1. Introduce yourself! Tell us about who you are and what your job is.
I’m an entrepreneur and digital media executive and advisor who loves art, fashion, travel, my family and friends, and my Yorkshire terrier named, Moses. Currently, I am the co-founder of Cat Perkins, a new women’s shoe line sold direct to consumers at catperkins.com. Cat Perkins is truly the first of its kind – a stylish interchangeable shoe that is hand-crafted and 100% leather and also convertible so that women can transform one pair into many, simply by changing the Upper.
I am also the co-founder of Artspace, the world’s premier online marketplace for contemporary art, the former COO of Daily Candy and a former executive at New York Times Digital. I serve on several boards and advise start-ups in the New York City area.
2. How did you get into this career path? Have there been any obstacles you’ve faced in this industry and if so, what are they?
I have been in digital media and technology for over 20 years now. I started in the industry in 1996 when it was in its infancy and have seen it grow and evolve into the powerful industry that it is today.
I have always been interested in creative fields and when I graduated from Harvard Business School in 1996, I was drawn to this new medium called the Internet. It was the Wild Wild West and dreamers and entrepreneurs were creating the backbone of today’s Internet industry. There was a lot of opportunity back then and I was trying to figure out where I could make the most impact. I spent eight of my formative years at New York Times Digital, which was an incredible experience for me – the brand was so strong and we knew we were building an important part of the future of the company.
I then took the entrepreneurial route to be the COO of a smaller, private company called Daily Candy which we ended up selling to Comcast and finally took the plunge to start companies myself, including Artspace and Cat Perkins.
In terms of obstacles, I haven’t found any that are insurmountable. Entrepreneurship is both exhilarating and exhausting so I always tell women who want to start their own businesses to go in with their eyes open. It will be an incredible journey full of great accomplishments and successes but also disappointments and setbacks along the way. You should be passionate about what you are doing because you are going to be putting your heart and soul into your new business so you should love what you are creating.
3. What advice would you give other women who wanted to get into your industry?
Just do it! There is so much opportunity for intelligent, energetic and persevering individuals. Find a category you love, do your research, connect with people who can be helpful, and take an opportunity even if it isn’t perfect. You will learn and find to your dream job along the way.
4. Where do you gain inspiration?
I gain my inspiration from a number of places – my fellow entrepreneurs who are creating amazing companies and organizations that change the world in both the for-profit and non-profit fields – as well as art, film, fashion and the outdoors.
5. What does it mean to you to be a strong woman?
It’s a hard question because what it means to be strong for me may be very different from a woman trying to survive in a war-torn country. I believe women are born strong. We are born to persevere. But we need to educate our girls and give them opportunities to achieve their full potential.
For me personally, to be strong means to be myself, to believe in myself, to always stand up for what I believe in and to try my best to be fearless in my journey through my career and my life.
6. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far?
I get the greatest pleasure and sense of accomplishment from the creative process and building strong, effective, successful teams that achieve their goals. I also value the strong relationships I have built in both my personal and professional life.
7. Since we’re a beauty company, we have to ask: what are 3 things you never leave home without?
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Berry, Dior Diorskin Nude Air Tan Powder/Compact, Essie cuticle oil
8. What is your go-to beauty product?
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20.
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