Now that you’re an editor at Into The Gloss, can you talk a little bit about the interview process for getting the position?
I graduated early so I could focus all of the third quarter on finding a job instead of juggling it with coursework. I emailed all the people I had worked with—it’s hard to know what to do when no one is hiring. But someone I knew from New York Magazine heard that Into The Gloss was looking for an editorial assistant and tipped me off. I [emailed Nick at ITG] and said who referred me, why I loved the site, and I sent them three pitches. Which I actually think is a really good idea. You shouldn't just say "Hey, looking for a job." You should be like "Hey, looking for a job, look how well I can do that [job]."
At first, he didn’t email back. I let a week go by and then email him again, figuring what’s the worst thing that could happen? On the second email he got back to me right away and was like "When can you come in?" We did a brief phone interview and he sent me this brief edit test. Maybe a week later, I came in, we got breakfast, and I met with five other people on the team, all in that one day. And then I didn't hear anything for two weeks.
I was freaking out because I got really good vibes from everyone. But hiring takes time—and people are busy. No one drops everything and just looks to hire someone. They’re juggling that with 15 other things. So I didn't hear anything for a while, and then they brought me in and I met with more people. They gave me another edit test, which they actually ended up publishing. Then I didn't hear anything again. That's when I started getting really anxious. So, I just started writing stories. I would email, "Hey, I have this idea for a story, here it is completely written in case you want to run it." And they published that one too! Finally, they wrote me up the offer. And I started as an editorial assistant two years ago in June 2014. Very different company back then than it is now. Which has been fun.
They hired me and I didn't know anything about Glossier. I came in on my first day and was like "What's going on with all these G label things." They're like "Oh, so we're launching products." And I was like “Oh, okay. That's new.”
We've grown a lot. My first day was also the first day of our COO. It's become much more of a company and we've also transitioned from being a niche media property to a true tech start-up.
Do you want to go over what your roles consist of now?
I edit Into The Gloss—a good way to think about it is as Glossier’s largest and most engaged-with social platform. We still have the blueprint from the original ITG days, but we’ve grown up a little and we have a much bigger audience. Day to day, I’m editing all the stories we publish, I’m writing a little, I’m managing our editorial calendar, and I’m booking talent for our interviews. I’d like to say that I have a routine every day, but the truth is that I don’t. The one thing I do almost every day—and I’ve done it almost as long as I’ve worked here—is I wake up at 6am and work from home for two hours or so. I don’t report on news anymore, but writing on deadline has really stuck with me, ever since high school. I need the adrenaline to get my best writing done.
And then I have some Glossier work, which is fun. I work with our Physical Product team on early product development. We have meetings where I summarize Into The Gloss's approach to products, so that everything we create for Glossier is really what we've learned from almost six years of publishing.
Have you noticed how you've grown as a person or how you've been influenced by your time here?
I've been really lucky that I have the option here to create content that I enjoy. I think a lot of writers and editors get stuck in a place where they have to write things that get clicks, things that get shared. And they're beholden to advertisers or to bottom lines. And at Into The Gloss we're actually very free. So, I have the luxury to think about what I want to read and what I want talk about with our community.
I have a couple of questions that I ask of a story, to make sure it works for ITG. The first is "Does this sound like something you'd write in an email to a friend?" That's to make sure the tone reads right. But the more important one is “Do I like this? Do I care about this?" I want the site to be interesting and accessible to people who don't necessarily love make-up, because the writing is good, and because the photos are good, and because you feel you're part of the group. You should be able to feel part of our club, whether or not you wear lipstick.
You guys do such an incredible job building loyalty...
I think part of it is because we want our readers to feel in the know. To an extent, our content is in conversation with itself, so if we publish something on Monday, that might relate to something we publish on Thursday. You should always feel that when you come to Into The Gloss, you are in the office with us. You're there, and you're chatting with us, and we're always talking about beauty.
How would you describe the company culture?
Work does not stay here. This is like our home base, but everyone goes out together, everyone works out together, everyone's always texting, we're kind of always in communication. The company culture is very pervasive into the rest of your life. It's very hard to work here and not be involved with everyone. We're very familial that way.
I decided that I wanted to be more in the thick of things, and more immersed in the creative side rather than in a more administrative role. That's why I wanted to work at Into The Gloss. I knew that something big was definitely brewing there. They had just launched Phase 1 Glossier and they clearly had a system for how their editorial worked. The creative side was really strong, and it definitely has shaped where my ambitions are now.
It really did give me a boot camp training in editorial and how to professionally work with the content management system and how the process goes from interviewing a person to the final edit. And, for other kinds of stories, how to conceptualize ideas and make them happen, and then seeing how the creative team works in tandem with that.