Lisa Sugar’s Sweet Smell Of Success

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There was no doubt Lisa Sugar was taking Brian Sugar’s name when they wed. “I just had three Twinkies at my desk because we had a celebration for somebody leaving,” she confesses when we visit her at the downtown San Francisco office of POPSUGAR, the hautest site for female millennials, which she and her husband co-founded in 2006. “I already had a KitKat and sour gummies.” Clearly, this mother of three young girls is as addicted to sugar as she is celebrities, the impetus for launching her site which began as an up-to-the-minute entertainment hub, and now also offers content and conversation on fashion, fitness, food and parenting, while drawing 41 million users worldwide and driving more than a billion dollars in annual retail revenue. The Hollywood-obsessed editor-in-chief—Brian, the CEO, handles coding—runs us through her day.

Lisa Sugar_Credit The Womens Project Lauri Levenfeld2
PHOTO: THE WOMENS PROJECT / LAURI LEVENFELD

6:30 A.M. to 7 A.M. I’m in bed looking at my phone, checking email, looking at Facebook and Instagram for about 10 minutes before I even get up and brush my teeth. I come downstairs and make a cup of coffee. Our nanny comes and helps in the morning. Brian is downstairs. The full team is there. I head back upstairs and get ready for work. I love the shower. That’s my alone time. No one can bother me. I can be inspired.

7:45 A.M. I take Katie (the eldest daughter) to school, which is pretty close, so we walk. It will be nice, since Katie and Juliet, who is almost 6, will be on the same schedule in the fall. We’ll be able to take them to school together, which is a huge highlight of the day.

8:10 A.M. If Brian is ready, we’ll walk to work together, which is nice. It’s a 35-minute walk. I can either have a mini-meeting with him, whether it’s about work or personal stuff. It’s a great way to start the day with a little bit of exercise without getting too gross. If Brian is not with me on the walk, I’ll make calls whether it’s to my parents, co-workers in New York or friends. That’s a good time for me to connect with people, so I love that time too.

8:45 A.M. I get to the office, and I’m usually pretty meeting-free that first hour. I bring my breakfast—I’ll make a smoothie or these egg muffins— with me from home. I catch up and see what all the sites are doing. I get a bunch of emails that tell me what’s happening with everyone and each vertical. I start meetings; it’s everything from sales and marketing meetings, video meetings, brainstorming meetings, interviewing new candidates.

12:30 P.M. Lunch is soup or salad. I’ll just eat in the meeting. We’re in the process of really elevating our fashion and beauty sites and kind of relaunching the look and feel of those. Because of beautiful sites like Instagram, you really want to up your game. We do a lot of video conferencing, which is nice, because we have people in New York and L.A.; so it allows us to all feel very close.

5 P.M. I usually wind down and get back home. The kids have to eat dinner at 6 o’clock, and I really like to be home for dinner. We eat from 6 to 6:45, and then we have dessert. We clean up the toys. We go upstairs and we have baths and brush our teeth. We read stories altogether in one of the three girls’ rooms and then we put the baby down in the crib. After I help get the kids to bed, then I come back down and hang out for another two hours.

9 P.M. to 11 P.M. I watch TV and do email until about 11. I read lots of articles about how to simplify your life. They’re like, ‘Just check your email twice a day.’ I’m like, that’s so not going to ever happen in my life.

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