When I started out, a pretty girl did not go into comedy. If you saw a pretty girl walk into a nightclub, she was automatically a singer. Comedy was all white, older men…
Despite the w/e popularity of these topics, have never cared to post about a celebrity’s death or about women in the workplace. Have always thought places like Facebook or a personal tumblr make for a somewhat vain and futile soapbox, but guess I’m about to get vain and futile because this op ed by Joan Rivers just does it for me. Her unpolished account of being a woman trying to make it to the top of an industry is everything.
Our 1st grade class was assigned to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. The essays came back from aspiring doctors, ballerinas, presidents and rabbis (it was a jewish school, ok?). As a 10-year-old, I wrote my entire essay on wanting to be Joan Rivers. Not an actress, or a comedian, just Joan Rivers. I found her irresistibly entertaining, loved her bizarro honesty and outlandishness, and went out of my way to catch her bits on TV.
I honestly don’t remember it being “cool” to like Joan Rivers, either. It was definitely “cool” to like George Carlin or Mitch Hedberg, but I always felt like my love for Joan was this solo endeavor amongst my peers, and in a way it became even more precious and sacred to me for that reason.
Now, as an annoyingly ambitious adult, reading about how hard she fought to climb to the top and how many times her age & gender may have set her back, it’s completely reaffirmed what a goddamn hero the woman is (albeit for slightly more mature reasons than I may have had at age 10).
Small Girls takes team bonding seriously, which is why instead of practicing your typical trust falls, we threw a slumber party! Complete with cocktails, s’mores, movies, massages, and a psychic. Wait, what? Here’s a recap of the #SGPRSlumberParty (you know you work in PR when your slumber party has an official hashtag)…
Did a company-wide lock in last weekend. Working with only my partner Bianca was cool for a year or two, but working with a dozen other crazy individuals alongside us… can’t beat it.
“I’m fascinated by the harem sweatpants trend. I think it cascaded nicely with the YOLO trend. Sweatpants to work are the sartorial expression of the YOLO generation.”—Probably regrettably, Racked chose to interview me, along with some fashion notables, for their 2013 year in review. You can read the rest of my retail reflections throughout the series here.
When are you going to update your small girls site - lookin a touch dated?
Ha! I hear ya. I’m not sure when this question came through but we actually just updated it maybe two weeks ago. Overlaid original design on top of Wix so we can edit at will on the fly, and, accordingly, updated ‘about’ page, clients, and services to reflect current status.
How my soft, squishier parts congealed into my work's foundation
Yesterday I met with a woman from an investment firm who runs communications for a portfolio that includes companies such as ASOS, Facebook, and Nasty Gal.
As the PR director, companies come to her for advice on media relations. The #1 question she receives from them though is, “Which PR firm should we hire?” Accordingly, she’s been putting in the time to connect with firms, and come up with some first-hand recommendations.
In other words, this was more or less a casual interview to see if my business would be the type of outfit she could feel confident recommending to the 100+ household names & upcoming startups her company holds a stake in. No biggie.
About an hour in, she asked if I felt vulnerable or insecure about my being so young and only having had three years of experience in the field. The answer any sane person in this “sales opportunity” would give is, “No. I’m extremely confident about my team and its capabilities! You can trust your companies in my hands!” followed by a pinky promise.
I truly love my job. I like to think I’m good at it. But at the end of the day, I know only being alive for 25 years has not afforded me the luxury of time to be the most experienced in my field. I haven’t worked with a company through to an IPO yet, or held court for a brand through a time of major crisis - there’s vulnerability there, especially when we’re up for consideration against leaders twice our age with teams twice our size. That’s a reality, and it’s not going to change any time soon (unless time magically stops for everyone except me much like anyrecentRachel McAdams movie).
So yes, 100% I feel vulnerable. Some days more than others (those are the days where employees have to do a lot of explaining for me). It’s knowing that I don’t know everything that causes me to live by these 4 things:
Hire people more experienced & smarter than I am
Be clear upfront about anticipated results & capabilities
Charge based upon the value I can confidently deliver
Those are the same 4 things that end up defining the quality of my personal output and in turn, contribute to the character of our company. I’m not so experienced that I can rest easy on my laurels and seniority. The past three years have provided an amazing learning curve and a wide array of industry initiatives to get knee deep in & really own, but even still, I compensate for my lack of time in the trenches by crossing every t, saying yes at every sensible opportunity, and knowing when to assign tasks outside my reach to those better equipped. I know I have to work twice as hard, hire twice as sharply, and be twice as thorough to cement our place in this space. I am not “hungry” for work (there’s no shortage of demand for PR representation right now) but I am “hungry” to constantly prove to myself that I am not letting anyone down - that I am putting client money to its best possible use, and simultaneously providing the best listening ear and delegating hand for my team that I am able.
Vulnerability has led to me to iterating for new approaches, setting clear objectives & expectations upfront, incorporating the ideas and backgrounds of my team, and a myriad of other activities that have made this company stronger.
It’s the soft, malleable parts of my vulnerability that congealed the work foundation I’ve built upon. So am I vulnerable? Yes. Does that mean I’ll put in the time to weigh each option then work my ass off to deliver? Yes to that, too.
Mallory Blair! yourpalmal was one of the first tumblrs i followed - years ago when i was in nyc - nice to see you are still here! me too, although i have gone through several names:) I attest to your Veterana status, but I suppose your tumblr does the same thing, and with timestamps so TRUMP - hope all is well, love from lala land xoxo sean
It’s amazing to think I joined Tumblr in ‘08 or ‘09 and yes, I’m still here! I hang out far, far more often on twitter.com/yourpalmal but make cameos here and at the Small Girls PR blog, too. :)
The only thing I’ve changed since is my age every year, and my occupation once.
I would probably never have written that bio now if given a blank space to describe myself, and yet I feel like it is almost unbearably and suffocatingly me- as well asthe place from which I wanted to start scrapbooking life online in the first place
It hurts when love dies. When love is deep it hurts deeply more deeply maybe than you thought anything would ever hurt again.
But with time the spaces between the moments when it hurts get longer the moments themselves become less devastating till eventually you come to associate them with a sad sweetness that has as much in common with love as it does with grief.
I will not say Don’t grieve for me— do I look like Saint Francis?
But I wish you long spaces between, and may you carry into them all of that sweetness and only enough sadness to attest
the risk that’s being taken by everyone who loves you. Every time we love we’re saying, Let it ride and what’s on the table is the rent money.
And every time we stride again out into the crisp desert night our fists shoved deep into empty pockets we know ourselves for losers.
But, Jesus, what brave losers we are. I wish you this too, for the spaces in between, this bravery.
A few tips to keep you happy during the storm, which I got from a puppy-care website. I am sure they will work for you.
1. First, put on some classical music. 2. Wear a really tight shirt. Puppies are soothed by tightly holding them when they get anxious, so go ahead and give yourself a surrogate hug by putting on a tight shirt. 3. Wrap a warm blanket around your head with an alarm clock near your ear. It reminds puppies of a heartbeat, I am sure you’ll get the same effect. 4. Wet a warm washcloth and put it on your belly. 5. Take your favorite toy and put it in the freezer. Then chew on it for a while.
Pepsi is sending me to the secret Nicki Minaj concert tonight. It is so secret I don’t have the address yet, I just know that I’m going to be picked up and whisked away to a land of girlish laughter and womanly bravado, where pink-sparkled barbies sip on brown-fizzied soda in their 6-inch heels and brass knuckles.
I am so happy I could cry into my complimentary Pepsi.
Svpply team is heading to HUSH, Gawker’s 3rd annual silent disco, at the library this week. Yeasayer and Das Racist will be spinning tunes through specially designed wireless headsets given to attendees at the door. The dress code is gilded, so we’ve created a gold, silver, black and white collection to match.
We hope to see you there!
Going to this and wearing so many sparkles you will not be able to see me because it will be blinding. Also, I recommend shopping this collection even if you’re not, because, gold lamé jackets. That is all.