Claire Knebl, Managing Editor, Glossier
As you more than likely know, Glossier is the glow-getting, ultra-straightforward product line born from Into The Gloss. One of those companies with a major cool girl (and boy) vibe, Glossier knows that a brand is only as good as its ambassadors and is definitely set in that department. Case in point - Managing Editor, Claire Knebl. This babe is worthy of some serious career envy, so we thought we'd take you inside the NYC "Gloffice" for a peek into her work routine and some insight on just how important those college internships can turn out to be. Enjoy!
LSG: Tell us about your role at Glossier. How did you land this job? What do you love about it?
I joined the team during the summer of 2014, right before Glossier launched. I'd been a longtime Into The Gloss reader and knew that products were in the works, which was really exciting to me. We're a beauty brand that's rooted in journalism and storytelling, which is where my role comes into play. I'm the Managing Editor at Glossier — I handle editorial operations, work on content strategy, and work on initiatives to bring ITG and Glossier closer together in meaningful ways. The convergence of content and commerce can be tricky to get right, but it's a challenge that I enjoy.
LSG: Describe your typical workday.
When I get into the office, I look over analytics from the night before and check in on all the stories we've published that morning to see how our readers are engaging with them. I take tabs on where we're at as a team workflow-wise and handle anything else that's come up. Then we have an editorial team meeting, which is a nice way to kick off the day. After that, I usually have more meetings with the edit team or with other departments—working cross-functionally is really important to our goals company-wide. I like to get outside as much as I can too so I'm always into coffee meetings when time allows. There was a time a few months back that I was at Maman, near our office, a ridiculous number of times in one week. I think it was 11 times. Anyway, in the afternoon, I try to work on slightly bigger projects, update our content calendar, or write. I keep track of my to-do list using Any.do.
LSG: At age six what did you see yourself doing career-wise?
I'm not sure about age six, in particular, but until I was 10 years old, I split my time thinking that it would be really cool to be either a marine biologist or an orthodontist.
LSG: Where did you go to college? What skills from college do you use the most at work? How important do you believe higher education to be?
I studied Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU - where I concentrated on the business side of media—something that is applicable to my job every day. I also took a lot of journalism and writing courses—the habits I picked up in those classes are really valuable, both in terms of writing for the site but also when it comes to approaching communication clearly. Beyond coursework, I started interning in Teen Vogue's Fashion News department during my freshman year, which was invaluable to kicking off my career. I also interned in other departments at Teen Vogue and spent time at Vogue and T Magazine at The New York Times. Receiving training and education in whatever industry you're interested in is important—some accomplish that through school, for some it's interning or working, and for me it was a mix of the two. For others, it might be starting your own thing—figure out how you learn and also what you need to learn, and take it from there.
LSG: Sometimes people land their dream positions then burnout or plateau. How important is growth and change after you get your foot in the door? How do you keep it fresh and stay inspired?
Luckily the nature of working at a startup is that something new is always happening, so it's pretty easy to stay inspired—there's always a new challenge to address. Also take time for yourself and go on vacation or staycation once in awhile.
LSG: How do you separate work and life? Do you consider yourself a workaholic? How do you unwind?
I'm someone who has always liked to work and I've been lucky to hold jobs that I care about deeply. That being said, my free time is limited, which makes me really value it - it's usually pretty easy for me to unwind; it happens pretty automatically. I try to schedule weeknight plans pretty regularly—that helps me make it out of the office at a reasonable hour and prioritize having fun IRL.
LSG: Describe your personal style. What is it most influenced by?
I like pretty straightforward things without a lot of pattern. I pay attention to what's trending or whatnot and will try anything but tend to stick to whatever is most flattering on me. I'm not a huge inspo person—I don't have a folder filled with screenshots of style I find inspiring or anything like that, but my background in fashion exposed me to lots of different style points of view and helped me develop my own early.
LSG: Did your style change when you got this job? How so?
Not particularly! If anything, I can dress more casually now, and there are definitely times I wear my Glossier gray sweatshirt and black jeans and call it a day, but for the most part, I wear a lot of skirts, sweaters, simple dresses, leather jackets, etc. I love my Acne boots and that they can be casual or dressy if they need to be. I don't like shoes that are too high, but I like a little heel.
LSG: Best perk or opportunity you’ve come across in your career (so far!)?
I love traveling so any time I get to do that as part of my job is exciting. When I worked at Teen Vogue, they sent me to to Hawaii for a few days for the Pipe Masters, which was really fun. Bumping into celebrities is part of the job and part of living in New York, too. One time I was supposed to interview Diddy (I love him!) and ended up not being able to go, which was a bummer. Overall, I’m most inspired by the people I work with and by the results we’re able to produce together.
LSG: Any advice for aspiring writers and creatives looking to get into the fashion business? What is the most important first step?
The first step is always hustling. The second step is usually also hustling. And by hustling I mean working hard, forming a point of view, doing your own thing to stand out, putting yourself out there, making connections, and being respectful. Take calculated risks.
What should we check out while in New York?!!?
In New York, you should hang out, sleep in, drink good coffee, go to The Whitney, go out to eat a lot. There are plenty of good places. I like Frankies 570 always and The Farm On Adderley, which is in my new neighborhood, lately. Alternatively go to Battery Harris if it's nice and sit outside with frozen dark and stormies. Go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden too. If you're into shopping, and I'm guessing you are, try Totokaelo's new store. Get a manicure at Tenoverten.