The Best Career Advice From Jenna Lyons, Camila McConaughey, Cameron Diaz, and More

September 22, 2020
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On Saturday, September 12th, we tapped industry-disrupting entrepreneurs and experts who are redefining the meaning of work for our Future of Work Summit presented by Mastercard. In a post-COVID world, it’s safe to say we’re not going back to business as usual anytime soon, so these leaders are throwing out the playbook, re-envisioning the traditional 9-to-5, and leaning into all things digital.

We discussed everything from overcoming self-doubt to pivoting to digital in the midst of a pandemic to turning likes and comments into dollars and cents by selling product on social media. Jenna Lyons, Camila McConaughey, Cameron Diaz, and more taught us a thing or two about switching lanes to start a new career, knowing your limitations and when to ask for help, and building an aspirational yet accessible brand.

If you missed out (or just want to relive the highlights!), read on because we wrote down the most vision board-worthy moments for you!

Building a Billion-Dollar Company From My Living Room With Jamie Kern Lima

Panelist:

Jamie Kern Lima | Founder, IT Cosmetics

Moderator:

Sacha Strebe | Editorial Director, Create & Cultivate

On navigating COVID-19… 

“Everyone, no matter where you’re at in your career or business, is having to make some tough decisions and figure out how to deal with uncertainty.”

On writing her first book… 

“For 10 years, any time I’ve been asked to write a book I’ve said no because I was so focused on the business.”

“Every person has inside of them what it takes to accomplish their dreams.”

On dealing with rejection… 

“For 3 years, we had virtually no sales at IT Cosmetics and we heard “nos” from every single person I pitched my idea to.”

On listening to her gut… 

“All the times I listened to the gut feeling of what I was supposed to do were critical moments for the business’ success.”

“All the experts were telling me one thing but my gut was telling me another.”

“You can’t fake authenticity.”

On starting the business… 

“On my honeymoon flight to South Africa, I wrote the business plan.” 

“We started out super scrappy from our living room.”

“My husband bought that yellow book HTML for Dummies.”

On launching with a DTC strategy… 

“The day our website went live, no orders came in. And the next day, no orders.”

“Days went on, weeks went on and no orders came in.”

“Just because you’ve created something, doesn’t mean it’s going to sell.”

On being an entrepreneur… 

“Everything looks so good when it’s a headline in a magazine, but it’s really hard.”

“I worked 100 hour weeks for 10 years.”

On dealing with doubts… 

“It’s really hard to not let those “nos” equate to doubt in your head.”

“Self-doubt kills more dreams than anything else.”

“A lot of people only cheer for you once you’ve made it, so you need to be your biggest cheerleader.”

On making it through the tough times… 

“Champions aren’t made when the game is easy.”

From Passion to Profit: How to Turn What You Love Doing Into a Successful Business With Jenna Lyons

Panelist:

Jenna Lyons | Founder, Lyons L.A.D.

Moderator: 

Jaclyn Johnson | Founder & CEO, Create & Cultivate

On life after J.Crew…

“I actually let myself do nothing and I didn’t force myself to take dance lessons or bake bread or learn to cook—which I really should do—but I let myself just dream a little bit and think about what I really enjoy and what I really wanted to do and it was an absolute blessing.” 

“You truly understand who your friends are and what is meaningful. I think my life was very big and now my life is tiny and I actually it’s really nice to have a small, more close-knit group and not feel the pressure to go to events. I realize what’s most important.”

“It’s a really good reset and as hard as it was when it was happening, I’m grateful that I experienced it.”

On working outside of fashion…

“The reason I got into fashion was because I really enjoyed helping people feel good and feel beautiful and transform and I did find it towards the end. It was harder for me. I was removed from the process of the actual product itself. And that was challenging.”

“It’s incredibly challenging to make clothing on such a big scale and really make everybody happy and I found that what I wanted to be doing was making people happy.” 

“I felt like I wasn’t doing a good job and I wasn’t delivering and that was hard—I didn’t like that feeling.”

 On finding the right partner to fund your business…

“You will know the second you sit down with somebody if they are the right partner. It’s not about going with family money, VC money, what it is about is the way you feel in your gut.”

“It doesn’t matter where the money is coming from if you believe in the person and the people that you are working with and you share their common goals and values, that’s the only thing you need to worry about.”

On finding an accountant…

“If you can, I would always suggest having somebody who can manage the cash flow and basic accounting. It’s just a different brain.”

On launching a new business…

“It’s a struggle and an absolute insane challenge to launch something creative—the challenges out there are numerous.” 

Being real on social media…

“I found when I was more honest about my struggles people felt much more connected to that—no one is perfect.”

On the best advice she’s ever received…

“If it feels wrong, it’s wrong. Trust yourself.”

Gen Z: How to Capture the Attention of the Up-and-Coming Generation

Panelists:

Natalie Mariduena | Lifestyle Creator

Larsen Thompson | Model, Dancer, & Actress

Cami Téllez | Co-Founder & CEO, Parade

Maya Penn | CEO of Maya’s Ideas, Sustainability Consultant, Author, & Animator

Moderator: 

Sacha Strebe | Editorial Director, Create & Cultivate 

On working with brands… 

“When it comes to any brand, small or big, my qualifiers are that you have to be making changes that are soon.” – Maya Penn

On the impact of brands on society… 

“I believe brands are powerful because they write cultural scripts.” – Cami Téllez 

On creating an inclusive marketing strategy for your brand…  

“To build a relevant brand, we had to cocreate the fabric of Parade with micro-influencers. To build a culturally significant brand begins and ends with listening to community.” – Cami Téllez 

“We, at our core, believe women and fem-identifying people are bold, free-wheeling, and expressive.” – Cami Téllez  

On marketing your brand as relevant to a younger demographic… 

Comes from finding the right talent who has good engagement to see conversion and best results.” – Larsen Thompson

On what brands shouldn’t do to market their product to Gen Z-ers… 

“Brands will try to go for whatever will be the most flashy when what goes most viral and memorable is whatever’s honest and authentic.” – Maya Penn

“Not generalizing what Gen Z finds interesting or funny or engaging because there are so many different genres [of entertainment] that we consume.” – Maya Penn

On what brands should do to appeal to Gen Z… 

Using a different range of people, using micro-influencers and every day people makes a big impact.” – Cami Téllez 

“Gen Z appreciates the divisive nature of taking a stand and your brand speaking up when there is injustice in the world.” –  Cami Téllez 

“As Gen Z makes these brands a part of their personality, it’s important to be listening to your community and understanding how to take part of what’s going on right now.” – Cami Téllez

“A lot of companies go wrong because they feel that Gen Z doesn’t care about social issues when that’s a large majority of Gen Z.” – Maya Penn 

“Gen Z is a combination of fun and having a good time, but we also want to change the world.” – Maya Penn

“Realizing that it’s your audience that you’re selling to, you already know these people, [and that] you’re in the same sport, just a different ball. You know yourself and your audience better than anyone does.” – Natalie Mariduena 

On how brands are/should be changing…  

“In 2021, we’re really going to see who stands for what and if they really mean what they say.” – Natalie Mariduena

“People are voting with their dollars, Gen Z specifically.” – Cami Téllez 

“With every transaction, every customer we bring in, what are we doing? How are we holding ourselves accountable?” – Cami Téllez 

“It’s going to take a really courageous group of founders and leaders invested in finding new ways to do business that are not invested in the same ways of creating.” – Cami Téllez 

“[It’s] important for founders and leaders within the Gen Z space to stand firm on what matters to them and what is non-negotiable within their business that [they] are going to stand for within every expansion in [their] business.” – Cami Téllez

“Brands standing up for what they believe in gets people excited to be a part of [their] community, work for [their] company, and to be a part of the vision.” – Cami Téllez

“The superpower we have as Gen Z founders is that in being the customer, we have tremendous intuition.” – Cami Téllez

“The social accountability generated by cancel culture has brought a lot of light and integrity to how people run their lives and businesses.” – Cami Téllez

On advice for other young womxn and femme-identifying people who want to start a company… 

“Everyone is betting against you to overcome the huge market dynamics in place.” – Cami Téllez

“You have to be willing to swing for the fences, and continuously thinking how [you] best [your] last launch and grow and scale.” – Cami Téllez

“So much creative success is from bringing together an incredible team and continuously staying to true to that I am the customer, I built this company.” – Cami Téllez

“Trust your intuition, trust your gut, but think about how you can swing for the fences.” – Cami Téllez

“I was an anomaly in every room that I stepped into for a very long time, and I was my only point of reference for a very long time.” – Maya Penn

“[Black women] are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs, and yet we barely receive any funding or VC and investor support.” – Maya Penn

“Continue to be loud, continue to take up space, continue to be authentic, and use your company and skills to make a difference in some way.” – Maya Penn

“Keep going, learn from all of your experiences, the good and the bad… and go for every opportunity and be adaptable and flexible to the changing times.” – Maya Penn 

On what makes one piece of content stand out over another… 

“Just finding relatability with people and connecting to your audience in a way that showcases who you are.” – Larsen Thompson 

On confidence… 

“Confidence is really all about just going for it despite your nerves because that just means something really big and possibly amazing is coming up next.” – Maya Penn

On the best piece of advice they’ve ever received… 

“Don’t let others limit your goals and aspirations.” – Larsen Thompson 

“What’s meant for you is coming for you, trust your intuition, trust your gut.” – Cami Téllez

“To be adaptable and really remember that the path to success is definitely not a straight line. To really be willing to adapt and grow with what your journey is, and be willing to let it take you where it does. Adapting and utilizing all of your passions and skills.” – Maya Penn

On the future of work… 

“Align the part of [yourself] that has values and things [you] stand for outside of work and bringing that closer to the workplace.” – Cami Téllez

“So many norms and traditions that have been flipped on their head. [The] future of work is being experimental and holistic to the company about what works best for that company.” – Maya Penn 

“Brands of the future are going to stand out from each other from a branding standpoint and how they do work and internal operations, every aspect from the ground up of their identity.” – Maya Penn 

“Aligning to what’s happening in the world and using our platforms to spread good.” – Larsen Thompson  

Disrupt Aging: A Conversation on Owning Your Age at Work Powered by AARP

Panelists:

Kimara Mitchell | Art Director, Banana Republic Factory

Sarah Larson Levey | Founder & CEO, Y7 Studio

Danika Brysha | Co-Founder, Self-Care Society & Model Meals

Janet Cruz Padrón | Founder, Latina Money

Moderator: 

Alicia R. Wallace | Director of Enterprise Initiatives, AARP

On being a Millennial business owner…  

“I was in that real tough group during the recession where I actually graduated in 2009. I grew up in Michigan, both my parents work for car companies, so we were hit really really hard.” – Sarah Larson Levey

On seeking job security… 

“I was so overly cautious about having a job or an opportunity ripped away from me that it was really hard for me to let go of my full-time job.” – Sarah Larson Levey 

On navigating COVID-19… 

“Right now, during this pandemic, while we’re forced to be closed, I’m very fortunate that I have a healthy fear of running out of money.” – Sarah Larson Levey

On following your passion at any age… 

“You can restart at any time. Our hobbies change doing during our life, our passions change, and I love the permission that our current culture has to ask ourselves, Does this light me up? Is this fun? Is this aligned? Do I want to do this?” – Danika Brysha 

On cultivating inclusivity… 

“Society should be reflected in our marketing.” – Kimara Mitchell 

“When I was a kid, I would flip through, Vogue magazine and not see somebody that looked like me. Now, we have the chance to be able to change that.” – Kimara Mitchell 

“[Inclusivity] needs to be something that’s in your company DNA. It needs to be something that’s in all the decisions that you make, from how you market to who’s on your board to who’s creating your product. It need to be woven throughout the fabric of your brand.” – Kimara Mitchell 

On reaching markets with tremendous buying power… 

“Our marketing should reflect who our customers are.” – Kimara Mitchell 

“Black America has something like over a trillion dollars in buying power; we make clothing in sizes like 10, 14, 16; the population of People of Color is increasing; the buying power of people over 50 is increasing. They have more disposable income. They’re willing to spend on things.” – Kimara Mitchell 

On seeking out mentorship… 

“The more people that we talk to—older than us, younger than us, different backgrounds different experiences—the more we get to learn.” – Danika Brysha

“Everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn.” – Danika Brysh 

“It is important to have those positive mentors who are in your corner, who are advocating for you and helping you advocate for yourself.” – Janet Cruz Padrón

On owning your age means…

“Sharing your mistakes and helping someone not have to learn the hard way.” – Janet Cruz Padrón

“Being confident in the experiences that have brought me to this point.” – Kimara Mitchell 

“Making age a non-issue.”- Danika Brysha

“Celebrating where you’re at. Throw milestones out the window and where you are is where you are.” – Sarah Larson Levey

On the future of work…

“The future of work does not have a limit. I think if you want to work hen you’re 70, if you want to start a business when you’re 16, it’s just all about following whatever it is that you’re passionate about no matter what your age.” – Kimara Mitchell 

“It’s no longer about who’s first in the office or who’s last in the office, if you take a lunch break if you don’t take a lunch break.” – Sarah Larson Levey

 “There was always this energy of who’s working the most and now it’s really who’s working the smartest.” – Sarah Larson Levey

Meet the Multi-Hyphenates Redefining What the Future of Work Looks Like 

Panelists:

Ronne Brown | Founder & CEO of Girl CEO Inc.

Sona Gasparian | Beauty & Lifestyle Creator and Founder of Persona Cosmetics

Jenna Owens | Creator of @thefitish®️ CBD Skincare

Tolani Eweje | Beauty & Lifestyle Influencer and Petroleum Engineer

Moderator: 

Jess Weiner | Cultural Expert & CEO 

On finding your motivation in tough times… 

“When your back is completely against the wall, look out for an opportunity to birth something great.” – Ronne Brown 

On having stamina and putting in the work… 

“I’ve been an entrepreneur for 11 years now and I’m just starting to feel like people are seeing me.” – Ronne Brown 

On taking the leap to pursue a side-hustle full time… 

“Finances aside, this is going to be a huge pay cut in my life, but this is meaningful and this is a level of healing and this is my purpose, and I need to do this.” – Jenna Owens

“Money’s important. Let’s be real. We have to pay the bills, take care of family.” – Jenna Owens 

“We make time for the things we want to do.” – Jenna Owens 

“I don’t think you are 100% certain or comfortable in making a leap like that.” – Jenna Owens 

On needing momentum…  

“I’m learning through my journey that is 100% about momentum. If your momentum is shot, everything is shot.” – Ronne Brown  

On pivoting post-COVID-19… 

“We are going to boot this thing up and I have done what I have always been taught to do my entire life: Put your gloves on, put your big girl pants on, and let’s figure this out.” – Ronne Brown  

On being vulnerable on social media…

“I used to really be afraid to share mental health journeys and things like that, and I think through COVID, I learned that people appreciate that. People appreciate honesty. Just because you’re tough on the outside doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on on the inside.” – Sona Gasparian

On working with brands… 

“I only work with brands that I honestly and genuinely use and genuinely love.” – Tolani Eweje

“I am definitely doing a lot more research on brands that I work with, making sure they have a good environment, more inclusive, they have diverse leadership.” – Tolani Eweje 

On hiring… 

“I outsource everything I suck at.” – Jenna Owens 

“When you are okay admitting that you are not good at something and surround yourself with people that are smarter than you, it’s just going to elevate your game.” – Jenna Owens 

“It’s okay to admit you don’t know something.”- Jenna Owens

On finding a mentor… 

“It’s hard to find a really good mentor, but when you do find that really good mentor that you can relate to, especially in an industry where a lot of people don’t really look like you and it may be harder to find that mentor, it goes a long, long, long, long, long way.” – Tolani Eweje

“The need for mentorship birthed my business.” – Ronne Brown 

“Creating an environment where women did have to learn from their own mistakes and they could get information, resources, and tools from other successful women or women who are on the same journey as them.” – Ronne Brown 

“Let me show you all the women I helped make a million dollars. That is legendary, that is impactful, and that is truly how you make a difference.” – Ronne Brown 

“Having a mentor, it elevates your game.” – Jenna Owens  

On defining success… 

“Your success is really based on the lives that you impact, not the amount of money you make.” – Ronne Brown

Second Life: Hillary Kerr & Camila McConaughey

Panelist:

Camila McConaughey | Lifestyle Expert, Entrepreneur, and Founder of Women of Today

Moderator: 

Hillary Kerr | Co-Founder & Chief Content Officer, Who What Wear

On voting with your wallet…

“I always say you vote with your wallet. Every single day you decide who you support and sometimes we forget it. There’s a lot of power and we can make a difference just in the food that you buy.” 

On motherhood…

“It is going to be challenging and you’ll be tested to a level that you’ve never been tested before, but it’s the most rewarding thing. It’s a kind of love you can’t explain until you go through it.”

“I’m not gonna bullshit you, it’s going to be hard. But if God gives you a child it’s because he knows you can handle it so don’t be afraid of it, embrace it, and prepare yourself because it’s going to be hard and it’s okay to ask for help.”

“A lot of women who work hard, who are independent, have a hard time asking for help and I learned that the hard way. Ask for help and know what your limitations are.”  

On the pandemic…

“We are in very challenging and uncertain times right now and we are all going through it in different ways so really embrace the changes.”

“You have to try your very best and if you do, and things are not perfect, at least you can put your head on the pillow at night and know I did my best in my heart. I know I tried my best.”

On making mistakes in business…

“I learned early on that over-promising is underperforming. So, I very quickly switch to under-promising and over-performing because then you make people respect you and trust you.”

On switching careers…

“You should be terrified. It’s okay. But the good thing about being terrified is that you usually work harder to overcome and overachieve. So use that as your fuel to conquer the change that you’re trying to make.”

Digital Doors: From Main Street to Online, How to Pivot to Digital and Navigate the Future of Retail, Presented by Mastercard

Panelists:

Michelle Cadore | Owner & Designer

Amber Tolliver | Founder & CEO, Liberté

Sherly Tavarez | Founder, Hause of Curls, and Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger

Whitney Rife Becker | Fashion Influencer & Entrepreneur 

Moderator: 

Ginger Siegel | North America Small Business Lead at Mastercard

On knowing when to strike out on your own… 

“I always said that by the end of the year, I’d be a full-time entrepreneur.” – Michelle Cadore

“Really think about laying out your exit plan. Lay out the steps, lay out the financial foundation, to move forward.” – Michelle Cadore

“I moved without any savings, I just took the leap. I just knew it was going to work out. Just have faith in your business and try.” – Michelle Cadore

On the self-funding and the bootstrapping process… 

“It’s really important to show a desire in the market for your product or service.” – Amber Tolliver 

“The more you’re able to show proof of concept within your space, the better of you’ll be when you go to bring on outside investment.” – Amber Tolliver

On knowing what to look for in a partnership… 

“Bringing on VC and angel investors, it’s really like a marriage. You need to have a firm understanding of what they’re bringing to the table, and it really should be about more than money.” – Amber Tolliver  

“You really have to take a diligent look at the parts of your business that need assistance, and look for a partner that can fill in those gaps.” – Amber Tolliver 

“You want to partner with people who will expand your name and help you reach people who you wouldn’t usually be able to reach.” – Amber Tolliver 

“The only way to get through this and to come out of it better than we were when we first went in, is together.” – Amber Tolliver 

“Bringing new products, bringing something different that their customers haven’t seen yet, as well as expanding our reach.” – Amber Tolliver 

On launching your own company… 

I invested just $300 and a dream” – Sherly Tavarez

“Once I realized that so many people related to my story attached to the T-shirt, I knew I had to make it a business.” – Sherly Tavarez

On reaching a wider audience digitally…  

“Thinking more digitally, how have we been able to keep our community connected.” – Michelle Cadore 

“Hashtag everything, share everything, work with influencers.” – Whitney Rife Becker  

“Teach yourself and doing your due diligence so that everything you’re putting out into the internet has a direct link back to you.” – Amber Tolliver

On crisis-proofing your business… 

“Remain agile and have multiple avenues through which you can bring in revenue.” – Amber Tolliver

“At any moment in time, you can say that doors closed, but we’ve got the window and we’ve got the back door. We’ve always got people to connect with the brand in a way that’s still driving revenue and keeping that community connected and engaged with you.” – Amber Tolliver 

On money tips for small business owners… 

“Only buy products you love, it’s easier to sell those products.” – Whitney Rife Becker 

On what COVID-19 has taught them… 

“That we are unstoppable. Even when you have to sit down for six months and be on pause as a business, it gave me the space to really plan and grow my business. Taught me to keep going, keep pushing.” – Michelle Cadore 

“It taught me to pivot.” – Sherley Tavarez

On the future of work… 

“It’s ours. Brands are trusting us, influencers, and businesses are trusting the world. We have everything we want at our fingertips.” – Whitney Rife Becker

“Digitally, you can do anything, there are no limits to what we can do and what we can achieve, I think it’s a really incredible time to be an entrepreneur.” – Amber Tolliver

“The future of work is adaptable, you have to be flexible and move with whatever changes are coming and stay innovative.” – Michelle Cadore

The New Leadership: Meet the Women at the Top

Panelists:

Shiza Shahid | Co-Founder, Malala Fund and Our Place

Julissa Prado | Founder, Rizos Curls

Dorit Kemsley | Entrepreneur & Founder, Beverly Beach

Nichole Lynel | Fashion Designer & Author 

Moderator: 

Bridget Todd | Host, iHeart Radio’s “There Are No Girls on the Internet” & Founder, Unbossed Creative

On her childhood…

“I was very aware of the lack of opportunities for women and girls but my parents really allowed me to go out there and volunteer in women’s prisons and refugee camps starting as young as 14 years old and chart my own path. I realized that I could make a difference, that I had a role to play.” – Shiza Shahid

On leaving 9-to-5 for entrepreneurship…

“I was the worst employee. I did every single job and I was always miserable and I just didn’t think that that was the path for me. I knew that’s not how you’re supposed to live.” – Nichole Lynel

“I thought to myself what else do I have to lose? I’m already miserable at every other job so let’s see what happiness looks like. Once you make a decision and you see results you can pretty much do anything that you put your mind to, you just have to go for it.” – Nichole Lynel

On being an entrepreneur…

“I’ve always had that fire in my belly since a young girl.” – Dorit Kemsley

“I would strongly encourage any woman that has that drive or desire to pursue your dreams to just do it you can you can make anything happen.” – Dorit Kemsley

“I always say that my into entrepreneurial spirit 100% came from growing up in predominantly Black and brown for neighborhoods of Los Angeles.” – Julissa Prado 

“One of my biggest mantras is ‘you makeup in creativity what you lack in marketing dollars’ and that’s where I learned it. I learned it from being poor and brown in LA.” – Julissa Prado

“True creativity doesn’t come from having thousands of dollars to look fly. It comes from having $20 to look fly on the first day of school having to go to the Dollar Store to figure out ways to add rhinestones, maybe get some bandanas and make a shirt out of it and make that your runway.” – Julissa Prado

On being taken seriously as a young entrepreneur…

“There was certainly a high amount of discrimination based on age and just being an outsider, but what I’ve learned is you’re too young until you’re too old. I don’t know that there’s ever really an age where anyone looks at you and says, you know what you’re just right for this opportunity. I think, especially as women, we are always too young until we’re too old and so you just kind of have to brush it aside and be who you are.” – Shiza Shahid

“You don’t need every single opportunity. You don’t need to please everyone. You just need to find the ones that are right for you.” – Shiza Shahid 

On breaking up with your business partner…

“When you hit rock bottom you can get real creative.” – Nichole Lynel

“I had absolutely no resources, no money, no connections, no way of digging my way out and that’s where I got extremely creative.” – Nichole Lynel 

On hitting rock bottom…

“I wasn’t about to be a one-hit wonder. I’m not going to get left in the dust. I have to put my foot back in the game and I have to go for it.” – Nichole Lynel 

On building a million-dollar business…

“I’m a result person so once I started getting those results it became like an addiction. I was unstoppable.” – Nichole Lynel

On following your intuition…

“Only you know when that time is and only you know what that energy is telling you but once you feel it, you have to trust your instinct, you have to trust your intuition and run with it.” – Julissa Prado 

On raising money…

“I’ve raised a lot of money, a lot of different kinds of money—it’s always hard. For my own business, I tried to raise as little as possible because I think money always comes with strings attached. As little as you can raise the better and you really should think through why you are raising because you’re always diluting yourself.” – Shiza Shahid

“I grow as ambitiously as I can but without compromising profitability and I have raised money but sort of as little as possible to grow in the way that I want to. I’ve turned away probably more money than I’ve raised.” – Shiza Shahid

“My advice to other women is to really think about what you are building. Do you need money? Do you need to raise money? What is the best kind of money you can raise because you can raise debt or you can raise equity.” – Shiza Shahid

On her commitment to philanthropy and sustainability…

“My desire to build a business is very much rooted in a desire to show that you can build an ambitious business that does good in the world that provides dignified work that sources ethically and that is committed to sustainability.” – Shiza Shahid

Cameron Diaz & Katherine Power

Panelists:

Cameron Diaz | Actress, Author, & Avaline Co-Founder 

Katherine Power | Entrepreneur & Avaline Co-Founder

Moderator: 

Sophia Rossi | Co-Founder, Hellogiggles & HiNote 

On creating a wine company… 

“When we first learned what could be added to wines, we changed the way that we were drinking.” – Katherine Power

“We sought out organic wines, naturally made wines, wines with low additives and it really changed our experience, but as we went out to find and buy these products, they were really hard to come by.” – Katherine Power

On navigating a new industry… 

“It was like learning a foreign language. It is an industry with all of its own rules and regulations.” – Katherine Power

On creating a product for yourself… 

“When you’re creating a product or trying to fulfill your own need, it’s exciting. We’re doing something that we already love and enjoy. We’re creating a product for ourselves.” – Cameron Diaz

On balancing business and creativity… 

“As much as it’s a business process, it’s a creative process; creating the label, naming the brand.” – Cameron Diaz

On coming up with the brand name…

“The biggest challenge in starting any business is finding a name where you can get the trademark you can get the web domain.” – Katherine Power

“We went through so many different names and options. We wanted something that felt feminine but also strong and we ended up on a baby-naming website.” – Katherine Power

“We found Avaline, which is a woman’s name that means sensitive, humble, and lively and we felt like that really perfectly embodied what we wanted the brand to be.” – Katherine Power

“We were coming into a business of generations—it’s really an art and a very special craft—so we didn’t want to come out of the gate with some trendy, hot name.”  – Katherine Power

On entering a legacy-driven industry… 

“We want to create a brand that will be able to sit alongside a lot of the great wine brands of our generation and be able to be around for a really long time.” – Katherine Power

On creating an elevated yet accessible brand… 

“We wanted to have an aspirational brand but we wanted it to be widely accessible.” – Katherine Power

On finding the right price point… 

“We did a survey with a couple of thousand people on Instagram to understand everything from the pricing they were most comfortable with and if they would be willing to pay more for something that was slightly better for them to bottle shapes.” – Katherine Power

On defining clean wine… 

“There’s no actual definition of clean in the wine industry. There’s no labeling that you can or stamp that you can get. It’s still being defined.” – Cameron Diaz

“There are over seventy-three additives that can be put into the wine process making process. For us, we wanted the minimal, minimal, minimal.” – Cameron Diaz

“Clean, for us, is not using all of those other tools, using organic farming practices, and being transparent.” – Cameron Diaz

“We take a lot of pride in being transparent about what’s in the bottle.” – Cameron Diaz

“Organic grapes are the most important part because they’re delicious. So we don’t have to do anything much more than have amazing farmers, amazing winemakers who blend beautifully and we have Avaline.” – Cameron Diaz

On partnering with a female winemaker… 

“There are some really talented females in the wine industry, but it is historically a business that is mostly men.” – Katherine Power

“Our rosé a winemaker is a woman and she just nailed it.” – Katherine Power

“We’re hoping that this will encourage more female leaders in the wine industry and that we can even help elevate them along the way.” – Katherine Power

On defining success…

“I think that success is when you find something that excites you every day, whether that’s a career or philanthropy or raising your children, something that truly does feed your soul and makes you excited every single day.” – Katherine Power

“Life is so short, and we spend so much time at work, so it better be something that you love and that you are surrounded by people that you are inspired by.” – Katherine Power

On pushing through challenges…  

“You know something is right when you keep pushing forward.” – Cameron Diaz

“We had to convince people to take us seriously. This is not another celebrity wine brand.” – Katherine Power

On being a mother and an entrepreneur during COVID-19… 

“You have to take it day by day and not put too much pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly. It’s hard enough when there’s not a pandemic going on.” – Katherine Power

On #1 money tip for entrepreneurs… 

“Think about profitability a lot sooner than you think you need to.” – Katherine Power

On the best career advice… 

“Sometimes, you just have to get it done, so don’t wait for the perfect time, just do it.” – Katherine Power

“Never do anything that feels like work.” – Cameron Diaz

Psst… If you’re having serious FOMO, join Create & Cultivate Insiders to get unlimited access to all of our Future of Work Presented by Mastercard content including video recordings of every panel and workshop download in C&C history.

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