Guys, there's something really cool happening with this Fearless Friday series. I'm starting to get submissions and inquiries for some really fab, fearless females. Today being one of them! (by the way...keep it coming!)
I'm inspired by Laura Kujawa for many reasons. If you're outta state, she's a big deal at a really rad company. She's Gilt City Chicago’s senior curator. I view Gilt as the the ultra hip city insider for unique experiences and exclusive offer. Think fashion, fitness, dining, entertainment and more. Your basic fab 4.
With that said, I pinned Laura down on some very important questions. You'll understand once you read on...enjoy!
- How did you get your start in fashion?
From a very young age, I loved fashion and magazines and was determined I would work at one. But the beginning of my career was actually publishing, not fashion per se. My first job out of college was at Redbook magazine as a sales assistant. I then moved to LA and landed a job at Vogue, Men's Vogue and eventually W Magazine working in ad sales. These were brands I found really inspiring. Although working in the cut throat world of advertising wasn't as creative or glamorous as I imagined, it had its perks and I got amazing experience. One major perk was working down the hall from the Vogue editorial closet and certain fashion editors...
As for modeling, I kind of fell into it. The story is a total cliche - met a photographer at a work event, agreed to one shoot only and then signed with BMG Models in Chicago and then transferred with them in L.A. I'm like 5"4" on a good day so not sure how that all worked out, but it was fun while it lasted.
- How did you transition from a fashion and modeling career into Gilt City?
When I moved back to Chicago I worked at SELF for a short while before discovering the Gilt City Curator position. I was looking for a change, met with the team and the rest is history!
- What was the most gratifying part of that transition?
The transition was a really positive change for me. Gilt City has offered me amazing opportunities and experience. I can be more creative in my position, I have flexibility, opportunity for growth, and a voice that is heard. The company culture is great and I love the talented and inspiring people I work with every day.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Not this question! I personally put so much pressure on myself wondering what I will do next, where I will be in five years or ten. I think it's so important to challenge ourselves not only professionally, but personally too. As long as I'm open to opportunity, growth and change, I know I'll land on my feet whether it’s on the same path or a different one entirely.
I love the David Bowie quote - "I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise it won't be boring"
- How do you maintain balance with such a fast-paced job?
The role of a Curator can easily be a lifestyle - I could work all the time if I let myself. I try to leave work at the office and not work too late in the evenings or weekends, if possible. I could be better about putting my phone down. But hey, we are all guilty of that!
I've been doing a lot of yoga and the time has become sacred to me. Also as a social introvert, I try to not over commit socially. I love being at home with my husband and my pup Jane. We love to cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen. We've just started brewing our own kombucha.
- What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Be curious and stop being in such a hurry to grow up and figure everything out. Enjoy the journey.
Take risks while you're young. Don't be afraid to fail or make mistakes - it's a necessary step on the path to success.
Everything that you think is the end of the world right now won't even matter in a few years.
- What are 5 apps that you can’t live without?
1. GILT – Eat, sleep, breathe and shop the Gilt brand and lifestyle.
2. Uber - Made life oh so much easier.
3. Shazam - Sometimes you need to know that song.
4. Pinterest - Admitted obsession. Inspiration is everywhere but mostly found here.
5. Tiny Scanner – Scan and email in an instant
What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
You’re stranded on a desert island…what’s your one must-have?
My husband and sunscreen.
Laura - thank you! This was fun...let's do it again!
And please friends...if you know of someone that inspires you...send 'em my way. Don't we all need that on Friday? xo
Image Source: Samantha Jean Photography