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“Feeling beautiful is tied to your inner self-worth.” With Ming Zhao & Nicole Rosé

Feeling beautiful is tied to your inner self-worth. So if feeling beautiful is a personal struggle for you, I’d suggest looking inward and seeing where you are judging yourself. Doing this inner work can teach you how to be kinder to yourself and where to pump yourself up. At times it feels like wellness or […]

Feeling beautiful is tied to your inner self-worth. So if feeling beautiful is a personal struggle for you, I’d suggest looking inward and seeing where you are judging yourself. Doing this inner work can teach you how to be kinder to yourself and where to pump yourself up.


At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Rosé.

Nicole also known as Nicole Rose Stillings, is an entrepreneur, music director and in-demand DJ. With over 7 years in the biz, Rosé focuses her research and programming solely on creating good vibes only. Her style, soulful and energetic, eclectic yet familiar, has been dubbed “glam house.” She massages the crowd with her solid grasp of dance, disco, and modern-day hits. Born to two brain doctors, Rosé takes happiness to the next level– recently working with Fast Company, Cornell University and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment to build mixes and playlists that make people feel alive.

DJ Rosé’s signature vibe can be heard regularly for Saks Fifth Avenue, Samsung, W Hotels, Whispering Angel, and Gilt Groupe.

Recent notable events she’s played include Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed Awards, Sephora Meatpacking’s Grand Opening, Lucky Brand’s Lounge at Coachella, the Scope Show at Art Basel & more. In 2017, Rosé was named music director for Gilt Groupe nationally– traveling with the team to all major markets. In the past couple of months, she performed with Noah Cyrus, Jessie James Decker, and Diana Ross. Rapidly expanding in all directions, she was recently seen on BRAVO’s Summer House DJing the cast’s epic rosé-fueled finale party and will also air in the second season.

Now, you too can hear the world through rosé colored lenses from the mixes below or shop her headphone collection, Rosé Rockers, launching this year at Coachella.


Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today

Ialways knew as a little girl I wanted to do things that women didn’t do. I guess you could call me a feminist but since I’ve always lived in pink, worn lipstick, and shaved my pits. I never thought of myself in that way. At first, I thought I wanted to be a one-hit-wonder, like Vanilla Ice or Aqua (which probably tells you how old I am). But people told me that wasn’t a suitable career choice.. like, not a goal someone should strive for. I was about 10 at the time… still figuring things out per se.

Then one day, albeit many years later, it dawned on me… I wanted to be a DJ!! I was able to merge my mission to make people happy (I should probably pause here and mention here that BOTH of my parents are brain doctors) with my love of music. Brilliant!…. only one problem. There were no headphones designed for women. Every pair I tried didn’t fit properly, detracted from my outfit and reminded me that I was a lone fish in a big sea of male DJs. And when I got to thinking about it, I got really pissed off that men make everything we buy.

Enter Rosé Rockers: the FIRST EVER headphones for women. Also by women. By us! And that basically sums up the last 2 decades ;). Questions?!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

You know what’s interesting… As a woman in a “male-dominated” industry, I’ve realized over time that most men helped me level up. Initially, my father was my biggest fan. And I mean… BIGGEST FAN. He told me daily that I was going to be a CEO. Unclear if this is what he had in mind, but it’s a little too late to ask him. He passed away 5 years ago March 16. RIP WANYE ❤.

When he started on his downward decline, I hired a male business coach to sub in for him. Shawn has been a godsend. He’s my new rock- nothing will ever compare to the bond I had with my father, my idol, my best freaking friend, but it’s a start!

I’ve also had a couple male DJ coaches and business partners who shared their secret sauce, one even named me Nicole Rosé (shoutouts to Nick Champagne). Disclaimer: Rose is my real middle name, we just added the accent to make it fancy (this is usually everyone’s follow up question).

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Hmmm… this is a hard one!! How about the whole year I spent launching a bar (called Theater Bar) with Albert Trummer. It was more *FUN* than *FUNNY* but a massive learning experience. My father always called it an MBA in what not to do. It was right after I left the corporate world and I was so excited to work for myself and our little business but I was not super focused. I knew I loved people and I still had the same mission of spreading joy but wasn’t clear on the how. The bar was a way for me to entertain and test out my entrepreneurial skills. After a series of comical mishaps (my partner literally could not stay out of jail for the most ridiculous things like yelling at a little old lady, etc), I realized this was really not for me. I wanted to share love and music, not cocktails and conversations in the wee hours of the morning.

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Ya, it’s simple. You can’t fail if you don’t give up. But I will clarify here that I consider myself a DJ & Founder first, and then an influencer. But DJs have always been influential way before social media was a thing. Music is an artistic expression- makes people feel some type of way. We’re actually the OG influencers!!

But I’ll back up for a sec: I worked in social media before I went off on my own and began building up my own online persona so I had an edge from that perspective (in terms of knowledge). But it is much harder to build for yourself than a brand because it’s so personal. There are no group brainstorms, there’s no team. You’re lookin’ at it when you look in the mirror. It all lies on you- whether you sink or whether you swim. AND it’s public now. V public. Organic growth and exposure online is not ever a straight line to the top. You figure out an image, a vibe, your voice and then it works for a while and you grow…. and then things change. The game evolves and you must figure out how to pivot or you’ll die (socially speaking.. of course). If you’re willing to keep trying, keep strategizing, and keep putting yourself out there even on the hard days — you will become known. But this process of reinvention is super challenging, demoralizing — you name it. I’ve almost given up so many times but I have always felt deep down that my message is worth sharing. And that’s what keeps me moving.

One other suggestion for people who really want to become influencers and are trying to learn how to support themselves in the process: learn a skill. Have a saleable skill that people need. Hone that skill. Become a badass at that skill. Cross-sell your Instagram and that skill. Make connections in both worlds- online and offline. You will build a much more stable career path even in the wake of things like Coronavirus. If anything ever happens, your resume can’t just say: proficient in Instagram, takes great photos, never has a bad hair day. Nope. Not gonna fly.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

So many things to say but let’s start with the below:

1. Develop a skill. Connect with people in the real world that are interested in that skill. Move those connections on to IG.

2. Radiate your vibe. From all aspects like copy, content, etc. Get clear on it. Make it make a statement. And like-minded people will come to your page and join in.

3. Participate in other like-minded communities and collaborate with other influencers and brands of the same vibe.

4. Always shout out your IG in real life- at events. speaking opps, meetings, one on ones. Every person, especially those that are highly engaged, counts.

5. Know who your audience is. Who follows you and what do they want to see and hear? Test different content and whatever performs the best is what you make more of. Set your personal preferences aside. This is a business if you want to succeed.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart. You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

Probably everyone reading this can agree that yoga is a great way to uplift your mind, body and spirit. I love a long headstand for a total reset. But, I’ll give a couple of other examples that are more outside of the box. I think one of the best things about living in NYC is the ability to go on long, stimulating walks. There’s always something new to see, or a different route to take. I’ll listen to my favorite podcasters or my new playlist if I need a pick me up and avoid the subway and cars. There’s something gratifying in knowing you walked there and what people don’t realize is that often it only adds 5–10 minutes to your commute but brings tons of health benefits. Aside from the obvious boost in physical activity, walking can be meditative and relaxing in a way. For me, it helps me to connect my small body to this big city and feel like one. And you know how people always say they have the best ideas in the shower? Well for me, they come when walking. I average 10k steps a day, which is about 5 miles. The best part is, if you don’t make it to the gym, you don’t feel bad. And if you do make it to the gym, you feel like a BOSS.

I suffer from chronic allergies and I recently learned that I’m allergic to my little rescue pup Disco… sigh. So, I’ve shifted a couple of my routines to help improve my allergies naturally. I used to be big on massage (and don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE being rubbed) but now I focus on acupuncture. Years ago, I tried my first acupuncture sesh and decided to move in the middle… and you get the point. It was not pleasant to say the least. But recently, I came back to it to get relief from my allergy symptoms as well as relax my muscles and love it. Sidebar, it can also help with stress, anxiety and digestive issues as well. And one last quick tip to feel great is a daily dose of ACV (allergies or not!).

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

OMG so many things. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster so mental health is something you have to actively manage if you want to succeed.

I’m BIG on meditation. I first started meditating about 6 years ago when my father was diagnosed with cancer for the 3rd time. You know how they always say the 3rd time’s the charm, I figured it would probably work in this context too so started prepping my body and mind for what was to come. Meditation is now a part of my daily routine, 7 days a week. It’s the first 30 minutes of my morning. I use different types of meditations for different moods or to inspire new thoughts or ideas if I need to problem solve. So much you can do with it- it’s hands down the best tool I have ever found.

Right after meditation, I read my list of goals and ground myself before the day begins. This really helps you have focus when you start work because you can easily recognize tasks that don’t align with your vision. When you complete a task from your goal list, you move it into a list of successes. And on bad days/weeks, you can flip back through your list of successes and have something readily available to feel proud about. I also keep a bliss list of things I do to reward myself when I reach a goal (or even just clear my to do list that day). This is a fun one because you can get really creative with your list and spark new ideas for joy when you feel you deserve it (which is always ps!).

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

I love this question because it’s actually why I started my headphone company, Rosé Rockers. Our mission is to merge beauty and tech and help all women accent their natural beauty. We feel that music is a mood booster, which is a big natural beauty booster and having a headphone that looks like a headband is a cherry on top. Here are a couple of my suggestions:

1. Put on your favorite boss babe playlist and dance in the mirror. Clothes optional. Heels required ;). Welcome to try out mine here.

2. Dress up for yourself. Do your hair, makeup, whatever makes you feel sexy and enjoy what you see in the mirror. If you want extra credit, compliment yourself… *out loud.* (We should probably all be doing some of this during Corona lockdown).

3. Find your angle. Lesbihonest, almost all of us post selfies at some point or another. So spend some time finding the frame you like best of your face. And then put your “best side” forward.

But in all honesty, feeling beautiful is tied to your inner self-worth. So if feeling beautiful is a personal struggle for you, I’d suggest looking inward and seeing where you are judging yourself. Doing this inner work can teach you how to be kinder to yourself and where to pump yourself up.

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

I think the tech revolution has closed us off from our more spiritual selves. Gabby Bernstein is a very relatable, New York millennial who explains methods for getting in touch with your spiritual side in today’s world.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

I once DJed a big private bash for a group that rented the Joe Francis’ Punta de Mita estate (yes… he’s the Girls Gone Wild guy). They had a slew of wellness treatments from massages and facials to herbal remedies and more but I personally found the baby tiger petting zoo to be the most exotic (and ridiculous). No photos allowed, as they might freak out at your flash.

I also once tried to get an IV from the IV Doc while DJing a private party at Coachella. This was an epic failure, as I’m sure you can imagine. Turns out, I’m no good at DJing with one hand.

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I should mention here that I’m a board member of UNICEF NextGen in New York. I really believe in their mission and feel that the world’s children are our future. My hope one day is to help teach children to meditate. If we could give kids a framework to listen to their inner wisdom at an early age, we’d all be happier and the world would definitely be a better place.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Oprah… I have so much respect for her journey and how she built her empire to teach and empower others. I would love to learn more about her process. I also would love to sit for lunch with Gabby Bernstein and just listen as her unwavering spirituality melted onto me!

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Instagram is @djnicolerose and my website can be found here: www.djnicolerose.com. Any other up and coming creatives or entrepreneurs who read something here that resonated with them and want more info or guidance, feel free to email us at [email protected]

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