Dear readers, Olivia here! Today I bring you Dear Kate CEO and Providence Lady Project Co-Founder Julie Sygiel.
I had the pleasure of meeting Julie by being a part of the PVD Lady Project. Julie is a totally amazing young woman with fresh ideas. She is not only insanely beautiful and super sweet but she also has a degree from an Ivy League University. We know you’ll totally be inspired by her as much as we are!
You started the PVD Lady Project but you’re also the CEO and Founder of Dear Kate! Tell us about that:
“Sure! Dear Kate is a startup where we are reimagining what women can expect from our underwear. I founded it several years ago in college and questioned why such an essential piece of clothing wasn’t subject to the same level of high tech development we now expect from our sports bras. Using my chemical engineering background, I created the dream pair of underwear, with benefits women don’t usually expect from our lingerie. The patent-pending blend of fabrics are silky soft and unbelievably comfortable, wicking, and provide an extra layer of protection. Plus they’re stain-releasing and machine-washable, so women can stop scrubbing, then inevitably throwing out, period-stained casualties. I like to say, for the ambitious, creative gal who is always on the go, Dear Kates are the perfect way to take the world by storm without worrying about any mishaps.”
Where is Dear Kate’s Headquarters?
“We were based in Providence for four years and moved the Headquarters to NYC about a year ago to be closer to our factory and in the middle of the fashion world. In November, we launched our sport collection which has sold incredibly well. Several customers suggested that we make yoga pants with our special fabric so we’re actually getting ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign soon for the yoga pant project. Who knows what we’ll be up to next?! I love the idea of growing our products to include a wide range of apparel and underthings that are designed for the modern, ambitious woman.”
How did you come up with such an amazing name: PVD Lady Project?
“Sierra and I were having breakfast and talking about the idea. I suggested the name ‘PVD Lady Project’ off the top of my head and it stuck. We liked it because it was intriguing and implied that there was more beneath the surface of simply a women’s networking group.”
Where are you from?
“I grew up in a small town in Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s funny because whenever someone guesses where I’m from they say Connecticut. I’ll always be a southern girl at heart who loves corn dogs and bbq.”
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
“I studied chemical engineering at Brown University.”
Tell us, what inspires you in your personal life and in business?
“As strange as this may sound, I love a good, serious conversation. Going out to drinks or a party is always fun, but the time when I am truly inspired is when I connect with a friend, old or new, over a serious conversation. I like conversations where I bring my whole self to the table, where I can talk about fears and dreams, and not feel like I have to be guarded. It is in these created spaces that I feel inspired and supported, to envision what my life might look like if I moved somewhere crazy, if I started another business, if I redecorated my apartment, if I planned a brunch series, the list goes on.”
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
“Goodness, there’s so much advice that it’s hard to pick the best one. A favorite saying is ‘done is better than perfect‘ because I am a perfectionist. It took me a long time to really learn that quote– and I’m still reminding myself of it. ”
“Also, as an entrepreneur it’s important to separate yourself from your business. Often if sales are going well, I’m in a good mood, and if they aren’t great, I’ll be down. The thing with money is that it’s fickle– it often doesn’t reflect who you are or what you’re doing. Sometimes the weeks that I work the most hours aren’t the ones that bring in lots of sales. Then some weeks a blogger will randomly write about us and we’ll get a ton of traffic. I try to measure success not by what I am doing but by how I am being in the world. If I always stay true to myself, at the end of the day I can be proud of that. Then when we have a good week in sales it’s just icing on the cake.”
We love working with music going in the back ground- what music do you listen to?
“Right now I’m loving Alex Winston, Katie Herzig, and Haim. I do listen to some Miley Cyrus every once in awhile when I need energy!”
You are an inspiring female leader! I wonder who do you admire?
“One of my role models is Tina Roth Eisenberg. She is a blogger at Swiss Miss, and also founded Tattly, Creative Mornings, and Studiomates. I love how she has started many businesses and finds a way to still be involved with all of them. I love to dabble in many different projects at once so it’s inspiring to me to see her weave her interests together and manage them simultaneously.”
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Here are some behind the scenes from our photoshoot!