We’ve long been a fan of Glitter Guide founder and creative director Taylor Sterling. When we started to compile our dream list of Summit panelists she was one of the first that came to mind.
We admire the beautiful website and brand she has created while managing her remote team and personal life in the San Francisco Bay area that includes her husband, 3-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son.
Sadly, Taylor just broke some unfortunate news: Her schedule had an unexpected conflict the weekend of Summit and she sadly has to back out. We both tried to move mountains to make everything work, but in the end, life happens and we understand the struggle of juggling it all.
Luckily, she's still going to be super involved with Summit from partnering with us on our Office Style workshop (get ready for some cool swag!) to pre-taping an interview with Brittany. So if you were super excited about hearing from Taylor this September, don't you worry she's still putting her stamp on our special day.
In the meantime, she lets us pull back the curtain on her crazy-busy days, from the moment her kids crack their little eyes open until the minute she falls into bed.
My son wakes us up around 5:30 a.m., so my husband and I both wake up and start our day with him. I usually feed him and play with him while my husband gets our coffee going and starts making lunches for the day.
My daughter usually wakes around this time. She and my son are early birds. Always have been.
6 a.m.-7:45 a.m.
This is morning routine time: feeding kids breakfast, getting them dressed, packing their bags for school/nanny's house. It's usually about a 90-minute process. Luckily, I don't really get ready. I just freshen up to do the school run if it's my day to do it.
If it's a day I am doing the school/daycare run, then we head out.
I get back home from drop-off and tidy the house a bit. I try to do a 15-minute cleaning blitz, start the dishwasher, moving laundry, folding anything that needs to be put away.
I get into my office and start working. Usually I just dive right in. Since there are girls on the team who are on the East Coast, I tend to already have a lot of emails and messages to get back to.
I try to take a break to walk my dog, stretch or maybe go to the gym (still trying to lose the baby weight!).
I try to work these hours. My day always looks different: computer work, errands for work, calls, phone meetings, coffee meetings, events, it depends. More often than not, I have a lot of plans. When my husband can pick the kids up, I work until about 4. If I have to pick them up, I knock off work around 3:30.
By this time the whole family is usually home and it's all hands on deck for a very busy few hours. The kids are usually hungry, tired and excited to be back home with us. My husband does the cooking, and I take care of the kids. I try not to work during this time, but there are days when I have to respond to a few emails or messages before I can really sign out.
Bath time for the kiddos.
I usually do our son’s bedtime routine while my husband will start our daughter’s. My son is usually in bed by 7 or 7:15.
I join my daughter and husband for some book reading and the tuck-in. I’m usually the last one to leave and give her a kiss. She always tries to keep me with her for a while. On a good night, she will be asleep by around 7:45 p.m., but it’s often not until 8.
My husband takes our dog for a quick walk while I start doing the dinner dishes. I like to clean the kitchen and finish laundry from the day. (I really dislike waking up to a messy kitchen.) Then I tidy up the toys the kids left out.
I wash my face and do a quick little bedtime skin care routine.
I sit on the couch with my husband. Sometimes I work for about an hour. I try not to though, because I like to get to bed by 10, and it’s hard to unwind if I work that last hour—but it happens.
Bedtime! What a day!
We Want to Know
What's your current role at Glitter Guide?
Being the founder means I am always working on a multitude of things for the business, everything from helping streamline systems, editorial planning, social media, partnership development, HR, etc. Luckily, I have an amazing team who helps with all that stuff. As the creative director, I work a lot on creating the brand’s look and feel, helping style shoots, product development, and more.
What lessons from your past life as a recruiter still come into play with your work today?
Actually quite a few. My role as a recruiter was at a boutique financial services firm, and they set up my role a lot like I was running my own business. It was very results driven and not micromanaged. I learned that I could handle working hard without anyone having to push me, and I liked being in a role that allowed me flexibility as long as I produced results. The recruiting aspect taught me a lot about finding great talent and working with people to highlight their strengths.
What are the biggest ways your days have changed since you've become a mom?
Oh, man! Now I work on other’s people's schedules. Long gone are the days when it was all up to me how it went. I have to be pretty strict about how my day goes, since it’s so limited with dropping off and picking up the kids. It does make you value time way more than ever before. I also never sleep in anymore, like ever.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I think all moms laugh at this, right? There is no “balance,” but you do try to find ways to make sure that both are getting enough attention and don’t feel overly neglected. It’s a daily struggle. Often, I find that I get left out of the equation. I spend so much time worrying about the kids and worrying about work that I don't work out, eat right, take a walk, see friends, etc. I’m massively trying to change that though. Life is just too short. I just do my best to get as much work done as I can in the hours I allot to it. Then when it’s time for the kids, I focus on them. It’s a work in progress though.
What does your workspace look like?
I don’t have the most ideal workspace. We live in a two bedroom, so there isn't an office. However, we do have a nice-size landing space upstairs that has a door to the deck. I've made the space into a cute office where I can work. It gets nice light and a breeze, so that’s all pretty sweet. It’s just not that private, so if people are home it can be distracting.
What are your tips for managing employees remotely?
I would say this has become one of the most challenging aspects to my job. I really wish we had more opportunities to be together as a team. I love working from home, and it allows me so much flexibility, but it would be nice to have that face time with the team. We would be able to inspire each other more, and it would be easier to work on projects together. My tips would be to have weekly calls — preferably a Google Hangout so you can see each other — make sure to know things about who you work with so you can connect with them about things other than work, and have lots of ways to communicate. My team loves Slack, Asana, Texting and Google Hangout.
What's the hardest part for you about being the boss?
Ugh — having to critique people who are working hard and also letting people go. I don't like having to put that boss hat on and hurt people. I'm sure it's not something anyone really likes doing.
If you were to have a day all to yourself — a very atypical day — what would you want it look like?
I would sleep in till 9 a.m.! That would be such a luxury. I can't remember the last time that happened. Then I would go to work out, followed by grabbing an awesome smoothie and a healthy lunch. I would get a massage at a cute hotel, followed by lounging at the pool, preferably with my husband or some girlfriends. Then we would get some wine followed by a light dinner. I also would love to see the sunset. I never get to anymore. Oooh! When can I make this day happen?!
Flea Style Speed Round
Wake-up time: 5:45 a.m.
Bedtime: 10 p.m.
Work attire: Usually jeans and a T-shirt (if not pajamas or workout clothes).
The one thing your day can't start without: Coffee, always coffee.
Favorite lunch: A kale salad with a fried egg on top.
Afternoon pick-me-up: Usually a walk outside or a work out (if I can make time for it).
Best part of your day: When the kids come home from school and when I get to cuddle them in bed!
Fave Pandora/Spotify station: I don't have one. I listen to Apple Music a lot — mostly my daughter's playlist, which she makes me listen to about 10 times a day!
One thing you can't live without (besides friends/family): My ChapStick. I am completely addicted. It's a problem.