Subjects: Carolina Cordon-Bouzan and Gayle Yelon


Provenance: NY


Ages: 29


Carolina Cordon-Bouzan and Gayle Yelon are the co-founders of MONTSERRAT New York. They both live in downtown Manhattan, and when they’re not building their empire you can find them at infamous New York spots like Il Cantinori and Raouls sipping martinis with friends or hanging with family.

What makes you feel like (y)ourself?

G.Y.: I feel most myself when I am sticking to my daily routine. For me this is a 5:30 am wake up followed by a quick read of emails and straight to the gym for a work out. Right now I am hyper fixated on an hour long incline walk on the treadmill. I love it and feel so energized after. Waking up early refreshes me, it sets the tone and reminds me that I can handle whatever the day may bring. All of this usually followed by a breakfast meeting at Sant Ambroeus!


C.C.B.: Working on MONTSERRAT New York! I love my job—I love designing, producing photoshoots, styling our pieces, and building the business. I’m very appreciative that I feel most myself in my day to day at the office with our team. It’s truly my dream job and I feel so lucky to be living it!


Who (or what) inspires you?

G.Y.: For drive and hustle I am inspired by other founders in the space who are really doing it. They’re starting from the ground up, flexing their networks, and building their empires. They are who make me believe it is possible and that all of the work is worth it. From a creative standpoint, I’m often inspired by New York icons, whether it be an “it girl” from the 80s or 90s, an iconic Soho magazine shop that carries French Vogue and hard to find print issues, or classic restaurants and the characters that frequent them. The moments, people, and places that make up New York City are my constant inspiration.


C.C.B.: I’m most inspired by artists who do things differently than others in their industry, like Andy Warhol using screen prints or Biggie sampling older music tracks. I’m inspired by the trust they have in themselves to go with their gut on what they believe will make an incredible final product, even if it is a completely different creative process than what their peers are doing and what people expect from them.


How do you freeze time?

G.Y.: This is a tough one because I really feel like I am always going. But I do take moments, and this might sound cheesy, but when I am walking home from a night out or in a cab driving down 5th ave and I take a moment to look up at New York and realize how far I’ve come. It's like pretending to have a reflective moment as a character in a movie! But those moments where I look and think wow I really live in Manhattan, have my own business, have incredible friends and the most supportive family, and I live and breathe this life I’ve always imagined. I like to freeze time in those moments to take in where I am in life and how far I have come.


C.C.B.: I feel frozen in time when I’m away with my husband in either the Hamptons or Spain, and doing the most mundane activities like driving around, hanging at the house, and going out to eat. As much as I absolutely love Manhattan, and the hustle and bustle that comes with the New Yorker lifestyle, I have come to realize that getting away from time to time brings a feeling of ease where there’s no pressure to fill your social calendar and invites time for creative thinking and recharging.


What’s your favorite Ourself product and why?

G.Y.: The Lip Conditioner! It has been a go-to of mine; it creates the perfect pink/neutral hue. As someone who is skin first, make up second, all I need is a dewy look and a bit of that Lip Conditioner and I am good to go! I also love the daily SPF because you can never be too protected from sun damage, not to mention it soaks into the skin quickly with zero white cast which is a major plus.


C.C.B.: I am obsessed with the Lip Filler and Lip Conditioner! It’s so moisturizing, and gives your lips the greatest hue that is really just your natural lip color emphasized. I’ve been wearing it all day, every day. And to go out at night, I add a light pink lip liner for an extra effect.


Best ageless advice you ever got?

G.Y.: “Everything that you do, every job, every relationship, every meeting, is setting you up to prepare you for something else that you will face one day. Do not think something is a waste of time just because it may not be exactly what you want in that very moment.” I love this. I often look back at jobs I’ve had and I am so grateful for moments where I struggled and worked through it, jobs or tasks that made no sense to me at the time made me who I am as a worker today.


C.C.B.: “Your biggest competitor is yourself.” I love that the essence of this quote is to not look towards what your peers are doing and comparing yourself to them and their work, but rather concentrating on yourself and doing your best work. While at times it can be easier said than done, I think it’s important to remember that comparison with “competitors” is a waste of your time and energy, and to instead use that energy to focus on pushing yourself and trusting yourself in the process.


Advice to other people chasing their goals and dreams?

G.Y.: Go for it no matter what it takes and be patient because it’s all happening without you even realizing.


C.C.B.: Go for it! No one is going to hand you your dream or give you anything for free in life, so you have to go out and get it for yourself! Even if your dream feels unattainable, too big, or silly, I promise you it’s not impossible. If you have a vision of what your dream job and life goals look like, you can achieve it. All you have to do is take that first step, hustle hard, and remember that nothing happens overnight.