Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin are the co-founders and co-CEOs of theSkimm, which started in 2012 as a daily newsletter that delivers the most important news to your inbox in a cheeky, fun-to-wake-up-to tone.
The brand quickly earned millions of followers. It’s a big deal.
The two are also embarking on a 10-city tour. They’ll hit Charlotte this Friday for a conversation moderated by Brooklyn Decker. You can still grab tickets here if you’d like to see them in person. Here’s how Danielle and Carly work.
(1) What’s the news story that’s on your mind most these days?
Danielle: The trade war with China.
(2) What’s the strangest story that’s appeared in the newsletter?
Carly: There have been so many. One that really stands out is the man in Cleveland who kidnapped those women and kept them as prisoners in his house for about a decade. It was so tragic yet so unbelievable.
(3) What’s a newsletter subject line you’ve written that you’ve felt highly confident will entice people to open that day’s offering?
Danielle: “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” It’s from Grey’s Anatomy, and it’s just so good.
(4) What is your day-to-day like now? What has stayed constant as your brand has grown?
Danielle: We went from being two people starting a company from our couch to being co-founders and co-CEOs of a company that employs 100 people. But we still prefer working from the couch.
Carly: Truly, no day is the same. We’re constantly juggling a million different things, from reviewing brand marketing and working on editorial concepts to signing off on budgets and looking over P&L statements. The biggest change is how much of our day now involves managing.
(5) How do you balance your personal and professional relationships?
Danielle: We ping pong back and forth. It’s a pretty seamless transition and a natural rhythm for us. We don’t really think about turning it on or off, it’s just this built-in flow.
Carly: There are times that we definitely are more in the friend zone. Like Monday morning after a weekend when we haven’t seen each other or when we walk home together, that’s more of a personal catch-up.
(6) What’s the strangest place you’ve ever sent out a newsletter from?
Danielle: The emergency room.
(7) What’s your biggest “oh s***” moment regarding theSkimm?
Danielle: The time Pope Benedict XVI resigned literally five minutes after we hit send on the daily newsletter. But that’s not a news event you can prepare for, since it’s never happened before in modern history.
(8) What about your biggest “pinch me is this real?” moment?
Danielle: Every day when I walk into the office and see a team of people who are working to make our vision a reality.
Carly: Going on this book tour and having thousands of people who engage with our products turning up to see us in person.
(9) What are a few apps you can’t live without?
Danielle: Weather. Seamless. Spotify. We are both obsessed with Citizen.
Carly: On the book tour, we’ve been trying to get into yoga and have tried Exhale’s on-demand app.
(10) What time do you go to bed and what time do you wake up?
Danielle: I wake up at 6:20 a.m. Bedtime depends on the night and what we have going on.
Carly: I set multiple alarms.
(11) What everyday things are you really good at?
Danielle: I’m really good at figuring out how to do four footwear changes so I’m able to walk around the city.
(12) What’s one skill they don’t teach you in high school that they should?
Carly: Personal finance is a big one. Something like the 50-30-20 rule where half your paycheck goes to things you need, another 30 percent goes to things you want and the remaining 20 percent goes to paying off debt or to savings and investing.
(13) What’s a situation that makes you feel more intimidated or nervous? How do you prepare?
Danielle: Negotiating a salary and advocating for what you want. One of the ways we’ve handled this in the past is by role playing.
(14) What could the world use more of?
Carly: Wine and kindness.
(15) What’s a purchase of less than $100 that’s most improved your life?
Danielle: Clear ponytail holders from Amazon. When I actually do my hair and I’m running around during the day, I use these to pull my hair back and they don’t give you that annoying crease.
Love learning how people work? Here’s the whole How I Work series including interviews with Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, Governor Roy Cooper, developer David Furman, elevator lady Cherie Berry, lawyer Michael A. DeMayo and Yafo, Midwood, Paco’s and Mama’s restauranteur Frank Scibelli.