Jacqui Rosshandler is our favorite kind of New Yorker. Smart, funny, cool, and interesting, She's modest, self-deprecating, and has a great laugh. She's one of that rare breed of women who are equally adored by both guys and girls.
The Australian expatriate is also a highly successful entrepreneur. After graduating with a law degree from Australia National University, she skipped the bar and instead ran an events-and-interior-design company for Antony Todd in New York. Later, on a whim, she decided to jump into the breath-freshener game and founded EatWhatever, a two-step system that includes a parsley-and-peppermint-oil capsule followed by a mint.
She began her sales efforts in 2008 by walking into the C.O. Bigelow flagship apothecary store in Manhattan and asking, “Who does the buying here?” She left with a sale. Since then, she's launched EatWhatever in hundreds of stores across the country. You can even purchase them at chic European stores (like our favorite, Colette in Paris!)
We recently caught up with Jacqui in her charming West Village apartment to discuss life, love, success, and cashmere.
What is your favorite virtue?
What are your favorite qualities in a man?
Tenderness, Communication, Brains, Ambition, Positivity and a sense of Fun.
What are your favorite qualities in a woman?
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being healthy on a sunny day surrounded by good people and lots of laughter. Adding a rooftop in summer and a few bottles of champagne wouldn't hurt either.
What is your greatest fear?
That I'll lose people I love. And waves, I am pretty scared of waves.
Which living person do you most admire?
There are too many to choose from! I admire Bobby Turner and Andre Agassi for their work building charter schools (amongst their other achievements). I admire Ashton Kutcher for his smarts and philanthropy. I admire my incredible friend Michelle Landy for her work in Africa (as well as her bottomless heart) and I admire Rabbi Sarna (at NYU) for his work bridging the gap between religions and for his openness and candor.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel.... and rent!
What advice would you give to young female entrepreneurs?
If someone asks for advice, give them your time and attention. Share your contacts. Don't be afraid to share your ideas. When they say "it's not what you know it's who you know" they weren't kidding.
What is your most treasured possession?
My engagement ring and my husband - not in that order. (Can my husband be a possession? I am going with yes.)
Who are your heroes in real life?
Parents who bring up their children with good values, sharp minds, humility and wonder.
What is your greatest regret?
I don't have time for regrets. Everything I have done in my life has taught me something.
What natural talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could play an instrument.
What piece of art would you buy if you had absolutely no budget?
A Jackson Pollock would do.
What is your favorite motto or quote?
"What's not right today probably won't be right tomorrow." - Arthur Shorin, my business partner, CEO of Eatwhatever
As an Australian expat, what's your favorite thing about living in New York?
I am addicted to the energy. It's literally in the air. And I love the openness of people. No matter what you say, do or wear, you're not shocking anybody here. In New York, you're absolutely free to be whomever you want to be. It's so invigorating.
What's your favorite way to wear cashmere?
With a little leather!