Staying Creative as an Executive - Elyse Burack

Updated: Feb 28

Elyse Burack is the former Head of Innovative Marketing and Brands at Boxed, an e-commerce start up based in New York City. A self-described creative collaborator, Elyse explains that her work days at Boxed were rarely ever the same; leading her team amidst the hustle and bustle of the city - not to mention being an attentive mom to her young son - is not a role that can be conquered by just anyone.

So, to give you a flavour of what it’s like to be a well-rounded boss, we’re going to give you a little dive into a day in the life of Elyse Burack both during her time at Boxed and as a creative woman forging an impressive path for herself.

Like many working in the big city, Elyse takes the train into NYC each morning, using that time to start her day by reading the news, catching up on emails and setting her to-do list for the day. No rest for the wicked. Ever. She also would do this before even having her first coffee of the day, which is one of the most impressive things I’ve heard in a while considering the type of news cycle that we’re trying to keep up with these days.

Based on the number of meetings (and interpersonal interactions in general) that filled her afternoons at Boxed, I truly hope she had a portable espresso machine that could follow her everywhere she went. Elyse describes the countless creative meetings, campaign collaborations, and new partnerships that she would seek out and nurture on a daily basis in order to drive growth for her company and team.

“Particularly in startup culture, you’re trying to disrupt a more stagnant industry - there’s going to be a lot of ideas that are not good ones.”

Basically, you’ve got to know what’s fetch and what’s really really not.

Elyse says she actually looks to Instagram a lot to help with deciphering what will work creatively for her work and what won’t, which is good news for those of us who spend hours on hours scrolling aimlessly. Now, when your boss asks you why you’re on social media at 1:30pm on a Thursday, you can let them know that you’re searching for inspo that will help keep their business fresh! (Or some iteration of that, depending on your industry… You can make it work).

She also reminds us that success in the startup world takes tons of testing, brainstorming, and of course, failing. Is it difficult? Yes. Can egos get bruised? You bet. But always remember: “‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’ - Wayne Gretzgy” - Michael Scott.

Another key part of Elyse’s processes of creativity? Listening to others, specifically young people and interns, who are creative, energetic and passionate about doing their jobs well. She’s looking at you, FLIKers! Elyse highlights how crucial it is to encourage young ambitious talent to speak their minds and contribute to brainstorming sessions, which is a nice reminder for everyone who feels intimidated in the boardroom; there are lots of leaders and executives out there who want to hear from you.

Elyse closes by sharing the importance of saving time for herself and the artistic woman she loves to be outside of work. When she’s not brainstorming in the office, she draws, paints, and indulges in her love of interior design. She also shares her creative passions with her young son, and embraces the bonding experience that their shared creativity provides for the two of them.

So there you have it! Elyse Burack reads her emails on the train, requires coffee before speaking to other humans, and knows what it’s like to hear a thousand bad ideas before coming across a great one.

Successful fenoms - they’re just like us!

Watch the video above to hear more from Elyse.

Written By: Hannah Geiser, Head of Storytelling at FLIK

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