#36: Allison Robinson, CEO of The Mom Project

The Mom Project is a digital talent marketplace and community that connects professionally accomplished women with world-class companies.

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

Be respectful. That’s a pretty obvious one, but incredibly important.

Be curious. I’ve tried to build a culture of curiosity and risk-taking so we don’t hold ourselves back.

Know your strengths. It’s impossible for any one person to do everything well. I hire people smarter than me and I then try to get out of their way.

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?

Early on, we had a major company pull out of a deal at the 11th hour. It would have been very significant for us at the time and we made the mistake of committed resources to the account before the paperwork was signed. That was a good reminder for me to put the champagne on ice.

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

We are working on the Women’s Work Initiative this year, which is an opportunity for companies to join the movement and take action to bringing more diversity into their ranks. With this initiative, we're especially focused on connecting companies with highly experienced women who may have been out of the paid workforce for a time in order to raise children or care for an elderly parent. We're here for all women (and men, too), but we know this group is dealing with a unique set of challenges. A career gap for caregiving on an otherwise impressive resume hasn't historically helped an application rise to the top of the pile—but we're doing everything we can to disrupt those attitudes and hiring practices. Our goal is to bring at least 1,000 women back into the paid workforce in 2019. We’ve already got some amazing companies on board (Etsy, Nike, Facebook, etc.) and we’re just getting started!

#35: Sabrina Hahn, Founder of Hahn Fine Art

Sabrina is an art collector, art advisor, curator and author. She is also a venture capital investor in innovative technology companies. Sabrina graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in History of Art & Architecture, Minor in Economics, and Language Citation in Mandarin Chinese and is an active supporter of artists, museums, and public art installations as a young art patron, serving on the Guggenheim Young Collectors Council Acquisitions Committee, MoMA Junior Associates, as a Salon Member of The Armory Show Salon, and previously serving as Founding Member of the Neue Galerie Junior Council Committee. She was the Curatorial Advisor & Executive Committee Member of international philanthropic public art initiative The Brain Project, which raises funds and awareness for Alzheimer's & brain research. She also has served on the Philanthropy Board of Harvard's Hasty Pudding Institute and supports the Horace Mann School. As a committed supporter of diversity and inclusion across industries, Sabrina serves on the LP Committee of The SoCal Venture/Tech Inclusion Initiative, which strives to increase diversity and inclusion in tech entrepreneurship, startups, venture capital, and universities. Sabrina enjoys sharing curated content of inspiring art with her followers on Instagram and was named one of Town & Country's T&C 50: New Modern Swans.


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


Integrity and having a long term view, valuing relationships and friendships with people above all.
Openminded-ness and thinking outside the box, encouraging creativity and innovation.
And last but not least: Gratitude! I feel so fortunate to work with such inspiring artists, entrepreneurs, and art collectors.


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?

Being an entrepreneur means failing and succeeding daily. Failures, rejections, setbacks, and challenges are all opportunities to build the resilience to keep driving forward - it can be frustrating at first, but the best remedy is to realize you are empowered to get back up and at it again.


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

I am incredibly excited for the children's book on art that I wrote to be published in the next year. I care deeply about making art more accessible to all, both through technology and traditional modes, and I'm hoping that kids will be inspired by art and spark their creativity. Stay tuned!

#34: Beryl Solomon, Founder of Poplar

Introducing Beryl Solomon, founder of Poplar, an online shop hosting a range of CBD products designed for optimal wellness. Beryl created Poplar to help people navigate the new world - to make it simple and easy to take care of ourselves. When she couldn't find a trusted resource that provided easy to understand content and sold products that fit modern lifestyles she decided to build one. Poplar offers a curated assortment of the best products on the market, focused on high quality CBD, all carefully selected and independently tested. 
https://shop-poplar.com


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

Values are so important. What you value is the core of who you are - professionally and personally (although these days there is not much of a distinction). For me, it is critical to surround myself with people who share my values. Note: That doesn’t mean people that look like me or talk like me. Values transcend race, religion, and geography.

For a while, “authenticity” has been a buzz word and "be an authentic brand” has been a catch phrase. Consequently and unfortunately, authenticity has lost some of it’s meaning (ironically). Values seems much more on point.

When I sat down to start Poplar (well what would be Poplar - we didn’t have a name yet), I really thought about not just what we wanted to sell, but the type of company we wanted to be… That list is now entitled Poplar Promises - mostly because of the alliteration… But it really outlines my values.

Below is a selection of three (there are a lot more) Poplar Promises - I think these in particular do a good job of summing up my core values.

We value deep breathing, honest connections, and human contact.

We believe in an open mind and a lot of research.

We carry a strict no asshole policy.


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?

Failing sounds so heavy - true failure to me would be not properly equipping my children for adulthood or committing a crime… We (me included) are constantly pushing ourselves to succeed and consequently “failure” sits on the other end of the spectrum. But what really is failure? I think many of the things we think of as failure are more like mistakes or mis-steps. Or maybe I am naive - either way I am sticking with it. 🙂

So mistakes - I make a lot. I try to own them - recognize I was not right and move forward. The real problems arise when I make the same mistakes twice, or three times… In that case, if I am not self-aware enough to right the wrong, I rely on my support support system to call me out - my husband, my family, my friends.


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

Poplar is still in it’s infancy - I am calling Poplar my third child and we are now just out of the fourth trimester.

All that is to say we have so much more to come… When we launched in November, we knew we were pushing out an MVP - a minimum viable product. We wanted to get to market and then have our customers help shape the final version.

We just launched our fist original content series called WTF is Wellness. This new series aims to take consumers alongside me as I talk all things modern wellness with some of the most exciting and influential minds in the space. From CBD and cannabis to mind, body and lifestyle - we try to navigate this crazy world we live in one conversation at a time.
On the horizon we are working on pop ups, product collabs, and a special event series… So please come along for the journey.

Whether you're a CBD novice or a cannabis pro, Poplar offers you a curated assortment of the best legal cannabis products, all carefully selected and independently tested. In other words, today we sell across the US a selection of hemp-derived CBD products. Poplar is here to help lead the way through the crowded and complicated cannabis wellness landscape. #RedefineYourWellness