FEMALE FOUNDED FEATURE - OKKO


Next in our Female Founded Feature Series is Phoebe Kunitomi of okko. Okko is responsible for completely changing the contents of our top drawers here on team FN. When we say its the only bra + underwear we wear anymore, we mean it! Plus, a new limited edition color just joined the mix. Shop The okko Collection, and read Phoebe's interview below! 


Q: What were you doing before you started your business?
 

A: Something completely different than fashion! I started my career at a boutique consulting firm focused on financial regulation (aka, we worked with big banks) where I first held client-facing roles then eventually became Chief of Staff. After IBM acquired the consulting firm, I joined as the second employee at a machine learning startup that used artificial intelligence to combat money laundering. I left the startup to pursue my MBA at Wharton, which is where I founded okko!


Q: What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship? 

A: My “leap” into entrepreneurship was more of a slow build up that took many years. First, I wanted to make sure that I had the operational experience to arm myself with the skills  required to build a company from the ground up. I gained those skills in part in the real world at the consulting firm and startup and in other part in the classroom at Wharton. Additionally, while at business school, I was fortunate enough to have the community and resources (particularly time) to focus on building a company and collection without the pressures of a full-time position. Lastly, when the idea for okko came to me, I had that indescribable gut feeling that it was the idea I finally needed to act upon. Working together, these events, experiences, whatever you want to call them gave me the confidence to venture into entrepreneurship.


Q: What has been your proudest moment since starting your brand? 

A: I have so many! Truly, what has made me proud isn’t any single, splashy thing. It’s the micro moments — like every five star review, DM from a happy customer, and repeat purchase — which demonstrate we are doing what we set out to do: cut the clutter in women’s top drawers.


Q: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring female founders, what would it be? 

A: Surround yourself with the right people. During the early stages of a new venture, people are the “make or break.” Of course, healthy conflict is a good thing. But, if you have notable interpersonal issues with an early team member, those issues can turn into serious problems that take time, energy, and money away from the business. My suggestion is to “date” whoever you’re thinking about working with before bringing them on full time. Start off with a discrete project with clearly defined goals, then assess the relationship after the project is complete to see if there is a longer-term opportunity to work together.


Q: In honor of women’s history month, who is another female founder that inspires you? 

A: My mom. She was an immigrant from South Korea who opened her own chain of flower shops in her early 20s. She didn’t have a college degree at the time, so this business was her way to support her family in the best way she knew how. Although the flower shops are long gone, my mom continues to inspire me to have a relentless work ethic and commitment to building something I love for the people I love.

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카지노사이트 April 27, 2022

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