POSITION: Founder of OriginOne, a clothing line that focuses on racial unity and oneness
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Left a successful career in finance to found her own company. Her slogan T-shirts ranked among iVillage’s Beauty & Style Top 10 list in January, and they were included in the Country Music Awards gift bags in December.
WHAT YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK: I thrive on finding everyone’s unique talent and making big things happen. I am always amazed at how much I learn from others and how most people are willing to help when asked. When I started OriginOne, I didn’t know anything about the industry. But I didn’t let my lack of experience phase me. I knew I could count on the power of people. I walked in to a fashion trade show knowing nothing, and walked out having dozens of contacts and enough information to start a business.
PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY: Challenge the status quo and be relentless! When I am working on a goal or project, I am the most persistent person you’ll ever meet. Long after many people would have given up, I am still plugging away.
PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT, AND WHY IT STANDS OUT: I had only been in Los Angeles for a couple of months when I accepted a position at an international, publicly traded financial services company. Within a very short time, my leadership skills and work ethic were noticed by executive management. Inside of a few months, I was asked to start and run a new subsidiary in the male-dominated, highly competitive world of financial services, specifically an Internet-based stock brokerage firm. This was in 1996, when the only thing you could do online was check the weather, and the idea of trading stocks on your computer was revolutionary. At the age of 26, I knew that this was a huge undertaking that could literally make or break my career. The company became profitable within eight months under my leadership as CEO and chairwoman of the board. I broke the glass ceiling and became a member of “the old boys’ club,” and was still a few years shy of my 30th birthday.
ADVICE FOR WOMEN ENTERING THE WORK FORCE: You don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate. Be confident, and command what you are worth. Never once have I regretted negotiating hard for myself.
ALL-TIME FAVORITE MOVIE: “Blow”
OC METRO's 20 Women to Watch
Tiffany Ambrose | Dr. Casey Cooper
Joanne Sokolski | Janet Cronick | Laura Archuleta
Jennifer Taylor Meiswinkel | Molly Darnieder-Bracken
Alethea Hsu | Dana Butler-Moburg | Judi Warren
Dr. Mona Rosenberg | Lucy Dunn | Lauren DeVries
Kim-Yen Huynh | Lacy Kelly | Andrea Arciga
Kasia Mays | Cathy Wolfe | Liz Pagliarini | Cherry Uy