July 2018 Extraordinary Woman | Lauren Magiera
This year LINEA Paolo is celebrating our customers – women just like you by recognizing an Extraordinary Woman each month through our blog and social media channels.
We are thrilled to introduce our July 2018 Extraordinary Woman – Lauren Magiera! As a WGN Chicago sports anchor, Lauren inspires us with both her achievements in the professional arena, as well as her indomitable spirit, and infectiously upbeat attitude.
Lauren, we are so honored to feature you here and learn more about your life, loves and personal style!
Tell us about where you’re from…
My home town is Barrington, IL. Such a cute and beautiful town to grow up in.
I had the honor of going to elementary, middle and high school in Barrington. My parents still live there. Most of my closest friends I have today, I grew up with in Barrington. And I even have maintained some friendships today that I made the first day of kindergarten.
And your current homebase?
Chicago, IL. I live downtown in the Cabrini Green neighborhood. I love seeing the look on people’s faces when I say I live in Cabrini, or watch a cab driver whip around in shock when I tell them my address. It used to be one of the most dangerous places in Chicago (where the movie Candyman takes place), but it’s been cleaned up, rebuilt and is a beautiful place to live now. I love it.
Speaking of “Love,” what are your 5 absolute favorite things?
- I make traveling internationally a priority. You’re never going to have “enough” money or time, so I find it’s so important to just do it. It’s so incredible to take in other cultures, languages and cuisine. Traveling is inspiring, and I honestly find it therapeutic. I often return home feeling like I’ve grown as a person.
- FOOD! A thousand times food! I LOVE eating out and trying new foods. Or even staying in and challenging myself to cook new and interesting dishes. I think it’s so fun to encourage myself to try new foods I think I won’t like, but also enjoying the comfort and indulging in the foods I already know I love. Favorite foods include: oysters, soup, sushi. Favorite drinks include: Bloody Mary, champagne, and wine! All wine, I don’t discriminate.
- People always ask me, “as a sports reporter, does that mean you like really love sports?” Insert me face-palming – OF COURSE I LOVE SPORTS! I love surrounding myself with motivated athletes who goal set, have tremendous work ethic and determination. In sports, someone always wins, and there are also incredible stories of heartbreaking losses that define character. I have always loved sports, and I’m so honored to get to be a part of this industry, in such a legendary sports city.
- The Outdoors. I love to spend as much time outside as I can. And I don’t just mean when it’s a perfectly sunny, 75 degrees with a light breeze. I love being outside no matter the weather elements. I lived in Alaska for 8 years, and Wisconsin for 4 years hosting a hunting and fishing show as part of my job. That means I was reporting on dog sled races in 40-below zero, or fishing in 100 degree heat. Being outside in general brings me so much joy.
- I have a saying, “never underestimate the power of laughter.” It can truly be healing, physically, emotionally and mentally. I love to keep laughter as part of my daily routine. Whether it be a professional “lightness” in the office, belly aching laughter with my girlfriends or just a passing funny occurrence with a stranger. Anyone who knows me, can attest to hearing my laughter from a mile away. It’s a running joke with my family and friends that if you’re ever lost, all you have to do is roll down the car window and you’ll be able to find the party by following the sound of my laughter.
We really admire your positive and upbeat attitude and would like to know more about how this serves you working in a very much male-dominated field.
What have you learned as a professional woman whose career is in television and sports?
I’ve learned that from the moment I step through the door, I have a target on my back, just being a female. I’m already at a disadvantage, just for the way I was born. I try my best to be over-prepared because I have to always be on my toes ready to be tested. Some will go out of their way to test my sports knowledge, because “a girl wouldn’t know that”. It’s disappointing that people still think and act that way, but it’s also encouraging to see so many strong females thriving and killing it in the sports industry as well. I’ve also learned that as a woman, I can bring a perspective and attitude that might not be available to men. I take a lot of pride in my work. I never expect to be handed anything, but it is very rewarding to work your guts out for a story, and have it turn out to be a success. That’s not always the case, and it’s also humbling to have failure be a reminder and character builder. Learn, forgive yourself and others, then move on.
Your self-confidence and inner strength is truly inspirational. What an amazing role model you are for all the girls and women forging their paths in careers (and life).
Transitioning to a lighter subject, can you tell us about your trademark style?
I don’t know if I have just one. I have many different looks depending what I’m doing, where I’m going.
I recently hired a stylist (Jen Ublasi – www.jenublasi.com) and it’s been such an incredible learning experience. I never realized how much my style can have such a positive impact on my daily life She’s taught me that your look can make an impression before you even open your mouth to introduce yourself.
In my personal life I think my style or “look” can be soft, romantic and pretty. Jen has really encouraged me to add more edgy looks, and statement pieces. I would never naturally put myself in them, but when I do wear them, I love how confident I feel.
For work I like to look professional, feminine, but also appropriately comfortable. I’m not going to wear stiletto heels walking around a baseball diamond, or a dress to a NASCAR track. Sometimes I have to wear snow boots to a Bears game, but I would never wear them if I’m anchoring from the desk in our studio. I think having a sense of style is more about being open to adjustment.
What are your 4must have items in your work wardrobe?
#1 – My lanyard from Brighton. As a member of the media I have to wear credential passes around my neck on a daily basis for the WGN building, Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls. They give me access to the stadiums, parking and the locker rooms. Most lanyards are masculine and just a piece of ribbon. My lanyard holds all my credentials and it looks like a piece of jewelry around my neck. It’s so beautiful and adds a feminine touch to my outfit every single day.
#2 – A black blazer. My stylist Jen Ublasi found me the perfect black blazer. It’s incredibly soft, and the body part of it has a really detailed pattern to the texture. Just makes it stand out as different and a fun edge to put on a simple staple, like a black blazer.
#3 – Comfortable yet professional shoes. As a sports reporter, I am on my feet all day long. I usually have a long walk from the media parking lot to the stadium, have to climb the entire stadium to the press box, climb all the way back down to interview coaches, then I’m standing in the locker room for about 45 minutes interviewing players. So it’s important to have shoes that look professional, feminine and also I can walk an average of 3 miles in.
#4 – Statement earrings. I find most necklaces and rings too loud, and I’ve learned that a pair of fun and edgy earrings can really make a statement in an otherwise basic outfit. There is a local designer here in Chicago (Dazzling Souls), I love wearing her pieces. Not only am I supporting another female’s business, but I love buying local. Plus her pieces are beautiful.
We’re all about #3 – Comfortable shoes! Tell us about why you love shoes…
Shoes can say so much about what kind of a woman you are. I have great balance, am colorful, and consistent. I am willing to withstand any amount of pain for a pair of shoes I love. What I’ve learned, is I don’t’ have to. I’ve found if I buy a higher quality shoe, then the quality of the shoe goes up as well, with less foot discomfort. That is honestly why I love LINEA Paolo shoes. They’re affordable, yet so stylish and very comfortable to wear for work or play. I get plenty of compliments on them.
Thank you! It’s always great to get this type of feedback – it’s what inspires us to keep doing what we do: making beautiful, comfortable, stylish footwear.
Tell us about what inspires you…
I’m so inspired by hearing a good Cinderella story. Or how someone who had everything going against them used work ethic, sacrifice and determination to achieve the goals they’ve set their mind to. We can do anything we set our minds to, so why are we usually our biggest critics?
And how do you hope to inspire others?
I try my best to live my life with integrity and character. I believe that having integrity doesn’t mean you do the right thing when others are watching, Having integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. I’ve found that can be inspiring to anyone you don’t realize is watching, more than anything you can say. I also try to be the best friend I can to my friends. I value never flaking out, going out of my way to plan fun outings with my friends. Make sure I check on them, listen to them, trust them and also treat them with respect and surprise treats are always fun. I’ve had a few of my friends say that I’ve inspired them to be a better friend, and that’s such an incredible compliment.
Friendship and support is so important – what a truly meaningful compliment!
We’re going to wrap this up with one final question – what can you tell us that most people don’t know about you?
When I was a little girl, my parents flew gymnastics coaches from Russia to the United States, and had them live with my family to train my sister and I. Gala and Uri taught me so much more than just gymnastics. I learned how to make authentic Russian dishes. I learned that medicine can be found in plenty of plants, just have to learn how to use them. I learned about poverty, and how to value food and clean water. They taught me that if you want to be the best you have to do twice as much as your competition. That instilled a strong work ethic in me. They were so incredible, and really helped shape me into the woman I am today on many levels.
It’s so clear from everything you’ve shared that these mentors and your dedication to gymnastics really helped to set you on your path. Lauren, thank you so much for spending the time to share your story with our readers! We are so proud to have you as our July 2018 Extraordinary Woman!
Follow Lauren at home in Chicago on WGN-TV and on Instagram: @laurenmagiera.