Lisa Sugar Grew Blog Into Global Media Empire

By Tracey Lien
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Great profile of Lisa Sugar, founder of lifestyle website “PopSugar”


The gig: Lisa Sugar, 40, is the founder and president of PopSugar, the global media company headquartered in San Francisco whose eponymous lifestyle website attracts more than 100 million visitors a month. Sugar oversees strategy for the business, which has expanded to include e-commerce website ShopStyle and now has offices in New York, London and Australia.

Entertainment addict: Sugar grew up outside Washington, the daughter of a lawyer and a retail clerk. She recalls being a tomboy who always loved entertainment and pop culture. “I made collages and mood boards, and collected magazines,” she said, describing herself as a huge fan of celebrities, movies and TV shows. “I would stay up late, but it wasn’t to party, I just wanted to watch Letterman and whoever was on ‘The Late Late Show.'”

Stint in New York: After graduating from George Washington University with a degree in psychology, Sugar moved to New York with her future husband, Brian Sugar, who she’d met on her first day of college. She interned at the morning talk show “Fox After Breakfast” and landed a job in advertising with Young & Rubicam, an agency where she ran the accounts for Showtime and Sony. The job brought her closer to entertainment, but it also helped her realize that it wasn’t close enough.

“I wanted to decide what’s on TV,” she said. “Why were they putting ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ up against ‘Dawson’s Creek’? They’re the same show and the same audience; why are they making us choose? That’s when I realized I wanted to get more involved.”

Another agency in San Francisco: Shortly after they married, her husband was offered a job in San Francisco and the couple moved west. “I was shattered,” Sugar said. “I felt like there wasn’t an entertainment or content company I could get excited about out here.” She ended up at local ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, where she spent the next five years.

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