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Career Advice From the Founders of SoulCycle, Juicy Couture, and More

Photo: Driely S.

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Starting your own business or taking an idea and turning it into reality is no easy task. But over the past year, Racked talked to female entrepreneurs and innovators who've not only made it happen, they're making their mark.

Among Racked's 2015 class of Ladies Who Launch are the founders of cult brands like SoulCycle and Juicy Couture, as well as new ventures like Bumble (a new women-first dating app from Tinder alum Whitney Wolfe) and Lola (Jordana Kier and Alex Friedman's organic tampon company). There's Miko Branch, who presides over Miss Jessie's beauty empire, and Karley Sciortino, whose Vogue sex column is Anna Wintour-approved. We picked out 13 of the best pieces of career advice from these talented female business owners, and their tips can make an impact on fashion industry hopefuls and vets alike.

When you're starting out, always do your research. "Never walk into a meeting without Googling the people you are going to meet — come armed with information about their background to either impress them or strategize."  Alison Brod, Alison Brod PR

Take chances when you're young. "One of the great things that you can do when you're young is experiment. It's a time in your life when there are a lot fewer restrictions. There's a lot less risk when you're not caring for a family. I always tell people to use time productively in your early twenties and late teens." ” Ivanka Trump

Delegate. "Know what you are capable of and what you're not capable of, and if you're not capable of something, hire it out! Don't think that you can do everything well." ” Gela Nash-Taylor, co-founder of Pam & Gela and Juicy Couture

Photo: Pam & Gela

Your customers should help you define your business. "When you're starting a business, your customers will tell you what they think. Elizabeth [Cutler] and I have always thought that if someone is actually vocal enough to tell you something, there are probably another fifty people who are thinking it. For young entrepreneurs: listening to your customer and being interactive with them and letting them help and shape the way you define your business is really the way to go." ” Julie Rice, SoulCycle

Don't be afraid to switch careers. "As a boss, I love people who come from outside of the industry. They have a unique perspective and aren't used to the norm. Crossing over can be really great and eye-opening, and you can add a tremendous amount of value."  Ivanka Trump

Where entrepreneurs need to really focus. "The number one thing that matters is your product. When you build a good product, everything else works. The marketing works, everything works." ” Payal Kadakia, ClassPass

Photo: ClassPass

Know when to stop talking. "One lesson that I'm still learning today is to know when to stop talking. The people who succeed by saying the client is always right sleep better at night. Stepping back and rolling with that philosophy is probably a better business tactic."  Alison Brod, Alison Brod PR

A trick for those who want to blog or write honestly about their private lives. "You have to pretend that your parents don't exist! You can't let them get in the way of creating something. I remember interviewing Bruce LaBruce, who makes semi-pornographic gay art films, and asking him how he makes those kinds of movies without thinking of his parents. He said that most great artwork wouldn't be created if people cared what their parents thought."  Karley Sciortino, Slutever

Meeting tips for introverts. "If you are too shy to speak up in a meeting, send notes after with ideas or insights that you have instead of having clients or co-workers thinking you have nothing to say." ” Alison Brod, Alison Brod PR

Photo: Alison Brod

Persistence is key. "I think persistence is the biggest thing. It's definitely frightening at times, and it's super humbling to put yourself out there. Persistence is what sets you apart." Tyler Haney, Outdoor Voices

It's okay if success doesn't happen overnight. "For me, it would be that growth doesn't happen overnight, and if it does, it's probably not the kind of growth you want. The way that a Tumblr can go viral is not necessarily you want a brand to grow. It's more about chipping away and building an audience every day, instead of waiting for that one big day."  Sarah Pappalardo, Reductress


Photo: Jennifer Chase

Listen to your intuition. "Trust your gut and don't be afraid to make mistakes. There are valuable lessons and wisdom in your mistakes, so don't be discouraged. Your mistakes are your building blocks, they're going to be your stepping-stone for your successful business and that's right there waiting for you." ” Miko Branch, Miss Jessie's

Listen to your intuition, Part II. "Do not depend on anyone but yourself. I had the vision and whenever I listened to someone else, the end result was not satisfactory."  Rose-Marie Swift, RMS Beauty

Read more of Ladies Who Launch!