Hilary Phelps, Founder and Creative Director, GJ Media and HilaryPhelps.com
I like my girlfriends smart, successful, and beautiful inside and out, and I am lucky to be surrounded by many that fit this description. Hilary Phelps, Founder and Creative Director, GJ Media and HilaryPhelps.com is a perfect example. I am forever indebted to Andrea Kremer for having introduced the two of us. Andrea knew Hilary and I would get along because we share owning our own businesses, a love of football (although we root for competing teams…), and a no nonsense outlook to life. And, go figure, neither of us love crowds!
AP: What city were you born in? HP: Baltimore, MD.
AP: What city to do you live in? HP: Arlington, VA.
AP: What is your middle name? HP: Kristin.
AP: What is your astrological sign? HP: Pisces.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? HP: I don’t like crowds. I spend a lot of time in them, be it a reception, a party, a networking or sporting event, but I don’t particularly like them. I prefer small groups and one-on-one interaction.
AP: What is your most prized possession? HP: The medal I was handed as I crossed the finish line at the 2010 Lake Placid Ironman 140.6. When I registered for the race I had never ran a marathon, didn’t own a bike and hadn’t swam a lap since I hung up my goggles post-college — and the race was 8 months away. It proved to me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to achieving.
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? HP: My boyfriend of 5.5 years — I treasure the time we spend together, one-on-one. Or Albert Einstein. I’ve always been fascinated by his achievements, oddness and intelligence.
AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. HP: Tailored, minimal, classic.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? HP: Yes, Shinola, The Runwell 36mm.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? HP: Diamonds in my ears and pearls around my neck.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? HP: Drink water and wear sunscreen.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? HP: Coco Chanel or Burberry.
AP: Botox or not? HP: I haven’t had it to date, but I’m not against it and would consider getting in the future.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? HP: Natural.
AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? HP: Eat as close to the source as possible and don’t eat anything that has ingredients you can’t pronounce.
AP: What do you do for exercise? HP: Unless I’m training for a race (triathlon or running), I like to mix it up: Zengo (indoor cycling), Yoga, Pilates reformer and mat, Dancing, trampoline…
AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? HP: Eggs, kombucha, almond milk.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? HP: Sparkling water with lime — I don’t drink alcohol.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? HP: I love what I do, so for me, it’s just life. I do try to unplug during the weekend and detach from my phone. I read a great piece in WSJ on Ivanka Trump about how she unplugs for an entire day during the weekend and spends it with family. I admire that. Family, friends and loved ones are the most important things in the world.
AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? HP: Maybe 10,000; I do a lot of my travel to New York and I take the train.
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? HP: Drink water, pack a snack and pack anything you will need for an overnight stay in your carry-on. I’ve had bad luck recently on a few trips where I checked my bags and learned the hard way to keep a few necessities in my carry-on.
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. HP: Taylor Swift “Shake it Off” Jay Z “Run this Town” and Darude “Sandstorm.”
AP: What book are you reading right now? HP: The New Healthy Rules by Frank Lipman and The Art of Conversation by Catherine Blyth.
AP: Quote to live by. HP: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Change starts and ends with ourselves — this quote is a good reminder of that.
AP: What is your worst pet peeve? HP: When people take up two parking spots. I lived in DC for years and am in the city a few times a week, so it drives me crazy when I’m looking for a parallel parking spot and someone pulls right in the middle of two, so no one (other than a tiny smartcar) can fit in front or behind. Very frustrating!
AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? HP: I go to bed between 10-10:30pm and wake up around 6am. I need a solid 8 hours of sleep to function, it’s just the way I’m wired. If I get less, it throws me off and affects mood. I love my sleep!
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? HP: The way putting on lipstick can literally lift your mood
AP: Least favorite thing. HP: Information overload. Not knowing how to decipher what ingredient does and whether or not I really need it to help nourish my skin.
AP: Who is your mentor? HP: I have a few across a variety of networks/career paths. I’m grateful for women who have helped me and I truly hope that I can pass that along to the younger generation.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. HP: Never give up. Don’t quit before the miracle happens. Right when you’re ready to give-up is when something really great happens. Trust me. Stick with it.