Behind The Brand: Meet The Women of Werkaholics
Savvy, smart, and stylish. The women behind the style blog Werkaholics know that looking good and feeling good go hand-in-hand. Attorneys by trade, Cheslie and Alexis are navigating their way through the field of law and inspiring others to dress for success. Werkaholics was created as an outlet for the fashionable and ambitious, and more importantly, for women who werk!
You are both busy attorneys with a full schedule. What was the inspiration for starting a blog chronicling your work style?
Cheslie: Funny enough, we were hanging out at a theme park together one night and I mentioned to Lex that I'd wanted to start a blog for women's business attire for a while. I remember going to trial competitions and interviews and always wondering what to wear and what was appropriate. It took some time to figure it out, but I finally learned. I wanted to be able to share my experience with similarly-situated women. Luckily, as soon as I mentioned that I was interested in starting a blog, Lex said she'd been thinking of doing the same thing! We teamed up and have been developing the blog ever since.
Alexis: On social media, there aren’t many pages glorifying women that have both style and substance. After talking to a few friends, I realized we all shared the same frustration that we didn’t have a page or blog that represented us. Cheslie and I were talking at an amusement park outing (random I know) about this issue and she mentioned she wanted to start a blog. I had been thinking the same thing and couldn’t believe she had the idea too. Here, we are!
How do you both manage the balancing act between your full-time jobs and managing your blog?
Alexis: It takes some planning! Admittedly, Cheslie is a lot better at this than I am. It’s helpful to start brainstorming early and to create a list of topics you want to write about so when you do have “downtime” to write an article you don’t run into writer’s block.
Cheslie: A hope and a prayer lol. It can be tough, but we've developed a routine that has helped us to grow our brand and start partnering with some great businesses.
What have been your biggest career disappointments and how did you overcome them?
Cheslie: I've actually only been working for a few months (I just graduated in May 2017), but one of my greatest disappointments as a law student happened when I placed second in a trial competition. I wanted to win and, to be honest, I thought I would. I was on the trial team for my school, but I wanted to do this separate competition on my own to prove to myself that I could do it. In the finals, I was matched against a strong competitor. She beat me. I was incredibly disappointed and discouraged, especially because the trial team I was on had our regional competition scheduled the following week. Luckily, my loss motivated me to work harder than I ever had and the team I was on ended up going on to win regionals and, a few weeks later, won a national championship.
Alexis: Not getting jobs I’ve really wanted has been disappointing for me, just as it is for anyone. When you think you’re perfect for the position and you have a great interview(s), only for it to be awarded to someone else, can be very discouraging. One thing I’ve learned is that your response to setbacks and disappointment is more important than the job you didn’t get. There have been a few times where I was disappointed but didn’t give up, and that led me to a great opportunity I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
What advice would you give to young women looking to pursue a career in law?
Alexis: I would tell them to go for it, but not blindly. With the ever-changing economy and the current state of the legal industry, it’s important for attorney hopefuls to know what they are getting themselves into. I also encourage anyone that expresses an interest in the law to seek a mentor! A mentor is a great way to learn about the field and get some hands-on experience. This may show you if law is really the way you want to go!
Cheslie: Intern somewhere in the area in which you're interested. If you don't love it, don't do it. Law school is rewarding but it's also too stressful and expensive to go through if you aren't certain that you love it.
What have been some of your biggest challenges in the courtroom?
Cheslie: Learning everything I didn't learn in law school has been challenging. Law school teaches you how to think, but it doesn't (and really, can't), teach you about everything you're going to encounter. Little things like figuring out which local rules apply where, how to get a hearing scheduled, learning about software used in discovery, all of these things were new to me. Thankfully, I work for an incredible firm with a phenomenal team of attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, and more, who ensure that I am always well informed and well prepared to handle each new challenge that confronts me.
Alexis: I am so thankful I’m never in court!! However, I am plenty experienced in board and conference rooms at the negotiation table. The biggest challenge has been my age and being a woman. I work with mostly men, and I'm not yet 30, where most people I work with are over the age of 40. For these reasons I think people don’t take me as seriously as they should. I actually like when this happens because I know my capabilities, and once the presentation or negotiation starts, they respect me as their equal. It’s unfortunate that women have to work harder in general, but I like the challenge and the opportunity to prove whatever misconception they have about me wrong.
Where do you find day-to-day style inspiration?
Alexis: I love looking at magazines, social media, tv, and other blogs for inspiration. There are so many great stylists out there that put together looks I would never think of on my own. Oftentimes there’s an idea I have and I can find few variations of it to try on my own!
Cheslie: Honestly, our blog inspires me. I look at it and critique it constantly. If I look through our most recent posts and realize that they seem bland and colorless, I'll work to infuse more color into my wardrobe. Sometimes I feel like I see too many separates and not enough dresses. I'll respond by wearing more dresses and shopping online for more to add to my closet. It really is a passion of mine and I draw inspiration from both my posts and Lex's.
Who are your beauty & style role models?
Cheslie: Olivia Pope. I know she's a fictional character, but the stylist for Scandal, Lyn Paolo, really nailed it. Pope is stylish without being trendy. She's elegant and feminine, never overdone or too sexy. You can tell that she's powerful and her clothes provide presence but aren't distracting.
Alexis: Amal Clooney, Beyoncé, and Michelle Obama. Each of these women have a unique, fashionable and tailored style. They know what works for their bodies and what they like!
What are some tips you have for women who don't have a lot of time to get ready for work in the morning, but want to look stylish?
Cheslie: First, donate or throw away all of your clothes that aren't stylish. It's better to have five outfits that look good and that you wear all the time than to have five good outfits and five bad outfits. In the latter example, you may have twice as many outfits, but half of them suck.
Second, have a go-to routine for hair, clothes, and makeup. If I'm in a rush, my hair is in a bun. Period. No questions asked, no thinking, it's going into a bun. I generally don't wear makeup to work, but when I do, I know I'll be putting on either a quick five-minute face or a longer 20-minute work makeup version that I don't stray away from. I also have a go-to work outfit. The combination I wear the most is pants, a blouse, and a blazer. I make sure that one of them has a cute detail or pattern on it and I throw on some of my favorite earrings. Done.
Alexis: My friends make fun of me for this, but I only wear black and neutrals. Not only do they look good on me, but they go together so easily, so putting together looks for work isn’t too hard when everything you own compliments each other haha! I’m working on incorporating more color, but black will always have my heart.
What are 5 beauty products you both swear by?
(1) Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. It's cheap and it works for my skin.
(2) Exfoliating rounds from Target. I use them lightly once a day and it's made an incredible difference.
(3) Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner. My curly hair is prone to dryness. This product is thick and helps to moisturize my hair.
(4) MAC Studio Fix Foundation. I feel like a rockstar after applying this foundation.
(5) Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in "Prayer". I'm never giving it up. Never.
(4) Coconut Oil.
(5) Rosewater and Glycerin Spray.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old selves?
Cheslie: Stop worrying about what "they" think. "They" is a horrible group of people who never do anything but always have something to say about what you're doing. Ignore them. Do what feels authentic and what you believe in.
Alexis: Have a plan, but know that where you end up may not be where you thought you’d go! You’ll have to re-write your career (and life) strategy and plan a few times, but it’s important to keep perspective. Things happen as they are supposed to and in their own timing. Any door that has closed on me has lead to a better opportunity that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. At the end of the day, be open-minded, be smart, and be thankful for the journey.