In honour of Vancouver recently hosting start up week, it got me thinking about my career in the start up world over the last 2.5 years with Procurify. That led me to begin thinking about how I’ve evolved, not only with my experience and skill set, but truly understanding what it’s like to be invested so whole heartedly into a company’s future and having a hand in help building it.
A common theme among the start up world is that “the people make the company” - and I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and completely agree. I think the most unique thing about the community is that people can come from all different backgrounds and contribute in individual, imaginative and collaborative ways.
When I first started in the start up world, I wasn’t sure or confident how I’d fit in. If you’ve read any of my other posts, I’m constantly talking about how I’m an old soul; you won’t be surprised that I’ve coined the nickname ‘Mama’ since almost day 1 at Procurify. My team promises it’s not because they think I’m ancient - it could be just my maternal instincts or occasional baking? Regardless, my past jobs were far from the open concept, Silicon Valley sitcom, dog friendly office setting and this was completely new to me.
I’ve always felt more comfortable and confident in work attire: as the Elizabeth Taylor quote goes, “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together”. Ok, I’m not having a scotch with breakfast or anything, but when I put on my uniform of a pencil skirt, pumps or blazer, it gives me the boost I need to tackle the day, lead the meeting or deal with the angry customer. I was worried I’d have to forgo that uniform in the start up, casual-trendy world and that made me a bit nervous.
However, what I quickly learned is that the beauty of no dress code allowed every person to express themselves in their own individual way on any particular day. Some adopted a “full tuck Friday” look, some prefer to opt for athlesiure and slippers and some in 5 inch heels. The beauty of this is that not only is your own style encouraged, but it’s accepted and embraced without judgement and usually with a compliment down the hall.
The thing I love about fashion is that it is an expression or extension of that person, and it doesn’t have to be a commitment to a particular style but can evolve with age, surroundings, your city and most importantly what makes you feel your very best on that day. While I may opt for a more professional look on most days, I have embraced mixing up my style with denim, baseball hats and leopard in the office, which hopefully makes my team think of me like a hip, cool mom?
I’ll leave you with a quote I just read, “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.”
So, what’s your armor today? I’d love to know your favourite look!