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Created for and commissioned by Hyatt
Created for and commissioned by Hyatt

Cynthia Rowley and Randi Zuckerberg on Unlocking Creativity

How do the designer and entrepreneur get inspired? Through travel, social media, and unlikely collaborators.

Cynthia Rowley and Randi Zuckerberg on Unlocking Creativity

Truly creative minds aren’t constrained by industry or business models. They find inspiration everywhere, and aren’t afraid to shatter expectations. As part of its new campaign "It’s Good Not to Be Home," Hyatt Regency tapped two such creative professionals—designer Cynthia Rowley, and multi-hyphenate entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg—to brainstorm ways to enhance the hotel experience for business travelers.

Although best known for high fashion, Rowley also brings her vibrant designs to swimwear and wetsuits, fitness gear, accessories, beauty products, home furnishings, office supplies and more, through her own line and collaborations with Target, Staples, and even Band-Aid. And while Zuckerberg was once associated with a little family business called Facebook, she has since expanded her influence as an angel investor, author, radio host, TV personality, and producer.

Following their brainstorm, these hyper-creative entrepreneurs shared where they get their best ideas and their strategies for making them a reality.


Get out of your digital comfort zone

Randi Zuckerberg: "I’m always finding inspiration online, whether I’m seeing things that people are posting on Instagram or Pinterest, or if I’m engaging in a deeper dialog on Facebook and Twitter. But if you’re using your digital life to guide your creative life, it’s important to make sure you’re following all sorts of people. Otherwise, its very easy for your digital life to become an echo chamber of things you’re already thinking about."


No need to search for inspiration if you live an inspiring life

Cynthia Rowley: "I never have to think about getting inspired. I’m really excited about seeing things, doing things. There are no boundaries between my life and my creative output, no lines drawn at all. I can’t look at art and not think, These colors are inspiring, or This imagery gives me an idea. I can’t love being in the water and surfing all weekend and not want to make pretty wetsuits and surfboards."


Travel with an open mind

Zuckerberg: "I’m on the road 50 to 100 times a year. In the past few months, I’ve been everywhere from rural Tennessee to Kuwait, and every time I go somewhere, I go in with an open mind. I talk to as many people as I can, especially entrepreneurs. When I keep an open mind, a place always exceeds my expectations. I always learn so much, and come away with a new perspective and new ideas. Travel has provided endless sources of inspiration."


Let creative opportunities happen organically

Rowley: "The most satisfying part of being a designer—I’ve never thought of myself as only a fashion designer—is that you can have any idea and make it a part of our world. For me, there is a natural association between projects. If someone comes to us with an opportunity, we think, Is this part of our story? Is this a missing piece to our brand? The things that we as a company love to make, I believe we’ll be able to expand those categories in an authentic way. It’s a very optimistic way to think about being an entrepreneur."


Know your mission

Zuckerberg: "I like to have a broader mission, then see what projects help me accomplish that goal. When I wake up in the morning, my passion is encouraging more women and girls to go into tech and entrepreneurship. My hypothesis is that using pop culture and media is the most successful way to accomplish that goal. So it might seem like I have my hand in 15 different things, from my radio show to appearing on the Today Show or HSN, or creating my animated children’s show, Dot, but all of it is tied together by the same overarching goal."


Look to your family for inspiration

Rowley: "Before I bring an idea to work, I try it out at home. My husband and two daughters are the ones I go to with ideas—when I need to know, "Is this just crazy enough to work?" My family is enthusiastic, yet good critics. We talk at dinner or we brainstorm on our four-hour car rides to Montauk. We travel together, we do sports, and we see a lot of art as a family. We live in a creative house filled with lots of funny, eccentric things that inspire us. I’ve been working on creating short films with my older daughter, including one where she surfs, just absolutely shreds, in high heels. It’s a reflection of the sport and fashion components of the brand."


Find complementary collaborators

Zuckerberg: "I look for collaborators who bring a certain expertise or skill to the table, ideally one I don’t have so we complement each other. I also look for someone who isn’t so entrenched in their ways that they’re not open to feedback or creativity. Often in a brainstorm, you get the best ideas from someone who hasn’t spent time in that industry before, someone who can offer a fresh perspective. I want someone who can help guide me through what’s possible, but isn’t so locked in to tradition that they can’t see a new way of doing things."



This article was created and commissioned by Hyatt, and the views expressed are their own.

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