The Boss Ladies Of Book Club

I’m a girl’s girl. I don’t mean that I’m overtly feminine, but that I’m the kind of woman who supports other women. I want to champion them, encourage them, and bask in the light of their unicorn glory. So I feel very privileged to say that, from high school to college, and throughout the last decade of my tenure in New York City, I’ve met women who inspire me and challenge me in ways that have been crucial to my growth as a female and a friend.

I'm lucky to share a book club with some of these women. Our host and my friend, Paige, suggested we read City on Fire, the 900-page tome that garnered a $2 million dollar advance for first-time novelist Garth Risk Hallberg. I’m only about 30 pages’s been months. I don’t read a lot of fiction.

To be honest, I didn’t sign up for Book Club for the reading anyway. I went all in for the wine, the pizza, and the ladies. And since it wouldn’t be fair for me to keep all that inspiration to myself, I asked the girls if they’d share a little something with the Bourbon & Gloss audience. I wanted to know: How do you live your best boss life? And what advice do you have for a boss-lady-in-training?

Because being a boss isn’t all about running the show at the top of the food chain. It’s about everyday attitude.

Edited by Deenie Hartzog-Mislock
Photography by Amelia Tubb

Head of Productions
Prediction Productions

zoe chapin

How do you live your best Boss Life?
“I think the overwhelming theme to my semi-eclectic professional life has been “Just Get It Done.” Whatever it is. Get it done--now. (And you get bonus points for doing it cheerfully and with a sense of humor.)

So each day, my “boss self” is just getting it done, you know? Prediction Productions is a brand-new and very small production company; it’s up to us to turn it into what we want it to be. So I’m in constant motion, voraciously seeking out the next step to take on a project or hunting down cool things. I’m always pushing myself within the company. I operate a bit like an inchworm: I’ll stick my neck out a little farther than I might be comfortable with, and then scurry to catch up to myself. But I’m a really quick inchworm, one that is getting it done. (I think I lost this metaphor somewhere…)”

A bit of advice:
“It’s okay to not know what you want to do, but know what you like and what you can do. Be someone that people want to have around. And when you are starting out, just happily get the coffee if people want coffee (unless you are the only woman and there is a man on the same level as you that could just as easily get the coffee. That’s a great time to work on your delegating skills). Have fun and be fun and just get shit done as fast and as well as you can.”

Courtney B.
Director of Artist Experience and Events
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment at Barclay’s Center

courtney brennan

How do you live your best Boss Life?
“While at work, #BossLife means that I'm constantly trying to strike a healthy balance between managing myself, my boss, and my team, all while being strategic about my work moves (contrary to my night moves, which are definitely not strategic) and trying to work on my game face. Ideally, said game face reads as both inviting and helpful, but also empowered and informed. At home, #BossLife means trying to convince my maltipoo, Winston, that I'm in charge. It's not going so well.”

A bit of advice for young people of all professions:
“The first job you have is more important than a lot of people give it credit for. It can very well be what determines your career: good or bad. Try to find a career that truly aligns with your interests and desired lifestyle. I think people often neglect to consider what kind of work they will continue to enjoy or what sort of hours they are willing to work for the next several decades. Hopefully your life is a long one, so set yourself up for happiness as best you can.”

A bit of advice for young people starting out in my industry:
“Be the person people want to work with because you're accountable and because people enjoy being around you. Be someone that people know they can trust to get the job done and don't have to chase around for answers. Be one step ahead. And be cool baby, be cool.”

Sr. Strategic Account Director  

paige deangelo

How do you live your best Boss Life?
“I've been working in the digital media/ad tech business for nearly a decade and have seen highs and lows. While this kind of business has a reputation for being “fun,” its complexity and ever-changing nature forces you to always be on your A-game. To me, being a boss lady is about working hard and holding yourself accountable in all situations. I am client-facing, but I also manage a team, so it’s imperative to both my personal success as well as my team’s to set an example of someone who takes charge and is reliable, responsive, and knowledgeable.

I also operate under the practice that if you want something (in work or real life), you should go after it, and not be shy about letting people know it. I have a no-BS, straightforward personality and have used that character trait to my advantage. Contrary to some popular beliefs, you can be bold and respective, and earn respect in return. #toobadsosad”

A bit of advice:
“A good friend recently told me that I have an alluring combination of Mad Men ball-busting chops and polite Southern charm. I took that as a huge compliment and realized that it truly is what works for me. If that's not your style, cool. I believe that what goes around, comes around. So don't be an a-hole, and always act like a lady.

Also--you should also never leave your house without lipstick on. I prefer a bold lip myself.”

Digital Media Strategist

natalie pappacoda

How do you live your best Boss Life?
"My job requires me to constantly think about innovative ways brands can utilize digital media to meet their marketing goals.

While others grew up wanting to be a doctor or ballerina, I never had those ambitions. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or be but one thing has been clear: I have been obsessed with the Internet from the day I signed onto AOL way back in the 90s. It was so bad that in High School I would come home to find that my mother had disconnected and hid the keyboard to keep my obsession at bay. Little did she know, I was prepping myself for a long career where playing on the Internet is the key to success.

To live my best boss live every day I never forget that I am a consumer first and a digital marketer second. That way, the ideas I dream up for brands are grounded in what will resonate with the consumer, instead of spoon-feeding clients what they want to hear or about the newest hot trend of the week."

A bit of advice:
"A little rebellion can take you far in business. Never be afraid to challenge the status quo."

Director of Development
National CARES Mentoring Movement

How do you live your best Boss Life?
“I engage with young people every day--many of them a lot smarter and more capable than me. Being a boss lady is about demonstrating to another young woman through my work ethic and example that she is capable, and empowering her to be the best self she wants to be. It's also about knowing when to step aside, so that she can be the next boss lady.”

A bit of advice:
Everything is a learning opportunity--whether about the industry or about your yourself.

Copy Director, Advertising
Vogue magazine


How do you live your best Boss Life?
"I'm the only person who does what I do at work, so being a boss lady for me is all about holding myself accountable and having confidence and conviction about my decisions. I am fully responsible for the quality and quantity of work I produce, so it's up to me to challenge myself and make sure that I'm doing everything I can to go above and beyond my highest standard.

Additionally, I think that it's important to be kind when you're being your Best Boss Self. Be gracious and composed. Lots of people can effectively run the show--but can you do it gracefully?"

A bit of advice:
"Network like crazy, don't take yourself too seriously, stay optimistic, and be a good person. Employers will always want to work with positive, hard-working people. Also, don't be afraid to get scrappy."

Courtney H.
Senior Art Director
Vayner Media

How do you live your best Boss Life?
It’s important to find balance and strength in yourself, and don’t let fear get in the way of your dreams. In my early 20s, I was pretty lost and didn't have a clear career path. I was always passionate about art but I never thought I'd be good enough to pursue it. Only after a few years of being miserable at another job, I decided to just take the plunge and apply to art school. I was accepted soon after. From then on, I realized I had been avoiding the path I was meant to follow. It's been a incredibly fun journey ever since.”

A bit of advice:
Have confidence in yourself, don't be scared to take risks, and work your ass off.