'I Think It's Fine to Be Underestimated'

Michelle Peluso, the CEO of Gilt, shares her advice on leadership, work-life balance, and shoulder pads. 

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Throughout her career, Michelle Peluso has explored the rapidly evolving frontier of e-commerce. The company she founded in 2000, Site59, became a leader in last-minute travel deals before Travelocity acquired it in 2002. After serving as Travelocity's CEO for six years, she went on to Citigroup before becoming the CEO of Gilt, a popular destination for luxury shopping online.

In this first installment of Advice to a Younger Me, a new series from Atlantic Video, she reflects on some of the lessons she's learned over the course of her career. "Don't wear shoulder pads -- they don't look good on anybody!" she joked when we sat down with her in Gilt's New York office to hear what advice she'd have about life as a female entrepreneur. But she shares some big-picture perspective on leadership and work-life balance too; "I actually think it's a fabulous time to be a woman in business," she says with a smile. 

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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