Women We Love: April Uchitel
When we thought about who we wanted to feature in the third installment of our Women We Love series, April Uchitel immediately came to mind. She has not only been an inspiration and a role model to us when it comes to running a female-owned business, but is also an exemplary mother, wife, and friend to those around her (and not to mention one of the chicest women you'll meet).
We recently caught up with April, who recently joined the incredible luxury beauty retailer, Violet Grey, as CEO, to discuss everything from her proudest career moments to moving from New York to Los Angeles, and her goals and hopes for Violet Grey.
1. What fuels you for your day? (your typical choice for breakfast)?
Starbucks Grande Whole Milk/No Foam Chai Latte.
2. Give us the rundown of what a typical day at the office is for you.
I recently joined Violet Grey, a highly regarded Luxury Beauty retailer as CEO. I have a lean but incredible team and we are in the midst of major re-rest, so every day is fast paced with all of us wearing many hats. Being newer to LA I am still figuring out the killer traffic, so after dropping my kids at school (2 stops) I pick up that Chai (drive through!) and head into our office in Hollywood. We are still small enough to all sit around one table - and tend to be fairly meeting intensive (working on that!). I love my job, love what we are building, and I learn something new every day
3. What’s your favorite part of working at Violet Grey?
SO MUCH! VG is an industry fave and we have incredible brand partners and a highly engaged community. I am grateful to have the opportunity help take the brand and the business to the next level. At Violet Grey, we are renowned for our curation and gold standard approach to content that really sets us apart. We have BIG PLANS for 2018!
4. Proudest moment of your career so far? Biggest challenge(s) you’ve encountered?
My proudest moment stemmed from my biggest challenge. I did not want to be a 50-year-old garmento and so I got off the President track in 2012, consulted for a while and joined a start-up called SPRING where I was on the founding team. I was the oldest (20 years older than the founder), which was a challenge in itself :). Learning a new industry (tech) a new language (the early app ecosystem, integrations, digital marketing…) but also bruising my ego by going back and down to come up and around. I had to be scrappy and was humbled by the shift from the “pay your dues” hierarchy (Fashion ) to a “stakeholder mentality” (Tech). I worked SO hard and am SO proud to have played a significant role in building a company and a new marketplace from scratch. I was able to work with over 2,000 brands in 4 years and build lifelong relationships that I will cherish forever.
5. Who is a woman (or women) in business that you look up to?
I look up to so many talented females! Clare Vivier stands out for her friendship, her unyielding point of view, her grace and her ability to make fanny packs look cool!
6. What is something you wish someone had told you before you embarked on your career?
I wish they told me to panic less and try new things more. I stayed too long at past jobs because it was “fine”, or “the devil I knew”, while my gut said it was time to go - I let my head overrule!
7. If you could describe Violet Grey in three words, what would they be?
Sexy, Inspiring and COOL
8. What is your ultimate goal for Violet Grey?
Create deeper connectivity with a MUCH larger audience!
9. What does the future of Violet Grey look like in your eyes?
Innovative and FOMO inducing where EVERYONE will want to work with us! :)
10. A favorite outfit that makes you feel like a true boss?
I have become a jeans and sneakers girl since moving from NY to LA, but when I want to feel like a boss - nothing beats a fashion jumpsuit! (mine are from MOTHER Denim, Ulla Johnson, and Nili Lotan.)
11. How do you like to unwind after a busy work week?
I love to have friends over. My husband is from Buenos Aries and is all about the BBQ - so we do that almost EVERY weekend!
12. Any advice for the future girl bosses of the world, particularly those who want to work in the Beauty sector?
Be nimble, Be scrappy, Be nice and maintain an attitude that lets your teams know they can always count on you! Whenever you have the chance to pay it forward (make an intro, give advice etc) DO IT! It always comes back with dividends :).