At Phila. women’s conference this week, voices of achievement

At the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on Thursday, women of all ages will descend on Center City to glean wisdom from the likes of Jessica Alba, actress and entrepreneur; Gloria Steinem, women’s rights pioneer; Rachael Ray, celebrity chef and TV host; Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee from Liberia; and Carli Lloyd, World Cup soccer superstar.
Some will offer tips on how to start your own business, including Lori Goldstein, a longtime stylist for Vanity Fair and other magazines as well as for high-style photographer Annie Leibovitz. (They did a worldwide Gap ad campaign together.)
Known for her “anything goes with everything” style – blending fabrics, periods, and collections – Goldstein designs clothes sold on QVC and pulls apart the high-end runway, mixing and matching from designers such as Marni, Dries Van Noten, Prada, and Lanvin.
Along the way, she discovered young talent such as jewelry designer Alexis Bittar selling in a stall on the street.

Goldstein, a native of Ohio, says: “I was never an elitist. I never liked that part of the fashion business. Over the years, women came up to me and said: ‘I wish I could dress like you. How do you do that?’ I tell women they can wipe away all the rules” about mixing prints and about body type.

“Women have come to understand you can layer. It doesn’t make you look fat, and you don’t have to be skinny,” she adds.

 

Goldstein got her start on QVC doing a makeover, and now it sells her clothing lines.

“I used to work for couture designers who made 50 pieces a year. Now I reach 100 million people” on TV, she says. She would not disclose financials.

Her favorite local shopping spots include Joan Shepp in Philadelphia, the King of Prussia Mall, and Trove General Store in Paoli.

She launched LOGO by Lori Goldstein, an exclusive collection for QVC, in 2009. In 2013, she launched LOGO Layers, her first line extension for QVC. An assortment of basic layering tanks, leggings, T-shirts, and cardigans, LOGO Layers continues to grow with the “athleisure” trend.

In 2014, Goldstein launched her third line, LOGO Littles, for children ages 4 to 14 – QVC’s only current line of kids’ clothes. This year, Goldstein debuted her first one-hour show as part of QVC’s Monday night “Fashion’s Night In” programming.

Her advice on starting a business?

“Like anything, you have to love it, care about it; it has to be your true passion. It’s never going to work if you just want to make money.”

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray is often asked how she achieved her success.

“My career, the television aspect anyway, was accidental,” she says. “In general, work harder than everyone else, and be happy about it. If you’re not a grateful hard worker, you won’t get anywhere. Take your work seriously and not yourself. What’s your mission statement? Your purpose?”

She also advises women in business to “be willing to start small. The world is so connected now with social media. You can literally start a business as soon as you file your documents on LegalZoom.”

Never make your business plan about money, Ray adds. “That’s an epic fail. You’ll never find value, and it can’t be the motivator. You’ll get distracted by it.”

Ray says she’s “careful what I do with my name. I don’t license anything. I drew my first pots in the kitchen on a cocktail napkin. If my name is on something, I was part of the design, so I don’t do license deals.”

Her favorite Philly haunts and products include Rival Bros.’ ReAnimator coffee, High Street on Market’s artisanal bread, and the restaurants Zahav and Vedge.

The 12th annual women’s conference, which will take place at the Convention Center, is expected to attract 5,000 to 8,000 people. Tickets are available at www.paconferenceforwomen.org.

Panels of experts will discuss such topics as “Pioneering Pay Equity: Strategies to Bridge the Gap,” “Own Your Value and Negotiate Your Worth,” and “No Risk, No Reward: Taking the Risk to Do What You Want With Your Career.”

Other opportunities include sessions on social media and the 2015 Career Pavilion, presented by Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, where career experts, coaches, and professionals will answer questions about job skills and networking.

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