Silvana Nardone is the Editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray
. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two kids, who are ten and one. In her interview Silvana talks about ways in which she juggles a demanding job with taking care of her family, why she thinks flexibility at work leads to happier and more motivated employees, and her greatest challenge when it comes to being a mom, wife, and professional.
Your job sounds really awesome—what was the career path that brought you here?
I’ve been working at magazines since my last year in high school. After 9/11 I took a break and opened my own bakery, Fanciulla (it means ‘chick’, in Italian). We sold mostly to gourmet food stores and the business grew well by word of mouth.
I thought a lot about what baked goods to produce because I wanted to make sure that running the bakery wasn’t going to take too much time away from my son, who was in second grade then. I focused on making products with a longer shelf-life, so I didn’t have to do things like daily deliveries.
I was really happy running the bakery and then I got a call from the editorial director at Reader’s Digest. He was developing a new magazine and asked if I’d be interested in talking with him. I had no plans to leave the bakery but it never hurts to talk, right? Once he told me what the magazine was about I was definitely interested. I love a challenge, the adrenaline rush of building something from scratch. Then I met Rachael and we hit it off right away. So I decided to go ahead and take on the job.
What happened to your bakery?
I ended up closing it about a year later. I got pregnant and knew that I couldn’t really go back to running the bakery full-time. So it seemed that all signs pointed to closing the bakery. It was a great experience.
Do you write for the magazine as well as being the Editor?
Yes, one of my favorite columns to write is the No-Recipe Zone. It’s all about cooking by pictures. What I like about the concept is that it encourages people to have fun when they cook. It’s okay to just improvise—and I hope this idea translates not only to people’s cooking, but life.
Your job is very demanding—do you have any flexibility?
Whatever job I have I try to make it work for the kids as well as for me. During the launch of the magazine I worked non-stop, there was really no way around it. But now, my job is flexible – some days I might come in later in the day and work from home in the morning, for example.