Kelly started the breakfast with a few words, highlighting all Remodista has done over the last five years, and speaking about our latest Australian partnership. She then turned it over for key Women2Watch honorees to speak about their stories and the importance of the community that Remodista has built.
Takeaways from Kelly’s speech:
Women2Watch (and to learn from)
We also heard from a few key Women2Watch, who shared their journeys and some helpful insights. Here are a few.
Heather Harris (that’s me!)
I’m the former President of CycleBar Franchising LLC, and current Founder/ CEO of H2M2 LLC, a consulting company. Remodista’s impact on me has been monumental. It has shown me so many things about myself, and taught me lessons that I carry with me every day—like “fear is normal” (use it, get comfortable with it, because if we are being disruptive, we’re living with it daily); “community is powerful” (I trusted this community from day one), and “being vulnerable is an important piece of developing honest relationships” (it’s the foundation of trust).
Having a leader like Kelly, who is honest and direct, was important as it developed Remodista’s culture and attracted the right people to come along on the journey. It gave me confidence that I needed to leap into a new category of business, in a new city.
Years ago, Kelly and I would talk about the challenges and issues in retail. We had the same beliefs—beliefs my bosses didn’t share. They thought my thinking was aggressive and non-traditional; why fix something that wasn’t broken? (I laugh about it now.) Even in the face of resistance, I knew my instincts were right. Kelly gave me that confidence. I watched her obsession with building the community, publishing research and insights, and leading women to the stage. She was ahead of her time, and her obsession was inspiring! Being obsessed with something means that you have no choice but to start making your mark. And when you make your mark, you make an impact, and when you make an impact, you find fulfillment.
Anne Marie Steven
Anne Marie is the CEO of Kowlia and founder of Retail Innovation Lounge, and has been looking at the intersection of mobile and in-store engagement in the retail industry. Her projects and events led her to launch Retail Innovation Labs and position them outside, in, or near other larger retail conferences and exhibits. Anne has always been a bit ahead of others in her thinking, and had to find ways to give herself confidence that her decisions were good—even when others weren't quite there yet.
Anne Marie has partnered with Kelly because the Remodista community attracts women pioneers who are looking ahead to the things that haven't happened yet—which provides a perfect opportunity to find innovative speakers panels and keynotes. The Remodista community provides a continual channel of innovation to tap into, and the leaders in the community can benefit from the the Retail Innovation Lounges as they appear at events in the US and around the globe.
A managing director for an online retailer—and a true global partner to Remodista—Alice shared with the community the power and determination of what two women can do when they partner on a shared vision. Alice put together an Australian conference that showcased five keynote speakers, three of them Remodista women… and she’s just getting started.
Born in Germany, now living in Australia, Alice is passionate about women's’ success and building a global network of impactful leaders. Raised by a single mom, she has witnessed firsthand the importance of building women up and empowering them with tools to be successful. Perhaps one of her most important contributions has been the development a space that is safe to share our fears, goals, thoughts, and challenges.
Cindy, the Founder and CEO of Reachify, has spent her entire career in the big data space—and is passionate about the idea that data unleashes untold possibilities. She has witnessed the industry transform from hunches to data-driven metrics and results. Reachify helps clear up the clutter within spaces, to help organizations define a clear path to success by vetting vendors and observing the behavior of top companies and their partners.
Cindy spoke about living with being uncomfortable in an ever-changing world, and noted that in today’s rapidly-changing world, staying nimble must be a top priority. (Reachify aims to help people do just that by tracking real-time industry changes.)
Cindy shared with us some words of wisdom her husband gives her every morning: he says “be a leader.” He understands the pressure of running a company, the reality of what she experiences, and by urging her to “be a leader” he’s recognizing that her days won’t be all easy or fun. It was a great reminder for all of us to take on every day with that mindset, and to keep our intentions focused on leading.
Michelle is the Head of Retail for Euromonitor and a global expert in 30 countries and over 100 channels. She shared with the group that in 2014, she was unknown in retail, taking over what seemed to be an overwhelming job, with little industry exposure or knowledge. She came to Remodista through the magic of networking, and the rest is history! Two years later, she is a highly-visible global leader in the space—someone who has earned credibility and validation through opportunities provided by the community. Because of the power of her network, Michelle is now a valuable (and valued) asset to the industry that gave her the right opportunity to learn and grow. She owes much of her rapid success to Remodista, and feels moved to share her story and inspire others.
Getting to Global
The team from Getting to Global, Joshua and Carl did live interviews with a handful of amazing women. Check out the videos below!
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