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Co-Founders Rachel Greenspan and Emily Long created Quarterlette.com to solve their problem of not having a resource to help them navigate quarter-life challenges including careers, relationships, friends, and family.  With a commitment to honesty and transparency, Emily and Rachel curate real stories of everyday women to inspire, guide and support Quarterlette readers.  Having been named Forbes Top 10 Website for Millennial Women and Top 100 Website for Women, Rachel and Emily share why they created Quarterlette and their dream to help all young women navigate their quarter-life.

We wanted to support, guide, and inspire women through first-person stories about the quarter-life years. 

Navigate Your Quarter-Life

What were the circumstances under which you both decided you needed an online resource to navigate your quarter-life?

Rachel:  I had just graduated from graduate school receiving my master's degree in International Marketing and thought I would land the job of my dreams right after graduation.  Not only did I have a difficult time finding a job, but I still didn’t entirely know what I wanted to do.  I ended up living with my parents for almost 5 months.  I was going through other challenges at that time as well, so I felt a bit lost!  That’s when I realized there was no resource to help me – a twenty-something woman – navigate this stage of my life.  My friends were all going through their own personal or professional transitions as well, so I knew other women would benefit from a resource like Quarterlette.

Emily:  I had been working in media buying for nearly four years and felt a strong need for a creative outlet.  I honestly had no idea where I wanted my career to go or what I wanted to do.  Full of good intentions, I kept starting and abandoning blogs as quickly as I launched them.  I was just about to give up on one again when I met Rachel for drinks at Flute Champagne Lounge.  She started talking about how there wasn't a resource for women our age to help guide us through these rather indecisive years and asked if I wanted to help her create one.  I felt this huge spark of excitement at the thought of the idea.  It would have been easy for us to just leave it at that – just an idea, but we followed up with each other the next day and together we made Quarterlette happen.

Who is the Quarterlette.com reader?

Rachel:  The Quarterlette reader is a woman in her early twenties to mid thirties who is looking for a little support, guidance, or inspiration to help her navigate this stage of her life.  She’s not trying to be perfect.  She’s mature enough to admit that she doesn’t have everything all figured out and she enjoys reading the stories of other women to help her find her way.  She has the endurance and strength to move on after difficult moments such as the end of an engagement or the loss of a job, she displays optimism throughout confusing times, she loves fiercely, finds humor in challenging situations, takes risks, and cares about friends and family deeply.  She’s honest, relatable, lively, authentic, smart, fun and curious about the world.  She wants to make the most out of her life and live passionately – in whatever form that takes.

The Quarterlette woman has the strength to move on after difficult moments such as the end of an engagement or the loss of a job.

What are topics and trends we'll find on Quarterlette.com?

Emily:  We've learned that while everyone has a different story, we’re all facing similar challenges – figuring out what career path we want to follow, playing the dating or relationship game, growing out of friendships – and building new ones, watching our bodies change once again (sometimes what feels like over night), and seeking out adventure wherever we can find it.  The categories we selected to focus on - Propel (career, professional growth, education, finances), Love (relationships – friends, significant others, family, pets!), Escape (adventures, music, anything that makes you feel alive), Radiate (health, wellness, beauty, style - how to feel like you can rock the world from the inside and out), and Give (how women are helping the world) - each have their place in addressing these experiences.

Why was it important to you to have every day women share their story even if they aren’t professional writers?

Rachel: When we launched in 2012, we were very clear that we wanted to support, guide, and inspire women through first-person stories about the quarter-life years, but we wanted these stories to be written by the women who were living those experiences first-hand.  We wanted the website to feel like you were chatting with a close friend.  Everyone has a story to share, but unless you have your own personal blog, there are very few online platforms that enable you to share your story with a large audience.  We wanted to create that opportunity for women.  While you don’t have to be a professional writer (our Editor Shelby works on the pieces with our writers), we do look for stories that are written well even at the submissions stage. 

Can you share a few of your favorite posts that have helped your readers navigate their life?

Emily:  Absolutely!  We’re always impressed by women who are creating their own path without worrying too much about what others think or letting barriers slow them down.  Stories like this one from Alex, who recognized that living in a city might not be right for her.  She left her familiar life, found a job in a small town, and went for it.  Her small town life might have its own challenges (like dating), but you can tell that there is not one ounce of regret in her decision. 

We're never surprised that Love is one of the most popular sections on the site, but the honesty of the posts often shocks us (in the best way!)  Yan’s articles let readers into her life through the powerful and moving story of how her and her long-term boyfriend fell out of love and into a comfortable cohabitation.  That’s not easy to admit to yourself let alone the public.  By the time we finished reading her story, we were both in awe of how honest she was in describing the realities we face when breaking up with someone who you love deeply.  

What is your dream for 5 years from now?

Rachel:  Our dream is to have Quarterlette still be a brand rooted in online community featuring original content that’s timeless, but to be at a place where we can manage publishing new stories a few times a day.  We also dream about extending our brand offline as well.  We do have small events throughout the year, but we want to expand our event presence through conferences and larger-scale programs for women in this life stage. 

Everyone has a story to share, but unless you have your own personal blog, there are very few online platforms that enable you to share your story.

Meet Co-Founder Rachel Greenspan 

Neighborhood:  Gramercy, New York City

Occupation:  Quarterlette.com Co-Founder with a background in advertising and marketing

Ultimate Accessory: A bracelet my parents got for me for my college graduation (I never take it off).

Favorite Store:  South Moon Under from my hometown in Philadelphia (Anthropologie is always a favorite as well!)

Must-have Shoes: Over-the-knee boots from Frye and Converse sneakers

Can't Live Without Product:  Cetaphil face wash,  Biologique Recherche P50Lancome Genifique moisturizer, and Caudalie moisturizer

Salon Recommendation: Adolfo at the Chris Chase salon in Chelsea

Beauty Essential:  Clio in the Kill Black color

Travel Destination:  The places I hope to visit are: road trip down the California coast; Thailand/Philippines; Skiing in Switzerland; Amalfi Coast in Italy

Favorite Quote: As per my high school yearbook 'Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.' Dr. Seuss

De-Stress Technique: Being outdoors, yoga, candles

University: Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University

That’s when I realized there were no resources to help me – a twenty-something woman – navigate this stage of my life.

Meet Co-Founder Emily Long

Neighborhood: Mount Pleasant, Washington DC

Occupation: Co-founder Quarterlette.com and advertising exec

Women I Admire: Mindy Kahling (I know.  I am not the only woman out there that wants her to be my best friend)

Dream Mentor: Emma Watson (who wouldn’t?)

Ultimate Accessory:  My vintage cocktail ring (it was my mother’s when she was my age)

Favorite Store: Anthropologie

Go-to Outfit: A loose sweater, skinny jeans, and boots

Must-have Shoes: These cowboy-looking boots are going to be a belated 30th birthday gift to myself. 

Cocktail of Choice: Whiskey on the rocks

Travel Destination: The whole coast of Croatia

Current Craving: Pumpkin anything

Best Advice: Don’t take it personally

De-Stress Technique: Bikram Yoga (90 minutes of someone telling what to do and cell phone can’t even be in the room. A recipe for peace of mind.)

Latest Gadget: My vintage record player

On My Playlist: A whole lot of indie folk music

University: Penn State University

The stories by successful Quarterlette women are my biggest inspiration reminding me that no matter how tough it gets, I want that too.

 

Bsmart like Emily + Rachel

How has this experience helped you navigate your life the most?

Emily:  More than anything it’s helped me focus!  Before we launched Quarterlette I was always coming up with ideas, making attempts to pursue them and then losing interest because I was distracted by everything going on around me – nights out at bars, concerts, and brunches.  It’s not that I don’t do those things anymore (we both strongly believe in balance) but I prioritize.  Honestly, the stories on the site by women who have made their career dreams come true are my biggest inspiration – they help keep me in check and motivated, reminding me that no matter how tough it gets, I want that success too.  It’s true, building a business is worth going after. 

Rachel:  Answering this question in full would probably take me multiple pages!  The experience of launching and managing Quarterlette has impacted my life in so many positive ways that it would be difficult to fit everything into one paragraph.  That doesn’t mean that as I sit here today I have everything all figured out in my professional and personal life…I don’t.  What it means is that through reading the stories from other women on the site, I realized that it’s okay not to have everything all figured out, it’s okay to take risks – fail – and then get yourself back up, it’s okay to put yourself out there, to not follow the same path that your friends and family follow, and to be your own unique person. 

What have been some of your proudest moments since founding Quarterlette.com?

Rachel:  Our proudest moment so far was being voted as a Top 10 Website for Millennial Women and a Top 100 Website for Women by Forbes Magazine in 2013!  Emily and I launched and grew this community with no funding and full time (demanding) day jobs.  We (as well as our awesome Editor Shelby!) have worked very hard for years, so winning that award really validated our hard work.  While that was a big one, we have proud moments almost every week when readers write into us with such positive messages, letting us know that they love the site and feel personally connected to so many of the stories shared by our writers. 

I realized it’s okay not to have everything all figured out, it’s okay to take risks – fail – and then get yourself back up.

What have been your biggest lessons learned running an all-female company? 

Emily:  We have come into the realization that running an all-female company means being part of a tribe.  The only people who truly understand the challenges we’re working through or the accomplishments we achieve are the women who started similar companies.  We used to be highly intimidated by women who had competitor projects, but now we embrace them and partner with them.  There’s no reason that we can’t all grow together!

What would you tell your 26 year-old self about your journey over the next 3 years?

Emily:  I've never really been hesitant to try new things (new foods, new places, new hobbies, etc.), but at the same time I was always a little timid when consequences became involved.  Like most people I was scared to get myself into trouble or get hurt (physically and emotionally).  So, I would tell her what I still try to talk myself into - take some risks.  Whether it’s telling someone they’re wrong or admitting you’re wrong or jumping off that cliff (real or proverbial) everyone else just dove off.  Give it a shot. 

In the same breath (after I told her to just go do what everyone else is doing), I would tell her to stop comparing herself to everyone around her and to stop looking at Facebook so much.  While I love seeing what everyone is up to and joining the conversation, it can often be addictive and mentally exhausting.  Then I would look her in the eye and tell her to focus on what she wants and not what everyone else has because at the end of the day their life might not be right for her.  I would finish up by saying get some sleep - other entrepreneurs are either super human or lying when they say they don’t need it!

Rachel:  My answer to this question is something that I did actually tell my 26-year-old self a few years ago and because of that, I made a change.  What I would tell her is that it’s so important to cultivate multiple passions in your life.  If you figured out how to make your actual passions into a career, then you’re very lucky since so much of our lives are spent working.  For everyone else who has a normal day job, what do you have outside of your job that you’re passionate about and that brings you joy on a regular basis?  (And don’t answer significant other, family, friends – that’s a given…that brings all of us joy).  You might not know the answer, and that’s fine!  But start to think about that. Maybe you want to pick up a sport from when you were younger, or buy art supplies and start painting, or have a weekly yoga class that becomes a ritual, or make a list of books you’ve been dying to read and actually read them, or start and grow a business, or volunteer weekly (not just once a year) with a special charity.  Whatever it is, big or small, just find something. It will make you happier, healthier, and much more interesting.  

While everyone has a different story, we’re all facing similar challenges – figuring out our careers and relationships, growing out of friendships, and building new ones. 

 

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