photos by katie kett
It’s not everyday you come across a pair of best friends who live together and work together. Turns out the co-founders of our favorite Chicago-based blog, The Everygirl, aren’t your average girls at all. Alaina Kaczmarski and Danielle Moss met at a Christmas party in the winter of 2010 and through the months that followed discovered a shared dream: to help other women like themselves. Together, they created the inspirational site that would eventually become a daily destination for masses of career-driven creative milennials. The friendship that followed is built on the same values as The Everygirl — supporting each other in work, life, and the pursuit of big dreams for women who don’t necessarily start out with big advantages. Join Danielle and Alaina (along with their adorable dogs) as they take us on a stroll through Lincoln Park in Chicago, and afterwards to their favorite Bucktown spot for tacos and margaritas. Windy City, here we come!
You’re the first pair of best friends we’ve featured in this series who work together. Tell us a bit about what you do:
Alaina: Danielle and I both hold the title of Cofounder and Editor of The Everygirl. I love everything about our job! While a good chunk of time is spent on email — with contributors, editors, advertisers, collaborations, etc. — every day is different. Styling shoots one day, laying out graphics on another, designing new product on another. It’s never boring and encapsulates the jobs I love most: graphic design, styling, writing, editing, managing, and creative development!
Danielle: I also run a freelance graphic design and photography business (although that’s very much part-time). I love that we get to be behind a site that inspires women every day. While a lot of the content is pretty (and fun), we also cover finance, career, health, wellness, and lots of other issues that are important to us.
How did you two first meet? Give us the dish on your friendship!
Danielle: I started reading Alaina’s blog when I moved to Chicago in Fall 2010. We had a mutual friend (Jess Lively) in common, so I invited the two of them to my Christmas party. We got together with Jess that winter and again at a blogger meet-up a few months later spring. It was when I photographed her for a website in summer ’11 that we started discussing a shared dream to inspire women. We sat down for coffee and after a meeting that lasted a few hours, decided to work together. We went from being acquaintances to working together after work and every single weekend, and now, every single day.
What are your shared values as friends?
Alaina: I’d say the main shared value we have is helping young women who are in the position we were once in: lost, not knowing what to do in life, financially dependent, underpaid, and stressed; they have talent, great work ethics, and lofty goals but they don’t necessarily know what step to take next. They don’t know who to talk to. The Everygirl offers a resource to inspire and guide them! At least that’s the hope…
Danielle: We wanted to find our dream jobs, but not coming from connected families we didn’t know how to make that happen. That’s how The Everygirl was formed. We also have a lot in common–we both love decor, Nancy Meyers movies, and our dogs.
Yes! It’s time we were introduced to these precious pups. (pictured left to right: Buddy, Tucker, and Fiona)
Alaina: My two dogs are Tucker and Fiona, both cockapoos, aged 7 and 6. They are half siblings — same dad from same farm in Missouri, but they’re a year apart. Danielle rescued Buddy in LA. He had a broken leg and a big ole cast on his leg when she got him.
Danielle: I walked by an animal adoption drive just before Christmas six years ago and went in to take a look and came across a little chihuahua/min pin puppy with a cast on his leg. I hadn’t planned on getting a dog and am honestly not a big fan of chihuahuas (don’t hate me) but his cast said “rescue me” and he looked at me. And I left with a puppy. The perfect, most sweetest little pup.
Alaina, how does Danielle inspire you?
She’s one of the hardest working people I know and she never stops. She can get more done in an hour than most people do in a week. I wish I could work so quickly!
And Danielle, how does Alaina motivate you?
She inspires me to think outside the box. I went from running my own graphic design business to running a website with someone else, so she’s really inspired me by being there day in and day out. She’s pretty creative — it’s fun to watch her in action.
How would you describe each others’ style?
Danielle: Alaina’s girly (sometimes), timeless, fun, neutral (with some pink thrown in), and a little sparkly.
Alaina: She’s classic, comfortable, definite — meaning she’s not looking to try new trends, she knows what she likes. And neutral. Everything neutral.
The girls dropped the dogs at home and continued on to Big Star, a favorite restauarant in the super hip Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago.
What do you love to order here?
Alaina: We always start with the guacamole and queso fundido…
Danielle: — and Alaina orders the fish tacos. I get the tacos al pastor.
So you prefer different types of tacos… Any other notable discrepancies in your personal taste?
Alaina: Absolutely! When it comes to style, I am more inclined to use color, sparkle, and something a bit outrageous. When it comes to music, I don’t love a lot of what she plays; it’s too electronic sounding for my taste. But I love Disney and theatre music, which she does not. For example, I was just Mary Poppins for Halloween and wanted to listen to the soundtrack during the work day to feel inspired; Danielle suggested I wear headphones.
Danielle: Haha! We both like The Lumineers, Bon Iver, and Mumford, but our taste in music is otherwise very different. I listen to (mostly) indie music and she’s a bit more into pop, so when working together, we usually take turns.
Alaina: That being said, we love ALL the same movies! So go figure.
Danielle: Big Nancy Meyers fans here.
Tell us your best inside joke:
Danielle: Well, for some reason, we always show up places in the same outfit. We’ll both be in a flowy black top, white sweater, or black booties on the same day. It’s ridiculous (and kind of weird).
Danielle and Alaina: (laughter)
How has living and working together affected your friendship? How do you typically spend time together as friends?
Danielle: Since we work together every single day and as of last May, became roommates, most of our friend time is work time. By the end of the day or weekend, we’re usually off doing our own thing.
Alaina: If we aren’t talking about The Everygirl, we’re probably talking about our personal lives and confiding in one another for advice. Family, love lives, friends, pets… you name it. My favorite thing to do with Danielle is travel; we have very similar travel styles and interests, so we almost always want to do similar things on trips. Makes planning everything very easy and stress-free!
How do you see each other in ten years?
Danielle: I honestly have no idea! If you had asked me where we’d be 3 years ago I would have never guessed we’d be where we are. I guess that’s what’s exciting about life though — you never know where you’ll end up. Hopefully we’ll both be living in Europe! A girl can dream.
Alaina: In ten years, I see Danielle still as my business partner, but not as my roommate.
Danielle and Alaina: (more laughter)
Thanks, ladies, for sharing your inspiring attitudes on friendship and work with us today. We can always get behind an everygirl-makes-good story.