Four Questions with Caroline Klatt
On all other posts, we share inspired ideas for celebrating our Judaism;
on this post, we talk to the women who give us reason to celebrate.✨
Happy Wednesday!! I’m so excited to share this new series with you. Each week as part of “Four Questions With…”, I’m going to be highlighting one of the coolest, most interesting women I know in the hopes that she’ll inspire you as much as she’s inspired me.
First up: my fabulous friend Caroline Klatt, who goes by “Lini.” She’s a mom, an Upper West Sider, and the co-founder and CEO of Headliner Labs, the leading chatbot platform for retail and beauty brands (think: Kenneth Cole, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cole Haan, and many more). In addition to being named to Forbes 30 Under 30, Lini’s a regular columnist and speaker on the topics of digital sales, mobile marketing, and machine learning. She’s also hilarious, genuine, inspiring, and, oh yeah, crazy levels of beautiful. Find our full conversation after the jump!
What’s your favorite Jewish tradition—and why?
There are so many, of course…but one thing I truly cherish is lighting Shabbat candles with my daughter each week. My candlesticks were actually given to me by my mother-in-law when I got married, which is part of the reason why the whole thing always feels so special. They were made by an incredibly cool German-Israeli artist named Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert, and when I first got them, their sister set was actually on display at the Israel Museum—how cool is that? I absolutely love art, so to me, these gorgeous candlesticks are so cool to own and use. They’re a work of art, they’re a piece of Jewish culture, and they also feel like a piece of family.
When I was younger, I always lit candles with my grandmother and my mother—it was sort of a bonding experience with them. These newer candlesticks represent a similar bonding experience with my mother-in-law. And now, I light the candles each week with my daughter. So, in every way, the weekly tradition is a family event; a tradition that bridges generations. It’s such a special part of the week and of my life.
“In every way, the weekly tradition is a family event; a tradition that bridges generations. It’s such a special part of the week and of my life.”
What does your typical nighttime routine look like?
First of all, if it were up to me, I’d have a 20-hour nighttime routine (and honestly, it sort of feels like I do). David gets in bed, and I’m like, “I’m just washing up!” and hours later I emerge and he’s fast asleep.
Truthfully, I was never a big beauty product junkie, but the minute you see your first wrinkle, your whole life changes. Now, I’ve gotten really into products, and I have a whole routine. First, I brush my teeth for two full minutes. Then I remove my makeup with Neutrogena Cleansing Wipes, which are super easy to find at any drugstore. Next, I wash my face with whatever my dermatologist recommends—the trick to washing your face, by the way, is to sing the ABCs three times over in your head. You can sing quickly.
After that, I use the Clinique clarifying lotion that I’ve been using since high school—Clinique Clarifying Lotion #2. I’ve tried a lot of toners, but this is one I’ve come back to recently. Finally, I use an age-defying serum. I’ve gotten really into this part, and right now I’m using Lancôme Advanced Génifique. It’s non-toxic and it’s also the serum Kate Middleton uses, apparently, but I didn’t actually know that when I first bought it. Pretty cool. Last but not least, I use the Ole Henrikson moisturizer—I’m not sure what it does except soften your skin. And I’ve also started using Jergen’s Neck Firming Cream. It’s a lot, I know! The thing about all this stuff is, you have to be really committed. If you don’t enjoy skincare, you just won’t do it.
Which Jewish foods are your all-time favorites?
This is an interesting one. I grew up with a grandmother who was an excellent cook and very traditionally Jewish. She came from Hungary, and made it here to the States by way of Israel after living through the Holocaust. Part of what she and all of our grandparents brought with them here was food. It’s one of the most important traditions of any culture, and we can’t discount how big of a deal it is…especially here in New York, where we’re so food-obsessed. When I stop to think about that, I’m reminded of how important it is to hold onto those Jewish foods and have pride in them. So, enjoying some home-cooked cholent, or a nice breaded chicken on Shabbat, or kasha…I love all those things. And of course I love a good Rosh Hashanah stuffed cabbage. But really, each and every Jewish food feels important to me, because they all remind me of who I am and where I come from.
My husband and daughter actually have a standing Sunday date where they go to Fine & Schapiro on the Upper East Side—it’s a well-known, traditional Jewish diner—and they get chicken matzo ball soup together. Every single Sunday, a bowl of matzo ball soup and a pastrami sandwich. It’s pretty cute. I’m never invited. That part’s a little offensive. But I’m okay with it.
What’s the best thing about living in New York City?
My favorite thing about New York, let’s see… Honestly, it would be impossible to list all of them. There’s just no city in the world like New York, and there’s certainly nowhere else I’d rather live. But right now, I especially love New York for its weekends. I just love that there’s always somewhere to go and something to do, whether it’s heading to a museum with my daughter, walking through the park, or going out to dinner at one of the best restaurants in the world. All of that can be found here in one city, and I think that’s really unique and special. And I truly love the people, too. They walk quickly, for starters, and they talk quickly—both of which are very important. But they’re also nice, and I think we don’t give New Yorkers enough credit for that. The’re nice, they’re interesting, and they’re fun.
And now, as a woman with a career and a family, I’ve realized that there are very few places in the world where you can do that well. Everything is so accessible and so possible here. I’m able to be a Jewish woman, a career woman, a culture-loving woman, and a mom…all at once. And that’s really special.