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The Latest by Chinae Alexander - Issue 2 - Female Entrepreneurship
I sit here at my dining table writing this at 11:30PM; the lights in all the nearby apartment buildings are starting to go dark one by one. I haven’t eaten dinner yet (don’t worry, Postmates is on the way). 

With this issue being about women and entrepreneurship, it feels pretty apt for me to be writing this letter in these conditions.

I remember the day so clearly…February 18th, 2015. It was the day my boss of 8 years pulled me aside and told me that 48 hours from then, I wouldn’t be employed anymore. It was the day he told me I needed to become an entrepreneur. It was the day I was given two months salary to go and start something. It was also the day I thought my heart might stop beating completely. 

After walking in the bitter cold for 2 hours, I sat in the Lexington Diner on the corner of 33rd and Lex…my only companions: bottomless coffee, two scrambled eggs, a notebook, and my thoughts which ranged from pure joy to absolute anguish. I’d say the theme of the day would be PARALYZING FEAR. In that notebook I proceeded to write down all the things I had loved doing, my passions, the things that I never wanted to do again, and the biggest dreams I could muster on a day as unsteady as that. My eyes blurred as I looked down at this jumble of words and dreams and what rose to the top was, PEOPLE. I must work for the benefit of others, because people are my passion. 

So I decided that I would become an event planner. Celebrating people seemed like a pretty damn good way to make a living. I went home and ordered business cards and started the process of building a website. Later that night around 11pm, not dissimilar to the time now as I write this… I took a long walk to clear my head.  As I passed neighborhood shops one after another I felt the pit of my stomach begin to sink as fear bubbled up into my throat. I furiously began texting someone about a nannying job they had available, and stopped in front of a flower shop to jot down the phone number that lived under “Part-Time Help Wanted”. I needed a plan B…and C, for that matter. 

The next morning I woke up with a clarity that only could’ve come from a higher place. My fingers swiped to the Notes app. I deleted the flower shop phone number and shot off a “Never mind” text to the friend looking for a nanny. My new self, my new business…would not be a place built on plan B's and C’s. That shit was not welcome here.

I had my first event three weeks later…they even paid me, can you believe? (I couldn’t at the time). After building a successful event business, my social media presence was growing at a speed I couldn’t manage, so I decided a year and a half ago to stop taking event clients so I could focus on my personal brand. I beat myself up about not keeping up the dream and thing I’d built; I felt like I was abandoning a child for a sibling. 

But then I realized: my passion all along was PEOPLE, not parties. 

I realized that I had been led to a place where I not only could celebrate people, but cry with them, be inspired by them, and hopefully get so deeply in their lives that they realized how much they are loved. Turns out I got the job I always wanted, and all I had to do was run fast, forward, with no plan B into the abyss of it all. 

Having compassion for the world, acknowledgement for our fears, the bravery to surpass those same fears, and the intellect to reinvent ourselves…everyday.

We are women, and this is our power.
XO-Chinae
At the intersection of badass boss ladies and the beauty world, there’s some serious magic happening. Women are helming more beauty brands than ever these days, and their products are a testament to their incredible knack for knowing exactly how to make their fellow women look and feel amazing. Behold, my 9 favorites from female-run beauty companies.
 
9 Products from Female Owned Beauty Brands
Drunk Elephant
Kjaer Weis
Kate Somerville
RMS Beauty
Pat McGrath
Sunday Riley
Glossier
Sigma Beauty
Jillian Dempsey
Culture- Don't Eat Before Reading this
I know Anthony Bourdain wasn't exactly a woman entrepreneur, but his no-fucks attitude inspired me in my career and I hope he continues to inspire generations to come. This iconic New Yorker piece from 1999 was his first highly-publicized piece, the one that began to make him a household name. Read Anthony's words and get inspired by an iconic entrepreneur who will be deeply missed.
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Podcast- Unqualified by Anna Faris
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@museummammy
Ariel Kaye is the Founder and CEO of Parachute, a modern home essentials brand based in Venice Beach. Long intrigued by the interplay of design and wellness, Ariel established Parachute to fulfill consumers’ needs for high quality bedding and a good night’s sleep. The brand has been called one of the “25 Hot Los Angeles Startups to Watch” by Business Insider, and has been featured in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST TASTE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

Both of my parents are entrepreneurs—they showed me at a young age that climbing the corporate ladder was not the only way to achieve success. Fast forward many, many years when I was living in NYC. I had a lot of friends who were joining early stage startups or launching their own companies. I found myself inspired by their hard work and the idea of being involved in the growth story of an organization. I started craving that experience.

WHAT SCARED YOU MOST ABOUT STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THAT FEAR?

Starting your own company is the ultimate risk. I found myself constantly second guessing my decision to leave a comfortable job and do something on my own. Ultimately I believed so deeply in the vision of Parachute—I knew this was a huge opportunity and had to see it through. Having a strong support system helped me circumvent some of the darkest days and more challenging moments. My passion for this idea kept me pushing forward.

WHAT KEEPS YOU GROUNDED WHILE RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?

I’m constantly inspired by the outdoors and the casual beauty of the Southern California landscape. Bike riding, sunset yoga, or a quick walk to the beach keep me grounded and focused.

HOW HAS THE LANDSCAPE CHANGED FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS SINCE YOU STARTED?

The number of female founders continues to grow and with that so does the network of support. Nearly all of my favorite brands are female founded business from Clare V., Outdoor Voices and Glossier to goop, GirlBoss and Bumble. Here in Venice, I regularly visit local woman-owned establishments, such as Midland, Urbanic, The Butcher’s Daughter, and Cuyana. I try to make myself available to meet or help other entrepreneurs any way I can. You never know what you might learn from each other.
The number of female founders continues to grow and with that so does the network of support. Nearly all of my favorite brands are female founded business.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE OF PARACHUTE?

We want to continue to expand our assortment of home essentials and bring a physical and experiential version of Parachute to our customers in more cities. We’re dreaming big!

RAPID FIRE ROUND...

Your last meal: Japanese at N/Naka

Best advice you ever got: Do it and don’t look back or don’t do it at all. Trust your instincts, because when you’re doing something you love, you can’t imagine doing anything else.

Holy Grail beauty product: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 1970

Boss babe you admire: Katerina Markov Schneider at Ritual

Guilty pleasure or weird obsession: Buying all the tabloids before a long flight.

Project or product you want to plug: We recently launched our first Dog Bed! We’re excited to deepen our connection with families and bring a little extra comfort to their fur babies, too!

CHINAE ALEXANDER
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Editorial Director: Liz Deadrick
Copyright © 2018 Chinae Alexander, All rights reserved.

27 West 24th St. #10B NY, NY 10010

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