My co-founder Carly Zakin and I started theSkimm nearly 10 years ago. We were both working at NBC News at the time, and noticed that our friends – smart, successful millennial women – didn’t trust or have time for traditional news media. We saw an opportunity in the marketplace to deliver news and information to this audience within their existing routines. We took a big risk, we quit our jobs and started theSkimm by sending an email newsletter from our couch, breaking down the top news stories of the day. Today, theSkimm reaches millions of Skimm'rs through an expanded suite of products – giving them the agency and confidence to maneuver through everything from their finances, health, and career to civic engagement.
How has journalism - and the range and reach of subjects theSkimm covers - changed since its inception in 2012?
Over the last 10 years, theSkimm has grown to tap into what we call life’s necessities – money, wellness, careers, parenting – we’ve built our brand and products around these un-sexy but deeply important areas that our audience is navigating.
What have you learned about yourself over the course of ten years of being a leader of an organization?
I’ve learned that I can handle a lot, as any leader who has made it through the past two years running a business probably also feels. I value my partnership with Carly as a co-founder and co-CEO so much because of the constant mental support that helps protect both of us from feeling isolated. I’ve also added the role of ‘mom’ to my plate and I’m constantly thinking about prioritization differently.
What have you learned about your Co-Founder and friend, Carly? How do you two complement one another?
Carly and I have a true partnership as co-Founders and co-CEOs of theSkimm, but we are also friends outside of business. We both have different ideas and perspectives that we bring to the table, so being able to lean on her and vice versa has been instrumental in how we continue to think about the future of our business.
What are the parts of your job you love now that you didn't care for earlier on in your tenure? The reverse?
Managing people is the hardest part of my job. In the beginning, I felt like it would just magically get easier over time as the company grew. I now know that it’s a skill you need to work at just like any other – but the payoff can be much greater. I’ve come to really love meetings about where our organization will be in the future – something I never would have thought I’d say.
What are you most looking forward to about motherhood?
This will now be my second pandemic baby. With my son, Gabe, I had been home for 18 months because of the pandemic. Even when I ‘returned to work’ it was virtual, so it was definitely a different experience than other new moms. This time, it will be a whole new experience for me – taking my maternity leave and then returning to the office – and I’m looking forward to that.
Do you have a community of new and expecting moms to commune with when baby comes along? Does your partner?
I have always had a fantastic support system of close friends who I have grown up with. I’m lucky that we have all gone through becoming parents at about the same time so our text chain is a constant support group.
What about raising kid(s) in NYC excites you?
Having grown up in Chicago myself, living in the city gives you access to so much. NYC has diversity, so much to do and experience, I love knowing that my kids will have that experience too.
Do you have a work uniform? What styles or items have you turned to during pregnancy to evolve that uniform to accommodate your pregnancy?
With a toddler and a baby on the way, comfort and ease is really key. I’ve been living in Frances Hart dresses, allowing me to achieve that minimalist yet chic maternity style.