Michela Aramini is the founder of The Lovely It Girl, a personal brand consulting boutique in New York dedicated to inspiring and empowering women to become the bold, beautiful, brilliant It Girl they were born to be. Michela also has a full-time job as a Senior Manager of Integrated Marketing for one of my favorite magazines, SELF. After some searching, Michela has created a personal and professional life that she loves and she is committed to helping other people do the same.
Growing up I fell prey to what I now like to call the It Girl Illusion: the idea that if you land the dream job, the dream apartment, and the dream guy you will “have it all” and live happily ever after. After graduating college (where I landed my dream guy), I moved into my dream apartment and landed my dream job at a world-renowned publishing company in New York. On the outside I “had it all” but on the inside something was clearly missing.
The sparkle of my It Girl life soon faded and I was left feeling disillusioned and lost. At first I was convinced there was something wrong with me. I felt selfish for wanting something more when I already “had it all.” But after I took a step back to ask myself what having it all meant to me, I realized that I didn’t want a life that looked perfect on the outside, I wanted a life that felt perfect on the inside. What I truly wanted was a life I loved from the inside out filled with passion, purpose, and prowess.
I began to re-evaluate my It Girl role models, and was so inspired by the women entrepreneurs I met at networking events in New York who, to me, truly “had it all”: lives they loved from the inside out, filled will passion, purpose, and prowess. I became passionate about redefining the modern It Girl from a girl who “has it all” to the girl who wants it all, does it all, and has it all, all on her own terms.
The Lovely It Girl is both my business and my brand. In helping women become the It Girls they were born to be by creating bespoke personal brands that clarify and communicate their “It” and connect them to their clique, I’ve cultivated my personal brand as an It Girl Mentor and Personal Brand Consultant, and in doing so have styled a personal and professional life I truly love.
How would you describe The Lovely It Girl in a few sentences?
The Lovely It Girl is the bold, beautiful, brilliant woman you were born to be. She wants it all, does it all and has it all, all on her own terms. She knows her “It” (her unique intrinsic value) and owns it to make her mark on the world.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start her own business?
Your business should be an extension of your personal brand, not the other way around. Many entrepreneurs invest lots of money into their product or service and brand design (website, logo, business cards, etc.) before they are clear on their personal brand strategy. Your message, mission, voice and values are the heart of your personal brand and the foundation of your business. Creating a bespoke personal brand that clarifies your “It” (your unique value) and connects you to your clique of personal brand cheerleaders (and ideal customers and clients) should be the first step in starting your own business.
What is a typical day like for you?
I’m currently building my business alongside my full-time job, so a typical day for me starts with a morning yoga class followed by work from 9-6ish, with The Lovely It Girl meetings, event and client work in the evenings and on the weekends. After I get home from work, and before I start work on The Lovely It Girl, I take a break to cook dinner with my boyfriend. Scheduling in short breaks throughout the day are so important to avoiding burnout in your side hustle!
Staring my business has been both the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s forced me to discover who I am and what I want, and has pushed me to constantly step outside of my comfort zone and be vulnerable in order to create a truly authentic and fulfilling business and brand.
You are senior manager of integrated marketing at SELF magazine. What are your responsibilities in that position?
I work with an incredible team to ideate and create innovative, cross-platform programs for our advertising partners.
You’re managing a successful company while holding a full-time job. Do you have any time management tips you’d like to share?
Schedule everything! It’s easy to tell yourself that your going to work on your business in the evenings and on the weekends, but unless you create a realistic side hustle schedule that you stick to, you will always find an excuse not to work (too tired, not inspired, FOMO, etc.)
On that note, when you are faced with the temptation to get drinks with friends or watch Netflix instead of working on your business in the evenings and on the weekends, it’s so important to know and own your WHY. What is your vision and mission of your business? When you have a compelling WHY that you are committed to, prioritizing your business will become instinctual.
While staying true to you WHY and committed to your side hustle schedule is key to success, when running a side business, it’s also extremely important to schedule non-negotiable “me” time to rests, recharge, and avoid burnout. Maybe it’s a daily yoga or meditation practice, weekly drinks or brunch with friends or a weekly date night with your significant other. Taking time to prioritize the people and things you love is key to thriving in your personal and professional life.
I love working for a brand that is dedicated to inspiring and motivating SELF Made women to achieve their personal best in all aspects of their lives: from fitness and health to career, fashion and beauty.
What has been your proudest moment from your career so far?
I started The Lovely It Girl a little over a year ago and I’m proud to have built my business to a point where my clients and speaking opportunities now find me more than I seek them out!
What is one thing that you wish you had known when you were starting out your career?
I wish I had known that there isn’t one path to success. True success can only be defined and created by you.
What is one branding lesson everyone should follow?
Always stay true to your brand. When growing your personal brand online, it can be so tempting to compare yourself to other It Girls who appear to have more success than you. Comparison is extremely self-destructive, so when you find your mind venturing down that dangerous path, remember that no one can be you better than YOU. The secret to manifesting your “have it all” vision is to own your “It” and commit to showing up as your best self each and every day, no matter what.
How would you describe your professional style? What are a few staples?
Chic with an edge. A few of my staples include my black leather skirt, silk camis, and a black blazer.
What is on your desk right now?
I’ve always been inspired by this quote by Diane Von Furstenberg: “I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.” Becoming a Lovely It Girl is all about embracing who you are and letting go of who you think you should be.
What advice do you have for other young professional women?
Never let what you do define who you are. Let who you are define what you do.
Images via The Lovely It Girl and B Smart