Throughout Sandra’s career, she has built global lifestyle brands and has been instrumental in turnarounds, digital innovation, cultural marketing, and international expansion.
With her extensive experience in retail and fashion, she was appointed CEO of Project Verte, a retail tech and supply chain company whose solutions are operator built, cloud native, and ecommerce enriching. Firmly believing that digital acceleration is a strategic necessity, her leadership focuses on customer-centered, agile technology that simplifies scaling across demand channels and distributed logistics including order management and warehouse management SaaS solutions.
As the former CEO of Diane Von Furstenberg, Sandra is known to be an innovator whose focus on the implementation of Omni-channel and unified commerce strategies enhance the consumer experience and make a significant impact to topline revenues. At DVF, she introduced community building marketing initiatives, established collaborations with female founded brands, and promoted the “In Charge” mission throughout every consumer touchpoint.
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FC Podcasts: [00:00:00] Pivot with Purpose, a podcast that highlights the unique stories of professionals that pivoted their careers to align with their work lives and personal lives more purposefully and with more joy.
Pivot with Purpose is hosted by Megan Houle, a globally accredited career and business coach and creator of the Megan Houle method.
Meghan Houle: [00:00:31] Welcome back to the Pivot with Purpose podcast. I’m your host, Meghan Houle. And in this episode, we talk to Sandra Campos, former CEO of Diane Von Furstenberg. And founder of Fashion Launchpad a digital continuing education platform led by top thought leaders for fashion and retail industries.
FC Podcasts: [00:00:50] Thank you for listening to Pivot with Purpose with host, Megan Houle. You can find out more information about each guest, including full transcripts at pivotwithpurposepodcast.com. And if you’d like to share your own pivot with purpose, click on the share button and add your story to the conversation. Finally be sure to subscribe and share your comments wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Your support amplifies our voice. And now this week’s episode.
Meghan Houle: [00:01:22] Throughout her 25 year career, Sandra has been instrumental in restructuring iconic global brands, such as Juicy Couture and BCBG to name a few. Sandra is also a frequent keynote speaker on topics ranging from innovation and retail, leadership and diversity in the workplace.
And has been named one of the top 100 Latina leaders, a 2020 top woman in retail and was honored by Girls, Inc. Sandra Campos, I am so looking forward to our conversation, welcome to the Pivot with Purpose podcast.
Sandra Campos: [00:01:54] Hi, Meghan. Thank you so much for having me and congratulations to you on this podcast. It’s very exciting.
Meghan Houle: [00:02:01] Thank you so much, and I am so honored that you are here, and I know we have so many good nuggets to share, so I can’t wait to hear more about your impressive career journey and all that you’re working on with Fashion Launchpad, which we will certainly dive into later in the conversation, but to start, I would love to get to know you and maybe some of your passions beyond your work projects right now. Knowing we’re all still spending our time working from home, maintaining this environment, what are you loving to do right now in your free time?
Sandra Campos: [00:02:32] Wow. Well, first of all, you’re talking to somebody who loves to work. So, a lot my free time is spent doing things that ultimately will help me in my work. So, whether that has to do with reading or connecting or learning new type of skills. I believe in lifelong education and being a lifelong learner. So, I’m constantly trying to do that and keep up with trends, there’s so much that goes on. There’s so much newness happening from a tech standpoint, across retail, with new consumer products. And I just try to really stay on top of all that. I do have a life though, outside of it, outside of everything work.
And I do have three kids as well as I have a horse farm where I rescue horses. So, I’m very passionate about doing that. I’m passionate about my kids, obviously, but I am passionate about helping to save horses who are on their way and slaughter bound.
Meghan Houle: [00:03:24] I’m such an animal lover and a horse lover as well. So, that’s really special. Thank you for sharing that. And I would love for you to tell us a little bit about your career, maybe sharing some important career highlights as we talk through some of your pivots and all that you’re working on as well, so can you share maybe a few things you’re really proud of career to date?
Sandra Campos: [00:03:46] Oh, wow. Thank you for that question because it’s obviously one that makes me really think, partly because of my number of years in the industry, but I’ve had exposure to a lot of different parts of the industry. And I think in every single company that I’ve been a part of, I’ve learned a great deal, but some have stood out more than others just because of the timing. So, in one area, I would say that I had my, first kind of corporate role in which I felt the sisterhood, let’s say, of women really helping to support one another and women who learned and who were hungry and who wanted to grow in their careers. I was at Donna Karan, when we were launching the DKNY divisions. And that was something that all the women that worked there, we were in sales.
We were young, we were hungry. Literally everyone there grew to do different things. And it was so exciting to watch them through the years, whether it was Bridget Klein who ran Tory Burch and did that for 10 years. And then, whether it was Paula Sutter, who was the CEO of Diane Von Furstenberg who took that over for 10 years and Stephanie Greenfield who launched Scoop and was instrumental in so many different ways from contemporary fashion. And Abby Held who actually built out Quba accessories and then sold that business. So, there’s just so many amazing parts of that company that I still think about to this day.
And I hope that young professionals get that experience to be able to have a group of people that they associate with for the rest of their careers, that they actually, can be inspired by still. And it’s still something that inspires me every day. So, that’s one that I would say stands out because we were learning, but we were really hungry.
And I think when you’re hungry for curiosity of the future and curiosity of, your industry and trying to learn everything about it, it’s just a really dynamic type of situation. The next thing I would say is because I’ve also had corporate experience, but I’ve also had entrepreneurial experience.
And in each of my entrepreneurial situations, I’ve learned a great deal as well. But the one that I highlight and I do it because it was at the time that everything was changing. It was my business partner, Tony Melillo, and I, we created a company called Cynosure Holdings and Cynosure Holdings was a celebrity brand management company.
We went to CAA and we had an idea and we said, here’s what we want to do. And they said, great. Who do you want to do it with? And we said, we want Selena Gomez. She was 15 years old. We went and met with her and her family. We had a business that was ongoing for six years with her. We were exclusive at the time with Kmart in the States for five years, it was a brand called Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez.
We had 14 different licensees of different product categories. We sold it to six different countries outside the US and it was in 2009, is when we launched it. So, it was right after the big 2008, that scary 2008, that nobody knew it was going to happen. It was right when things were starting to unfold, at the time Airbnb hadn’t launched it, Instagram hadn’t launched yet.
There was only Facebook. So, learning from Selena who, while she was 15, 16 years old, when we were starting was very authentic, was very genuine, was very focused on her audience. And I learned a lot about audience engagement. I learned a lot from her, even at the time about, and her family who was working with her, about being able to really be true to yourself about making sure that, the message was consistent and marketing wasn’t marketing as much as it was really being true to yourself. And so learning and understanding, audience engagement, understanding youth culture and marketing around youth culture. And this was also the time when e-commerce started becoming important. So, we were starting at that point in time to get involved, and we had the first shop to shop on Kmart.com and we’re able to get involved with that aspect of it as well. So, 10 years, 12 years later now, if you look at where we are today, it’s just night and day, business has changed so dramatically. And in each one of my situations, as I said, I’ve, learned so many great things, but certainly being the CEO of Diane Von Furstenberg because of Diane and who she is.
And because it was really about a purpose and finding a company to be a part of that was there for a mission. And the mission was to empower women and to really help celebrate women and help them feel confident in all that they do. And do that through, not only the clothing and the products that we sold, but also through the community that we’re building and the woman in charge, mission and mantra, and all of that was extraordinarily exciting for me. And I loved, that mission and, still love the mission. And I’m very focused on helping, not only women, but also minorities, of which I’m one, to be able to find their voice and to gain knowledge so that they can actually have more confidence regardless of what room you’re in.
Meghan Houle: [00:08:34] I feel like it’s so important right now, for people to, in the workplace and beyond, have a platform, have a voice feel valued, feel seen, heard all of that. So, I know you do so much and that’s such an incredible story. Thank you for sharing. And I know when we connected midsummer 2020, you were really kind of in the beginning of your own pivot slash transition from your role as CEO at Diane Von Furstenberg. Tell us a little bit more about what led to that desire to pivot and what you’re up to now.
Sandra Campos: [00:09:05] Well, as I was just mentioning in 2009 and 2010, when we were building the business with Selena and everything was changing e-commerce was starting, people were becoming very focused on digital and social was more social platforms were launching, everything started to change, and so I started really looking at that at that point in time to start really researching everything about digital marketing.
And I started really focusing on e-commerce back then and throughout each of the companies that I was leading, after that business, I was focused and have been focused on e-commerce and understanding all the different companies that are existing and what new products are out there, whether it’s for conversion, whether it’s for customer service, whatever it’s for.
There’s so many amazing, incredible companies that have launched over the last 10 years to help focus e-commerce and on the front end to be able to help entrepreneurs launch and scale businesses. So, I spent a lot of time focused on that. I was able to really do a lot with, e-commerce as it relates to Diane Von Furstenberg and DVF as well, because while these traditional companies and businesses I’ve been a part of are not digitally native, they have to be digitally focused.
Right? Because everyone’s on digital. Everyone’s on their computer now. So, creating the community, creating the DVF weekly wrap newsletter, which was part of building that community. And part of having people engage online, really refocusing everything on, how we looked at e-commerce as a business and ensuring that everything from the imagery and the lighting and the photography and the models and the different shots and the details and all those things were something that we were improving upon and, and changing from a direction standpoint. That was really exciting and also something that did make an impact in the business. So, with that, a couple of years ago, I was actually approached by a company called Project Verte and they were launching a marketplace. They had asked DVF to be a part of marketplace, which we didn’t think was right at the time, but I kept in contact with the founder.
And over a couple of years time, had continued to see what they were doing with their business. And then I was asked to join their board, which I did. And then from there was asked to be their CEO. So, as recent as December, I’ve joined as the CEO of Project Verte, which is a retail tech and supply chain solution company.
So, while it is a pivot and it definitely is. It’s something that I have really been very focused on in my career, but on the retail side and now I get to do it on the tech side. So, it’s pretty unique. And I will say I’m very fortunate and very appreciative of the opportunities that I have in my career.
And in this one, to be able to really, gain more knowledge and gain it from the actual tech side and bring the retail pain points and bring the retail perspective to a tech business so that we can actually have solutions that improve business and improve the ability for a retailer to scale their business.
Meghan Houle: [00:11:59] Sandra, I know for most of your career, you’ve been heavily involved in helping brands to scale, especially from a digital point of view. How important is it for brands to start to align digitally, to serve their clients based on this new retail shopping landscape and what are you doing specifically to help these businesses with your platform?
Sandra Campos: [00:12:18] As we know, there is no turning back anymore. So, we are fully heavily involved as a culture, are fully involved in everything technology on our phones, on our computers and every single touch point, it’s all very digitally focused. So, I think no one can say that it’s an alternative channel of distribution anymore.
It is fully channel that has to be focused on and realized as it relates to what we’re doing, at Project Verte, while for many, many years and decades, it was about scaling your business through addition of brick and mortar channels of distribution, different department stores, more brick and mortar stores, expanding internationally, mom and pop stores, et cetera.
It’s now about how are we going to expand across the digital landscape? Because if you’re looking to scale a business, there’s a lot less stores to sell. There’s a lot fewer ways to be able to, get those, but there’s a lot more ways to be able to get eyeballs online. So, one of the platforms that we have is actually called unified commerce, and we’ve said omni-channel for several years now, many years now.
And a lot of people have kind of gotten accustomed to what omni-channel is, but now we’re actually moving towards unified commerce. And what unified commerce is, is essentially having visibility to all of the channels, all in one place. And unified commerce for Project Verte and what we’re doing is, for example, if you have a Shopify store or Demandware or whatever platform you’re on.
But yet you want to scale your business, one of the options is certainly to scale your business across marketplaces. So, those marketplaces could be everything from Farfetch to Zulily, to Amazon, et cetera, et cetera. And there’s hundreds of them and we seamlessly and easily integrate those shops, integrate those brands across multiple platforms, marketplaces.
And that can very based on whatever you as a brand decide to do. But we also have AI tools that will help look at lookalike brands and say, here’s your lookalike Brand A, this one’s in 10 different marketplaces and this is where they’re performing really well at this price point. And then here’s lookalike Brand B and they’re on, just a handful of them. And this is where the opportunity we believe is for you. So, we kind of do a lot of handholding for brands as well, to make sure that they understand what opportunities exist across marketplaces and how we can help seamlessly put them in there.
And then, from the other part of it is that from a retailer standpoint, we also have a fulfillment option So, we’re in the supply chain business. And we have a fulfillment center. We are able to get products to the customers, both in an urban center because we have small fulfillment centers and we have big ones as well, and we can get them to the customer and in a couple of hours to a couple of days.
So, what we’re doing is really trying to make sure that we are helping brands and sellers to scale across all the different marketplaces in a way that they would have difficulty doing on their own.
Meghan Houle: [00:15:15] Wow. That’s amazing. And I’m sure brands are very excited to have you a part of really helping them out.
Like you said, in so many different ways with online, supply chain wise. I mean, I know it’s gotten really easy for me to shop online. That’s too easy. Right? They save all your information. It’s like one click button and boom, there you go.
Sandra Campos: [00:15:36] Oh, well that makes it so convenient. That’s what we all want these days.
So, for anyone that is looking for those options, right. I think what I find is I get frustrated if it takes longer than three seconds and then I just jump off and then I just forget it and I don’t buy it. And our attention span is so limited these days.
Meghan Houle: [00:15:55] I agree. Having to, put in all your information, you’re like, now this is too much.
Sandra Campos: [00:16:00] Here we go again,
Meghan Houle: [00:16:01] Computer, do it for me. That is so interesting to hear and excited for your new adventure. I know you and I talked about this when we first connected, let’s talk about Fashion Launchpad. As I know that that’s another passion project that you’re really looking forward to bringing to life.
Sandra Campos: [00:16:17] So, where did the idea to create Fashion Launchpad come from and talk to us a little bit about what Fashion Launchpad is all about.
So, first Fashion Launchpad is an online continuing education platform, specifically targeting people in retail and fashion, or those interested in retail or fashion. And it starting there because that’s obviously what I know and what I’ve been a part of.
So, I think all in all Fashion Launchpad has, reached the point. I’ve reached the point to where I wanted to launch Fashion Launchpad because of what I’ve experienced and what I’ve seen others experience in the industry throughout all my time in the industry. But what really happened was the pandemic hit businesses were shuttering.
There were bankruptcies left and right, our business was left up in the air. I knew I was going to have to cancel the internship program that we had for summer of 2020. And I had some interns that I was super excited about. And so I looked at the team, I said, “Oh, why don’t we just create some videos? And we can do some tutorials and give them some sort of semblance of an internship and make them feel that they have some sort of information and didn’t just have a summer without learning.”
And then I put a post on LinkedIn. I just, I think I wrote two sentences and it was talking about what I wanted to do and I got thousands. I literally said 2,400 emails. I stopped counting, but it was so many emails that I got in comments and it was people who were saying great, I would love to help teach.
How can I be a part of it, to people saying I would like to learn, how can I be a part of it? So, I realized then that there was something here that in an industry that’s so known for learning as you go, not focused on learning development. Now, there are some companies that are doing it and doing it well and have over the years.
But for the most part, you have to learn on your own. And I hear complaints from people and have heard complaints from people for a long time. And I started canvassing people that either worked for me or worked with me over the years on a variety of different fronts. And I kept hearing things like, well, nobody teaches you anything.
Or when I would ask the question, did you understand what I meant when I said, X, Y, and Z in the meeting. And they’d say no, but I’d run back to my desk and I would Google it, things like that, that just started making me realize that we have a real opportunity, because if you look across a host of different industries, whether you’re a lawyer or if you’re a doctor, or even if you’re an electrician or a plumber, you have to know what’s changing and you have to really learn and take tests.
Then you’ve got to make sure that you’re up with the latest and you’re knowledgeable about the latest software, the latest, regulations that are out there, the latest legal terms, or whatever might be exist depending on your industry. And we didn’t really have that and don’t have that for fashion or retail and in our industry, which is the number one employment industry in the country, you can be 14 years old, or you can be 80 years old and still work in retail.
So, I think there’s a lot that we have that we are going to offer and we can offer and that we can all learn from, based on the changing nature of the industry. There’s also the ability to help people, A, it’s going to democratize learning and knowledge, which knowledge to me equals confidence and confidence equals the ability to raise your hand and answer a question in the meeting and not feel uncomfortable about it, or have a voice at the table, which leads to having a seat at the table, which of course leads to making decisions and, and being able to rise through the ranks if that’s what you choose your career path to be, and to be able to create your career path and take control of your trajectory by making sure that you’re getting more certifications and you’re learning more about, it’s digital marketing, but you might be an operations, but you need to understand what a merchandising line plan is. Or you might be in a retail store working as a sales associate, but you want to go into corporate, but you don’t really know how any of that works.
If you take these courses that are micro courses under 20 minutes each, taught by industry leaders. There’s a lot of nuggets and a lot of takeaways that are going to come out of each class and each course. So, we’re excited about that. And I think that that’s really my part of kind of giving back in the industry and making sure that we are sharing as much of our knowledge as possible.
You can be a beginner, you can be in the mid part of your career, you can be an executive and you’ll have access to a lot of information on Fashion Launchpad regardless of where you are. It’s on demand. It’s like, you can do it at your own pace. You can learn things that really will help you on a day-to-day basis based on where you are in your career.
And one of the things that, I’m sorry, I’ll just keep going, one of the, one of the things that I look at today and what really happened when I started thinking about this last April was okay, well, everything’s changed, right. Everything has changed. Retail’s very different than it was two years ago, much less five years ago or anything past that time.
So, when you’re talking about digital and how important is it when you’re talking about robotic automation in warehouses, when you’re talking about backend IT and technology and different platforms that exist, how is anybody supposed to know that if, they aren’t being taught, if they don’t have access to the information.
And instead of going to outside industries to get people or leaders or innovators from other areas, whether it’s consumer products or other tech companies, we need to be able to help train individuals within our own industry and train those who are coming into the industry so that they start thinking a little bit more innovatively and they can also be the future change makers.
Meghan Houle: [00:21:34] That’s amazing. I cannot wait. I know I was raising my hand to help you out as well, but you don’t really for the training resources that you’re right. We’re not available now, or even very early on in our careers, like teaching us about KPIs or what any of those reporting acronyms mean. A lot of times you’re just thrust into your role and you kind of learn as you go and it doesn’t need to be that way.
Sandra Campos: [00:21:58] No, and by the way, I’m learning every day. You get to a certain place and then you stop learning and you’re just telling people, you don’t tell people what to do without really learning what the best way is to do it. So, there’s a lot that we have an opportunity to grow and build upon here.
And so I’ve yeah, I am. I’m really looking forward to that and getting the beta up and the first initial subscribers up. It will be at subscription-based business. So, for a very accessible price point, people can get on and have a monthly access to all the different videos and the teaching. You can do it and hear lessons from people in the creative side of the field, all the way up to finance and operations, because, you might be a designer one day, but two, three, five years later, you might want to be an entrepreneur and have your own business.
And you’re going to need to understand what a P and L is. And then you might be an operations, but, if you’re an operations working with getting product to a consumer, you should really know, in my opinion, you should really know what the beginning of the process looks like. What is a merchandising line plan who gets involved in it? What are the milestones around it? What does a vendor matrix mean? Like all these different things that we know in the industry, but not everybody knows. And again, if you’re in one department versus another, it’s not always a given that you understand what the other departments talking about.
Meghan Houle: [00:23:15] Oh, it’s so true.
And in the spirit of a yes and no answer. And then we leave a little mystery and pick back up after a short break. Yes or no. Do you remember the exact moment you decided to create Fashion Launchpad?
Sandra Campos: [00:23:28] Absolutely. Yes.
Meghan Houle: [00:23:30] Well, with that, we will be going to a break and we will pick this back up when we return.
Okay, Sandra, so before the break, you said yes, about remembering the exact moment you decided to create Fashion Launchpad. So tell us about that moment and where you got started.
Sandra Campos: [00:24:03] The moment was actually when I read all of the comments that I was just mentioning and the emails that I was getting from my LinkedIn post. And a light bulb just went off and I was like, this is clearly something the industry needs.
People want to be a part of it. People want to learn from it. We have kids in high school and college, people that are just starting out in their careers and people that are midway through their careers who want to really understand any kind of new innovations and new technologies that exist out there.
So, from that point on, I started saying, okay, that’s it. I formulated what the idea was. And I just started moving along to start to put together the system, the platform to create the team that was going to start working on the development. And that’s what I started doing. So, that was pretty much last June of 2020 when we were still pretty much pandemic, stuck at home, very concerned. When was business ever going to come back? What was going to happen? How many more bankruptcies were we looking at? How are people gonna get jobs and grow and all of that, because obviously we’re, further ahead now, today, when we look backwards, it was a scary time.
Meghan Houle: [00:25:11] Where can we find out more about Fashion Launchpad and the offering coming soon?
Sandra Campos: [00:25:15] So, right now we have a link to have people get onto the waiting list, because we’re going to let a handful of people, a little bit more than a handful, but we’re going to let on some beta initial testers, and then we’re going to start doing it increments as well. So, we have through LinkedIn, we have a site that you can go on to Fashion Launchpad through LinkedIn or fashionlaunchpad.com. And there’s a waiting list that you can sign up for there.
Meghan Houle: [00:25:40] Well, that’ll be my next step after this podcast, getting on and seeing all that you’re creating.
Sandra Campos: [00:25:47] Listen, the whole point will be about spreading the word, because this is for everyone. This is about getting everyone and gaining knowledge and, and having, by the way, people that share this, they might want to be instructors and they might want to come on and say, Hey, I have something I want to share and talk about.
That really was a great process or something very specific. Cause what’s very important to me in this platform is that we have key takeaways from every single course that company somebody can actually take and that are actionable. So, that’s really important as well being very specific in terms of a topic. While we love to be inspired by people’s stories, this is really about learning and education. And so within the ed tech platform that we are providing, and that will be growing and building upon that’s something that, there’s just a lot more legs in terms of how you learn, because you might listen to somebody who is talking about a merchandising line plan, but they might be in men’s.
They might be in women’s handbags. They might be in bridal. They might be in luxury women’s apparel, and they’re all going to be very different. So, that’s what’s amazing about our industry is that we are so broad, diverse. We have every layer, from finance to operations, to creative, to sales functions. And we’re very inclusive as well, but hopefully this will give the opportunity to have more inclusivity, to be able to allow knowledge to be shared, regardless of what your race, age or sexual orientation is.
And that’s what I’m really hoping will help make a difference in how people climb to that C-suite executive leadership realm.
Meghan Houle: [00:27:25] You kind of just answered my next question, but maybe we can dig into a little bit deeper. Tell me what are some of your other hopes for Fashion Launchpad and what can somebody expect from joining the platform?
Sandra Campos: [00:27:36] Well the hope is exactly what I’ve just said, which is essentially for people to really gain actionable takeaways that they can actually learn from. We have an acronym dictionary that you’re going to be able to hear within each function, each discipline, what the different acronyms are, what they mean, how they’re used.
And then within each specific discipline, we have different courses, instructors that are going to talk through specific subjects. So, it’ll continue to grow over time. There’ll be more and more and more topics as time goes on. So, the goal is for this to become something that’s very all-inclusive that if you just need a little pick me up, if you have a little question, if you’re like, “oh, I just want to like get a little knowledge”, number one, it’s micro courses.
So, they’re really short. They’re simple to digest and they are on demand and at your own pace. So, I think that’s incredibly convenient. They’re very accessible in terms of the price point. We have options for companies to also join as well and to allow their employees to be able to have access to it.
So, that would be another one that I would say that is important for companies to be able to help, continue to focus on learning and development. And then when there’s anything more that we can do from a live standpoint, we will also have live courses and live discussions because that’s going to be another big part of it.
And we’re also going to be launching a podcast as well.
Meghan Houle: [00:28:56] Yay. Stay tuned. Lots of things coming, that’s so exciting to hear and yes, anyway we can support you and support with a podcast and the messaging to share. I’m so looking forward to that, and maybe in the spirits of leveraging your network for support, how important do you think it is for others at this time to get through a pivot, even getting through your pivot and supporting you to really have that good support of your network around you?
Sandra Campos: [00:29:22] Wow, I find it to be incredibly important. And I have to say that I read something the other day about best friends and how there’s really not a best friend, but there’s best friends for different parts in different phases of your life and different aspects of things that you need.
And I think it’s the same thing as it relates to advisors, mentors or coaches, because you’ll find as you continue to move along and progressing your career, you’re going to have different types of people for different types of questions and different needs. And that’s all great, but I think support, no matter what, there’s nothing better than having the support of great advisors or coaches or just friends and mentors or colleagues that you’ve worked with that who can just kind of put you into the mindset that you might need at that point in time to move forward.
Meghan Houle: [00:30:09] It’s so important and people can change for their support in your life and sort of where you’re at and supporting you in different stages. So, it’s great words of advice. You’ve done it so beautifully, anyone looking to pivot industries, especially maybe those coming from fashion, beauty any advice you can share for someone wanting to maybe get into tech or more digital or startup businesses like you have coming from those industries and where can they start?
Sandra Campos: [00:30:33] Well, they can start by Fashion Launchpad. No kidding. They can start by subscribing to Fashion Launchpad and learning all about all the different disciplines across the organization. But no, in seriousness, I think it really is about making sure that you’re cultivating a love and curiosity of learning because, I was very fortunate that I had the ability from companies that I worked with to be able to learn a lot of different functions and as an entrepreneur to really be everything. Because when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re, head of finance, head of PR head of all of it. So, that’s something that I’ve been able to gain access to, but you make choices in life.
And I think we in our industry have always been known to really pigeonhole somebody, if you’re women, then you’re in women’s. If you’re in, in mass or private label, then you can’t really get into luxury or vice versa. And I don’t think that there’s really a lot of sense to that anymore because while maybe there was some merit to that in the past, I really hope that we start to break those barriers down as an industry and allow people the opportunity to pivot.
But as it relates to how to, it really is about learning as much as you can learn and networking because. The more people that you learned from in those industries that you want to pivot into, the better off you’re going to be.
Meghan Houle: [00:31:44] As the CEO in the Pivot with Purpose hot seat. I know you have interviewed and hired many people in your career.
And I know a lot of people tune in to this podcast to get some advice and also insider tips and tools from a lot of our listeners that are still looking for work or feeling a little frustrated with the interview process right now, when you’re interviewing people, what stands out for you that leaves a lasting impression.
Sandra Campos: [00:32:10] Well, I’m going to get onto a couple of pet peeves because I try to also instill this in my kids and make sure that they think about this and no matter what they do, but one is spelling. You just need to have the right spelling on your resume. I can’t even tell you how many times I have seen misspelled words on a resume.
That’s one. I know it sounds silly, but it actually isn’t because it’s your first impression and you only get one chance to make that first impression when you’re actually able to see people and speak to people. I really like direct eye contact. So, somebody who really has confidence in their body, language, confidence in their eyes, and can look at you in their eyes and speak to you in an intelligent manner is really great.
It doesn’t matter where you went to school. Just talk to me about what you know and show me what your work ethic is. Because there are many, many people that cannot tell you what college their employees went to, but they can certainly tell you about their work ethic. They can certainly tell you about the difference or impact they’re making their day to day attitude and whether or not they see them as leader in the future.
So, these are all things that you need to be able to think about and how you want to present yourself. You are your own brand. So, what is that brand that you’re presenting, sitting in that room?
Meghan Houle: [00:33:30] I love that. Great parting words of advice. And with all of the amazing information you shared, how can our listeners find you, Sandra? Or Fashion Launchpad?
Sandra Campos: [00:33:41] Of course, naturally I’m on all the various social media channels, LinkedIn and Instagram and such @sandracamposnyc. I try to do as much as possible to respond to people via LinkedIn and on Instagram. I used to say, I responded to everything, over the past I would say year and a half to two years, I can’t really get to everything, but I try my best, but I will say one last thing. And that’s something that I do like to share with people because there is nothing like just asking for help. People do want to help and so if you’re looking for somebody to give you advice, if you’re looking for some help in one specific thing, you just need to ask.
And when you go and you reach out to somebody on LinkedIn, give them a specific reason why you should connect with them, or they should connect with you. And if you’re looking, whether it’s for advice on X, Y, and Z, or you have a reason that you’re reaching out to them because you want to show them about something that you have.
Just say that and be upfront about it. Because I think that’s really helpful to people who have very little time, but yet they want to be helpful at the same time.
Meghan Houle: [00:34:44] Right. Yeah. Be specific. And we talked about that a lot where it’s not just blank, connecting with somebody and hoping they get back or sending this long-winded message, be specific, be kind, be professional.
Sandra, thank you for all that you do to share the wonderful talents with this retail community and for sharing your pivot with us, we look forward to keeping an eye on Fashion Launchpad and all you are creating to serve those in our industries and for our listeners, I hope you enjoy this conversation with Sandra.
And stay tuned for more stories coming soon on Pivot with Purpose. Thanks Sandra for your time.
Sandra Campos: [00:35:16] Thanks Meghan. Thank you for what you’re doing to help everyone.
FC Podcasts: [00:35:20] Pivot with Purpose with host, Meghan Houle is a Fashion Concert production, and part of the FC podcast network. It is produced and directed by Phil AKA Corinne and a special thank you to Spencer Powell for our theme music.
Learn more @pivotwithpurposepodcast.com and be sure to follow us on Instagram @pivotwithpurpose_podcast.