Yoppie “Your Happy Period”
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?
Partner and COO
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Haha good question. A bit of everything at the moment because we are a start-up and are currently a small team! One day I’m building or finessing our financial model and budget overviews, the next day or hour, I am spending time on social media and marketing or running out the door to an investor meeting. We have just started our first round of fundraising so it’s all go.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
I wanted to be a lawyer. I had an odd obsession with CSI! My family may dare say I am slightly argumentative. No, seriously, I have always had an immense passion for equal rights, human rights and injustice. That has not changed, but the path in which you end up taking from A to B of course normally takes a slightly unexpected path. I believe I am currently standing up for women through my business for example, just not in a courtroom. I’d still like to do some freestanding modules in law at least.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I have a bachelors and masters. I am a proud nerd, don’t tell anyone.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Never let someone else dictate the limits to your possibility and potential. If you have the capacity to dream about something you have the capacity to achieve it, for you would never dream of something you didn’t think possible to accomplish.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
Professionally, my father. His ability to respond and adapt to situations as well as his resilience at weathering challenges is something I admire a lot. It has taught me invaluable lessons.
Personally, Chrissy Teigen for the way she trolls Donald Trump.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
My business partner, Daniella! She is a total babe. She has put unprecedented trust and faith in me. We have a great balance of being friends and colleagues, which could be difficult considering how much time we now spend together, but it’s great! It is also a very flexible working environment, which is lovely. We decide our own hours. I am back and forth between London and Stockholm until I move back to London permanently, so Skype and Facetime makes working remotely at times all possible. Yoppie is also hugely supportive of working mothers too, and women being able to have both. It is at the core of our values.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
An office on the beach in Kenya please…
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
Continuing to ensure Yoppie’s success and the tangible impact our business model has on women and girls around the world. I’d like to have a foundation dedicated to ensuring access to period products for as many girls as possible. Starting in Kenya, but knowing no geographical boundaries. It’s a dream of both my boyfriend and me. He has seen first hand the impact pads or a lack of can have on a girls ability to achieve not only individual autonomy, but collectively too
All this, whilst being the best mummy too!
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
To a degree. You should always be true to who you are, but restraint can be key at times. It really depends on your subjective work environment. I have normally had very formal corporate working environments. It is new to me to be able to have such open friendships at work. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable in expressing yourself at work but I think you need to know where that level or line of professionalism is too.
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
We are all women! That doesn’t mean we are exclusive from male leadership, we have some invaluable advisers who are men. But we are conscious of it and want to foster female leadership when and where possible.
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
Absolutely! It matters to myself personally and to Yoppie. Representation and opportunity is integral, whether sex, gender, race, disability, age, whatever. We need to be aware of how systems and socially constructed power structures impact the possibility for some to access certain roles, companies and/or quality of life. You still have to be the most qualified so to speak, if we are talking of a work context, but all should have the same opportunity. This trickles down to wider issues then such as school systems and becomes an incredibly broad and complex issue. Don’t get me started otherwise I won’t stop!
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
Good! Well, I am rather on call 24/7 at the moment due to the nature and stage of our company, as well the responsibility I have at work. Nothing gets done unless myself or my business partners do it. It’s on us. However, achieving that balance is key for success in either aspect. Work hard, play hard. Cliché, but true. Sacrifices, priorities, being too busy etc is all part in parcel the same thing. It’s balancing what is important, what’s necessary and what makes you happy today and in 5, 15 years time. We have to enjoy life and that’s on you! Either way, if we can enjoy what we do, it makes it all much easier.
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Work ethic and passion is key at this point! I need to be driven, determined and willing to learn and have the ability to manage a very busy and broad work plate. So organisation becomes important too. I also need to be firm, in order to protect the interests of Yoppie and myself. These more intangible qualities are key. Then the previous work, knowledge and qualifications I have acquired over time prove their worth. However, what is intellectual capability if not balanced or may I dare say compensated with character...
ANY FINAL COMMENTS?
Go get the life you dream of, the life we are all deserving of! Take calculated risks if you can. Realise what it is you want from life, what truly makes you happy and slowly start implementing the groundwork that will help you make that a reality! I know in life you can’t control your situation at times, and life can force your hand but it is never too late to start a fresh.