Earlier this week, Marie Claire hosted a bevy of power women for its first Power Trip—a one-of-a-kind pop-up networking event held in San Francisco. GOOP’s Gwyneth Paltrow, Flower Beauty’s Drew Barrymore, Rent the Runway’s Jennifer Hyman, Misha Nonoo, Zanna Roberts Rassi, and more were in attendance to dish on being a woman in the workforce and running a successful company. Giving us an exclusive insider look, Marie Claire EIC Anne Fulenwider shares her diary from the 36-hour girl boss adventure.
Monday, March 21st
4:30 a.m. EST: My iPhone alarm goes off, but who needs it—I have been wide awake pretty much all night, high on excitement, nerves, and adrenaline.
5:02 a.m. EST: Mia and Aeriel arrive to do my hair and makeup. If it’s possible to do hair and makeup to last through a TV interview, a six hour plane ride, an onstage Q&A with Gwyneth Paltrow, cocktails, dinner, and a wine tasting with Drew Barrymore, then these are the ladies to do it. It’s 6:30 a.m., the car is here, and we are on point!
7:43 a.m. EST: I arrive at JFK. It’s spring break and the place is mobbed. Luckily we have our own check in desk, where I bump into my first PowerTrip guests—Nancy Dubuc, CEO of A&E and a pal from our partnership with Lifetime on Project Runway, and Garine Zerounian, SVP of communications for North America at Giorgio Armani. We get escorted down a special security line and brought to Gate 30, where there are breakfast pastries for miles, mountains of fruit, coffee, mimosas, and my favorite: peach bellinis. I welcome Alyssa Mastromonaco, COO of Vice; Opal Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter; fashion designers Misha Nonoo and Rebecca Minkoff; Jennifer Hyman, CEO of Rent the Runway; Lisa Green, head of fashion and luxury at Google; Meryl Poster, president of Superb Entertainment; Katia Beauchamp, CEO of Birchbox; Jill Furman, the producer of “Hamilton,” and so many more!
8:05 a.m. EST: I decide to go for it and down a bellini before a quick interview with Good Morning America. On camera I preach the gospel: Marie Claire is the place where influential, fashionable women come to exchange ideas, and we wanted to bring that to life, at 30,000 feet and beyond!
9:10 a.m. EST: Joanna Geraghty, EVP of customer experience at JetBlue, welcomes us all and introduces our two female pilots—gorgeous sisters Pia and Anna-MariaKymalainen—and the rest of the all female crew, flight attendants, baggage handlers, and even the technicians. Awesome.
9:45 a.m. EST: Time to board! Once we reach 10,000 feet, I get one of the bigger thrills of my life— control of the PA system, flight attendant style, and welcome everyone to the POWER TRIP. We created special designated sections for beauty touch ups thanks to Shiseido; for breast-pumping (we have a number of new mothers on board); for meditation; for tech support courtesy of Dell and Intel; for media, where I’ll be conducting interviews for Marie Claire’s upcoming podcast; and four designated “Meet Me at Mint” pods, where we have scheduled a series of meet-ups between women who have volunteered themselves for speed networking sessions.
11:12 a.m. EST: Once we’ve reached 30,000 feet, the fun really begins—Allison Dew, global marketing VP from Dell, announces that she’s giving a Latitude 12 7000 series 2-in-1 Dell laptop to every woman onboard the plane. It was major. Kelli Hodges from Dell told us all how to get connected and hop on the pre-designated Slack Channel we had set up for constant conversation.
11:30 a.m. EST: Party time. People start walking the aisles, chatting, making introductions, and having wine. And then the prizes began. Every hour on the hour we gave away a prize—”Hamilton” tickets, a Blades helicopter ride to the Hamptons, a personalized Soul Cycle class for you and 45 of your closest friends, and a trip from JetBlue and W hotels.
2:12 p.m. PST: We land at a special, mysteriously empty and chic remote terminal of SFO, deplane open-air, Jackie Kennedy style, and are escorted onto two sleek black buses, and taken to the W Hotel in downtown San Francisco, where we disembark like rock stars—cameras flashing—and there is literally a giant black carpet rolled out in front of the hotel emblazoned with huge “The Power Trip” logo.
3 p.m. PST: Quickest hotel check in ever at the W, where keys, cocktails and hors d’oevres are being passed out. We have 15 minutes to find our rooms, change, and head down to the tricked-out W ballroom where we join our compatriots from San Francisco.
4:15 p.m. PST: We kick off with a panel called EVERY WOMAN A BRAND, hosted by our senior fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi, who interviews BeautyCon founder Moj Mahdara, Tyra Banks, and Bethany Mota about how to brand yourself in an increasingly fractured digital world.
4:45 p.m. PST: It’s almost 5, but I can barely keep track of time. I hop on the stage with Gwyneth Paltrow for a panel called EVERY WOMAN A BOSS, in which I quiz the Oscar winner about what it’s been like to start a business under a microscope. Answer in a nutshell: Sometimes, super tough. She tells me she just wants to sell some F-ing sweaters.
5:30 p.m. PST: We hop aboard our back-in-black buses and head to the insanely fabulous, five story Pacific Heights home of Xochi and Michael Birch, who founded Bebo and the San Francisco social club The Battery. I ask Xochi if her husband is around, as I’d love to meet him, and she looks me straight in the eye and says, “No, I wouldn’t allow him to come.” It turns out he was actually hanging out with the catering staff and passing hors d’oevres! Then I meet one of my absolute favorite actresses and new heroes, Tracee Ellis Ross, who had me doubling over in laughter.
7:28 p.m. PST: We arrive to a beautiful dinner at Williams-Sonoma created by five amazing female chefs including Emily Luchetti, Nancy Oakes, Dominique Crenn, Tanya Holland, and Melissa Perello. Drew Barrymore is there pairing wines for our delicious dinner and tells us pinot grigio was her first crush, no pun intended. She teaches me about slightly chilled red wine. Laura Albers, CEO of Williams-Sonoma, asks Anne Wojicki of 23andme if she was dating anyone and she gives a quick smile–someone new, kind of early. Next day in all the gossip mags is news about her and Yankees player A-Rod.
10:24 p.m. PST: We tear ourselves away from the spectacular dinner to call it a night, and pick things up in the lounge of the W. Alpha women know how to keep a good party going!
Tuesday, March 22nd
6:45 a.m. PST: I hated to skip yoga, but I had hair and makeup again. Need to look presentable.
8:30 a.m. PST: Panels get rolling including a one on disruption moderated by Audrey Cooper, editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle—and the first woman EIC in the paper’s history and the youngest EIC of a big city paper—and featuring ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia, Rent the Runway founder Jennifer Hyman, and Black Livest Matter cofounder Opal Tometi.
MC contributing editor Yael Kohen moderates a truly captivating talk with Tracee Ellis Ross, who speaks about the future of feminism. And before I can even blink, it’s over.
12:30 p.m. PST: Back on the plane, everyone is still buzzing around trying to meet more women and make connections.
10:02 p.m. EST: Before I know it, I’m home and can’t sleep. I’m already thinking about our next Power Trip—how are we going to top this next year?