Trailblazing women were celebrated at a panel and dinner hosted by Theory at the brand’s headquarters as part of its women’s leadership initiative Be Heard. The discussion was led by Dee Poku Spalding, the founder and CEO of the Women Inspiration & Enterprise network, who asked questions to the four panelists, all successful female entrepreneurs. The panel included Vogue alum Sylvana Ward Durrett, cofounder and CEO of Maisonette; Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, the cofounder of Fitz, GlamSquad, and Gilt Groupe; Vanessa Packer, founder of ModelFit; and Jen Rubio, cofounder and creative director of Away, fashion’s favorite new luggage brand.
Topics ranged from fundraising efforts to balancing life as a working mother. Ward Durrett said that turning to other women, especially women entrepreneurs, was one of her secrets to success. She also said that women entrepreneurs need to believe that they are just as smart as anyone else (especially the men in the room) and to keep hustling. “All the things that we have set out to do, I can’t believe we have done,” she said.
Rubio brought up the fact that women often hold back when it comes to success. “We’ve taken a lot of risks and have been bold,” she explained. “But we still for some reason undermine ourselves.” She called for women to turn that switch off.
Wilkis Wilson said that pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone is important to be successful in creating a business. “You have to be willing and be flexible,” she said. “It’s a battle; it’s a journey; it’s a marathon with a lot of sprints along the way.”
Packer explained that feedback from clients and fans is what pushed her towards new moves in the world of fitness. “We’re living in a very mobile and traveling space now, and we found that [our clients] are very apt to doing an online or mobile app workout,” she said. “Now, ModelFit isn’t just for the people that live in lower Manhattan or West Hollywood. This reaches people in a much bigger way and creates a community without compromising the brand.”
The room was filled with women from all industries, including Megan Roup, creator of The Sculpt Society, a popular fitness class she teaches at Studio B and Project by Equinox. “I think this panel restated those feelings that you have when you’re first starting out—that it’s a bit of a hustle and nobody really knows what they are doing,” she said. “You’re doing the best you can, and you’re leaning on other females, other business owners. It’s small steps up a mountain. Other women are doing it, and you can too!”
After the panel, guests were invited downstairs to the Theory store for cocktails. The celebration continued at an intimate, candlelit dinner in the garden of Waverly Inn. Guests included Gigi Burris, the founder of Gigi Burris Millinery (who has a new line with Theory launching next week); Danielle DuBoise, cofounder of Sakara Life; and two more Vogue alumni, Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster of La Ligne.
Andrew Rosen, cofounder and CEO of Theory, thanked everyone for supporting the initiative and offered his support and advice to all the women in the room in their endeavors.
By Griffin Lipson (Source vague.com) 13/10/2017