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Ladies who Lead: Melanie Moore

melanie-moore-ceo-of-tovieforFortunately, I have had the opportunity to come across and meet many inspiring women in the technology industry. One of them, is, a lovely and smart gal, Melanie Moore.  Melanie is Founder of (Fashion) Company, Elizabeth & Clarke. Read our interview below.

{SS}: What is your current job? 

{MM}: Founder & CEO of Elizabeth & Clarke.   Elizabeth & Clarke offers classic essentials such as tees, tanks, blouses, and knits that are designed to perfectly compliment your wardrobe each season, for $30 or less.

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{SS}:  Since you are a business owner, can you give us a few key pointers you have learned along the way and update us on your newest venture? Any advice for those trying to get into the tech space? 

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 12.19.20 PM{MM}: The best piece of advice I can give to an aspiring entrepreneur is to first, find a problem and then, create a product to solve it — not the other way around. If you do not have solid industry experience in the field in which you want to start a business, you will need to spend many months seeking out and talking to potential customers about the problems in their everyday life. When you hit on a problem that many people in your target demo have, then you can start building a product around that. Simply coming up with a product idea (without years of experience in the industry) and thinking that marketing dollars, social media, and a viral video will overcome poor product/market fit will always end in disappointment.

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{SS}: Secret to work / life balance? 

{MM}: I cook a lot, and I try to use the concept of ‘mise en place’ in my daily life. In cooking, ‘mise en place’ is the process of prepping all food before you begin, working clean, and operating with an extreme level of organization. In my daily life, this translates to a minimalist approach to work: I strip down my ‘to-do’ list to only the absolute essentials, outsource what I can, say ‘no’ a lot, and generally do not take on more commitments than I can comfortably handle in a 40-hour work week.

{SS}: Any advice for a woman trying to launch a Technology start up of their own?

{MM}: Don’t get discouraged by all of the sexism out there, and do not put up with creepy investors who try to hit on you. There are good people in tech that care about women and equality, keep searching.

{SS}:  In regards to your personal style, do you have a signature accessory?

{MM}: I have a long, silver McQueen necklace with a bird skull on it – I wear it with everything. It’s elegant with just a bit of edge.

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{SS}: A few items in your “Styleshack” A.K.A closet that you can’t live without?

{MM}: I have a great white blazer from Theory that I wear with a lot of outfits. I can drape it over my shoulders and add a pair of heels to a basic pair of jeans + tee – which allows me to go from day to evening in under 60 seconds.

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{SS}: Who inspires your style?  Favorite Style Icon?

{MM}: Katharine Hepburn and Marion Cotillard

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{SS}: Style Archetype: 

{MM}: Classic

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{SS}: Favorite Blog: 

{MM}: FiveThirtyEight (‘…what the fox knows’) and Jezebel

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{SS}: What was your favorite Summer read: 

{MM}: Triumphs of Experience, which is an update to one of the longest longitudinal studies ever conducted, ‘The Grant Study’

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{SS}: Favorite Quote: 

{MM}: I really love this quote from Steve Jobs about quality, it is definitely something I think about everyday at Elizabeth & Clarke!

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” -Steve Jobs

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