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The ‘Art’ of Reinvention

There’s a bench in Central Park with a small plaque on it that reads: “Arthur J. Krakower. 1921-2009. Still Inspiring.” Arthur was my father and not a day goes by without thinking of him and asking myself, “What would Arthur do?”

My father reinvented himself three separate times and each of his careers was impressive and successful in different ways. The common thread throughout was how he continually defied the odds. “I kept doing things while I was working until finally I decided I had to learn more, had to do more,” he told a local newspaper in 2009. “I wanted to see how far I could go.”

His entire career was impressive, but it was his 3rd act that continues to inspire me. When my dad turned 80, he received his MFA from the California College of the Arts. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and I’m honored to say there are many similarities between my father and myself.

Like my father, age has never stopped me from trying something new. In fact, age has never been something that bothered me, or that I even thought about that much over the years. After a successful career in the fashion business, I started my own company, One Kings Lane, at 53. Today, I have a new business: Get In The Groove. At 65, I’ve finally realized what age means to me. It means that I have a lot of experience, I have a healthy perspective on what’s important and what’s not, and I know what works for me.

Like all great origin stories, I was inspired to create One Kings Lane because of something personal. I had just moved from an apartment in New York to a house in Los Angeles, and saw a home goods industry just waiting to be disrupted. I knew that it was a huge opportunity to do something special and fill a white space. We were so focused on the day-to-day work of getting the business going that we weren’t thinking about how huge it could get. However, after we launched and it took off, we started to understand just how big One Kings Lane could become…and it did! We sold One Kings Lane in 2016, and I thought, what now? I knew I had another act in me.

Get In The Groove was born because all around me, 50ish year old women were describing the same thing. These women had led happy, full lives but suddenly, they were starting to feel invisible. The idea of going from feeling on top of the world to feeling like your stock was approaching an expiration date just seemed crazy. I thought, “Where do we go online to get inspired? To navigate the challenges of growing older? To feel like we’re heard and seen?” So, I started doing some research. And it didn’t take me very long, because there weren’t a lot of places for us! Especially not any online destinations that reflected the kind of women I know and love: smart, stylish, interesting, and wickedly funny. I thought, “Someone should do this.” So I did. Enter Get In The Groove…a lifestyle destination for age-defying women.

So many women feel ignored or irrelevant. In order to be heard, you need to be a part of the cultural conversation. And in order to be a part of the conversation, you need to be informed. Get In The Groove is a resource for all of that information, so women can have access.

My dream is for Get In The Groove to become the go-to brand for age-defying women. That it will become a community for time-tested women who are ready to unleash the potential of what’s next, empowering them to become a part of the conversation, and maybe even their best selves yet. I hope you’ll join us.

For many years, I’ve asked myself, “What would Arthur do?” When I founded Get In The Groove, I found his lessons also became the foundation of our company . I’d like to share a few of the things I picked up from him:

1) Never stop learning. Like they say, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Do whatever you need to do to stay relevant.

2) Lead by example. Be the first in the office and the last to leave. That old school work ethic is contagious and more often than not leads to success. Arthur would’ve loved working in the digital age.

3) Embrace change. New challenges are the secret sauce to a successful career. If you don’t like what you’re doing, change the way you’re doing it or at least the way you think about it. Most people don’t necessarily look forward to change, but it’s really the best way to grow.

4) Be happy. Happiness, I’ve come to learn, is being who you are, doing what inspires you and sharing it with the people you love. That’s what Arthur did and I’m proud to be his daughter, following in his footsteps.

I’m so proud of what we’re building with Get In The Groove, but who knows what the future holds? My dad has his final reinvention at age 80. Maybe I will too.

Check out the full article on Maria Shriver’s blog, click here!

Joyce Rey
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