Good American's Emma Grede Wants You to Know That Doing It All Is Basically a Myth - E! Online

Good American's Emma Grede Wants You to Know That Doing It All Is Basically a Myth

7/29/2021 3:09:00 AM

Good American's Emma Grede Wants You to Know That Doing It All Is Basically a Myth

There are not many people that can call Khloe Kardashian, Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner business partners. Which is why you’re going to want Emma Grede’s shrewd—and honest—business advice.

Instead, she found a way to actually see the fruits of her labor while using her skills in an inventive way. "I was very, very early in the idea of celebrity alignment with brands. And I realized very, very quickly how working with talent can really accelerate a business," she explains. "I started an agency when I was 24 years old and I had clients all over the world and that was my job. My job was really to partner them with talent, and so, I really saw firsthand the power of celebrity influence."

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While that work was a clear precursor to the world of influencer marketing we know today, it was also a logistical building block in her path toward the Kardashians. "When you worked in my businesses," she says, "it was your business to know all the managers and the agents and the publicists in Hollywood." When it came to Kris, though, their meeting spot was in Paris. "She would be at fashion week with one of her daughters," Grede explains. "I would meet and tell her what my clients were looking for, and we would have a business meeting."

So, when it was time for Emma to pitch an idea of her own for one of Kris' clients, it was business as usual. "It didn't feel like a scary thing," she recalls. "It was, like, this is a person that is always open to opportunities that might be good for her clients-slash-daughters and so, it wasn't something that I felt particularly fearful about pitching to Kris in the beginning."

As Emma says of the famed momager, "She's such an amazing woman and she's really so smart, so I thought, 'Of course she's going to love this idea. It's a brilliant idea.'"Five years later, that idea is now the fully fledged Good American brand—swimwear, shoes and celebrity fans included. As for Emma, her plate has only gotten fuller as she tackles one type of customer after the next. "I think the common thread in everything that I do," she says, "that we're looking at products and saying, 'Well, how can we do that much, much better?'"

But, remember, she doesn't do it all, nor at the same time. Below, dig into her vast pockets of wisdom:Courtesy of Emma GredeOn not questioning herself:"I don't suffer from imposter syndrome because I think that everybody brings something different to the table and I think this goes back to my upbringing a little bit," she says. "My mom really, really taught me that if you work hard enough, you can do anything and that I wasn't better than anybody else, but nor was anybody better than me and so, I come from a place where I had real self-assurance, real confidence in my ideas and what it is that I bring to the table. But, by the same token, I know what I don't know and I really consider that a superpower to surround yourself with really smart people, people that know things that you don't, that do things and fill into your weaknesses."

On the reality of not doing everything herself:"Within my businesses, anything that I'm involved in, we have people that are experts in products and experts in e-comm and experts in warehousing and logistics and finances and HR. It takes an army just like it does when you're raising children. You need help and I'm just not afraid to outsource. It's really an important part of it," she explains. "It goes back to this idea of intrinsically knowing your value and your own worth and what you're good at, and then being brave enough to outsource the rest of it and to think about building a team. I think it's one of the best parts of being involved in so many things. I have incredible people around me and I always thought about employing people and building a team and ultimately making what I do and myself better and stronger, right? It's not a weakness of mine that I'm super dyslexic and I'm not that great at finance. It's a strength that I'll just go out and find the best CFO ever...It's very rarely a one-man band that makes these things happen."

On what people miss about negotiation:"It isn't to beat the other side. It's to find a mutually advantageous middle ground," she says. "Something that you can live with and something that the other side can live with and so, I often start by thinking about—What is the other side thinking about all of this? What's their argument? And then that just naturally leads you to a place of better reasoning. Once you understand the other side, you come in with a more realistic viewpoint of what it is that you're trying to do and what the realistic output is."

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On the importance of moving on to another job:"Sometimes you've got to know when to go," she says. "I see a lot more career movement with the men in my businesses than I do see the women in my businesses," she points out, noting women's tendency to feel loyalty to a business. "I think if you're not able to get what you want, then you might have to move on in order to get that."

And always remember that you are your own best advocate. "We all have this idea," she continues, "that the companies that we work for are there to further our interests and look after us and the reality is that the business is there to serve the interest of the business. You have to look after yourself and so, that may mean that you have to get up and find something else and that's fine, too. We're not supposed to be stagnant in life. That's like the human condition—we're supposed to move on."

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