Even though Rebecca Minkoff has become a global fashion brand with over 900 stores in nine countries since 2005, her journey hasn’t been easy. When she was a teenager, she worked in the costume department of her high school, then moved to New York City to pursue her dream as a fashion designer. A big milestone in her life came in 2001, when she designed an “I Love New York” t-shirt, which appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and became an overnight sensation. Four years later, she designed her first handbag, called “The Morning After Bag,” and it was so successful that it helped her launch her company by her namesake with her brother Uri. Then, in 2009, she created her first ready-to-wear apparel collection. Today, while she continues to expand her business, she’s also the host of her own podcast, “Superwomen with Rebecca Minkoff.”
In the below conversation, Rebecca shares how she broke into the fashion industry, how she manages her time, who her mentors are, how she keeps her employees motivated, and her best career advice.
Dan Schawbel: A lot of women move to New York City to break into the fashion business, but not everyone is successful, especially not at your level. What do you think made you different?
Rebecca Minkoff: Persistence, hard work. I think in today’s age of Uber and Amazon, people think that they can just click their way to success, but you can’t. This is the one thing I think that’s still left in the world that you have to put your head down and work.
Dan: You’ve mentioned that there’s no real work life balance, and I agree. What can people do to make room for their personal life, especially now as a mom?
Rebecca: I think it’s about setting very strong boundaries and you have to be the discipliner of yourself. You know, so does the world end if I don’t check my email at night? No. If something is really that urgent they can text me. I’m not curing cancer; I’m selling handbags. As I’ve had three children, it’s just been important to me to set those boundaries. I think it’s fair for people that don’t have kids to set those boundaries too. I’ve had staff say, “Hey, I don’t want to be talked to on the weekends or at night unless it’s urgent.” I think that’s what we all need to start doing, or you’ll just be fried.
Source: Business Insider