In last week’s post we introduced the concept behind #MondayMuse. To refresh your memory, a Monday Muse is a woman who inspires us to tackle the work week with energy, focus and creativity. She’s smart, she’s successful, she’s driven, and of course, she has her own enviable personal style. Last week we talked about Jenna Lyons and Amal Clooney. Yes, they’re undeniably amazing women who have achieved so much - they definitely qualify as a #MondayMuse. That said, a Monday Muse isn’t always a household name or on a most powerful list; sometimes she’s the woman sitting in the cubicle next to you who’s always upbeat and ready to help, or the new grad who isn’t afraid to speak up in a meeting, or maybe she’s a co-founder of FirstSeven!
FirstSeven is a woman founded and run company, and all three of our co-founders are Monday Muses. We’ll highlight them all over the next few months, but today we’re getting up close and personal with Lili Morton.
Lili, let’s get to know you a little bit. Tell us about yourself and your career path. My career path has been a winding one, that’s for sure. I studied marketing and fashion merchandising at Michigan State University before moving to NYC where I worked for MTV Networks and Diane von Furstenberg. After a few years I moved back to my hometown where I worked for Make-A-Wish and then in sales & marketing for a couple small, local businesses. Thankfully, I stumbled upon Keaton Row (an e-commerce styling platform), which brought me back to NYC and helped me identify the path I wanted to be on and led me to my co-founders.
Did you always know you wanted to work in fashion & styling? Yes and no. I’ve always been more creative (studying ballet, performing in musical theater and styling), but also enjoyed business. Taking a creative concept and then building it into something real, that works. I jumped around a lot in my early 20s and had "the grass is always greener syndrome," until I realized (or someone told me), the grass is green where you water it. My path always led me back to the fashion industry, so I stayed, worked hard and am really happy with all of the lessons and opportunities it has afforded me.
Who’s your #MondayMuse? Why? According to the quiz, mine is Jessica Alba, and I would have to agree! I love her effortless, cool-girl style. Jeans and a tee, polished off with a blazer or leather jacket is what I’m most comfortable and confident in. Like me, she is a creative who transitioned into business and built something really amazing.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Ah, this is a real interview, huh?! Definitely still living in New York or splitting my time between the east and west coasts. And, running a successful styling firm. I like to have an idea of where I want to go, but not plan too far out, you never know where life will take you.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? I have been fortunate to have received a lot of great advice over the years. I can’t pinpoint one piece of advice, but I have learned a lot from my own mistakes (and successes). Through the process, I’ve learned to trust and enjoy my own path and not compare it to others who may seem to be “further along” than I am. I guess this seconds as life advice. Comparing yourself to other individuals, or other businesses is a recipe for disaster.
Describe your style in 3 words? Classic, effortless and edgy.
What’s one piece every career woman should have in her wardrobe? Smythe Duchess blazer. It’s a game-changer.
FirstSeven in a new company that you co-founded. What has the experience been like? It’s been exciting and challenging. For years I’ve helped women navigate the challenges of wardrobe selection and now I’m in uncharted territory, navigating a new business. I always knew I wanted to work for myself and FirstSeven is the perfect combination of fashion and business.