Let’s be completely honest here, Bree and I are ecstatic to meet Taisa Skulsky, Sales Director of Rachel Comey this Thursday, at One of a Few‘s trunk show of the brand. This will be our first interview with a working mama that we haven’t met yet in person, but when Michelle Rizzaro from One of a Few GUSHED about Taisa and what a rad stylish lady (with two kids in tow) she was, we got a few butterflies in our stomachs and knew we had to have her on Peaks & Harbours.
Thanks to Taisa’s warm, record-breakingly fast replies, and the magic of internet, we were able to dive into how this lovely gal balances a family life with a career in the fashion world, and how she got there in the first place. Enjoy xo
P&H: What were you doing before becoming a part of Rachel Comey?
TS: Before Rachel Comey (that was so long ago I can hardly remember) I was working as a freelance wardrobe stylist. It was fun while it lasted but I eventually got sick of shlepping stuff around!
P&H: What was your trigger to follow this career path?
TS: I sort of just fell into it after college. It was one of those instances where I graduated, had an impossibly frustrating job at a city organization for 6 months and realized that the bureaucracy would drive me nuts! After years of freelancing, Rachel, who was a good friend of mine, asked if I would help her do her sales that she had just brought in house. She thought it would be something I was good at, and she was right. Nine years later I still love working with her!
P&H: Where do you get your inspiration from?
TS: NYC is full of inspiration! I feel like I pass inspiring women on the street all the time. I’m always inspired by how moms can juggle and balance everything and when I see a chic mom dropping her kid off at school before going to work, I’m reminded of that. That being said I’m also inspired by the Italian farmers in our town in upstate New York who left it all to open an apple orchard and make amazing pizza.
P&H: What role does social media play in your work?
TS: I’m admittedly a dinosaur when it comes to anything social media related. I do follow all of our stores’ instagrams. It helps me understand their point of view and their customers. One of a Few has a particularly fun instagram.
P&H: Do you involve your children in your work at all?
TS: Honestly, not too much. My kids are pretty lively (to use a nice word) so I found out pretty early on that bringing them to the office was pretty disruptive! My daughter has started designing shoes (I have a picture)* and asks me to e-mail the pictures to Rachel!
P&H: What has been your biggest challenge (and/or bonus) to working in design/fashion with kids in tow?
TS: I am lucky to work in a creative environment with another working mother at the head of it. That has been immeasurable in terms of the support and flexibility I have been given and continue to be given with my schedule. Of course fashion week and the weeks following it are crazy and there is no getting around that!
P&H: What is the hardest part in maintaining the work/life balance?
TS: I think the hardest part is feeling like you are doing the best job you can in both arenas. I know as a working mom I always feel like I am spread too thin, but I think that’s part of the gig. Especially when your kids are little. I try to remember that this time goes by really fast and just enjoy it as much as I can. That’s trickier to do in the midst of a hair pulling battle, but I’m told you get some time back when they get a little older, so I’m holding on to that!
P&H: What does success look like to you? How will you know when you have achieved it?
TS: I think success for me is pretty simple. I just want my family to be happy. For my kids to thrive and grow into thoughtful and involved people. I’m not sure when I’ll know I achieved that but I think I’m on the right path.
P&H: What advice would you have wanted to know 5 or 10 years ago?
TS: I would have wanted to know how much I should enjoy my free time! I had so much of it and I had no idea how good I had it! That’s the trick with going back in time though. I’m sure 10 years ago I felt really busy too, just with different things. I try not to look back too much. My husband already tells me I am a Monday morning quarterback.
Thank you Taisa! We can’t wait to see you this Thursday at the trunk show – come say hello everyone!
*Taisa’s daughter’s shoe designs are the feature image 😉