She’s just returned home from her office job--she is the Assistant Director of Marketing at Fordham University--and despite the growing summer heat, her apartment is filled with the chilly blast of air conditioning. When Emily comes home, normally, she starts working on her other job at Spire & Co, the uplifting website that empowers and motivates young women to pursue their ambitions. Emily founded Spire six and a half years ago after preparing a field guide for her sister about how to navigate high school as a driven young person. This then evolved into a magazine shortly after. Emily and Spire--a name chosen because “it means to breathe easier and the highest peak on a summit”--have since been featured in Marie Claire, MSN, and MTV for their dedication to inspiring content. The site has since grown to include campus chapters, a 300+ person conference and other live events, email newsletters, daily content, and more.
One of Emily’s greatest passions is brand development. She’s curious about how others develop theirs--especially Oprah, one of her lifelong loves (her home is sprinkled with back issues of O and she even has the famed host’s 20th anniversary collection on DVD); and, of late, Reese Witherspoon--and constantly thinks about how to work on Spire. One of her latest initiatives for the site is an online bookstore, Spire Stacks, where readers can purchase “transformative reads written by and about remarkable women.” All of the books have been read by a Spire staffer, many by Emily herself. Her apartment is bursting with books in an array of colors and motivating titles, though in particular she is fond of Cleo Wade’s Heart Talk, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, and Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes.
Another of Emily’s newest initiatives at Spire is developing the site’s lifestyle podcast, Spire Sessions, which will feature interviews with experts on living one’s best life, like authors, leaders, and more. The podcast launches at the end of July, and tonight Emily is figuring out how to use her new microphone. The shiny silver Yeti is sitting on the edge of her desk just waiting to be plugged in as Emily peruses its box for instructions. Her pink fingernails glide over each instruction. She puts her headphones on and after following a few simple steps she can hear me laughing in stereo. Emily is driven by how to live her own best life and how to help others do the same, and it carries over into her work.
After the Yeti has been managed for the time being, we chat for a long time about career and motivation and dating and even personal style. Even as the hours have run past, she remains energetic, expressive and, as ever, curious.
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