The Top 10 Everygirl Career Profiles of 2014

  • Copy by: Katy Hale

In 2014 we sat down with 54 exceptional women of different ages, ethnicities, geographical locations, and industry expertise. Despite the range of backgrounds, they all had inspiring careers and stories to share. In honor of the new year, we decided to rank our career profiles using data based on reader engagement (comments, social shares, and online traffic) and share the results with you.

In case you missed any, we included our favorite advice these women shared along with links to their full feature. Read on for more about the career trajectories of these amazing Everygirl women!


#10: Ali Nelson, 28, Owner of Ali Makes Things and Co-founder of Kindred

Where she’s located: Santa Barbara, CA

Her beginning: After overcoming a traumatic brain injury caused from a car collision with a drunk driver, Ali chose to pursue her artistic passion by attending the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. 

Fun fact: She is moving from Santa Barbara, California to Nantucket, Massachusetts soon!

In her words: “I want to see us, as women, rise to the freedom, strength, intelligence, beauty, and courageous confidence we are capable of. We all have stories worth hearing.”

Click here to read Ali’s full career profile!


#9: Thao Nguyen, 30, Owner of Parc Boutique in Minneapolis

Where she’s located: Minneapolis, MN

Her beginning: After browsing the local boutique scene in San Francisco every weekend, Thao realized she wanted to open her own shop; so she did at only 24 years old!

Fun fact: She has a two year old daughter named Josephine.

In her words: “No matter what industry you’re in, network network network! I’ve met so many creative and inspirational people over the years and wouldn’t trade that for anything.”

Click here to read Thao’s full career profile!


#8: Ashley McCollum, 26, VP of Business Development & Communications at BuzzFeed

Where she’s located: New York City, NY

Her beginning: She scored an internship at that TODAY Show by holding a sign up for the video cameras during a taping of the show. A producer spotted her and from that contact she started an internship with the show five months later.

Fun fact: Her life motto is: “What would Olivia Pope do?”

In her words: “Be really good at what you do before you take on the next thing. Being ambitious is one thing, but being curious is another. Always raise your hand for new projects, ask how things work, and think of how to make them better.”

Click here to read Ashley’s full career profile!


#7: Lani Lazzari, 20, CEO and Founder of Simple Sugars

Where she’s located: Pittsburgh, PA

Her beginning: She developed her first skin scrubs (which would later become Simple Sugar scrubs) at age 11. Yes, it’s true!

Fun fact: In 2013, Lani appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank to raise funding for her business and left with $100,000 investment for 33% from the one and only Mark Cuban.

In her words: “There is no rulebook for starting your own business and no formula you can follow to be successful. You have to be willing to do what it takes to figure it out. You might have successes, you are definitely going to have failures, and you have to be willing to learn from your mistakes.”

Click here to read Lani’s full career profile!


#6: Demetria Lucas, 34, Journalist, Author, Life Coach, and Blogger at

Where she’s located: Brooklyn, NY

Her beginning: Her first job was as a stringer for People Magazine.

Fun fact: She is the author of two books, most recently “Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love” published in September, 2014. She is also a star on Bravo’s “Blood, Sweat, & Heels.”

In her words: “My advice to women looking to start their own businesses: Fill a void. What do you want that you can’t find? Whatever it is, do that!”

Click here to read Demetria’s full career profile!


#5: Dr. Valencia Walker, Neonatologist and UCLA Clinical Professor

Where she’s located: Los Angeles, CA

Her beginning: She originally wanted to be an archaeologist but discovered biology and hasn’t looked back.

Fun fact: Her favorite way to unwind? Training for a triathlon! For us it’s a bottle of red and a Netflix marathon but we’re not in denial that she’s a much better at life in general.

In her words: “Don’t be afraid to live an unconventional life. Trust yourself and follow your dreams (even when no one else understands why they are your dreams).”

Click here to read Valencia’s full career profile!


#4: Grace Atwood, 32, Director of Social Media at Bauble Bar and lifestyle blogger

Where she’s located: New York City, NY

Her beginning: In addition to working for Bauble Bar, she writes her own lifestyle and fashion blog, The Stripe (formerly Stripes and Sequins), which is how she found her job at Bauble Bar.

Fun fact: We just featured her sister, Rebecca Atwood, in a January, 2015 career profile. That is one crazy talented family!

In her words: “Chill out! I remember I wanted to be successful so badly and to build a name for myself. I’d tell myself to just work hard, put my head down, and that the rest would come with time.”

Click here to read Grace’s full career profile!


#3: Jennifer Wagner Schmidt, 36, Owner and Interior Designer at JWS Interiors

Where she’s located: Washington, DC

Her beginning: She switched from a career in public relations to interior design after taking just one interior design course!

Fun fact: Her work has been featured on such media outlets as The Washington Post, DesignSponge, and CocoCozy.

In her words: “My advice for those who want to break out on their own is to do your research first. Talk to local entrepreneurs and those in the field to which you want to join and pepper them with questions. Their answers can help potentially lead you in the right direction. You are going to have to believe in yourself, your passion, and then go for it. You only live once, make it happen!”

Click here to read Jennifer’s full career profile!


#2: Patrice Batson, 27, Marketing Manager at ELLE Magazine

Where she’s located: New York City, NY

Her beginning: She started out in college as an economics major, but used internships to learn what industry she really wanted to be in after college.

Fun fact: She reads two to three books a week during her commute to work.

In her words: “It will all work out in the end. If it’s not working, it’s not the end.”

Click here to read Patrice’s full career profile!


#1: Juley Le, 28, Food Editor at The Everygirl, Founder of Upperlyne & Co., and Creative Consultant

Where she’s located: New Orleans, LA

Her beginning: Her first job out of college was working as a corps member with Teach for America.

Fun fact: She partnered with West Elm to re-design her home office; no wonder it’s so gorgeous!

In her words: “Whether you’re tinkering with the idea of quitting or starting something new, let it happen in an organic way. Don’t be discouraged or overly influenced by what other people are doing. Comparison really is the thief of joy.”

Click here to read Juley’s full career profile!