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NYC

Making Space with Makespace

Making Space with Makespace

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Makespace. The opinions and text are all my own.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Makespace. The opinions and text are all my own.

By now, most of you know that I’m moving in with my fiancé (which means storing 10 years of belongings from my old apartment). I recently partnered with MakeSpace to share some of the unique things I'm storing, like my guitars, Nightmare Before Christmas memorabilia and yes - even my beloved popcorn machine. 

The best part about working with Makespace? The opportunity to store my stuff, rent my apartment and earn additional income.

P.S. Thanks to NY Times for listing my apartment in the top 5 Most Popular Properties in July!

3 Tips for Buying a Home in NYC

So you want to buy a home?

Growing up with two parents who work in real estate, I’ve learned a thing or two about good property investments. (I even bought my first home with some of my bat-mitzvah money when I was 17.)

Now 30, with many of my friends making first-time home purchases, I’ve had many of them come to me for advice.

Here are my top three tips for home-buying success, whether it’s your first place in NYC – or an investment property in Miami.

1. Don’t show your cards.

Hardwood floors. Stainless steel appliances. Laundry in the unit?!?! It’s difficult to not get excited when you walk into your dream home (or in my case, New York City apartment). While it’s nice to pay a compliment or two to the current homeowner (“You have a beautiful home”) - showing too much excitement can translate into desperation and will create less bargaining power for you when it comes time to negotiate. Instead, keep a check-list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves, and feel free to reference it any time you’re feeling fragile.

2. Do your homework.

I shopped for a year before buying my NYC apartment. While that doesn’t have to be your trajectory (and I hope it’s not) – it’s important to do your research before jumping in excitedly (see tip #1). What did the apartment next door sell for 5 years ago? What are the real estate, HOA and maintenance costs? Does the building have a savings fund in case of unexpected assessments? Does your building own the air rights to the building next door so you never have to worry about losing your view? Is the building close to a bridge or tunnel, where oncoming traffic might be noisy? Ask the right questions, even if there are a hundred (there are at least a hundred).

3. Get Insured.

A home is often the biggest investment a person will make in their lifetime, so it’s important to protect it. One pleasant surprise I encountered when I bought my home in NYC was that the price of home insurance was less than I expected. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average insurance premium in New York is $1,213/year (only two hundred higher than the national average, $1,034). One company that provides even more discounts is Allstate, including a 10% welcome discount. You can learn more about how an Allstate Agent can offer advice and help protect your biggest investment here.

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.

E-School for Girls: The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

As a small business owner, there are few things I'm more passionate about than helping the next generation of female entrepreneurs. (I even give them a plug in my latest for Forbes.)

Over the last year, I've had the honor of working with the E-School for Girls pre-college program, which gives young women the opportunity to learn how to innovate and create their own businesses. (Learn more about our February launch event with Microsoft and NYU.)

This summer, I mentored the girls during their two-week dedicated program and watched as they learned valuable skills like interviewing clients, honing their writing skills, building a great bio and LinkedIn profile - and creating a professional social media presence.

We even hosted a pitch contest (think: Shark Tank) where students presented their original business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs, including yours truly.

You can learn more about the tremendous work that E-School for Girls does here.

Bad Moms Night Out

Channeling the Jewish mom in me, this week I partnered with Bad Moms for a special VIP New York advance screening of the film, which stars Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell.

The screening was followed by an after-party at Beautique, where guests, including some of my closest friends and mommy bloggers, enjoyed cocktails and browsed products from event partners Graco and Cuddl Duds Baby

Thank you to Getty for capturing the event, BloomThat for the lovely flowers and to our fabulous event partners. 

Read more about everything that went into this special event in my Day in the Life story for Forbes. 

A Farm-to-City Dinner

From #FarmtoCity.

This week, I hosted an intimate summer dinner party at my home in partnership with online farmers market OurHarvest and Chef Palak Patel. OurHarvest delivers premium foods from local farms from the comfort of your laptop.

Joining us for dinner were my friends Crystal Martin, Alex Vadukul, Candice Kumai, Katie Kiefner, Alix Strauss, Grace Rasmus, Brittney Levine and OurHarvest founders Scott Reich, and Mike Winik.

Huge thanks to BloomThat for the beautiful flowers, NZ Wine, Craggy Range Winery, and Le Grand Courtâge for the wine, Ted Baker for my dress, and Getty's Michael Stewart for capturing such a great night. 

Mashable: How to Master Networking

It's all about who you know.

This week, I visited Mashable HQ to talk networking best practices on a Facebook Live session with #BizChats founder Tracey Edouard.

We kicked off the chat by selecting two emojis that best represent networking tips. I chose the ear emoji, because listening is crucial in building professional relationships, and the clapperboard emoji, because when you act confident, you start to feel confident. (Thanks, Rebecca Minkoff.)

Here are my top five networking tips. I hope they help you as much as they've helped me!

1. Do your homework. If you're going to an event, check out the guest list. Do some homework on the people attending, and if you decide you want to speak with them, find a few areas of common interest. 
2. Ditch the pitch. Be authentic. Networking has a stigma of being transactional, when it should really be about helping people.
3. Smile through your sentences. Research shows people evaluate everyone they meet in terms of warmth and competence. First impressions are everything.
4. Think quality over quantity. Everyone has connectors in their life, but most people only have a few super-connectors. Foster those relationships, rather than spreading yourself too thin.
5. Follow through. The President of the New York Stock Exchange Tom Farley says, "When I think about my own career, I owe every job I’ve ever had to networking. If I had not spent five years after [our] first Atlanta meeting staying in touch with Jeff Sprecher, chairman of the NYSE, through emails and phone calls, there is no way he would have considered me for president." 

Check out the full Mashable Facebook Live for more tips and for my number one key to successful networking. 

Thunder at The Skylark

Don't steal my thunder.

This week, I invited a few of my favorite bloggers and editors to join the gentlemen from Thunder from Down Under for an intimate sunset cocktail party on the beautiful Skylark Rooftop. 

Check out some of my favorite photos, below.

CROSS Pens: A Modern Marvel

I may be an internet entrepreneur, but (fun fact!) I still use a paper planner. 

From planning client meetings to giving myself a birds-eye view of the month (June is shaping up to be my busiest month yet), writing out my commitments helps me remember and better prepare for them.

And my Marvel x CROSS Pens have been instrumental (no pun) in planning.

CROSS Pens collaborated with Marvel for this special series of pens, featuring Captain America (above), Spider-Man and Iron Man. I was stoked when CROSS Pens asked me to partner on this post and bring in some of my favorite writers, illustrators and comic lovers.

Hope you enjoy these posts from Alexis ZirittJeff StokelyChondra SanchezCharles ThorpJeffrey Veregge and yours truly

Motivate Design x Room for Design

There are few things more important to me than education and innovation. I had the opportunity to incorporate both last month during a Take Your Child to Work Day event I hosted in partnership with UX company Motivate Design

On April 28, we invited students, aged 8-13, to re-imagine the classroom during a five-hour workshop, Room for Design. 

Classroom features – including air quality, natural light, and even wall color – play a significant role in a students’ academic performance. And since kids spend 50+ hours per week in the classroom, who would we be to not let them re-design it? 

Check out this video to see some of the innovative ideas the kids came up with, and head to Marie Claire for a full run-down of my week in events.

Northside Festival 2016: Innovation Meetup

How's this for a fun fact? 

By 2020, 50% of all workers will be self-employed.

On Monday, I joined Dell and Microsoft at the 2016 Northside Festival Innovation Meetup to share my founder story - from fired to hired (as my own boss).

I shared my tips, insights and challenges as a small business owner and social media entrepreneur - what I've experienced forging an industry that's so uncharted. 

The space has changed a lot in these five years, but I've figured out some constants: I only partner with brands who are a good fit for my personal brand. They can exist in any industry (education, music, tech, food, etc.) - but they have to share my values of being open-minded, creative, smart, embracing of equality and education.

And, perhaps most importantly: I want to work with brands that are big, but think small.

They have to support small business - the soon to be 50% of us. Get the full story of how I built my business on Refinery29. 

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Natalie Zfat x Lafayette 148 NYFW Event

This week, I invited some of my most fashionable friends to brave the cold and kick off New York Fashion Week at the Lafayette 148 Concept Store in Soho. The evening was complete with divine desserts courtesy of Lafayette Restaurant pastry chef Jennifer Yee and champagne by Louis Roederer

Check out some of my favorite snaps of our guests below, including Alyssa Campanella, Adelaide Kane, Chondra Sanchez, Emma Wo, the Wanderlust Girls, Lara Eurdolian, Lisa Linh, Pau Dictado and Christine Cameron.

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NYU + E-School for Girls Event

Photo by Michael Stewart of Getty Images. From left: Natalie Zfat, Allison Wright, Mona Patel, Kristina Libby, Janice Chong, Nan J. Morrison

Photo by Michael Stewart of Getty Images. From left: Natalie Zfat, Allison Wright, Mona Patel, Kristina Libby, Janice Chong, Nan J. Morrison

Growing my own business - and helping others do the same - is easily one of the most fulfilling feelings I've experienced in my lifetime. So when I was asked to partner with NYU and E-School for Girls to speak about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur - alongside other leading female innovators - I was in.

The event, powered by Microsoft, took place at NYU's Stern School of Business, and was attended by over 100 guests, including decision-makers, students, educators, and press. 

Fellow speakers included E-School for Girls Founder and Program Director Allison Wright, Microsoft Consumer PR Communications Lead Kristina Libby,  Council of Economic Education CEO Nan J. Morrison, Motivate Design CEO Mona Patel, and Teaching Garage CEO Janice Chong.

Allison Wright, E-School for Girls Founder and Program Director 

Allison Wright, E-School for Girls Founder and Program Director 

Now approaching its third year as a premier summer program, E-School for Girls provides underserved high school juniors and seniors with the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and skills such as business planning, team building, and personal branding. The girls are also introduced to a network of business professionals and mentors across a range of industries. 

“It is my personal mission to ensure that our students get to experience entrepreneurial success, build their skills and confidence and learn how to support themselves and each other no matter their gender or socioeconomic background.” - E-School for Girls Director, Allison Wright

Each speaker then gave a five-minute talk, sharing personal career stories, entrepreneurial advice and personal definitions of success. I shared with the audience my personal criteria for success, which I'll now share here.

  1. Be genuine.
  2. Do something that no one else is doing. (Or, if you’re doing something that other people are doing, do it better. Make sure you find a way to stand out.)
  3. Use yourself as the barometer for what success is. Figure out what your definition is and hold on to it as strongly as you would your client or employer's definition.

Check out some of my favorite moments and messages from the event.

"The secret to being an entrepreneur is refusing to allow your vision of what’s possible be dictated by those around you." -Kristina Libby
"You should be able to say what you do in one sentence." -Nan J. Morrison
"You do you. Really think about what it is that you know, what it is that you can offer, how you can best offer it, and then design the company around that." -Mona Patel
"If you don’t have the passion, and you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, it’s going to be tough." -Janice Chong

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Natalie Zfat x Funnster Holiday Cocktail Party

The holidays aren't complete without close friends and family. On Friday, December 18th, I partnered with new party-planning app Funnster and hosted an intimate holiday cocktail party - #CrowdFunning - at my home here in New York. 

In lieu of hostess gifts, I asked my guests to bring a toy to donate to Worldwide Orphans Foundation. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends and family. Learn more here about this amazing organization that is transforming the lives of children in need. 

You can't have a cocktail party without the cocktails. NZ Wine provided drinks for the event, selected from Babich Wines, Wairau River Wines, MT Difficulty Wines, and the The Crossing Wines vineyards. Beautiful holiday floral arrangements were supplied by BloomThat

Check out the official Getty album for more photos from the event here

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