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The Changemakers: Danielle Weisberg & Carly Zakin, Co-founders of theSkimm

The Changemakers: Amazing women who are doing innovative and fascinating things in their careers and lives. These are women on their way up, and we believe a great wardrobe full of versatile pieces supports them as they make giant strides. When you look your best, you feel your best, and are thus equipped to soar. If you love this post, check out our entire Changemakers series.

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Carly Zakin (left) and Danielle Weisberg (right) are the co-founders at theSkimm, a daily e-mail newsletter that breaks down the headlines across subject lines and party lines. theSkimm gives you everything you need to know to start your day — sign up for it over at theSkimm.com. 

Danielle Weisberg is… a co-founder at theSkimm. Danielle is originally from Chicago, which explains her love of the Chicago Cubs, and went to Tufts. After starting at NBC News in the DC Bureau where she got to field produce at the White House and Capitol Hill, and work every time shift imaginable, she moved to New York. Before starting theSkimm, Danielle was working at MSNBC and living with Carly in their very small NYC apartment.

Carly Zakin is… a co-founder at theSkimm. Carly is originally from New York City and went to the University of Pennsylvania. Carly always dreamt of working at NBC News and began interning there as soon as it was legal. She started as a Production Assistant at CNBC and went on to produce documentaries for MSNBC and NBC News both in New York and Washington DC. She enjoyed a brief stint producing reality television and vowed, never, never again. Before theSkimm, Carly was at NBC News, living with Danielle, and getting used to her very odd hours.

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What’s your typical day as one of the Co-Founders of theSkimm? What is your work/life balance like with that kind of a job?DW: There is no typical day at theSkimm. Every day is a mix of a lot of different things — managing ongoing projects, trying to get business development opportunities off the ground, meeting with advisors, and trying to make sure our office runs smoothly. Work/life balance is definitely tough. It’s something we constantly have to remind ourselves that this is something that is important and integral to our success as founders and also to our company. theSkimm can’t run with two co-founders who haven’t slept and are hermits. It’s not healthy for anyone — or any team — to work or think about work 24/7. It takes a lot of hard work and long hours to start something and we needed to put those in and continue to do so. But this year, since we’ve hired our first employees, things have definitely improved.

CZ: There is definitely no typical day. We wear many hats including co-CEO, co- President, Co-Managing Editor, Co-head of HR, Co-CMO, Co-director of janitorial services. We have days where we have pinch-me moments (like being on the Today Show) and days where we are installing fans and writing on the floor. Did we mention how grateful we are to have a team?

carlycloseuptheskimmWhat does “Changemaker” mean to you? How do you or how does your company embody that? DW: “Changemaker” to me means someone who is doing something different or inspiring different thoughts within an industry. theSkimm is doing that for news. We both grew up news junkies and loved working in traditional news media. We didn’t want to give up those passions or leave the industry — but we did want to create something that our friends could relate to each day. We innovated from within an industry we love, fitting in with the “Changemaker” moniker.

CZ: ”Changemaker” is someone breaking the mold. That is what we tried to do with theSkimm–forge our own personal path and disrupt the news industry.

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Tell us what you’re wearing and how style fits in your life. How does your style change when you’re at work vs. at play? DW: I am wearing black coated jeans and a grey shirt with a white peter pan collar. I am also rocking a very cool trench coat with leather accents. I also have on a great pair of high heels that I can actually walk to meetings in without pain. This is a great style because it’s comfortable to wear while we’re running from meeting to meeting but looks good for an investor meeting as well.

My style is a mix of trying to get through all of our events in one day — from running around going to meetings to professional events. There’s a big overlap between work and play now. But when I’m solely at play, I like jeans, high heels, and a tank top. I love blazers, especially if they can add a pop of style or color to an outfit. I fall into the ‘wears a lot of black’ category. Although I do love a bright lip gloss.

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CZ: I am wearing a white shift dress and navy and white tweed jacket. With the highest heels I’ve ever worn. My style is very classic and I love that I can dress this outfit up or down and wear each of these as separates or put them together. I know I’ll live in this jacket all fall. I  can’t believe these shoes are actually comfortable–I am a shoe admirer but please don’t watch me try to walk in heels.  Except these.

My style is super classic–I’m usually wearing something navy, white, or black and I love  anything short and fitted. I ‘m most comfortable in jeans, ballet flats, and my Skimm t-shirt.caylfulllookWhat are some of your sources of professional and personal inspiration? What about style inspirations? DW:  We are very luck to have a lot of professional inspiration. Our moms both balance work and career and they are huge inspirations to us. We have had great mentors like the founders of R”ent The Runway” and “Who What Wear,” and Gilt’s Alexis Maybank help us navigate a lot of new terrain.

Style inspiration for me is Kate Hudson (I fell hard for boho chic in college), Cameron Diaz in “The Holiday” and Audrey Hepburn (always classic). And my mom because she’s not afraid to try anything, while always tailoring it to her personal taste.

CZ: My style inspiration is my grandma who introduced me to cashmere, my mother who taught me to never try too hard and keep it classic, Audrey Hepurn because it’s Audrey Hepurn, Miranda Kerr because she always puts a sexy spin on whatever she’s wearing, and Kate Middleton, minus the fascinator.

Danielle is wearing our Collared Linen Top, coated Ann Taylor denim, Amaya Exotic Embossed Leather Peeptoe Shooties, and The Edgy Trench

Carly is wearing our Rounded Hem Shift DressBillie Cutout Leather Peeptoe Shooties, and Addison Jordan Tweed Jacket.

Don’t forget to sign up for theSkimm!