Meaghan Rose

After lending out pieces from her own personal jewelry collection, Meaghan noticed a need among women to simplify the jewelry-shopping process. With an M.S. in economics from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Meaghan put her skills to work and in May 2012 she co-founded Rocksbox — a membership-based personalized jewelry styling service.

College major:  Economics

Professional role: Co-founder and chief executive officer, Rocksbox

Why did you decide to start your own company? I wanted to build a better way for women to discover jewelry. I've also been a huge accessory lover and I felt there was an opportunity to create an innovative brand for jewelry online.  

What was the most challenging aspect of starting your own company? One of the hardest things is deciding to take the plunge!  I was on a great career trajectory as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Co when I decided the time was right for me to start my own company. It was a hugely risky move and although my friends and family were supportive, I also felt like they thought I was a little crazy! Ultimately, I knew that a career in consulting wasn't where my passion was.  And I just felt I had to be true to myself and follow my passion. 

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Definitely starting Rocksbox. We have a team of more than 30 people now and make women all over the country feel amazing on a daily basis. That's so inspiring and motivating to me! It's what gets me up and working hard every morning.

Do you have a favorite jewelry designer? What's your favorite piece that you own? I honestly have so many jewelry designers that I love! We recently launched a Rocksbox exclusive line called SLATE that I am obsessed with right now. I love the edgy but still feminine and playful looks we put together with that collection!

Who is your biggest role model? My grandmother. She's in her 90s and still reads the newspaper cover to cover everyday. She traveled the world and worked on Capitol Hill at a time when women didn't do that. She's a big inspiration to me and it means a lot to make her proud of me. 

How do you balance your professional and personal life? Its definitely not easy. I have a two-month-old baby boy who is the most amazing thing in the world. What I've found to be most important is to be present with wherever and whatever I am doing. I try not to let myself be distracted when I'm spending time with friends and family.  

What spring jewelry trends are you most excited about? Layering delicate pieces is such a huge trend right now and no one does that better than Gorjana. I love to mix and match different length necklaces depending to go with whatever look and mood I'm feeling that day.

What's your "quick pick-me-up"? A chai latte from Starbucks!  The barista at the Starbucks near my office knows me by name.

What's always in your purse? I almost always have my MacBook air with me. I feel like something is missing without it. 

How do you define success? 
To know that I am pushing myself and being the best version of myself that I can. Our mission at Rocksbox is "to inspire all women to shine their brightest inside and out," and that's how try to run my life. I don't ever want to look back and feel like I took the easy path. 

What advice do you have for collegians with an entrepreneurial spirit? 
Go for it! Even if you don't have the exact vision yet for what you want to do, try to surround yourself with and get experience working with other entrepreneurs. You learn the fastest by doing it.