Our friends over at LaurenConrad.com posted a "Day in the Life" of our Co-Founder and COO Maura McManus, and we couldn't help but share!
Maura and Lauren started the clothing line Paper Crown together to make beautiful, whimsical and feminine clothing. Today, they spend their days brainstorming new styles, designs and business strategies from a darling office in Los Angeles. If you’ve ever been curious about what a day in the life of someone who works in fashion looks like, then you’re going to love this post. Without further ado, here’s a typical day in the life of one of Lauren’s best friends and business partners, Maura McManus…
There’s nothing better than getting to spend most of the hours of your day doing what you love. And that is truly what I’ve found with Paper Crown. It’s my dream job! And while, like all jobs, it comes with challenges and some bad days, I find that when the majority of my days are pretty good, that’s when I know things are going right. Take a walk in my shoes as I map out a typical day in my life…
Wake up! It’s time for a hot cup of coffee and an ice cold water. I know it may sound silly, but I take to heart the advice I have been given about successful people and the positive effect of waking with the birds. The next hour or so is my special quiet time where I prep for the day ahead, square away any household chores and get a good sweat in (as of late, my workout of choice has been a combination of Pilates and cardio).
By now I have got a workout in, had a nice breakfast with my husband and even managed to sweep on some bronzer and throw on my favorite of-the-moment Paper Crown piece. Usually, it’s an easy dress so I can transition throughout the day between time at the office and outside meetings.
I am fortunate enough to walk to our head quarters, which is nearly unheard of in Los Angeles! First order of the day is always making a to-do list. I’ve heard that you should start the day with the most difficult task at hand, so I try really hard to do this. Some days this is more successful than others… I think it’s dependent on my coffee intake!
Right about now we have a team merchandising meeting at our office to review our Spring Collection, which are always fun and exciting. I know I speak for our whole team in saying that we are always impressed with Lauren’s eye for matching prints, colors, fabrics and texture while maintaining an aesthetic that is always true to Paper Crown no matter the season. Lauren’s technique is impressive and her attention to detail is unbelievable! She picks every zipper, every fabric with corresponding lining, every thread—she does it all!
Next order of business: I have to scoot downtown to our production office where our Fall 2015 collection is near completion. It’s truly fascinating to see all of the parts of our business come together to make beautiful, hand-made garments. There is a lot more that goes into making one simple piece of clothing than you would ever think, let alone an entire collection! By the time a Paper Crown piece is in our customers’ hands, you would be surprised to know just how many eyes and how much attention have been placed on each garment.
On my way back to our headquarters, I will swing by one of our fabric vendors to pick up some new embellished lace options for our Bridesmaids Collection. Lauren and I both got married last summer, and when planning our weddings, we had the idea to design a bridesmaids collection. It’s been a huge success and we have loved every moment of it! It was a dream of ours to create this extension of the Paper Crown brand, and it’s been beyond exciting to see it come to life. I can’t even tell you how rewarding it is to see our dresses in a couple’s wedding day! Both Lauren and I mixed and matched dress styles and colors in our weddings. We think it’s really important to make the ladies who stand by you to feel lovely, too. Be on the lookout: We are adding new fabric and styles all the time! (Click here to see our latest styles.)
Now it’s time for a call with our website team. We recently re-launced our website and are beginning to add all kinds of new features. My favorite new addition might be the “News” section, where we showcase our favorite pieces of press and highlight real weddings. We will soon be adding to this section to spotlight important people behind the brand and give you a behind-the-scenes look at our photo shoots and events. Lauren and I are really fortunate in that we are surrounded by an incredible team!
By late afternoon, I am starting to get wiped out. To re-energize, I love to take a quick walk around the block and grab a bite to eat. I love walking whenever I can during the workday because, between sitting at my desk and sitting in my car on the way to downtown, things can get a bit sedentary. A bit of fresh air and a healthy lunch always seems to do the trick!
Near the end of the day, I’ll hold a meeting with our development and sales team to make sure we’re as organized as possible. At any given point in the year, we are working on multiple seasons and various points of the cycle. One collection is being designed and developed, while the other one is going through production, not to mention there are multiple seasons being sold. Luckily, today all things are a go!
As the day at the office wraps up, I always recheck the to-do list I made at the start of the day. I really don’t like leaving any priority items unaddressed before calling it a day, so I make sure to reassess. Lauren and I are always on the go, so when we aren’t able to be in the office together, we end the days with a brief recap phone call. These phone calls are a good checks and balances for business, but we always conclude with changing back from our “work hat” into our “best friend hat.” When we started Paper Crown together, we knew that we would be wearing a lot of different “hats” while working together and maintaining our close friendship. We made a promise to each other that we would always make sure to wear our “work hat” when we are working and our “best friend hat” at all other times. That way, we are always on the same page about when we need to get down to business and when it’s time to have fun!
It’s time to head home! Given my short commute, I’m home in a flash, but I always like to listen to music on my walk. For me, it’s a signal that the workday is over and it’s time to be home with my family. Once settled at home, I dive into the kitchen and figure out what to make for dinner. I love cooking and try to make meals at home as often as possible. I believe that dinnertime is a very important part of the day. It’s the time when my husband and I are able to connect, talk about our days, make weekend plans and just unwind together. We also connect with our parents and siblings on the phone as often as possible after dinner. Evenings at our home are relaxed… a bit of news watching, perhaps an episode of our favorite show (we are REALLY behind… like, I’m talking, we are starting shows that are three or four episodes in!) and lights out by 10:00 pm.
Maura also told us that this exercise was actually helpful for her—she realized how she was allocating her time throughout the day and how she could time-manage differently. Sounds like this exercise is something every working girl should do once in a while, don’t you think?
xo, paper crown team