Have you ever had a friendtor? Think of it as someone who is wise beyond their years, but happens to be in the same cohort. They offer sage advice. They offer guidance with a unique understanding of where you are in that moment. They know it all without being a know-it-all. It’s a term I coined when talking to Kayla Tausche, who happens to be mine.
Kayla Tausche also happens to be an on-air correspondent for CNBC. She’s covered everything from the Facebook IPO to, as recently as Friday, how banks benefit from Trump’s deregulation push. She’s got a killer sense of style which has landed her in Elle and is ever-prepared, even carrying a tennis ball in her bag should the opportunity arise to roll out her back muscles. As you’ll realize if you flip the channel to CNBC these days, time is fleeting for the former marathon runner and recent hot yoga convert, but she takes it all in stride. “I began journaling – a few minutes at night, longer during flights – to chronicle what is now a thrillingly happy and blessed time in my life.”
Photo: Geoff Nelson, Full Nelson Productions
1. Have you had any memorable mentors? If so, how did you meet? What advice have they shared that’s stuck with you?
Most mentors have emerged from people I originally sought out as potential sources, only to realize I could learn so much more from them than the one scoop. My most impactful mentor is an executive and entrepreneur named Maggie Wilderotter; when I met her she was CEO of a large telecoms company. We were seated next to each other at a conference and talked nonstop for hours through the scheduled evening entertainment. Perhaps I had assigned a smaller definition to the word “mentor,” but Maggie has been so much more to me. Just a sampling of things she’s advised me on: Understanding the present business climate; rising above office politics; deciding when to prioritize my husband’s career, and when to prioritize mine; building wealth; taking risks; navigating a restaurant wine list, and scouting new vacation destinations. She’s offered me jobs, opened up her home and her network, and introduced me to dozens of amazing women who are killers in their fields and are equally as inspiring as she is. I wish everyone a Maggie, if they count themselves as incredibly lucky as I have been.
Photo: Brook Bowman
2. A New York resident for 8 years, you recently moved to D.C. to cover Trump for CNBC. What are you most looking forward to about the change in local? Most nervous about?
The deadline chase of journalism is all-consuming in any city, but nearly a decade of the concrete jungle left me yearning for some a bit more quiet to offset that. The actual substance of covering Congress and the White House at this time in history has required a new commitment to the cause. But the cultural change of pace in Washington has been delightful: Friendly folks, some southern culture seeping in and winters that are just a bit more survivable. The cherry blossoms started opening a few weeks ago, and I’m basically walking on sunshine through them each day to work. The problem is, thanks to New York City, I now have impossibly high standards for restaurants, culture and public transportation. I’m nervous it won’t meet those standards!
In NYC? Three cases in point that are impeccable at any time of day… L’Artusi for unpretentious Italian. Quality Eats for its cheeky decor and menu (must get the PB&J bacon)! River Cafe in Brooklyn for endless flowers and the best skyline views.
Photo: David Grogan
3. You’ve been featured in Elle Magazine (!) and your style clearly turns heads. Where do you find wardrobe inspiration? Anything you have your eye on for Spring?
I’m an old soul, through and through. I bring pictures of Diane Keaton to my hairdresser, and my wardrobe similarly is styled with fresh takes on the classics: tweed jackets in modern cuts, sheer pantyhose with creative patterns, and silk neck scarves in bold colors. My daytime weekend uniform (leggings, flats and vests) could be described as apres-ski; my nighttime weekend uniform (form-fitting tops, a-line wrap skirts) is definitely ballerina. I love perusing the Net-A-Porter lookbook, the Atlantic-Pacific and Paris in Four Months Instagram feeds.
For spring: Off-the-shoulder dresses and blouses and large-format (clip-on!) earrings. My piercings had to be sewn because they ripped through. Oscar de la Renta makes the best. Very grateful both ShopBop and Rent the Runway sort by earring post. Double-breasted blazers. Flamenco skirts. Anything draped. The color yellow – trying to figure out how to wear with freckles. Petite scarves around the neck. And desperately hoping sneakers and backpacks can look chic.
4. Favorite store(s) on Fifth Avenue?
Some well-kept hideaways on the downtown stretch: There’s a secret Theory/Helmut Lang store that lives above the Cole Haan shoe store between 20th and 21st. It has everything you’d find in the normal store but it’s all 20% off! (You’re welcome.) My favorite killer workout – SLT – is just a block away, and also hidden from plain view on the second floor. Lou & Grey makes the softest sweaters and shawls – if you see me on a plane, I’m most likely enveloped in their knits.
5. Parting words:
Another mentor once told me: “The best warriors are never worriers.” Be confident in your abilities and preparation, and seize the opportunities as they present themselves. You can never be fully prepared for the moment you want to seize, but you can always be underprepared. And little good can come from worrying about the little things.
Photo: Julia Robbs/Our Labor of Love
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