“You’re a human. I’m a human. It’s about being human.”

The cultural shift that has taken place in 2018 through the #metoo movement has been astounding and a long time coming. Victims of sexual harassment are speaking out and the culture of abuse of women, is no longer tolerated. Women are speaking out and we support them. However, women should not be the only ones to bare the responsibility for changing our society and repairing the damage that has been done to so many women.

It must include educating the next generation. This year we worked with our friends and clients Promundo to launch The Future of Manhood campaign to celebrate Promundo’s 20 year anniversary. They are educating the next generation of men and boys, to create lasting societal change and help us achieve an equal society for all. They’re committed to working together toward more healthy, respectful masculinity. Worn is aligned with Promundo in the belief that by supporting, including, and educating boys and men we can further empower women by cultivating a cultural that respects, supports, believes, and values women everywhere. (edited)

Want to see some of Worn’s past work for Promundo? Check out the Promundo: State of American Fathers Video Campaign

Follow the conversation at #FutureOfManhood and #metoo

It’s a Worn tradition to go to Montauk every year for our company retreat. This is a chance to refresh our creative brains, get re-inspired, and focus on the future we’re building for Worn. This year we tried a new approach and hired a facilitator, Dr. Anna Rowley, to guide us through our first full day of retreat.

 

Our focus was to isolate our core company values and how they come to life in our everyday actions and traditions. It was also to think big and dream up our BHAGS (aka. Big Hairy Audacious Goals) and hear from our team members what their dreams are for Worn, no matter their job titles or how long they’ve been with the company everyone’s opinion is equally heard. It turned out that our goals are even bigger than we thought! Global expansion, a non-profit arm of Worn, and electing a female President of the United States were among the most important to our team.

We broke the team up into two groups, each presenting their BHAG in a creative way. One group presented their goals for Worn in the form of a rap song! “From NYC to DNC, we got a woman to the Presidency!” 

Day two was about getting outdoors. We hiked along Navy Bay with Jack the labradoodle, jumped off a fishing pier, lounged by the pool, cooked a dumpling dinner made by the team from scratch, and finished it off with a bonfire on the beach. It’s incredible how two days of focused, non-interrupted time, healthy meals, and plenty of rest brings us so much closer together. Matching Worn sweatshirts and gym bags help too. Check out some of our favorite moments from the Worn retreat.

Jamie and April taught everyone to make dumplings from scratch.

We spent hours gazing at the sunset from our deck.

And most importantly, we planned photoshoots wearing matching outfits.

In March of 2018, Worn launched women.nyc, an initiative led by Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and the Mayor’s Office of New York City, to make New York City the best city in the world for women. Worn designed and built an online platform, www.women.nyc to be the central resource for women in New York City to know their rights, sign up to learn new skills, and find the hundreds of city resources that exist for them – all in one place. Our ultimate goal with women.nyc is to help women in New York City make more money and gain more power.

For Worn, this was truly the campaign of a lifetime. This campaign epitomizes what Worn strives to achieve as an agency. To use our creative powers to help women step into their power. Giving access all the things they need to succeed in business and in life. We could not have asked for a better partner in bringing this to life. We thank Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and her team for making it possible for women of New York City to overcome boundaries. Above all, working with them to achieve their full potential. We feel so honored to be able to help them in doing so.

Want to learn more about what we created for women.nyc? Check out our Women.NYC: Creating a Power Move Campaign post.

In business, we often play by the unspoken rules that someone else set up the industry long before we arrived – this is especially true for women. It’s hard to break those rules if you don’t see anyone else doing it or the pressure to follow a certain path is incredibly high. So Inc Magazine’s current female-focused issue inspired us to write a list of 50 questions every female founder should ask themselves.

We hope this list makes you think deeply about your company, makes you question things you once took for granted, while getting you closer to a life and business that bring you deep fulfillment.

These questions are written from the perspective of one female founder to another, but they can apply to anyone who wants to take a deeper look at their chosen path.

50 Questions Every Female Founder Should Ask Themselves

1. What rules am I following in my business? Who made up those rules? Are they working for me?

2. What decisions have I made for my business because I “should” rather than I “want” to?

3. What rules have I created for my business because they work for me and my family and my employees?

4. Are my current workplace and hours the ideal setup for me to be happy? If not, how would I prefer them to be?

5. What’s a good reason they can’t be that way?

6. How supportive am I of other women in the business world, including my competitors?

7. How do I show that support?

8. How often do I reach out to other women for support? How can I do more of it?

9. How many times has someone told me I can’t do something?

10. Did I believe them?

11. Do I still?

12. How much do I believe in myself?

13. If not 1,000%, what is holding me back and what do I have to do to erase that as quickly as possible?

14. What would I do if I failed tomorrow?

15. What would that mean about me personally?

16. What did I do today to make my co-founder or employees feel that they love their jobs?

17. What role models have informed my perspective of how a leader is most effective?

18. What qualities do I personally possess that I feel make me a great leader?

19. How confident am I at negotiating? Why?

20. What is the first feeling I feel when I wake up in the morning?

21. What does that tell me about the decisions I’ve made?

22. What can I change about my business today that will make me and my employees happier?

23. What do I value more: money or a balanced life?

24. Do/can I have both? Why and why not?

25. What is my company’s mission? (To “be the best…” is not a mission.)

26. Is a mission important to me or my employees?

27. What am I afraid to do in my business?

28. How often do I try to do something in my business that I’m afraid might fail?

29. Has starting a business changed the way I care for myself?

30. What do I do everyday to take care of myself?

31. What is the most effective way I’ve found to relieve stress?

32. How often do I do this?

33. What do I want my employees to say about me and my company one day when they’re no longer working for me?

34. What example am I setting everyday for my employees and my peers in how I live my life and run my business?

35. What am I out to prove and to who?

36. What else could I be doing right now that would be more interesting and fulfilling?

37. Who are my mentors? Who do I wish were my mentors? Why aren’t they?

38. How comfortable am I at talking about money? What impact does this have on my business?

39. What excuses do I most often make for not doing something?

40. When will that stop?

41. What do I feel guilty for?

42. Is it ok to quit? Why or why not?

43. In what circumstance would it be ok to quit?

44. If I could move my office anywhere in the world for a month, where would I go? Where would my meetings take place?

45. What are my goals for my personal success?

46. Are they as high as other people I admire? Why or why not?

47. Where and what do I have to do to consider myself successful?

48. How often do I promote my company’s wins? How does this impact my business?

49. What or who am I grateful for?

50. What is the most important lesson I will teach my employees, co-founders, customers, clients, and peers?

Bonus: What do I already know that others do not?

If these were helpful or you have more questions you think we should add, let us know via Twitter.

Years ago, I met Elise Whang, co-founder of LePrix in Washington, DC. At the time her company, SnobSwap, focused on selling high end designer clothing and accessories online. But also enabled customers to swap goods with each other. Her and her sister Emily had turned their addiction to designer thrifting into a full blown tech company. Elise launched SnobSwap in between having her two kids and she’s always been incredibly determined. Having persevered through all the challenges that entrepreneurship has thrown at her, we admire her deeply.

When Elise got in touch and said it was time for a total rebrand, we were thrilled to work with her. We turned our focus to bringing inventory from high end consignment shops around the world to a single marketplace online.

The Relaunch

From the beginning, we aimed to relaunch the company with a brand that felt luxurious and trustworthy. Similarly retaining the approachable and fun nature of SnobSwaps initial charm was a major point for us. It was important to keep the sense of excitement that comes with thrifting that perfect pre-owned Chanel bag and getting it at a discount. Personal and elegant. 

Using data from the top shopped brands, Elise and Emily’s deep knowledge of their brand, as well as targeted audience research, we took SnobSwap through our naming process ultimately settling on LePrix. In French, “le prix” means “the prize” so the name refers to the hunt for the designer item you’re looking for and the prize when you find it.

Brand Identity

From there we designed the LePrix brand identity including a new logo, color palette, and photography guidelines. To ensure that all the inventory on the site was displayed uniformly we built rigorous guidelines.

Worn wrote new core messaging to reintroduce LePrix to the world as a new brand. Keeping the founders story correct and concise was incredibly important to us. 

Finally, we redesigned the LePrix website homepage, product pages and navigation to launch the new brand to the world. Ensuring a seamless shopping experience that is inspiring and easy to navigate.

April 2018 was an entire month of celebrations. Not only did we celebrate Nicole and April’s birthdays, but, drum roll… we celebrated Worn’s 5 Year Anniversary!!! On this fateful day, March 28, 2013 – 5 years ago, Nicole placed a sticky note on her computer with the name ‘Worn Creative’ and that kicked off a five year adventure that has become our beloved company.

 

With only 20% of businesses making it to five years and only 2% of women-owned businesses reaching the $1MM revenue mark, we had a lot to celebrate. Over the past 5 years Worn has:

 

  • Grown into a team of 12 incredible women (after starting with just Nicole in her apartment)
  • Worked with 5 Fortune 500 companies and 100+ startups and organizations
  • Surpassed the $1M revenue mark in 2017
  • Renovated an office in Williamsburg exclusively for Worn that will be finished in Fall ‘18

To celebrate, we did it the best way we knew how –  impromptu dress-up, Vogue style 73-questions video shoot, manicures and massages for the team and a private chef meal prepared our neighbors, The Culinistas. And, last but not least, a team favorite, matcha crepe cake from Lady M.

When New York City Hall called to tell us Worn had won the project to brand New York City as the best city for women we were beside ourselves with glee. We screamed, we cried, we hugged, and we popped champagne. And then we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

The Worn team began by strategizing, researching, and reading books like The Women Who Made New York. Putting ourselves in the shoes of the millions of women who live in the city: the hustlers who are working 2 jobs to pay off their debt, the moms who are studying for another degree, the self-made entrepreneurs who are networking and finding funding for their next company. We were conscious of the many types of women whose working lives in New York City are all uniquely different. When it came to naming this campaign, a campaign for all women of this city, “women.nyc” stuck.

The next challenge was to create a campaign that would hold women accountable to themselves. When was the last time you asked for what you earned and deserve?

We proceeded by asking a diverse group of women what they would want to hear from their city. Based on the feedback we received, we decided to hone in on the campaign’s messaging as our focal point – promoting the New York City’s hundreds of resources that benefit women. Instead of distracting visuals or colorful patterns – we opted to let the words boldly speak for themselves. Our CEO Nicole Corbett sums it up in June’s New Yorker article:

“It’s all about the power of words. Words like ‘We know you can do it alone, but you don’t have to.’ Coming from women around the city, saying, ‘What’s real? What do you want to hear?’”

Our next challenge was to find a way to centralize all of the city’s policies and programs that benefit women in one easy-to-access location. We didn’t want this to feel like your average government website. It needed to be visually compelling and easy to navigate. We designed a drop down filter menu that simplified the way-finding process to suit every woman’s needs. Whether she was visiting the site to seek help with finding a job, continuing her education, accessing health services, raising a child, managing her money or finding legal help. We wanted women.nyc to be a one-stop-shop that could help you find the information you need to make your power move.

The Launch

The launch of the campaign was celebrated with a press conference at City Hall hosted by the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. “New York City cannot continue as a successful city if women cannot succeed too. And now, for the first time in history, the women of New York City have all the tools they need to succeed in one place with Women.NYC,” announced First Lady Chirlane McCray.

As the women.nyc website was unveiled, women from across all five boroughs were invited to Make a Power Move. The lineup of speakers included amazing women from NYC government including Council Members Helen Rosenthal, Margaret S. Chin, and Debi Rose, Senator Marisol Alcantara, Assemblymembers Jo Anne Simon and Carmen De La Rosa, as well as special guests like Nicole Doz, a sanitation worker who was crowned Miss Staten Island 2018.

“With the launch of Women.NYC, we take another important step, providing women with the practical tools, resources and networking opportunities to further advance their careers. I encourage women to explore this dynamic website, and to inspire and empower other women by joining the conversation.” – Council Member Debi Rose

The press conference was followed by an epic launch party at The Brooklyn Museum, hosted alongside incredible sponsors like NYC’s Planned Parenthood, The Broad Room and the Cut. Worn joined Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and 200 other guests for a night dedicated to women and work. Power duo Coco and Breezy spun tunes for the crowd and an inspiring roundup of speakers shared their Power Move stories, including female founders like Lida Orzeck and Gale Epstein of Hanky Panky, and many more.   

360 Degree Campaign

As part of our 360 degree campaign launch we blanketed the five boroughs with ads that acted as a call-to-action to visit women.nyc. This included animated and static OOH ads across street pole banners, bus shelters, news stands, LinkNYC, MTA Go kiosks on subway platforms, geo-fence mobile ads, posters on Brooklyn MTA buses, and ads in both Spanish and English for publications like amNY and El Diario. We even took over a giant animated Port Authority billboard for the week! In addition to these assets, we created a 30-second spot featuring an array of women’s voices who spoke to what New York City means to them. The spot aired on Cable TV in Spanish and English, as well as on Taxi TV. The video’s end sequence directs women to the campaign website after reassuring them with the words, “We know you can do it alone, but you don’t have to.”

And now for the grand finale of the campaign! During launch week, women gathered in the heart of Washington Square Park for a public unveiling of the women.nyc campaign. An all-women drum line, Fogo Azul, set the scene with a powerful sequence of beats. As our campaign slogans were projected onto the Washington Square Arch it was surreal. We lit up the arch by posing the question, “How does a city work for women?” as examples of City programming and resources that benefit women. They were populated left and right, by “Paid Parental Leave”, “Free Tax Prep”, and “Salary History Ban”. As the projections shone bright, an incredible lineup of activists took to the center of the arch. Each with beautiful words acknowledging their support of the campaign.  


The New Yorker summed it up perfectly:

“As the sun set, the program started. Glen spoke, followed by, among others, Jessica González-Rojas, the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; Erin Vilardi, the C.E.O. of VoteRunLead, which helps women run for office; and Sophia Chang, a writer and a former manager of some of the Wu-Tang Clan. A crowd gathered, and several women of New York City stopped to see what the fuss was about.”

We’re excited to announce that we’ve welcomed a new leading lady to the team! Liezel Oosthuizen joined the Worn family as our new Operations Manager. Liezel comes from a tech startup, where her event and client services experience developed both the company and her nonprofit client’s success. While her passion lies with logistics and operations, she is driven by Worn’s creative work and mission to empower women. Originally from South Africa, Liezel has lived in Europe and moved to the US at the age of 14. Here’s a quick Q&A between Nicole Corbett, CEO of Worn and Liezel to help you get to know her and see why we couldn’t be happier to have her on our team.

N: What was the #1 thing that made you want to work at Worn?

L: The #1 thing that drew me in is the incredible team of women who, together, have managed to build the most uplifting and collaborative work culture that is unlike any other. I felt it the second I stepped into the office for the first time and knew I wanted to be a part of this family. They care about their clients the same way they care about each other and that’s the recipe and special sauce for empowering women to lead and be successful!

N: Describe your first week at Worn. Was it what you expected?

L: It was like a party when I walked in and everyone was just as excited to see me as I was to see them! With a decorated desk and a wonder woman balloon, I was ready to take on my first day. I loved getting to know the team over a cozy lunch and really enjoyed diving straight into the work. By the end of the day it somehow felt like I had been working there for months because everyone made me feel so welcomed and comfortable.

N: Why are you passionate about empowering women?

L: We’ve come so far but it’s shocking how much ground we still have to cover to reach true equality for women in the world. It seems so simple that men and women should have equal opportunities in economic participation and political representation, but the progress we need to see is happening all too slowly. Empowering one woman to lead means that she can turn around and empower ten more women to be strong and stand up for their rights and to go after powerful positions in the workforce. We can speed up the change we need to see and make a lasting impact by working hard to empower the women around us. I want to see true equality for women in my lifetime!

N: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

L: Ooo fun! First on the list is Nelson Mandela, my grandma and Jesus. All are my heroes and would be able to provide all the wisdom we could wish for. Michelle Obama is also there with her plus one. Brene Brown and Seth Godin both teach me so much about living boldly both personally and professionally and I’d be honored to have them in conversation. To keep things fun, Jimmy Fallon, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are all there to keep everyone laughing. I also need to be in the same room as two of the greatest talents of our time, so Meryl Streep and Beyonce are there and probably sitting at the heads of the table. To complete the most amazing dinner party of my life, my Worn family will be there to enjoy every second of it with me!

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added to the Worn family! April Qi joined the Worn family last Monday as our new Designer. April Qi is a Chinese-Canadian living in Brooklyn, NY. She studied at The New School and has dabbled in many industries, from hospitality to fashion to tech. Here’s a quick Q&A between Nicole Corbett, CEO of Worn and April to help you get to know her and see why we couldn’t be happier to have her on our team.

N: What was the #1 thing that made you want to work at Worn?

A: Worn’s mission statement. I talk to so many designers who love to design but feel as though they’re not making an impact, so finding Worn and learning that their mission aligns with my own felt like finding a golden ticket. It felt like a chance at accomplishing two things I’m passionate about, design and helping women. Also taking a look at Worn’s website and Instagram you can see how close the team is and how positive the culture is, and that has always been important to me. 

N: Describe your first week at Worn. Was it what you expected?

A: My first week at Worn was a blur – it was during a particularly busy week and I was given trust and responsibility from the get go and personally I love learning that way. I was part of every meeting, every brainstorm, and immediately felt like I belonged. That was also partly due to the team’s warmth the second I walked through the door.

N: What is one of your favorite design projects you have worked on?

A: One of my favorite design projects was a passion project of mine that I named Power to the Postcard. It was after the election and I wanted to still participate in the conversation and dedicate some time to making a difference on things that I felt were important. I created postcard templates targeting specific issues that were being threatened. I shared the idea with my colleagues and we teamed up, reached out to some contacts to find a location and a liquor sponsor, and hosted a postcard writing party to our senators and representatives. We counted almost 300 postcards on a Monday night.

N: Why are you passionate about empowering women?

A:  I have been surrounded by strong women raising and guiding me every day, and I think it’s important to do so for others and give back however I can – whether it’s giving design advice, giving an inspiring pep talk or just being there to listen. Things are certainly not equal now, and we still have a lot of work to do. Which is why I’m passionate about passing a better world to the next generation.

N: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

A: It would be just me and J.K. Rowling, eating Shake Shack and talking about Harry Potter.

We’re so excited to keep adding to the Worn family! This week we’re highlighting our new addition, Line Jørgensen, Senior Project Manager. Line came to us just this year with a background in strategic marketing where she’s worked with a variety of brands within the lifestyle space, both in-house and agency side! Here’s a little Q & A we did with her so you can see why we’re so excited to welcome her to the team: 

W: Describe your first week at Worn. What were some of the highlights?

L: On my first day the team surprised me with a heart-confetti and candy decorated desk – such a nice welcome! The pre-onboarding had been excellent, so I was able to get straight to work on my first day – my first exercise was a naming session for a sustainable clothing brand. The team was so creative and fun to work with! But my best memory from this year, has to have been the company retreat to Montauk – The team spent a weekend together with coaching, stargazing, dream-chasing, goal-setting, fun activities and great food!

 

W: Where are you from? What’s some of your background?

L: So I am actually born in London, UK, which sounds super cool. But really, I am raised in the cold and rainy countryside of Denmark, in a city with 3000 people – I am the eldest sibling in a family of 7! 

 

W: What was the #1 thing that made you want to work at Worn?

L: I was already working in the advertising space, but having this odd empty feeling – I wanted to create work that had a greater purpose. So many of the brands I had worked with had massive followings, budgets and platforms, but were really not using them to serve a greater good. I wanted to do more than just sell products, so the mission at Worn was what initially reeled me in. After joining, I very quickly learned so many great things about working at Worn! Our ambitious goals, strong business focus, multi-talented team, and our super inspiring clients!

 

W: What’s your go-to for self care?

L: Being outdoors! More than ever after moving to the city, being surrounded by nature and quietness is therapeutic and humbling for me.

W: Why are you passionate about empowering women?

L: Because there are so many countries, industries, workplaces, cultures, communities and even families, that have not let women achieve their full potential, often because of outdated traditions & expectations. We are long passed this point, and there are really no excuses for gender-biases anymore – The future is female!

W: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

L: FUN! Okay, okay. Toastmaster: James Corden (Tv-Host)  – To get the mood just right and create an intimate space, we would do a Jazzercise class, lead by Carolyn Rush (VP and Superwoman at Worn).

Food would then be served by Massimo Bottura (Chef) followed by a speak by Michelle Obama.

For entertainment, I would want Justin Willman (Magician) and we would top the night off with a performance by either Beyonce or Bruno Mars. To fill out the dancefloor : ALL THE WORN CLIENTS!