Our Leadership, Stylish interview series celebrates stylish women in leadership and executive roles. You’ll get personal insights about their role models and inspiration, how these amazing ladies get their teams excited, and what wardrobe and grooming choices they make to give their performance an extra boost of confidence. — Tell us what you think in the comments.
Today’s stylish leader is Kate Duff. She’s a beauty entrepreneur whose startup got funding — for that reason alone we applaud her. Startups run by women are always poked and prodded with just a little more scrutiny so you know that Kate has her act together and can present and promote her vision flawlessly. What we love about her is that she’s an avid connector of dots. She will listen closely and then tell you exactly the three people you should meet and the five articles you should read. — Read below to find out what kind of corporate culture she’s trying to create, why excitement is the key, and that she has a pair of lucky faux leather pants.
Tell us a little bit about who you are and where you are in your career!
My name is Kate Duff and I am the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of 3FLOZ, an automated retailer selling travel-sized beauty, grooming, wellness products, and accessories.
Do you have role models you draw inspiration from for your life and career?
I have always been inspired by my parents. They have their own company and have always taught me the important of hard work. I am also very inspired by Marie Forleo and Gabby Bernstein, they teach the importance of being authentic, living in the moment (that is all we have), and above all else of bringing love to every single thing we do.
What are typical situations in which you get to show off your leadership qualities?
My business partner Alexi Mintz and I have a team of five that we work with daily. Office culture and work ethic comes from the top. Alexi and I have always felt that it was very important to create an environment where people are excited to come to work — even on Mondays. Hopefully, we have created that at 3FLOZ. One example is that we include team members in meetings as they relate to the growth of 3FLOZ so that everyone feels like they are a part of something bigger. We also buy lunch and treats and make it a work hard & play hard kind of environment.
Are there any habits or rituals that make you feel at the top of your game before a public appearance, a client meeting, or a critical team meeting?
I believe in meditation so I always take a couple minutes to center myself, to set my intention for the meeting, and to get out my nerves. If I’m going to be on TV or talking to a group I remind myself to speak like I am speaking with my friends, and that all is well.
If you have to get a group of people excited, what works best for you? Can you share some tricks?
Be excited! If you are looking for others to be excited you have to be excited. Excitement is contagious.
If we asked the people around you what your leadership style was, what words do you think would come up?
Fair, open and if I do say so myself: FUNNY!!
What are some of your go-to outfits, hair or makeup styles that make you feel most confident in any business situation?
My go-to styles for important meetings are my lucky black faux leather Club Monaco pants with a blazer and a fitted v-neck dress with heels; both are sexy, dressy, and command attention.
I feel that in business, women often try to button everything up. Not my style! We are lucky enough to be women so as long as it is tasteful, wear what makes you feel your best. When you feel good you will look good and when you look good you will feel good.
Guys just have to throw on a suit and tie and look “business,” we have so many options. Are there any ladies out there you think get the balance between stylish and business just right?
I think Kelly Ripa, Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham, and Eva Longoria are always flawless. They wear what looks good on them and they rock it.
If you were giving a piece of advice to a group of young women about to embark on their careers, what would it be?
I would say find a work-life balance. At the end of days, you will never regret that you didn’t stay later at work that one night but you will regret life experiences you missed for work. I’m not saying don’t work hard, because you have to and you will; but find a balance. And as the saying goes: when you are doing something you love, you won’t feel like it is work, it is a passion project that makes you money.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us, Kate.
Check out the other interviews in the Leadership, Stylish series. And be sure to share it if you found it inspiring.