Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Eric White
Chances are if you’ve ever attended a fashion show or an amazing party for a jewelry or lifestyle brand, Cindy Krupp was the mastermind behind it, gently pulling at various strings to create a seamlessly chic event. As the founder of Krupp Group, a PR and branding building firm, Cindy and her staff represent such brands as Sandro, Pamela Love and Lem Lem. Combine those efforts with raising two kids in the heart of downtown New York and you have one busy woman. We asked Cindy how she manages to make time for everything in her life, including herself, and what tricks she’s learned over the years to keep it all together. We could learn a thing or two from this amazing woman and mama:
What is your definition of staying balanced? How do you maintain it?
Is this a trick question?? As a working mother I am constantly striving for this balance sometimes I nail it and sometimes I fail miserably. It’s inevitable. I physically can’t be every place at once. I am very very type A so I am good at balancing a lot and that really helps. The trick for me is being very present wherever I am. If I am at work, I am fully present in what I am doing. When I am with my kids, I don’t talk on the phone, I try to stay off email and be in the room with them. When I work out I block everything else out so I can maximize my “me” time. It’s about quality over quantity.
CAN YOU SHARE A FAVORITE ROUTINE OR RITUAL DURING THE WEEK?
I have dinner alone with my son every Tuesday night at our favorite Sushi place in Tribeca, Sushi of Gari. I relish the time we spend together and always look forward to our date night. I pick Ellie up from dance most nights of the week. It’s just a few blocks from home but we talk the entire walk home about our day, good things and things that are upsetting her. She really opens up to me in that walk and she isn’t distracted by her phone or friends. It sounds silly but we have made it into real quality time.
What's the first thing you do in the morning or the last thing you do before bed?
I say a few prayers as soon I open my eyes. I study Kabbalah and feel starting the day in that way helps me to stay balanced throughout the day. Then I read and reply to emails, text that came through in the night from our international clients. Ellie gets into bed with me every am to snuggle for 4 minutes, that’s pretty awesome. I wake Jack before I walk out the door, otherwise he will sleep to noon. I then either take Ellie to school or go to a breakfast at the Nomad or Balthazar or go to Aqua Cycle.
What is your therapy?
Aqua cycle, Kabbalah and mediation and if all else fails booze…joking! I also go away once a year by myself to a spa to meditate, get body treatments and really just chill and recalibrate myself. At first I felt guilty taking the time for myself but then I realized if I don’t take care of myself I can’t take care of anyone else. That’s such an important thing for mothers to remember and there is no value in guilt. You can be upset or sad to miss something but guilt does not serve us at all.
Can you describe your journey in creating your own PR firm, KRUPP GROUP?
I was young and naïve and it totally behooved me. I left my position as Director of PR at Barneys to freelance. I was pregnant with Jack and I thought freelance sounded like a great lifestyle, but through word of mouth and support from the media, buyers, stylists we morphed into KG. it was very organic. I never had a business plan and still don’t. I run the business on my gut and on my previous successes and failures. I am very fortunate that the business has grown solely on referrals. So you really never know who is going to knock on the door next. It can be your biggest client ever, or your biggest client can decide to bring PR in house. Business is a crap shoot. That said, you obviously need to be good at what you do and stay true to your core company values. I am very good at knowing what I don’t know and surrounding myself with a team that fills in the holes.
How do you maintain a sense of reality or being grounded in such a crazy industry?
It’s fashion. We’re not saving lives but we are enhancing them. I am surrounded by amazing family and friends that aren’t in the space and aren’t impressed by it and aren’t really interested in fashion and it’s really nice. One of my best friends is an OT and works with kids with special needs. She talks about her day to me and I am in awe of her. That’s hard core.
How do you tailor your own style to fit those of your clients?
I don’t work with brands I don’t like or believe in their talent and brand vision. So that helps, but yes some brands are more my personal style than others. At the age of 42 I know my own style really well. I order the pieces from every collection that work best with my style. I wear a lot of black. I was raised at Barney's in the 90s.
What's the biggest mistake you ever made and how did you rectify or learn from it?
Oh my, I have made a zillion mistakes in business! We have a sign that you pass as you are leaving that says, “Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow.” If you don’t make mistakes how will you grow? Years ago we had a client that wanted me to go to Milan for their show and I didn’t want to upset the director on the account, as she worked so hard and was very close with the client. I insisted she go in my place. It was misconstrued that the brand was not a priority to me and it was the nail in our coffin. In retrospect it was stupid of me and I learned a great deal from it. I have a rule in my office, it’s ok to make mistakes, just don’t make the same mistake twice. I never made that mistake again and I carried the lesson over into many scenarios through the years.
What's one thing you can’t live without?
There are so many things but obviously my kids are EVERYTHING. The office jokes that, the first week the kids are away at summer camp no one wants to be put on my schedule because I am a mess! I go into a depression. The college years are going to be a blast!