“We can’t all be great at everything we do … but we can all be great at something.”
It’s hard not to fall in love with Ivanka Trump Kushner; she’s intelligent, poised, soft-spoken, eloquent, sophisticated and stunning. Growing up in the lavish New York City lifestyle, Ivanka is probably best known as the daughter of the American business magnate and new President-Elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump and his former wife Ivana. However, there is so much more to the beautiful blonde, doe-eyed mom, entrepreneur and former. While she doesn’t appear to toot her own horn, Ivanka is smart without making a point of it and not known for saying unkind things. Her very feminine classic style of dress is elegant. She even sells a readily accessible form of that style to women through her eponymous clothing brand, Ivanka Trump, a collection of chic silhouettes with clever details including shoes, clothing and handbags.
As family is first and foremost to her, Ivanka is clearly a devoted mother and wife. In July 2009, after studying with Rabbi Elie Weinstock from the Modern Orthodox Ramaz School, she had an Orthodox conversion to Judaism and took the Hebrew name Yael. She attests to keeping a kosher diet and observing the Jewish Sabbath and states, “We’re pretty observant… It’s been such a great life decision for me… I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity. From Friday to Saturday we don’t do anything but hang out with one another. We don’t make phone calls.” Married since 2009 to husband and real estate developer, Jared Kushner, they have three beautiful children, Arabella, James and Theodore. “When it comes to parenting, don’t let your convictions be swayed by others’ well-meaning advice. Everyone thinks they’re a pro and it can undermine your confidence. Make the decisions that are best for your family. Period. As parenting philosophies continue to evolve, it’s better to blaze your own trail,” she says.
Following in her mom’s footsteps, Ivanka’s modeling career kicked off in 1997 when she was a cover girl for “Seventeen” magazine. Signed to Elite Model Management, Ivanka had a spread in “Elle”, appeared in Tommy Hilfiger ads, walked on a Paris runway for Thierry Mugler, did a charity event for Versace, and co-hosted the Miss Teen USA 1997 pageant. Amazingly, this was all done before she was eligible for a learner’s permit. Ivanka didn’t love modeling and gave it up after high school when she was admitted into Georgetown University. After two years she transferred to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, from which she graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Economics. Following graduation, she worked as a diamond designer and in 2007, she joined forces with Dynamic Diamond Corp., a diamond trading company sightholder, to design and introduce a line of jewelry at the brand’s first flagship retail store called ‘Ivanka Trump’ on Madison Avenue. Currently, she is Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at the Trump Organization and is involved with all aspects of the company’s real estate and hotel management initiatives. Additionally, she serves on the Board of 100 Women in Hedge Funds, an industry organization that provides support to women professionals in finance. Balancing her family life and business ventures, Ivanka says, “A scale is only in balance for a brief second. Inevitably the pendulum swings. It’s impossible to maintain.”
Regardless of her last name, Ivanka has her own political views and said, “Like many of my fellow millennials, I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat.” In 2007, she even donated $1,000 to the presidential campaign of her close friend Chelsea’s mom, Hillary Clinton. In 2012, she endorsed Mitt Romney for president and in 2013; Ivanka and her husband hosted a fundraiser for Cory Booker where they bundled more than $40,000 for Booker’s U.S. Senate campaign. Then, in 2015, she publicly endorsed her father’s presidential campaign, introduced him at the Republican National Convention and was involved with his campaign by making public appearances in support and has even defended him. However, she admitted mixed feelings about his presidential ambitions and says, “As a citizen, I love what he’s doing. As a daughter, it’s obviously more complicated.” After all, actions speak louder than words, Ivanka stood up for women and mothers at the Republican National Convention, arguing in favor of equal wages for equal work, improved childcare structures and paid family leave.
The reality is that Ivanka is not Donald, and Donald is not Ivanka. There should be no confusion between where she stands and where her father stands. She states, “Love what you do. There’s always going to be someone else who’s smarter than you, but there’s no substitute for passion. People who are passionate always work the hardest, and that sets them apart.”-
A philosophy that has evidently brought her to become the successful independent powerhouse female role model that she is today.