January 26, 2017
Power babes, Steph and Jen, are redefining the category and staying true to their friendship along the way. We chatted with the pair about building their brand and how empowering each other has been a major key to their success.
What is your hometown?
JEN: New Jersey, I guess, but grew up in the Philippines, Hawaii, and New York.
STEPH: I’m from Cincinnati, but my family’s lived in London and Beirut.
What brought you two together?
JEN: We met in August 2011 when we had the same first day at a little startup called Warby Parker.
STEPH: We were both heading up completely different departments. There’s not much work overlap between the supply chain and marketing, but we met each other on our first day and instantly became friends.
How did you know the other was “the one”?
STEPH: Our strengths complement each other so well—Steph’s completely left-brain, and I’m right-brain.
JEN: On top of that, I wouldn’t mind being stranded in an airport with Steph. (And it’s happened: In Xiamen, Hong Kong, London, San Francisco…)
What do you love doing together?
STEPH: We spend a lot of time together—when you’re building a company, work and life are essentially the same thing. I love them all, but my favorite is when we have the opportunity to travel together. Work trips are way more fun with Jen around, she’s always up for doing something spontaneous when we’re somewhere new, and lots of good strategy sessions come out of those trips.
[When approaching creative work] I’m constantly inspired by Steph’s focus and sheer will to keep things moving forward. We would never be where we are now without this intense drive.
What advice could you give on working closely with a friend and balancing a personal and professional relationship?
JEN: Address issues as they come up and be as transparent as possible. I probably err on the side of too emotional for Steph, but we nip things in the bud as they happen and aren’t afraid to have difficult conversations. This is how we grow together.
What inspires you about your friend?
STEPH: Jen never lets me make a decision without putting a human perspective on it. I’m constantly inspired by her empathy,
JEN: And I’m constantly inspired by Steph’s focus and sheer will to keep things moving forward. We would never be where we are now without this intense drive.
How do you inspire other women? How do other women inspire you?
JEN: I love talking to other women about what I’m going through—it’s through this openness and honesty that we’re able to relate with each other.
How do you motivate each other?
STEPH: Eyes on the prize! We have the same high-level goals for the business, so it’s easy.
JEN: We do things differently, but we have the same finish line in mind.
Where do you go in NYC to unwind?
JR + STEPH: @aireancientbaths !
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure (life’s all about balance after all!)?
JEN: Steph can’t stand it, but I completely turn my phone off one day a week for a digital detox.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
JEN: Teleportation! Not even business class on an A-380 could beat that.
STEPH: Time travel!
How are you #livingLIVELY?
JEN: We are unapologetically ourselves, and at the same time, are so accepting of everyone around us.
STEPH: And we firmly believe in enjoying every step of what we’re doing.