READY TO MAKE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION THAT CHANGES THE WORLD?

READY TO MAKE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION THAT CHANGES THE WORLD?

It’s that time of the year when we’ve all got New Years resolutions on our mind. If you’re wondering what yours should be, how about changing the world?

I’m currently in Rio de Janeiro, lounging at a beach club, enjoying a delicious Caipirinha, and writing my last blog of the year.

This is the end of my second week in Brazil, and in the midst of this amazing culture of passion, celebration and dance, I’ve been able to reflect on my 2015. And what a year it’s been! As a CEO and Creative Director, my world is forever evolving and growing. And it sometime takes getting away from it all, to truly reflect and spend time appreciating everything that has become.

We’ve made significant strides this past year in 3 key areas:

First and foremost, as a design house we keep celebrating the lifestyles of confident women who live in everyday luxury and embrace 'Desk 2 Desk' transitions.

Secondly, as a leadership arm, we provide employment to a women-driven sector of the local economy. All while sharing inspiring stories of real life women through our ‘dE ROSAIRO Woman’ leadership series, as well as by speaking and engaging in conferences and panels on entrepreneurship, leadership development and leadership coaching.

Thirdly, and most recently, our non-profit arm has established a long-term partnership with Not For Sale, through which we empower women survivors of human trafficking to regain their lives through our 'Look Feel Lead' model.

As the years pass, I know my sense of fulfillment arrives from the difference I am able to make in the lives of others. I’ve come to realize even through what may seem like insignificant and small gestures, for instance my purchasing habits, I can make a difference in the world. I’m a big believer of good quality ingredients going into the food I consume, the clothes I wear, and everything else I do. And even when I feel I’m only making a small difference, I have to remind myself that nothing in this world is too insignificant or small, if I have the ability to elevate someone else's life and positively impact their very being.

In this New Year, my wish to you is to open your mind to a world of possibilities. Adjust one thing in your life that allows you to grow. Delete one thing that provides zero fulfillment. And include one other thing in your life that changes the world… your world. What will it be?

Happy New Year!

With love,

Nishika de Rosairo

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Diana Zuluaga

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Diana Zuluaga

Full Name: Diana Zuluaga
City and Country: Bogota, Colombia
Title: Co-Founder/COO
Company: Jet D’Or - Global Private Jet Charter

What about your career makes you feel proud?
I am proud I was able to completely change the direction of my life by changing industries: from full-time employment in the public sector to being a Co-founder and businesswoman in the Luxury Travel industry. It was a huge risk to toss the career capital I had acquired during the years I spent working in world-class international organizations like the United Nations and the Clinton Foundation, including a graduate degree from New York University in Public Administration. Every single person I knew called me crazy. However I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do, and as a result, I now have a more complete life and I wouldn’t change a thing.

What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?
I wanted my income and lifestyle to be a direct reflection of my effort. I have always been an overachiever, and I got tired of having jobs that didn’t encourage ambition, but instead, shut it down at times. One of my moments of clarity was reading the book “Secrets of a Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker, which taught me to stop trading my time for money because time is limited and as a direct result so is my potential income.

When I moved out of the public sector into my first job in sales, I instantly knew this was the right path for me for several reasons. First working within a sales and commission-based environment was thrilling to me; I enjoyed the competition and fast-pace. And secondly, in just my second week on the job, I closed 3 big deals. This confirmed the new path I was on. And the next step for me was starting my own business.

On your journey to success what has been your greatest challenge?
One of the greatest, and most surprising challenges when I decided to end my career in Public Service and start in the private sector, were the opinions of the people in my life. People were in shock I would “waste” my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and the job experiences from the great international organizations I was fortunate enough to have worked at. This is when I knew I was different. Most people I knew wanted a change in their life, but were not willing to take the risk and start from scratch. Most people are not willing to get our of their comfort zones. But I embraced it. I wanted a change, no matter the cost. I had a strong feeling and a strong expectation that this was my new path. And it changed everything.

How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?
Research is telling us that women are the most influential group in global consumption and determining demand in dozens of industries. It is important for women to become key decision makers in every industry to shape how business is done from the inside, not just as consumers. It’s not only about the mechanics of product development, but the impact a strong female voice can have in the direction of a company’s culture and set new expectations of what women can achieve in the office and at home. Women leaders cannot be a novelty anymore, but instead they need to become the new normal in every industry.

Leadership continues to be applauded for traits of transparency and vulnerability. How do you stay true to these traits in your day-to-day life and career?
The best thing I can do as a woman in business is to honor my innate traits and needs first. I don’t try to fit in previously established molds for business or my industry. I am also straightforward in my communications, as much as I can be. The combination of honoring my traits / needs and not trying to fit into a mold often draws some criticism, but they are risks worth taking to stay true to myself. I have learned that colleagues and clients of mine that are also successful appreciate my approach to business.

What advice do you have for other women leaders?
I encourage other women as much as they can to share their voice. So many women have brilliant ideas that never take flight. Women in particular stop in the face of fear and uncertainty. We need to take bigger risks collectively. I have witnessed many occasions where women limit the growth of other women. Women should be at minimum, the safety net for other women. When we support and grow each other, women leadership rises to a new level of greatness.

Favorite quote and by whom?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.” - Marianne Williamson

How does what you wear make you feel?
Dressing is our armor. When I have my tailored black jacket and heels on, I literally feel ready for anything. Since I became a businesswoman my style has become more simple and linear, I like looking polished and classic. I like seeing myself as a strong woman when I am dressed up for an important meeting or an event. This is something we as women enjoy and should embrace, regardless of our job or industry.

What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?
My husband and I are currently spending time in South America on business and we are being spoilt with an apartment that has a beautiful and grand ocean view. We enjoy that very much and are deeply grateful to have it.

I have a personal trainer 3 times a week that helps keep my body strong and keeps my progress organized. I have come to love my workout sessions as they energize me.

My husband and I enjoy cooking gourmet meals at least once a week using fresh ingredients. In a world where we are flooded with processed foods, we view eating in a natural way as an everyday luxury.

What social media links can we find you on?
LinkedIn | Twitter

INSPIRED BY STRENGTH

INSPIRED BY STRENGTH

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within” | Maya Angelou

Through my work in leadership development I’ve been fortunate enough to come into contact with women from multiple cross-sections of life. These women have taught me a great deal, and continue to provide me with a lens through which to activate empathy on a daily basis. I’ve come to understand, regardless of circumstances, trials and tribulations, that the power present in strength is what ultimately enables us to overcome our obstacles and achieve our desired state of being.

In light of the numerous amazing women I have encountered, our FW15 collection is dedicated to women from all walks of life and inspired by the construct of strength. Strength through the timeless and supple characteristics of the clothes we design. Strength in going through life and its inevitable beauty and pain. Strength in enduring time and change.

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Isabel Schorer

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Isabel Schorer

Full Name: Isabel Schorer
City and Country: St Gallen, Switzerland
Title: Head of Economic Development
Company: City of St. Gallen, Switzerland

What about your career makes you feel proud?
In order to increase the appeal of St. Gallen as a business location I am in contact with a lot of different people developing new projects every day. Being the interface between economics, politics and society provides me with the ability to actively improve the economic landscape in and around St. Gallen as well as strengthen the value of Switzerland as a business location. This makes me happy and proud.

What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?
St. Gallen is my hometown and I love this city. It has a beautiful cultural heritage in the way that it presents itself as an active contemporary city today and in how it strives to become an even better place to live in in the future. Doing what I do right now I can pour in all my heart and soul, and of course all my knowledge into bringing St. Gallen forward to new innovative horizons. Projects to enhance cultural, economical and political aspects of life in and around St. Gallen challenge and inspire me.

On your journey to success what has been your greatest challenge?
I am the type of person who appreciates challenges and likes to tackle them head-on. I guess my biggest challenge is the one I am facing right now, where I made a decision to run for the Swiss National Council; a new intensive and demanding challenge but very revealing and exciting so far. In case of an election, this would be an extreme change in my life.

Even now, as a possible future member of the parliament my life has changed. From one day to the other I am in the limelight, and people want to hear my opinion on basically every issue in Switzerland. Being young, a woman, and not having previous political experience I attract attention. This is an advantage for my election campaign as my name recognition rises. On the other hand the increasing focus on the ‘political me’ is a new concept in my life. It’s a constant balancing act between straightforwardness and diplomacy. How do I present myself from the heart and give people my unfiltered, true opinion? How do I distinguish myself from the other candidates by staying true to my views without being too pushy or too straightforward?

How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?
I am convinced that in today’s world it is crucial that women have the possibility to achieve the same positions and engagements as their male colleagues. In my opinion the future will be more female oriented and therefore the atmosphere present in teams and work groups will change. It is very important that all genders are present in all hierarchy levels; yin and yang combined achieve the best solutions!

Leadership continues to be applauded for traits of transparency and vulnerability. How do you stay true to these traits in your day-to-day life and career?
I really believe that the fastest way to sustained solutions is to be transparent, to be able to trust yourself, and to be trusted by others. This is what I strive to apply in my team every day; to combine the knowledge of all partners in an open, trusting ambiance. I believe that in politics as well, transparency is the way to effect positive change and if I have an opportunity to win a seat on the Swiss National Council, then this is a challenge that I look forward to embracing.

What advice do you have for other women leaders?
Be feminine and authentic.

Favorite quote and by whom?
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” - Wayne Gretzky

How does what you wear make you feel?
My clothes are like good friends. They help me feel comfortable in whatever I am doing. I like to wear stylish clothes but they need to serve the purpose. Looking at my outfit you’ll know where I am heading next; business lunch, gym, meeting with the mayor or a stroll in the park. I also have the habit of trying on my outfit for the following day in the evening so I don’t have to worry about anything in the morning.

What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?
I enjoy the luxury of a very pedestrian friendly surrounding. I very much enjoy the daily walk from my apartment to work; it clears my head and provides oxygen and energy for the day.

What social media links can we find you on?
LinkedIn | Facebook

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN – A Mans Perspective

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN – A Mans Perspective

Full Name: Matthew Nordby
City and Country: Los Angeles, USA
Title: President, Global Licensing
Company: Playboy Enterprises Inc

What about your career makes you feel proud?
Beyond being a father and husband first, the most important component of my career is that I’ve experienced success without having to compromise my integrity. I feel proud to have served as a leader in both enterprise technology and more recently the business of fashion over the course of my 14-year career. The greatest satisfaction is to see people I’ve hired or mentored succeed. Two mentees have gone on to found successful tech companies and another former co-worker launched a successful fashion line.

What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?
I’m a firm believer in defined tenure when it comes to executive roles. Given this belief and post the sale of our software start-up in 2010, I knew it was time to take on a new opportunity. I left the comforts (and generous incentive compensation) of high-tech to join Playboy, which was a much lower risk than it appeared to the outside world. Teaming up with the CEO at Playboy Enterprise in 2011 the firm gave me an opportunity to restore an iconic brand with 97% unaided global awareness. Seeing how people from all over the world desire to be a part of the exclusive world the Rabbit Head symbolizes is truly inspiring. Playboy’s consumer licensing business is now the revenue and profit engine for the enterprise that once depended on print media for viability. This year Playboy made the list of Top 50 largest licensed business in the world with over $1.5B in global consumer product sales. While there still remains work to do on this brand (specifically in North America), I am inspired by the direction the brand is headed.

On your journey to success what role has diversity played in your career and in your life?
Diversity is critical to all success. High-performing teams must not fall victim to group-think. Specifically in our business, waking up every morning with a Beverly Hills view of the world is a go-out-of-business strategy given the majority of our profit is derived from Asia. Embracing diversity means we hire teams that are well traveled, who individually bring international perspective to the table, and are grounded in the fact that you must be willing to go anywhere the consumer gives you permission to be.

As a male, what are some of the challenges you face in the workforce?
I’m a white American male executive so the label as a de-facto member of some “boy’s club” is not uncommon. I am not an Ivy-league MBA or a bloodline that expands beyond the son of a music teacher. I have been promoted out-working those ivory tower types who find comfort in status symbols such as fancy degrees or private club memberships. Breaking these embedded stereotypes can be a challenge.

How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?
Women are more intelligent (depending on what IQ research you believe) and balance a heck of a lot more than men in our society today. I always hire the most qualified candidates, and it turns out that most of my key direct reports are strong female executives. I also married a highly successful creative talent (a former senior designer at Calvin Klein) and I have a beautiful daughter that will be taught that she will have the same opportunities as the boys. I am not a believer in quotas or special treatment as it’s disingenuous to any minority group. I want to see society provide the same set of resources to all regardless of gender, sexual preference or race.

What advice do you have for leaders on the topic of diversity, both men and women alike?
Hire the best talent and form a team around you that is capable of embracing new ideas. More important than your degree or tenure is the ability to have the professional courage to embrace ideas foreign to your own.

Favorite quote and by whom?
“If your strategy isn’t controversial, you have zero chance of making money”
- Scott G McNealy (Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems)

How does what you wear make you feel?
I must feel comfortable which is why you rarely see me wearing collared shirts even when in a full suit. I’m in the branding business so I’m a big fan of brands that provide accessible luxury to consumers. I frequently visit China and enjoy wearing our Playboy suit line as it represents an “arrival” for many in the rapidly forming middle class of that country. It should not surprise you that I own a designer pair of Del Toro x Playboy Slippers that I proudly wear to almost every meeting. I believe in comfort above all else so yes, I wear designer slippers to work.

What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?
On the personal front, spending time with my wife and daughter at our home in Lake Tahoe. I am learning German (my wife’s native language) along with my 1 year old who is catching on much faster. On the product front, I enjoy Tumi as a trusted brand that keeps up with my daily travel and heavy international schedule.

What social media links can we find you on?
LinkedIn | Twitter

LESS IS MORE

LESS IS MORE

Who are your friends? Do they inspire you?

How do you spend your time? Does it make you feel enriched?

Where do you spend your time? Does it make you happy?

I’ve always liked beautiful things.  And lately I’ve been enveloping myself in a level of analysis that is all consumed by the notion of curation. I’m not just curating beautiful things… I’m curating who I give my time to, how I spend it, where I spend it, and what I choose to wear.

As a young child, I had big dreams. My father always told me that nothing in life would pay off more than hard work and sheer perseverance. And so that is exactly what I did. I chose to work relentlessly at every turn, I chose to burn the midnight candle many nights, and I definitely chose to be where I am today. And just as much as you did the same, together we deserve to feel proud and accomplished everyday. Our days of dreaming are far from over. Yet, let this moment in life serve as a reminder of the obstacles we have overcome, the challenges we have triumphed, and the victories we have won. Let’s celebrate by using our finest dining set every night and wearing beautiful fabrics that are luxurious on our skin so we can feel supple yet powerful every single day.

As part of this process of curation, I challenge you to depart with ‘things’ that don’t elevate you. Why have 50 things in your wardrobe that you don’t even remember? How about 20 pieces that you love and cannot live without? Re-shape your closet into a place that tells a story… a story about you, a story about your life, and a story about what’s to come.  #LessIsMore

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Alyene Schneidewind

dE ROSAIRO WOMAN: Alyene Schneidewind

Full Name: Alyene Schneidewind
City and Country: San Francisco, USA
Title: Vice President, Customer Success
Company: Salesforce

What about your career makes you feel proud?
Whenever I’m faced with new challenges, I look back and I’m proud that I've taken many risks in my career. Developing my confidence along the way has been a journey. As part of that journey, I've also learnt that showing up every day & giving it my all is what differentiates me as a leader. As I reflect on my career I know that I've made a significant impact to the companies and teams that I've been a part of, because I show up, I give it my all, and because I’m willing to take calculated risks.

What inspired you to be doing what you are in your career?
I love building & developing incredible teams. In a Customer Success business, people are our product. Because of that, I'm thrilled that in my career I've been able to deliver solid business results to customers through the amazing people that we hire & develop.

On your journey to success what has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge in my career has been maintaining a good balance between work and my life outside of work. Because of my commitment to success in both aspects of my career and outside life, and also because I place a high value on my health and relationships with the people I love, the key for me was realizing that everyday I am fully empowered to make choices pertaining to both these areas of my life. Sometimes I choose to prioritize a meeting or business trip, yet other times I choose to prioritize volunteering in my daughter’s classroom. I noticed that whenever I’m feeling stressed it’s because I am out of balance on where I am spending my time. And when that stress factor creeps in, I know its time for me to step back, literally breathe, and then give myself the space to think & re-prioritize.

How important is it to you that we recognize and grow women leaders as a society, and why?
My entire career has been built in the technology space, and the ratios for women have always ridiculously low. It's a fact that diverse teams deliver significantly greater business results. I am personally committed to growing & mentoring women leaders, and this will always be a large part of my personal impact and legacy.

Leadership continues to be applauded for traits of transparency and vulnerability. How do you stay true to these traits in your day-to-day life and career?
Being transparent and vulnerable is the only way I know how to be - it's authentically me! I also think that in order to exhibit these traits it's important to really connect with the people around you, because it allows you insight into the context from which they are operating. It's amazing how understanding what matters to people and what motivates them will open so many new paths for both you and them.

What advice do you have for other women leaders?
I have this to say to other women leaders: take chances, and don't rule yourself out from an opportunity because you're not a perfect fit. It is the combination of all your experiences that make you a uniquely qualified candidate. Own this with confidence.

Favorite quote and by whom?
While you are alive collect moments, not things. - Aarti Khurana

How does what you wear make you feel?
What I wear can make me feel all sorts of things – powerful, confident, fun, beautiful, strong, cozy. I love the feel of amazing fabric combined with the perfect fit. Building my wardrobe however, is not my area of expertise, so I am never afraid to ask for help. Oh, and I have learned that accessories matter!

What everyday luxuries do you enjoy?
Right now an everyday luxury for me is time. I love spending my time with my family, hiking in the San Francisco Bay Area, or at the beach. I also love really connecting on a human level with new people. All of these things really give me the satisfaction I need.

What social media links can we find you on?
LinkedInTwitter

SAPEURS and LOOK FEEL LEAD

SAPEURS and LOOK FEEL LEAD

I recently discovered the Congolese subculture of ‘Sapeurs’ located in the previous French colony of Brazzaville and Kinshasa in the Republic of Congo. A person who embraces the word ‘La Sape’ is called a Sapeur – ‘La Sape’ meaning ‘attire’ in English. The movement embodies men who exhibit both style and manners set to colonial times. What surprised me the most about this culture is the stark contrast that exists between the Sapeurs’ extreme style and manners versus the environment of poverty he lives in. Earning less than $100 a month, the Sapeur is known to not just clad himself in style, in fact he clothes himself in well-known designer suits from Versace, Prada, Gucci, and Armani.

At first I had a hard time understanding why someone of extreme poverty, earning 30 cents a day, would prioritize purchasing clothing that would typically be considered unaffordable. As I unraveled the layers of context in front of me, I came to understand that a Sapeur is actually a happy man if he can feed his body and soul through style, even if it means he will not eat as a result. I couldn’t help but wonder if the Sapeur had created this mental state of being as an escape from his environmental state of being. And if yes, how incredibly profound! The idea of feeding your body and soul through style as a primary necessity overturns our basic hierarchy of needs. And for Sapeurs who have been doing this for over 25 years, I reasonably assume that embracing style provides them with a means to elevate their life and escape their reality.

dE ROSAIRO as a brand has been built around the concept of ‘Look Feel Lead’. The discovery of the Sapeur arrives at the right time to me, just when I was pushing my paradigm to think differently on how we could extend our ‘Look Feel Lead’ outreach into the non-profit world. In recent months I have been asking myself, what if we could elevate women and men in less than ideal life circumstances through dE ROSAIRO and through the power and psychology of clothing? What if we could dress girls and women so that they could regain their confidence and lead more healthy and enhanced lives?

As a Creative Director, I’ve become fascinated with the power of clothes and how it impacts our society on multiple levels. The Sapeur is a timely example of a subculture that has pushed the boundaries of style in a contradicting environment, showing us more than ever, the inherent psychology behind why we chose to wear what we wear.