In honor of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s new book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($12), we’re running an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honor of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we’ve tapped Lauren Conrad, Sally Singer, Candice Lake, and more. Up next? Jennifer Meyer.
Things you may not know about jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer: She credits Diane von Furstenberg as her mentor, she handles her company's Instagram account, and she runs with a very stylish and successful group of friends. We caught up with the queen of jewels to find out what she considers the most valuable career advice, how she started her line, and what inspires her the most. From knowing when to take a break to the unexpected roles you take on when owning a company, keep reading to find out how Meyer manages it all.
Scroll down to learn jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer's best career advice.
“I’m a jewelry designer; entrepreneur; business owner; and most importantly a mom, wife, sister, and friend.”
“I am involved in every part of my business—from the designing to product development to sales. I love to be in as many meetings as possible, and I’m on almost every email. Our office is a completely open floor plan—I wanted to create an open environment where everyone feels a part of the company, that’s really important to me. I also run the company Instagram account which, I really enjoy.”
“Honestly, now that I’m thinking about what I wore, I can’t believe that they hired me! I had several jobs in high school, but after college, my first proper job interview was with Glamour. I wore jeans with an open-toed wedge and socks. I don’t remember what top I wore because I’m still not over the fact that I wore wedges with socks! How I got that job still surprises me. Thank goodness social media wasn’t prevalent back then and there’s absolutely no record of this outfit.”
“I have been so fortunate to have had the honor and opportunity to have meetings with some of the most inspiring women and men in the fashion industry, who have been so incredibly kind and helpful to me both personally and professionally. Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, and Lisa Love have been so crucial to the growth of my business. It’s the greatest comfort knowing that my mentor, DVF, is just a call away for any questions that I may have. We’ve become really close over the past few years and her wisdom is invaluable.”
“I read WWD and Business of Fashion every morning. I have also found that Instagram and Snapchat give me such a live, candid, behind-the-scenes view into the industry and trends. It is the greatest tool for staying connected.”
“Ultimately, you learn from every situation, so I don’t really have many regrets. However, I’ve been known to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. This is really important when you have a business and a team, but it can also leave room for people to take advantage of you.”
“We have a very close-knit team at my company, so when I’m looking to hire a new employee I want someone who is a team player with the utmost integrity, a passionate and hard-working spirit, a strong ability to communicate verbally and over email, and most importantly a positive attitude.”
“I am a firm believer that feeling powerful comes from the inside. A great outfit just adds that extra layer of confidence, and of course some amazing jewelry doesn’t hurt!”
“I don’t really have a conventional assistant, it’s a huge team effort in the office. Collaboration is really important to me, so I always like to get everyone’s opinion about everything. I think they would say that I am very hands on. I try to make sure that our work environment is completely open, loving and productive.
I let my team answer this one :) ‘Jen is an amazing boss, friend, and mother to all. She treats everyone as equals. You can call her at every hour of the day and she’ll always pick up to talk about anything. She takes work and productivity very seriously, but is also very in tune with every member of the teams’ personal well-being and happiness. Oh, and she’s the most fun and probably knows more about pop culture and rap music than any of us!’”
“I take a break, hang out with my kids, have a glass of wine with my girls, and go to a great dinner. There’s no shame in hitting the reset button, not every day is perfect and sometimes you just need to chill out.”
“Prior to quitting a job, if it’s a job that you like but something is upsetting you, my advice is to talk to your boss. Communication is key and you never know what changes can be made. If quitting is the path you want to take, be honest and accommodating and do your best to leave on good terms. I always say that the people who you meet going up are also the people you see on the way down, you never know whose paths will cross in the future.”
“There is nothing better than a good morning breakfast at Nate ’n Al’s, and if I want to splurge I’ll get the matzah brei. When we order-in at the office, we love getting La Scala chopped salads or sushi from Sugarfish. You have to get the Trust me—trust me, you’ll love it. Postmates has changed our lunch life!”
“I think it can sometimes be easy for entry-level employees to get caught up in thinking their job starts and ends with a specific role. When I started out, there wasn’t a job I didn’t do. I took out the trash, I picked up coffee, I tried to be proactive and lend a hand wherever I could. What I love about our team, and the girls who have endured, is that everyone is willing to take on any task in order to get the job done efficiently.”
“Rachel Zoe @rachelzoe
Kate Hudson @katehudson
Eva Chen @evachecn212
Sara Foster @iamsarafoster
Eric Buterbaugh @ericbuterbaugh”
“My days begin and end with my children; they provide the perfect balance to keep me happy and productive. We spend the morning having a quick breakfast together, getting dressed and out the door. On the drive to school my kids alternate who picks which song we listen to—needless to say I know every word to every Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber song. After drop off, I stop at my secret little drive through coffee shop for an almond latte. It’s impossible to start the day without it! In the evenings, whether or not I have a dinner, event or a meeting, my family sits down to dinner together at 5:30; there’s no better time to check-in and recap the day.”
“When I was first thinking about starting my jewelry line, my husband said to me ‘Do. Or do not. There is no try.’ This has always stuck with me. I jumped right into my jewelry line and never looked back! I also love the advice from my dad: ‘Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.’ Never assume anything, always be thorough and make sure that the job has been done.”
“My business has grown so much over the past 10 years. I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to collaborate with some amazing companies like Barneys New York on a capsule clothing collection and with Superga on an exclusive shoe line. I have learned so much from these projects and had so much fun stepping outside of my comfort zone. Right now I’m concentrating on what I love most, jewelry. The sky is the limit!”