A Day in the Life of Polyvore’s Director of Community
We’re all about taking style and creativity into your own hands, from reading all the creative inspo books you can get your hands on to hacking into your creativity while you sleep. And nobody has a more DIY attitude toward personal style and creativity than Polyvore, the website that allows you to make digital collages of clothing, accessories, home goods and more (and then purchase those items — hello, one-stop-shop). When you get thousands of people digitally DIYing their personal styles at once, a sense of community is natural — but for Polyvore, it’s also been very intentional. We caught up with Nadia Hussain, the Director of Community AKA the woman working every day to cultivate and empower Polyvore’s community to find out what a typical day in her super-cool role looks like.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF Nadia Hussain
4:00am: I’m observing Ramadan this month and fasting from sunup to sundown, so I wake up at 4am to have my pre-dawn meal. I’ll either eat overnight oats I prepared the night before or a Chobani Yogurt Key Lime Pie Crumble (yum!). I usually go back to sleep around 4:30am.
8:00am: Awake again. 8am may seem a bit late to most, but I try to pick my battles when it comes to my commute — traffic in the Bay Area is no joke. So I do most of my morning prep from home while waiting the traffic out. Before I even get out of bed, I check my emails, Snapchat and Instagram on my phone.
8:30am: I shower and get ready for the day. I’m not completely settled into my new place yet (a lot of my shoes are still in suitcases), so I have to allow a little bit of time to find what I’m looking for.
9:15am: I’m out the door. I pull up my Waze app so that I know how long my commute is going to be and mentally prepare myself for it. My office is only 12 miles away, but that can take up to an hour on certain days of the week. During my drive, I plan out my day.
10:00am: I usually get to the office around this time. It’s a good thing I pretty much live in sneakers, because the only open parking spots at this hour are far away.
Outside of Ramadan, I would normally run over to the cafeteria and grab a plate of egg whites and avocado. My a.m. drink of choice is an iced latte from the coffee bar. I don’t even have to say a word — the baristas here know my order by heart! Did I mention we get free meals at work? Kind of my favorite perk. On Mondays, our amazing coworker Cindy bakes something delicious for our team. We call her goodies CindyCakes, and this week it’s a chocolate cinnamon cake. (And, yes, I made sure to save myself a piece for later.)
10:15am: I check my email again and the daily top outfit sets on Polyvore. I’m always amazed at what our community members are creating. I’m totally in home decorating mode, so the decor sets are my favorite at the moment.
10:30am: It’s my first meeting of the day. I’m wrapping up a partnership with a brand that’s based on the East Coast, so this is the perfect hour for us to hop on a call and touch base. We talk briefly about how we think the partnership went, and the next action item I walk away with is putting together a wrap-up report for the partner.
11:00am: I’ve been working with some community members on an early beta test for an upcoming feature, so I spend the next hour catching up on feedback and crafting the next wave of messaging to the community members. This is one of the most enjoyable parts of my day, where I really get to examine community feedback and share it with the rest of the team.
12pm: We’ve been talking about ordering some new Polyvore swag for our community members and we just got a delivery of samples. A few of us are checking out the products and deliberating on what we should place an order for based on what our community members would really be excited about. Polyvore-branded board shorts? Meh. Bluetooth headphones? Hell yes!
12:30pm: With Polyvore members fresh on my mind, I make the time to really focus on them. I notice many of them are posting their sets on Instagram, and they get a ton of engagement on those posts. I’m curious to know more about their personal stories and understand how Polyvore can better support them. Are they aspiring stylists? Bloggers? What can we do for them? So I direct message a few them through Instagram, inviting them to get in touch with me. Hope to hear back!
1:30pm: One of our product managers stops by my desk. He’s thinking through another beta test we can run with community members and asks if I have capacity to help out. I really appreciate how we collaborate multiple times throughout the day and across teams at Polyvore. It’s for this very reason I love being in the office versus working from home.
2pm: Mail gets dropped off and we get a cute card addressed to the Polyvore team. It’s a handwritten note from one of our community members just thanking our team for building an awesome site and a community where she feels supported. [Insert all the feels here.] I post a picture of it to our team Slack chat and then tack the actual card on our “Love Letters” wall. It’s so inspiring to hear from our members and touching that they take the time to show our team love.
2:30pm: It’s time for our weekly marketing and communications team sync. We discuss team highlights and hear about the different projects everyone is working on. It’s also an opportunity to help each other brainstorm on projects.
3:30pm: This is when I take my midday break. We have this amazing outdoor trail behind our office that overlooks wetlands, so I go for a short walk outside. I’m not following my normal workout routine this month, so it’s nice to step away from my desk, get a little wind in my hair and re-energize.
3:30pm: I start working on the partnership wrap-up deck. There were a lot of moving pieces to this partnership, so I have to sync with different folks on the team to get all the results together. I touch base with our social media manager to gather the metrics from all of our social posts and with the sales team to see how ads performed. We still have to announce winners for the contest we ran as part of the partnership, so I’m also looking through 4000+ entries and creating a finalists list that our guest judge can select winners from.
6:00pm: I usually leave the office around this time. By now I’m hoping traffic isn’t too terrible. Since I’m looking at at least 45 minutes in the car, I call a friend that lives in LA to catch up. I’m a big advocate of picking up the phone to stay in touch with people. We spend so much time communicating via text with one another, that it’s always nice to hear a voice on the other end.
8:30pm: The sun is setting, and it’s finally time to break my fast. Tonight I’m having dinner with my parents, and my mom has cooked up a storm for me. Over the next several hours, I’m also going to be chugging large amounts of water.
9:30pm: Drive home. At last, no traffic :)
9:45pm: This is when I start to wind down for the day. I don’t watch much television anymore, but if there happens to be a TV series I’m into (on Sundays, it’s definitely Game of Thrones), I’ll throw it on. But I’m also a multi-tasker, so even with the TV on, I’m on the internet browsing home decor. And shoes.
10:30pm: I do a quick scan of my emails and check my calendar so that I know what meetings I have tomorrow and what I need to prepare for.
11:30pm: I’m more of a night person, so I tend to go to sleep a bit later than most. Getting to bed around this time is actually on the earlier side for me.
Nadia’s favorite quote
“If your closet is organized, your life will be too.” — My Mom
Nadia’s best advice
Balance is everything.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com