#4: Lisa Cohen, Founder of Galerie Magazine

Lisa founded the publication Galerie Magazine, merging the worlds of art and travel. Discover how she built her business and learned from the hurdles along the way.

What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business?

Communication. It's important for me to speak to everyone involved on the team and give everyone the opportunity to be heard. This keeps the creativity high and ideas flowing.
Think big and take calculated risks.
Be passionate and entrepreneurial.

Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?

Looking back I can honestly say that I have failed many times, but having the resiliency to get back up again is the key to success. For example, when we first started Galerie I partnered with a book publisher that did not understand what I was trying to accomplish as the company's vision was narrowly focused. After I realized I made a mistake I went out to build my own team. I learned the key elements it takes to create a publication that melds together the worlds of art and design and established a new niche in the art and design publication world.

What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

I'm excited for our upcoming Creative Minds issue launching this spring and our Emerging Artist issue coming out Winter 2019. Also, our art world Agenda for jet-setting art enthusiasts will open the doors for new travel experiences revolving around the art world.

Photo credit: Lucille Khornak, Galerie Magazine.

#3: Carla Carstens, Entrepreneur & Creator

Introducing Carla Carstens, expert creator and business owner leading her own home decor brand inspired by travel and urban lifestyle.

Carla is another alumni from the Kara Ross NY business, who launched her own business afterwards in decor and accessories. Read on to learn more about her journey!

What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business?

Just do something – I meet a lot of incredible individuals with excellent ideas who experience analysis paralysis to the point that they never end up launching. Not everything needs to be perfect to get going – do one thing every day to just get started. The idea of “launching a business can be daunting. As long as you have an excellent product that you wholeheartedly stand by, with a sustainable infrastructure to handle your basic business needs (production, fulfillment, ecommerce, etc.) you can launch. The rest will fall into place.
Measure – I’m sure you’ve heard the Peter Drucker quote, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” While I disagree in the sense that not everything that is good for your business can be measured, I do believe that you should set goals and track them, because it eliminates middle ground. You either met your goal, or didn’t. For example, I invested in the creation of a blog for one of my businesses, which I realized a few months in after reviewing analytics. If success had been measured by increasing brand awareness, it would have been a flop. However the goal was to improve SEO, which it did. So it was a win, and worth continuing the investment.
Be good – at the end of the day, all you have is your integrity. It is incredibly important to me to lead all of my businesses with that in mind. Be good to your customer, your partners, and your competitors.

Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?

I to this day consider my biggest failure to have occurred in High School, because this failure had the biggest impact on my life how I react to failure to this day. As your stereotypical high school overachiever, I participated in a multitude of clubs because I knew it looked good for college applications. Freshman through Junior year, I ran for class president, and proceeded to lose each year to a well-liked, and deserving classmate of mine. It was a huge blow to my ego, but my incredible mother encouraged me to try. Senior year, I had the option of running for school president. I checked my ego at the door, and decided to go for it. It was really scary to put myself out there, especially in the strange ecosystem that is high school. I won.
While this may seem insignificant now, I believe it’s the reason why I’m extremely resilient and confident in my decision making. My mom was right, it isn’t the end of the world!

What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

My eponymous home accessories collection, Carla Carstens, has a few gorgeous collections launching this Spring/Summer, have been taking a more active role in my fashion internship business,FreeFashionInternships.com, and am launching a new product in the next few weeks for CC Party Co., my party décor line.
On a personal level, I have begun teaching a graduate-level PR course at LIM College, have begun my Masters in Management at Harvard, and continue to consult with fashion brands on their communications strategies. I am working on launching a women’s entrepreneurship podcast this year, so stay tuned on that as it’s in its very beginning stages.

#2: Brent Winston, Founder of Brent Neale Jewelry

Brent Neale Winston is a New York City based designer whose love of jewelry began at a young age when her mother took her to gem shows around Baltimore. Brent’s story is one that sits close to our hearts - before Brent started her own line she worked with our founder Kara Ross at Kara Ross New York. Read on to learn more about Brent.

What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business?

My number one priority are my children and my family which is why I chose to start my own business so I would be able to have a flexible schedule and spend as much time with them as possible.
This also means that I work from home quite frequently which I think will make positive impact on them long term - or at least i hope it will - they see me sketching or laying out stones and they seem to have a sense of what I do & how hard I work.
Additionally when I set out to create the collection I wanted it to be unique and be fun and make people smile. That hasn't changed - I think about that every time I make a piece.

Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?

I think that you really have to listen to your gut (something I learned working for Kara). Sometimes people may have suggestions as to what you should design or add to a collection and it might make logical sense but then if you don't truly love it and it's not truly you it's tough to sell it. I've learned that lesson the hard way (I melted the piece and took a hit on it ) and anything I make now is a piece I would want in my own jewelry box.

What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

I'm working on finishing up the next collection and showing in Paris for the first time which I'm really excited about. I'm so curious to see how it will be received overseas - I'm crossing my fingers and toes!

#1: Natalie Kathleen, Founder of JIBS Life

Introducing Natalie Kathleen, the founding CEO and creative lead of Jibs Life, a sustainable footwear brand blending fashion with forward thinking and positive, environmental impact.

Passionate about high fashion and spending plenty of time in the great outdoors, Natalie built her brand blending the two. The Jib classic shoe is a perfect hybrid of a stylish leather loafer and an everyday run-around sneaker. In our interview with Natalie we discover how she utilized her glowing relationships across her personal and professional lives to launch a flourishing business, the organic and enthusiastic community now taking part in the #jibsjourney, and how the Jibs brand is encouraging everyone to #stepintogood.

Every week we will be asking Unstoppable Women, female entrepreneurs blazing new trails across various industries, a set of questions concerning core values, life advice, and the stories behind their ventures.

What do you consider your top 3 core values, and how do they affect how you lead your business?

My Top value always comes out as trust. For me, trust goes two ways, it first and foremost applies to myself, my gut instincts are there for a reason. Mutual trust is also important to me, when you work with someone, you are trusting them to do things like showing up on time, doing their best, etc., if we trust that everyone is doing their best the outcomes usually come out best.
My #2 Core value is pleasure, if actions that are taken are done out of joy, they yield the best results. Most of the time it should be something to do with passion, shifting perspective usually helps you find best way to do it - we only have one life to live, we might as well fun doing it!
My #3 core value is challenge - the crazy thing about being an entrepreneur is choosing to jump into challenges. My drive comes from the moments that seem the craziest, the farthest away, wherever the uncertainty lies.. when I use the other 2 core values along the way, that’s where the magic happens.

Can you share an experience in which you thought you failed, or perhaps did fail? How did you react and move beyond it, and what impact did it have on your future decisions?

I probably fail everyday, the reason I say that, is I can’t follow the perfect mold. I believe I do strive for perfection, however through having “failures” I’ve actually learned the beauty behind imperfection. On a personal level, I stood back for a minute and looked at my friends and acquaintances that I like spending the most time around, and it wasn’t their perfect qualities that I loved, it was their imperfect qualities that made me want to be around them. On the business side, a great example would be my first company, Sienna Ray, my handbag business. I could say that this failed because it’s no longer the business I run and there’s no longer product being made, but If I look at everything this business has given me, including a “business degree” on the run, and a network that has allowed me to create multiple new and different businesses; I know that by going through this failure and accepting that it didn’t work at the moment, it allowed for the new to come in. The biggest impact it had on me, is to realize if something isn’t working, you have to let it go to allow what is actually going to work to come in. 
I started Sienna Ray when I was 21 in Vancouver, on my kitchen counter. The business lasted for 10 years. The closure didn’t feel amazing, but what you learn and the hindsight you gain is irreplaceable. Stop doing what you “should” be doing.

What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

Jibs is an ever-evolving brand and business, and what we’ve been able to discover in the last few years has really been a stepping stone to what we are about to release - it has helped harness my desire to be good to the world and to yourself, especially through sustainable products and materials, we are also dedicated to causes around the world such as global warming and ocean regeneration. We are creating a brand based on content that people can consume to better the world. We’ll be storytelling across #jibsjourney and #stepintogood. The storytelling will involve the fashion world, as well as stories from the guy in your local deli. It is a high/low type of content, we want to tell stories that connect highly influential people with people that they cross paths with everyday. It will be an interview and spotlight series with video content. I believe the future of products lies in telling a story that touches and engages the consumer. Sustainable materials is another definite new project, we are going to work with a research team to invest in materials that will reduce our carbon footprint and increase recycling opportunities. We are currently meeting with organizations that have established great work with ocean regeneration and are figuring out the best way to partner with them.