The Juggle: Nell Diamond

The Juggler: Nell Diamond, Founder and CEO of Hill House Home, a New York based direct-to-consumer home and lifestyle business.


ON MORNINGS: My morning always changes depending on what time I set my alarm. Henry usually wakes up somewhere in the 7 o’clock hour, which is great. When he was a newborn, he woke up at the 5 o’clock hour, and that was not great. There’s a huge difference between 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock hour. Our nanny comes around eight thirty, so usually, either Teddy or I will work out in the morning, or we’ll all have breakfast together as a family. Henry really likes to make his own smoothie in the morning, with our supervision. Then, at eight thirty, usually depending on whether Henry has a long way to get dressed or not, I will walk to work through Washington Square Park which is my favorite part of the day. It’s so nice.


ON SYSTEMS: I love calendar invites. I think it’s the way to do things. Teddy and I definitely send each other a ton of calendar invites for things we’re doing, including when we’ll be gone for work. Like, lately, Teddy has to be in D.C. a lot for work, so I’ll get a calendar request that I can see on my calendar, reminding me that he’s gone before it actually happens. Other than that, I definitely look at my calendar every night, so that in the morning I’m not surprised by anything. I don’t have to wake up and remember that I have something big that day.


I really like the Gmail snooze feature, too. I’ve been using it a lot. So, I use my inbox basically as a to-do list. If it’s in my inbox that means I have to do it. And I hate at the end of the day when I have all of these things left in there that I can’t actually take action on. So if there’s an email that I need to have an internal meeting before I respond to, I’ll snooze it until the day of that meeting, so that I will get to it then, but I don’t have to take up my mental space thinking about it now when there’s nothing I can do about it. Because there are a ton of emails all the time that I can’t act on right away without doing other things, so that’s been really big for me is to snooze emails because I still get through the ones that I get through.


And then I really try to always respond to emails that I can respond to in less than a minute. So if the response takes less than a minute, just do it right now.


ON BACKUP PLANS: I have a really amazing built-in backup plan: my parents live here. So, there’s definitely been quite a few occasions where I’ve totally misscheduled something and forgotten that both Teddy and I will be at a late meeting until seven thirty or something, and my mom has definitely stepped in. I’ve gotten better at that. I try to look in advance a little bit and know when something is going to be out of the ordinary—that’s where it helps to have a real routine so that I’m not always being surprised and having to recalibrate all the time.


ON COUNTING STEPS: I walk home from work which is a really nice wind down time. I track my steps kind of obsessively. So, I use my Fitbit. I try to get 10k a day, which Teddy laughs at because he’s a crazy marathoner so if he goes outside, he gets ten thousand, whereas for me, it’s a journey. I have to be on an epic odyssey to get ten thousand, but I do it. I do it every day.


ON ME TIME: At night, I really love to read. I love fiction, so I try to read a little bit, even if it’s just five pages. During the week, I find it really hard to be social and then spend a whole day at work the next day, so we try to keep weekday social or work events to a minimum because it’s just hard to recalibrate the next morning.


ON DREAD: I dread being late for work and having to take a cab. I hate it, it starts my whole day off wrong. I hate the feeling of being late, in general.


ON A FIVE-YEAR PLAN: As a business, what we’re really hoping is to re-define modern womanhood. And to kind of allow women to consider things like, what color pink piping goes best with the monogram on my bed at the same time as they’re considering what valuation they should give their business, and how much equity they should give away. And we don’t believe that those two things are mutually exclusive and we do believe that this kind of group of women that have become our customers contain multitudes. We want to allow them the space to be all of those things at once, and never the same thing twice. We’re really proud of the community that we’re building, and we’re also proud of how our products speak for themselves, and allow women to speak for themselves at the same time.