Feb. 12 2020
While we were sleeping in the library, Lisa was studying at The New School and starting her very own namesake clothing label. How does she stitch together enough time to work two jobs and still stay creative? We asked her.
How did you start your company?
When I was a junior at The New School, I was a full-time student and part-time businesswoman. It took me about five months to get my first collection off the ground for production and development. After that, I just focused on getting it in front of people. I created paid marketing strategies, because I was working for a media agency and had experience [making advertisements].
So you were working another job, a full-time student, and starting a brand?
I’m a workaholic. Even to this day, I have two jobs. I’m the founder and creative director of my fashion label and I also work as the creative strategist for a media agency; so, I kind of split my time between both worlds.
How do you balance that?
I’m really neurotic in some ways… I plan everything and I love to make lists, so I’ll be very obsessive about that. I spend half of my working for the agency, and then spend a few hours on Lisa Qu. But it really depends on the day… It’s not always a 50/50 split. Sometimes one job will demand more time than the other and it has to take priority.
That must make your days pretty busy. How do you keep it all organized?
I get up around 8 and check my emails in bed. I usually work from 10:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. with only an hour and a half break throughout the day. I make lists of what needs to get done for the day and even plan small things like grocery lists because it feels so good to be able to check things off. It feels like an achievement, having that physical motion of crossing it out.
It seems like so much of your day is inundated with work. How do you relax?
I definitely over-work, so I’m not great at finding balance. But before my day starts, after I plan my day, I workout so I can clear my head. And after work, I cook dinner and meal prep for the next day. Sometimes I’ll watch TV or read a book… It’s always really nerdy stuff, like Building a StoryBrand, which is all about branding in business and how you can create a story with a protagonist and antagonist for your company.
What’s one piece of advice you have for someone who wants to do what you do?
Keep learning. Don’t pretend that you know everything when you don’t know anything. I am always learning more about marketing or SEO because I know it will help me in the long run.