Whether it was a recent experience, or many moons ago, we can all agree navigating our twenties isn’t the easiest task. Scooting out from above the safety net of college, fledgling careers and relationships can seem terrifying. That’s where Quarterlette comes in – they totally get it! Quarterlette.com is a community for sophisticated and sassy women to share stories about their quarter-life years: the good, the bad, the heartbreaking, the heartwarming, and everything in between. We met up with co-founders Rachel and Emily, and editor Shelby, to get to know them, play a little dress up, and of course have a glass of vino. Read the whole interview below! And check out their feature on Of Mercer here: From MBA to Runway.
How would you describe your personal style in three (or four) words?
Rachel: Mix & Match, Casual, Evolving
Emily: A Little Bohemian
Shelby: Colorful, feminine, classic, occasionally with a vintage-y twist
What is your favorite Of Mercer dress and why?
Rachel: The Fifth Avenue Dress in Spruce. I loved the green color and the fit was great. Since it was fairly form fitting, I liked that it was a bit longer to maintain a professionally appropriate look.
Emily: The Stanton dress. It’s loose fit is comfortable and stylish all at once.
Shelby: The Kenmare Dress! I love how it takes the cute fit and flare style I gravitate toward in my weekend wardrobe, and translates it for the office in classic black and office appropriate length and neckline.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Rachel: Things turn out best for those who make the best out of the way things turn out.
Emily: Focus on doing a few things well. You can’t do everything.
Shelby: It’s about the journey, not the destination.
Last book you read?
Rachel: I’m currently reading Goodbye To All That, stories about loving, and leaving, New York City.
Emily: Orange is the New Black – It helped get me through to the new season on Netflix.
Shelby: Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings
Rachel: The Bachelor/Bachelorette…except for Juan Pablo’s season, which was horrible!
Emily: Looking through wedding photographer portfolios. Not for personal use, I just find them addicting and fascinating. It’s a peek into the artist’s style and a glimpse into the couples’ lives.
Shelby: Tostitos Hint of Lime tortilla chips – I lose all self control when they are around!
What prompted you to start the Quarterlette? How did you all meet and come together?
Rachel: Quarterlette was conceived in 2011 when Emily and I were catching up over drinks in NYC. I had recently graduated from grad school but still felt like so many parts of my life as a 26-year-old were up in the air…career, relationships, etc. Emily felt the same way and we both lamented over the fact that there was no real resource to help us navigate this tricky stage of our lives. We wanted a place to find a little support, guidance and inspiration from like-minded women. So we decided to create one ourselves. A year later, we were excited to have our friend Shelby join us as Editor!
What has been the greatest challenge so far? What has been most surprising?
Emily: We’re bootstrapping our company so it’s all funded from (a small) personal investment. On top of that, we’re working full time. So lacking those two essential resources – time and money - is obviously very difficult! But, when those two things are limited, it forces you to be extremely creative in how you spend them which has been an incredible learning experience.
One of the most surprising things has been how dedicated we’ve been these past 3 years. It’s not that we didn’t think we would work hard….we knew we would. But starting a business requires much more than hard work. We’ve had to make personal and professional sacrifices to bring this idea to life, but we love it. We’ve also been surprised by how gracious people have been! When you ask for help, people are willing to be there and assist with their area of expertise (PR, SEO, Photography, etc).
What has been the most rewarding experience thus far?
Rachel: Winning the Forbes Top 10 Websites for Millennial Women! And also the emails we receive from women telling us how much they enjoy the site and feel connected to the stories from our writers. It makes them feel less alone in whatever it is they are going through. And as for us, it makes us feel like we’re putting some positive energy into the world!
All of you have full-time jobs in addition to running the Quarterlette, which is so impressive! How do you manage to find time for everything and maintain a work/life balance?
Shelby: We don’t! Just kidding. By this point in our lives and careers, we’ve all learned how important it is to have balance, and what happens when we don’t (cue the caffeine-induced meltdown!). We make sure to prioritize our personal lives, and take time out to recharge when we can.
Emily: We definitely have a big to-do list of projects that we need to get done, and I think the key is accepting the fact that it might take us a bit longer to accomplish everything due to our lack of available time. We’ve had to be patient. As far as work/life balance goes, we know that it’s important to exercise, have a social life, and have other hobbies…so we make sure to incorporate that as much as we can.
What is your long-term vision for the Quarterlette?
Emily: We want to scale the site to become the go-to brand for women navigating their quarter-lives while maintaining our core value of providing high quality content…not publishing fluff! We want to be thought of as a space for the down-to-earth, smart, lively, yet relatable girl. We would like to take our content offline as well through book publishing and events.
Shelby: I think we’d love to see the community of women behind our content – writers and readers - continue to grow and actually interact with each other. If we could help build an international community of women who are able to support and inspire each other using our site as a platform, that would be success for us.
What advice would you have to women who are looking to go out on their own and start something?
Rachel: Dedication, Patience and Passion. Dedication and patience because building a brand doesn’t happen overnight. We’re 3 years in and still have a ways to go. We’ve had many friends begin to pursue business ideas only to get bored or discouraged after 4 months. It takes patience when creating something. Which is why the passion part is so important. You’ll live and breathe your business so it’s important to personally be passionate about the concept.
Emily: Also, find yourself a good business partner(s)! They’ll help keep you motivated and accountable. It’s hard to keep yourself going alone…and it’s much more fun to have a teammate by your side.
Then of course we went out for wine...