Jaclyn Decell, Social Media Manager, Rachel Zoe Inc.
When most people think of working in fashion, they think of designing, publishing or styling. In reality, like any industry, thousands of important and dynamic roles exist in the realm of fashion. Strangely, most go undiscussed. Here at Lisa Says Gah we think it's important to shed light on all the varying opportunities for a fulfilling career in fashion. We hope that by doing this, more individuals consider the industry as a real career possibility. Today we bring you a look at Jaclyn Decell. Jaclyn touts the title of Social Media Manager at Los Angeles-based Rachel Zoe Inc. Read on to discover her professional philosophy and all the behind-the-scenes nuances of her unique position. Enjoy!
LSG: First off! Tell us about your role at The Zoe Report. How did you land this job? What do you love about it?
I had been with Nasty Gal for over four years and learned an insane amount, including the direction that I wanted to take my career. The company had grown from around 10 to 300, and I realized how much I missed being at a small, crazy dedicated company, helping them take their presence to the next level. The opportunity to work for TZR/RZ presented itself, and I realized it was meant to be.
What I love most about the company is Rachel. I respect the environment she has created and the values she instills. Also, working with such a talented, motivated team. Everyone feels like family, even when we're working after-hours, that helps it barely feel like work. We even have a nursery at our office for moms and staffers who need a little baby play time.
As far as my role goes, I head social media for The Zoe Report, Rachel Zoe and, as of recently, our collection's e-commerce site, RachelZoe.com / @shoprachelzoe. We're a small and nimble team, so I do everything from taking photos and posting to our social platforms to helping refine the content and social strategy based on performance.
LSG: Describe your typical workday.
Considering I work in digital AND social media, there is no typical day... but here goes. I get in around 8:30 am and check The Zoe Report and Twitter for news. I try to avoid checking any non-pressing emails first thing in the morning so I can stay focused when I'm feeling my most productive. Throughout the day, I work with our editorial and marketing teams to help create and inform content in real time; this is based on what our followers have been loving and asking for. Then it's time to stop and take an Insta of a coworker's new Saint Laurent boots or share a sneak peek of an amazing new beauty product on Snapchat!
LSG: Do you have a morning ritual? What are 5 “must-haves” for a productive day?
I like to start the morning by either working out or meditating for 10 minutes. On my way to the office, I listen to a podcast—Monocycle and HBR Ideacast always help me start the day feeling inspired.
LSG: Five must-haves:
A charged iPhone
'60s rock playlist + headphones
Not using my phone in the bedroom
LSG: What is your personal style most influenced by?
My style is somewhere between Jane Birkin and Tom Ford for Gucci. I want to be a Rolling Stones groupie but live in minimal silk slip dresses. I'm either barefoot or in strappy heels.
LSG: Did your style change when you got this job? How so?
My style never changes much, just evolves based on what I find. My coworkers joke that I have sections of my closet dedicated to slip dresses and black jumpsuits but little do they know that it's true. What can I say, I'm a fan of the 'one-and-done.'
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?
Growth is everything. I'll never understand how people feel stagnant in their career but choose to do nothing about it. You have to come to terms with the fact that nothing is going to be handed to you, that you make your path. Call me an optimist, but I almost feel that reaching the point of plateau or burnout can be a blessing—it forces you to reevaluate what you want to be doing and align yourself accordingly.
LSG: What is the first career you remember wanting to pursue? Do you see any connection to what you're doing now?
So this is embarrassing but amazing. I always wanted to work in 'fashion', which meant everything from sketching runway looks when I watched FashionTV to having a binder filled with my favorite editorial images and ads, organized by model. I also HOARDED fashion magazines and stashed them all under my bed. So yeah, I guess you could say there's connection to what I'm doing now ;)
LSG: Did you have a mentor? What role did they play in your path?
Honestly, I don't have one particular mentor, rather a group of incredibly talented and infinitely inspiring friends and coworkers. There's nothing more important than having a group of characters surrounding you to help you get through a rough day or creative block - always there to have a glass of wine and conspire to take over the world!
LSG: How long do you think it is productive to stick with one title? Any tips for climbing the proverbial ladder? What’s the best way to ask for/get a promotion?
I don't think there's a magic formula—it depends on the person, their age, experience, goals and opportunity. However, 2-4 years seem to be my sweet spot thus far. My biggest advice for climbing the proverbial ladder is to work hard, be passionate, know your worth and ASK FOR IT. When you start to feel stagnant or under-appreciated, it's up to you to do something about it. As much as everyone would love to have promotions and praises offered to them without a fight (or awkward conversation), the reality is that your boss is probably consumed with their day-to-day and either doesn't know how you're feeling or isn't going to be proactive. If you don't ask for it and prove yourself capable you won't get anywhere.
LSG: What are your tips for maintaining work/life balance?
Early in my career, I was starting to feel overwhelmed and consumed with work at all waking hours. It was affecting my relationships, so at that point I resolved to create healthy boundaries between life and work, and I've been exponentially happier (and arguably more productive) since. I give my undivided attention and try to go above and beyond at work, but after I leave the office, I have to let it go and enjoy life. Whether that means heading to the gym, cooking with my husband, meeting friends for wine or just curling up with a book on the couch, I think it's vital to take the time to take care of yourself. It helps keeps the anxiety and burnout at bay.
LSG: Most valuable lessons learned from a mistake?
I've done a lot of stupid stuff over the years but don't believe in mistakes, so it's hard to think of a concrete example. However, if you work in social media, ALWAYS make sure you're logged into the right account ;)
LSG: Write a quick note to your 18-year-old self. Anything goes!
Internships are essential—that's how you'll really figure what you want to do.