Is there anything more empowering than the woman who appears to be doing 10 thousand things at all times, constantly travels for ‘work,’ and somehow looks good doing it? In celebration of girls on the go, we partnered with Onomie, LIVELY and AELLA: brands that create products for women who are on the move, going places, and taking ownership of their lives. This live interview featured Cyndi Ramirez: Founder & EIC of Taste The Style, First Lady of Den Hospitality and queen of the NY hustle.
“Taste The Style started out as a passion project—I knew nothing about media when I started it. I had to learn. It’s not my full time job, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a full time business! In addition to Taste The Style, I run events for Den Hospitality (my husband’s business), and am working on Chill House, a concept spa/salon/cafe in the Lower East Side launching in February 2017. Right now, my day typically starts with publishing on Taste the Style. Having one thing that’s routine in your day-to-day is something I suggest to everyone. Every Monday I meet with my managing editor to go over editorial. We have a few series that we shoot regularly which are: Boss Babes, Wednesday’s With, The Staycationers, and a few others. I have at least two or three shoots that I run to a week. I try to be there to have some face time with the people that we’re featuring.
I have a lot going on, but I don’t do it all alone. I have people that work for me, I have partners. I make time for things that are important to me—one of which is sleep. I sleep at least eight hours—I don’t understand people that sleep five hours! I feel so run down the next day and am not efficient at all if I don’t get rest. I’ve also learned to say no. You have to—that’s the only way you can make time for yourself. If you say yes to everything, you’re giving your time away. That’s when I practice my self-care, whether it’s going to yoga or getting my nails done. We need stuff like that!
Balance comes and goes. Some months I’m literally pulling my hair out, chasing money, just all over the place. And then I’ll have other months where people will take things off my plate, and I can breath a little. I know that when I start to burn out, I stop being productive. Sometimes to the point where I can’t even bring myself to write an email. That’s when I’m like, ‘Nope. Time to put it away.’ I think learning those signs and knowing that it’s OK to give up for the day sometimes is super important. We need to listen to the demands of our bodies in the same way we listen to the demands of work. Your mental and physical health are everything—you will eventually get to that thing you need to do.
I love my job, but there are still things that pop up and slap me in the face. For example, I recently got an email from an photo rights agency who are threatening to sue me over an image we posted on this site years ago. As you grow your business, people are going to come at you in different ways, especially when it looks like you’re starting to make money. A lot of my sacrifices have come down to money. There are months that I have 10 outstanding invoices and I’m scrambling to pay my employees, another month you might lose a client. That’s the hardest part about being an entrepreneur: not having the stability of knowing when your next paycheck is coming in. You’re always the last to pay yourself. You’re never quite where you want to be. I’ve also had to learn how to value myself as I’ve grown the brand. You have to think: that opportunity sounds really cool. But what’s it doing for me? Is it actually bettering my business? Is it a monetary exchange? Is that monetary exchange even worth it? All of those factors play into whether I decide to say yes or no to something. I try to remember and practice this every day: if you don’t believe in yourself then with the hell will?
If there’s one thing that I can pass on to younger women is to stop waiting for validation or permission. That’s something I see in a lot of women—this need to be validated. I see it in myself too—I’ll need someone to tell me something looks good, you know? I’m working on canceling that voice out and getting better at just putting things out there. Also, write a business plan! I didn’t do that with Taste the Style. I was like, I’m going to do something fun. If I were to do it all over again I would say: these are my steps, these are my goals, and this is how I’m going to do it. Something that Elle Rowley said in her OKREAL interview stuck with me: ‘I think it’s so important to take yourself seriously from the beginning and envision the biggest thing you can. In the early stages of something new, it’s so easy to have this attitude of 'I’m just starting this little thing, it’s super whatever.’ Why not say, ‘I’m going start this mega awesome business that’s going to change the game.’ Let’s do that more. To take anything to the next level you have to be able to see it first. If you can’t see it, how are you going to get there?’
Some of my other favorite quotes from women would be:
‘Work harder than everyone else does, and be someone that you would love to work with. As cliché as this sounds: positive energy goes a long way.’ —Leslie Kirchhoff, DJ and photographer.
‘Stay humble and pay it forward. No matter what stage in my career I’ve been in, I’ve always invested time, energy and a lot of love into growing and inspiring others just like someone once did for me. You never know who someone might become one day.’ —Angie Mar, Beatrice Inn
‘You are enough. You’re exactly where you should be. Enjoy this precious time while it lasts. Trust that everything else will fall into place. This is your journey unraveling exactly as it is meant to.’ —Athena Calderone
You don’t always have to be a superwoman workaholic. It’s OK to be selfish. Self-care is something that I’m trying to become more and more cognizant of every day. I had a one-on-one interview with Norma Kamali last week for her new book. She’s amazing: she’s 70-something and works out every day. I asked her, ‘How do you stay motivated every day? How do you not let little things get in the way?’ And she said, ‘I always look towards tomorrow. Tomorrow never looks back.’ I think you need to find a way to let go of the things you can’t control. We all give ourselves these goals—but we can’t have everything at one time, because then what would we have to look forward to? I think by the time I’m 70 I’ll be able to say, ‘I’ve had it all.’ Just like Norma!”