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Stephanie Mark Co-Founder & Consultant
With your first baby on the way, and after so many years in and around fashion, do you have strong opinions on what you will and won't wear during your pregnancy?
I do now! I would always look at pregnant women who wore chic flowing caftans and thought that would be me - it is not! The style never looked good on me before pregnancy and it definitely doesn’t during and that’s sort of what I learned - stick with styles you normally wear, just size up or find similar maternity clothing. For me, things that are actually tighter and show off my bump are best!
What has you most excited about motherhood? Most nervous?
The whole experience is one big mixed bag of emotions! I am trying to enjoy the process and get excited about milestones and thinking about me and my husband meeting our first child. I am equal parts nervous for all of the prep! The list of to-do’s before the baby arrives can be overwhelming as is thinking about the birth process.
What are some of the greatest biases or societal expectations you think new mothers face in this day and age?
I am Canadian where maternity leave is a minimum of one year so the expectation in the US that most women go back to work at around three months is a lot for me to wrap my head around. I wish that expectation was different and that women really got an appropriate amount of time off. I think the pressure not to gain a lot of weight during pregnancy or being able to lose it all quickly after birth is also a conversation that should be reframed.
Were there women you've encountered in your professional life whose style made a significant and lasting impression on you? Why and who were they?
One of the first people I worked for was Kate Lanphear and her style made a lasting impression on me. She is so true to her personal style and never wavers that it inspired me to really hone in on what my own personal style would be and to not be driven by coming and going trends.
What have been some of the toughest decisions you’ve made in your career? When have you been most challenged, professionally?
While I just left the company I founded after a decade, which was not an easy decision, the toughest one in my career was when we had to do layoffs during the beginning of Covid. Our team was so dedicated and took things like salary cuts really well that the realization that we had to still lay people off was really tough.
What advice do you give young women who are interested in striking out on their own?
Just do it! As long as you have a plan for your finances (moving back home, taking a part-time job, etc) the best thing you can do it just start doing it! Networking is also key - most people are willing to help if you just ask.
What does a perfect weekday workday look like for you?
The perfect weekday workday starts with walking to get a coffee with my husband and our dog, Charlie, at either Mah Ze Dahr or Café Kitsune and then a walk around the neighborhood. After that, a mix of calls and in-person meetings with clients where we can creatively brainstorm and strategize is my favorite way to spend the day. My favorite part of being a consultant is getting to be involved in amazing companies and projects run by inspiring people.
What would you say would be your ideal next professional adventure or project would be?
I would love to offer more mentorship to young companies who are fundraising or scaling their businesses. I learned so much from going through that process at Coveteur and would love to provide guidance to others in navigating those circumstances.