

Trends like yellow-tinted sunglasses and fishnet tights are completely dependent on the opinions of the fashion industry. Even I can’t admit that I made those style choices simply because I liked the style and wanted to wear it; I tried them because they were on-trend and worn by some of my favorite bloggers.

New York City fashion blogger

Just like our own personalities, I believe it is essential that our individual style is comprised of both independent and dependent pieces. Us humans need to be somewhat dependent on others in order to form meaningful relationships in our lives. We also need these relationships to expand our own outlook on life and grow as individuals. Our style works the same way in that without trying “trends” we don’t know what we like/dislike and what looks good/bad on our bodies.

Kensington fashion blogger

In this look I was inspired by the off-the-shoulder trend currently circulating throughout the fashion world. However, I made it my own by adding my favorite black boots and a jeweled bag I found at a local market in London.

London fashion blogger

Whether it is with your clothes, personal goals, or hobbies, don’t be afraid to look to others for their thoughts and opinions. We often condemn people who depend too much on the opinions of others; but sharing ideas is necessary to grow into your own form of independence.

See more street style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. If you enjoyed this post, check out Too New York for London- a Lookbook.

Photos by Colton.