Welcome to M2057’s Spotlight Series: In Her Own Words, which features dynamic, stylish, and powerful women who inspire us.
This month, we chatted with Julie Lee
Julie manages vendor relationships in business process outsourcing for a FinTech startup, a surprising role for a woman with a BA in fashion marketing and management. Outside of work, this fashionable leader loves to “nerd out” on personal growth books, indulge in skin care routines and spa days, and make progress toward her current goal: becoming a junior board member of a non-profit.
Special thanks to Sarah Kammerer for the beautiful photography for this spotlight!
Julie is wearing the Zoe Mini Tunic in Black with Siv in Aster, Ross 2 in Violet X with Stanwyk in Black and the Obi form belt, and Emma Dress in Tiger Lily.
IN HER WORDS…
ON CHALLENGES I’VE FACED: As a new leader in my early career, I struggled to learn my identity as a leader and owning my “level of authority”. I quickly got promoted to lead the leaders who lead leaders, so my confidence in making business decisions was not only imperative for my own success but for my entire team. In my role, I have the opportunity to work cross functionally across the company so I’ve become very resourceful. I’ve accepted that it’s okay that I don’t have every answer, every time. I bring my own value and subject matter expertise and, in return, I receive the same support from my colleagues and peers. While working at a startup comes with new challenges every single day, I’ve found that this is the type of environment I thrive in. The one constant is change, and I love it! I always say, “If there’s a fire; bring a bucket”.
HOW I CREATE A WORK-LIFE BALANCE: I stay very organized. I use my iPhone calendar religiously for my personal life, and my work calendar is always up to date (and color coded!). I block off “focus time” on my calendar and communicate to my team that my responses may be slow during those times. I also spend 20-30 minutes at the end of each day prepping for the following day. This allows me to completely remove myself from work when I log off (giving me peace of mind) and hit the ground running as soon as I log in (making me more productive and efficient).
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT BEING A WOMAN: Our resiliency.
MY PERSONAL STYLE: My style has evolved over the last few years to be minimalistic and timeless with a touch of fun! I wear a lot of solid colors, but I like to have fun with different textures or cuts/fits. I like to ensure everything in my closet can be dressed up or dressed down. My office is casual, so I have a lot of freedom to mix and match pieces together for day-to-night transitions. I’m also a value buyer. Quality > quantity. At this stage of my life, I aim to have timeless pieces that will grow and mature with me.
MY FAVORITE M2057 PIECES: Neela 2 in Guntar; I LOVE the slit placement at the bottom. It fits me PERFECTLY. These have replaced my leather pants and they’re so easy to pair with anything in my closet. I also love Bettina in black. This is supposed to be a top, but I sized up and wear it as a mini dress! It is by far the most worn piece in my closet! In the summer, I’ll wear it alone. In the winter, I’ve worn it with tights and a turtleneck underneath with either a pair of knee-high boots or my platform Doc Martens!
MY DREAM LOCATION: If money was no object and I could live anywhere…I would own property in every major city around the WORLD! Furthermore, I would duplicate my closet in every home so I never have to pack.
BEST ADVICE I’VE RECEIVED: “Stop chasing after what you want to DO; start chasing after what you want to LEARN.” This has opened many opportunities for me. Hence why I went to school for fashion and ended up in finance!
WISDOM FOR MY YOUNGER SELF: Never forget where you started and be open to where you’re going. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.