Farryn Weiner may be 31, but as VP of Brand & Marketing for Sweetgreen—the fast-growing purveyors of simple, seasonal, sustainable salads—she’s already changing the way people around the world think about food.
With roots in social and editorial—previously, Weiner did stints at Jetsetter.com and Michael Kors—the young VP has a long track record of telling compelling stories for adventurous brands through emerging media and technology platforms. Now at the paradigm-shifting salad startup, she has the opportunity to connect passion and purpose, inspire healthier communities, and make the world a better place to live and eat.
“Life is all one big jump,” says Farryn, who actually met Sweetgreen co-founders while skydiving, in a serendipitous event that seems almost too symbolic to be true. “Working in various industries spanning travel, fashion and food were all big jumps that put me in a position to learn, stretch, and in many ways, start over. At Michael Kors, I led a global team, which was a huge opportunity to understand and more thoughtfully communicate with other cultures. I continuously go after experiences that challenge me to gain a different perspective.”
As a self-described “adventure capitalist,” Weiner is constantly capitalizing on and seeking out moments that expand her worldview. “I’ve always had this passion for connecting with communities, be it global or local,” she says. “Whether that means hiking a mountain in Nepal or connecting with a customer or building a kickass team, I bring a lot of energy and passion to my work. By being inspired, I hope to inspire others.” The best piece of real talk advice she’s ever received is to ‘pull up her big girl pants.’ “It’s the idea that you don’t have to ask for permission, you don’t have to ask for advice. You have the power and ability to figure it out on your own. Trust yourself and think critically to make the best decision you can and charge forward with confidence. Always show up with a recommendation, a point of view. There’s a real freedom and power in that.”
As Sweetgreen expands from an intimate eatery to a large scale global presence, Weiner’s flair for facilitating human connection is really being put to the test. For example: how do you preserve brand integrity and freshness of ingredients while maturing into new and faraway markets? Apparently, it’s something she’s put some thought into. “As we grow, it’s important to maintain our connection to our customers and farmers, and to create a connection between them, whether that’s through our app or high touch experiences. We’re focused on leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience, while maintaining the human touch that’s so important for building community.”
Over the last five years, and through meeting the team at Sweetgreen, Weiner’s relationship to work has done some serious evolving. While she used to view work and life as linear, often in competition with one another, today she’s done away with the tired notion of “work/life balance,” instead replacing it with a more fluid approach that’s inclusive of family, friends, career, and travel. “I’ve always wanted to work in an entrepreneurial environment where I could see the world and apply the lessons I’ve learned around the globe to my career. My sweetlife is a world where all these things coexist and thrive off one another,” she says. She’s also developed a quiet confidence about who she is and what she does. “I know what I bring to the table, and I have a strong understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. Every day, I lean into my strengths, and proactively work on areas for growth. There’s a lot of power that comes from knowing who you are, from being able to see yourself from 30,000 feet without judgment and acceptance.”
While Weiner is certainly proud to be recognized amongst the growing ranks of female entrepreneurs and leaders, she encourages others to focus on our “accomplishments as people as a whole, not just through the lens of gender.” Looking ahead, she’s excited to bring Sweetgreen’s mission to communities around the globe, asking, “Daikanyama, Japan sounds pretty amazing, no?”