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April 3, 2024 57 mins

Sali Christeson was in a fast-paced finance and technology career, but struggled with what many professional women have faced: lacking clothing options that were confidence-inspiring, comfortable, and bold. That’s why she founded Argent, which aims to redefine the modern women’s work wardrobe. In this week’s candid convo, Sali dives into her Turkish-Southern family background (including how her parents met in a Turkish bazaar!), what she learned from working at Cisco, how she approaches conversations with staff who aren’t the right fit, and the success of the viral pink suit worn by Katie Couric, Gretchen Whitmer, Cecile Richards and more!

 

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She Pivots was created by host Emily Tisch Sussman to highlight women, their stories, and how their pivot became their success. To learn more about Sali, follow us on Instagram @ShePivotsThePodcast or visit shepivotsthepodcast.com.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome back to Sheep Pivots. I'm Sally Christisen. Welcome back
to Sheep Pivots. I'm your host, Emily Tish Sussman. When
I was planning this season, I wanted to make sure
she pivots was a means for building connections. I said
during our season launch party that we're the generation of

(00:21):
women who build bridges and don't tear each other down.

Speaker 2 (00:25):
And she pivots as a way to empower women to.

Speaker 1 (00:27):
Look inward, to find success for themselves and not buy
society standards.

Speaker 2 (00:32):
And it's working.

Speaker 1 (00:33):
We're seeing a substantial change in the way women think
about and talk about their lives and their careers. I'm
so excited to dig deeper into these pivotal moments through
these shorter, more conversational.

Speaker 2 (00:45):
Candid conbos this season. Let's jump right in.

Speaker 1 (00:52):
If you know me, you know I love an argent
suit and I'm so excited to have these. Sally Christison
on the show today to talk about how she's transforming
the businesswear industry for women. Her famous hot pink suit
has been worn by Kerrie Washington, Ashley Graham, Governor Gretchen Whitmar,
or Big Gretch, and so many more. She's truly defined

(01:14):
how women think about work wear, and she doesn't seem
to be slowing down. Stay tuned for another inspiring and
cantid conversation.

Speaker 3 (01:25):
My name is Sally Christensen. I'm the founder and CEO
of Argent.

Speaker 1 (01:30):
Okay, so we'll do we'll just do like a little
like just a quick background here. Where did you grow up?
What did you see yourself doing when you grew up?
Were you dancing around in suits?

Speaker 2 (01:40):
Not at all.

Speaker 3 (01:41):
I grew up in Hardyville, South Carolina, on a farm.
I spent my summers in Turkey. So my dad's Turkish
and my mom is very Southern, and that combination shaped
a lot of who I am. Entrepreneurial, That's what I am.
With that said, I think that my upbringing shaped a
lot of what I'm doing now because I grew up

(02:02):
in a place that I didn't feel like I had
a lot of modeling or options in terms of what
career could look like because I was in the Southeast,
which is really banking, law and healthcare.

Speaker 1 (02:14):
Well, when you say that that your your dad being
Turkish and your mom being very Southern shaped you like,
what traits of theirs?

Speaker 2 (02:22):
Was it their relationship. Was it each of their own
traits that shaped.

Speaker 3 (02:24):
You well, I think having the perspective that I did,
like from traveling to Turkey quite frequently. I just it's
a completely different culture. It's much more familial. My dad's
one of ten siblings. I have one bajillion cousins. And
we would spend our summers in Kumba and we'd all

(02:45):
stay in this one apartment building. Kumba is a small
beach town outside of Istanbul, and we would spend our
days going from one floor to the other to the
other and seeing different aunts and uncles, seeing my grandmother,
seeing like our great aunt, and it was just so special,
and it gave me such an appreciation for Islam, for

(03:07):
the Middle East, just for you know, all of these
things that I grew up, you know, that was half
of who I am. And I also grew up speaking Turkish,
so it just really is a huge part of me.
And then the South is the South. I'm really grateful
to have had that because I think it gives me
a deep understanding of what's happening in our country right now.

(03:28):
But it was a really special place. Like I spent
most of my days outdoors. I would go jump on
a horse and ride bareback, like been doing very dangerous things,
very adventurous things, but as a really spirited child. But
I think that like a lot of people don't really
get out of South Carolina. So the fact that I
got the option to do that with these trips to

(03:48):
Turkey really gave me perspective.

Speaker 2 (03:50):
Yeah, a spirited child, I have one of those. I
know that two of those. I know how that goes.

Speaker 1 (03:57):
That's so interesting. First of all, one of ten siblings
my mind. But I mean Argent is about the work woman,
which is so interesting. What I loved that broadsheet, Like,
I love the way the broadsheet was framed by the
way like you are honing in on that, and I'm
going to get back to that later.

Speaker 2 (04:11):
Was your mom a professional? Did she wear suits?

Speaker 3 (04:14):
No? My mom was, and this was pretty consistent with
all of my friends. She was a mom and she
was the best, and she very much shaped who I am.
She's she right now works the farm, like that's her
dream as to drive a tractor and to be on
her own. And she's very tough, and I think that

(04:35):
she inspired a lot of who I am. But no,
I think that the modeling that I saw from a
work perspective came more from television, my dad, my parents
raising me without really putting gender norms on me, and
so I used to my dad's a he's an entrepreneur.

(04:56):
He had a rug shop that he which is pretty
typical that he ran out of our house when I
was really young and then had a shop in Hilton Head,
South Carolina, and I used to go with him, and
it was there that I remember being like, all I
want is like a stapler and a desk, like the
Internet didn't even exist, but I was like, I just
want to work, like this is this speaks to me.

Speaker 1 (05:17):
Do you remember who it was on TV that modeled
for you, Like I feel like maybe Murphy Brown, Katie Kuric,
Katie Kuric.

Speaker 3 (05:24):
But I also watched like the NBA is as you know,
it's like one of my favorite things on the planet.
But also watching Men and Women. I think I think
both were modeling for me. But I've grew up, you know,
at the age of five watching Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen,
et Cetera, Rosio O'Donnell. But I was really just consuming
a lot of magazines, reading a lot of books, all

(05:46):
kinds of things. There's no one person that really jumps out.
But it was really like men and women that I
was you know, it's pretty typical of kids our age.

Speaker 1 (05:54):
I feel, yeah, okay, I was thinking a lot about
this in preparing for this conversation with you. You all
please describe your father as an entrepreneur, which like when
does someone get the title of entrepreneur?

Speaker 2 (06:06):
Like what about it? Did you give him the title?

Speaker 1 (06:09):
Like what makes someone an entrepreneur versus a small business
owner versus like opening a lot of business or one business?

Speaker 3 (06:15):
Like why do you describe him that way? So I
actually think my mom will hate this. But my dad
grew up with no running water. They would share clothes
to be able to go to school, and he started
selling water in the Turkish bazaars at the age of five,
and he was constantly having to hustle to make money

(06:36):
for his family in order for them to put food
on the table. And through doing that, he learned so
many languages. I mean, he is such a lovely, special
human being, and he learned so much about people and
different cultures. And I was just such an ambitious person
by necessity, to be honest, But he is the third

(06:58):
in the family, and there's a lot of pressure on men,
especially you know, antiquated, outdated gender and expectations. But there
was a lot of pressure on him to provide for
the family. And so then, you know, he worked his
entire life and then he worked in the bazaars and
Turkey selling rugs eventually, and that's where he met my

(07:21):
mom and they I mean.

Speaker 2 (07:23):
That's the whole story in and of itself. It's fantastic.

Speaker 3 (07:25):
But then he moved back with her eventually and opened
his own rugshop. But I mean, just the sheer nature
of what he's always done is like, define whatever it
is that he's going to be selling, and he owns
the entire experience and process of that and the good
and the bad that comes with that.

Speaker 2 (07:42):
Okay, but now I want to hear about how your
parent's met.

Speaker 3 (07:47):
So my mom she comes from a more privileged background,
so I'll say that, so their backgrounds are very, very.

Speaker 2 (07:54):
Different, which is also shaped who I am.

Speaker 3 (07:56):
She went abroad after graduating from college with a group
of friends and they did this six month trek through Europe.
They went into Russia and they were in Turkey for
a short stint and while they were there, their tour guide,
who was Turkish, was bringing them through Istanbul, and my
dad saw my mom at a post office and asked

(08:16):
her to go out with him, and she politely declined.
And then later that day they were in the bazaar
and he saw her again and asked her out, and
she'd declined again, and then he convinced the tour guide
to ask her best friend so they could do a
double date to make her more comfortable. They went out
that night. He took her rowing his big grower, and

(08:40):
then they finished. My mom and her group finished their
trip and she ended up moving back to Turkey in
with my dad, which she used to be the story
I told us if it's normal, and now that I'm
an adult, I'm like, oh, that's wild. Wild, I'm like, yeah, totally.
Then she just moved in with him and stayed there
for a year to the wait where my very traditional

(09:01):
grandfather was writing letters to Turkey threatening my dad to
like send his daughter home, and then they ended up
moving back to Asheville, North Carolina, which is where my parents.
My grandparents were in retirement and eventually got married. But
they're still married forty something plus years.

Speaker 2 (09:19):
I could do the Math forty eight.

Speaker 3 (09:21):
But the best part of the story is actually that
the other couple is also married living in Ashville, North Carolina.

Speaker 2 (09:27):
No, that is wild. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (09:30):
Wow, the matches that happen in a Turkish bazaar are
like better than mumble, Like, this is unbelievable.

Speaker 2 (09:38):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (09:39):
So that's really what I hope to take away of
this episode to be is for everyone to rush to
Turkey to the bazaar that's looking for a relationship.

Speaker 2 (09:47):
It's there.

Speaker 1 (09:48):
Do you think that that's sort of like pick up
and move, like pick up and go story, really, like
you really internalize that, like as a normal thing to do,
because when you graduated college, you just picked up and
moved to Chicago like you didn't know anyone, you didn't
have a job.

Speaker 3 (10:05):
Yes, I'm probably inspired by my parents for sure. I
think that they did a really great job raising me.

Speaker 2 (10:12):
I just I love them very much.

Speaker 3 (10:14):
I have an older brother, and they gave me the
confidence to just pursue whatever felt right.

Speaker 2 (10:21):
And I think my entire upbringing.

Speaker 3 (10:23):
As much as I appreciate and loved being raised in
the Southeast, it was obviously that's not really where I
was meant to be. Long Like in my adulthood, and
so after college, I knew I wanted a big city,
and everyone kept saying New York was way too big,
which I would have loved New York, you know, but
I was like, Okay, what's like the next next option?

Speaker 2 (10:41):
So I just chose Chicago and moved there sight unseen.
Were you prepared for the wind? Yes, you knew it
was coming. Nope, I was prepared for whatever was going
to come my way. I figured it out. How did
you figure it? Like? Did you get off the plane
and went where I'd scout? Did so.

Speaker 3 (11:03):
Through I studied abroad my senior year in college, and
I met kids from all over the country, and when
we came back, we would do these reunions. And one
of those reunions took place in the University of Oregon
and one of my best friends from studying abroad was
his best friend from growing up is now my husband.

(11:23):
But I met him during one of those trips. Was
the last week of college, Dave. Dave moved to Chicago.
So Dave, who I met one time, was in Chicago
and I was like, can I come check out apartments?
And like, will you just show me around? He was
definitely not interested. In a relationship at that point and
had a lot of growth in front of him. But
that was like my only real connection to the city.

(11:46):
And I found an apartment, went home, packed up my car,
drove to the city, and then just started networking.

Speaker 2 (11:53):
Wait, okay, this is a new element of this.

Speaker 1 (11:57):
Was there an underlying there that you were like, well,
let me just see what happens if I'm in the
same city as Dave or not, even like it was
totally platonic.

Speaker 2 (12:06):
I think it was more.

Speaker 3 (12:07):
I think I was more focused on my career at
that point, and that the happy coincidence of where things
have gone with Dave is, you know, just the upside
of that choice.

Speaker 1 (12:18):
So did it take a while before you guys started years?

Speaker 2 (12:21):
Years before? Did you say friends the whole time? Are
you just again at a Turkish bazaar to run?

Speaker 3 (12:27):
We both went to Turkey, but we we a lot
of my friend group was formed through Dave's friend group
as well, So like a friend of theirs growing up
had gone to Northwestern, so we became friends with a
lot of kids from Northwestern.

Speaker 2 (12:40):
I was just really social at.

Speaker 3 (12:41):
That stage, and we didn't have phones, we didn't use
technology in the same way, so we were really like
forced to get out and just be social. Yeah, and
those were some of the best years of my life
because you're not close enough to family, so your friends
become your family and you have to really I mean,
there's so much learning your early twenties. And I actually

(13:02):
sat around after college for a long time waiting for
someone who would live with me, and I was so
annoyed because everyone would like fake commit and then just
not really not really like do it. And so I
finally just did it on my own because I was
so annoyed by that. I have a very real bias
for action. And it was the best decision I ever made.
Its firt of set me on the past that I
this journey and we've moved a lot though since then,

(13:24):
but it just sort of gave me the confidence, I think,
to just take big risks and put myself out there and.

Speaker 2 (13:29):
It all works out.

Speaker 1 (13:30):
I feel like you just put language to something that
I felt my entire life and never known how to
articulate a bias for action. Oh yeah, did you come
up with that term yourself? I really feel that.

Speaker 2 (13:39):
I sure didn't.

Speaker 3 (13:41):
There was my manager at Cisco used that to describe
me once and I was like, what does it mean?
So so then I figured out what it meant and
I was like, oh, yeah that's me.

Speaker 1 (13:55):
So yeah, that's incredible. I love that came from a manager.
I feel like I got like the negative version of
that in performance reviews. That was like you're always jumping
ahead of everyone, Like why don't you let the process
play out?

Speaker 2 (14:12):
Isn't that?

Speaker 3 (14:13):
So like female specific though, I feel like we get
the worst professional like guidance sometimes stay in your lane,
do less, you know, just be perfect cool, great.

Speaker 1 (14:25):
Totally, so okay, so you got you were always thinking
about yourself, like you wanted the stapler, the desk, you
wanted the job, like I love thinking about Like young Sally,
You're like, I'm here to network and I'm also here
to be a corporate boss.

Speaker 2 (14:39):
You know what's funny.

Speaker 3 (14:40):
I was actually in Chicago to have a good time.
So undergrad, I was the worst student on the planet.
I've really just banked on my like I'm smart enough.
I like didn't apply myself. So I was like i'll
get I'll be fine, I'll get like b's and c's
and we'll call it a day.

Speaker 2 (14:56):
But I was very social, and I.

Speaker 3 (14:58):
Actually think that that was is one of the best
decisions I have made. Granted, I'll think, oh, I wish
I'd spent more time in the library, because that's not
what I love. Like, I love learning. I'm a total introvert,
you know. I've really accepted who I am more. But
in those days, it was a great exercise of like
human learning, and that I think is like sixty percent

(15:19):
of success, if not more, is understanding people and how
people operate, and like understanding like your self and how
to interact with different people and just sort of navigating
and like the networking aspect of things and the life
aspect of things, and understanding people's motivations, et cetera. So
I actually think that was really a huge takeaway from undergrad,

(15:40):
which I then applied to Chicago because my plan was
to go back to grad school and I knew that,
so I just wanted a job that I was learning
from because I am always wanting to just be learning.
That's like a that's a trend that you'll see throughout
all my career choices. But in Chicago, I spent more
time being social as well. And then once I got
back into grad school, top of the class, I feel like.

Speaker 1 (16:02):
I am learning so much about myself in this conversation.

Speaker 3 (16:07):
I have like.

Speaker 2 (16:08):
These ways that you are illuminating.

Speaker 1 (16:10):
And reframing choices that I made, like are making me
reflect on this.

Speaker 2 (16:15):
Like. Similarly, I did not do like I was terrible
in college.

Speaker 1 (16:18):
I was just partying and I but I've never looked
upon that favorably, like I don't tend to look back
on my own choices with a lot of regret. Like
I think that regret is sort of like a wasted
agree a wasted feeling, because I think you learn something
out of all of it. The one thing I do
kind of regret is really how little I applied myself
in college.

Speaker 2 (16:38):
I really missed a lot of opportunity.

Speaker 1 (16:41):
I don't think I was doing any like particularly sophisticated
thinking about navigating interpersonal relationships.

Speaker 2 (16:45):
I think I was just partying all of the time.

Speaker 1 (16:48):
But then similarly, I went to law school and I
was like a different person, Like it turned on for me.
I was applied in the first time and similarly graduated
in the top of my class because I was a
different person.

Speaker 2 (16:58):
Yep.

Speaker 1 (16:59):
But I didn't know I was going to go to
grad school. I thought I wasn't smart because I had
done so badly in college. So what about you gave
you that confidence to think like, oh, I'll just turn
it on to grad school.

Speaker 3 (17:10):
I don't know if it was intentional, like, yeah, I'm
benefiting from hindsight and these stories. But I have always
my parents will say, I've always been confident. And it's
similar to what you said about regret, Like I think
there's certain things where we own these emotions and we
deserve to be like kind to ourselves. We deserve to
be confident, and it's a learned trait for some people,

(17:32):
you know, but we waste we waste a lot of
energy on guilt, on shame, on all sorts of things.
And so it's I don't know, probably like I have
a natural tendency toward like to be confident, but it's
something that I wish for everyone because it does shape
kind of your life experience, you know, But I don't.

Speaker 2 (17:53):
I just have had it. I don't know. I don't
know why.

Speaker 1 (17:56):
Okay, so you didn't just go to graduate school. You
went to get your MBA. That's really serious. That's a
really serious question.

Speaker 2 (18:04):
In law school's not Yeah, but I thought I was
going to be a lawyer.

Speaker 1 (18:09):
Oh yeah, And I thought I had to go to
law school because I was going to be a lawyer. Sure,
Like NBA is just like, well, I think I'm good
at business, and I want to be really good at business.

Speaker 2 (18:18):
You know what it is for me.

Speaker 3 (18:19):
So the way that I operate is I really need context.
So if you just come at me with like a
story and it's a piece of something, I struggle a
little bit if I don't have like full context. So
knowing that about myself, I wanted to get some experience
after undergrad and I studied business and undergrad as well,
I wanted some applied experience and I wanted to take

(18:40):
that back into getting an.

Speaker 2 (18:41):
MBA because I needed a better.

Speaker 3 (18:43):
Understanding of like the major functions of business and in
your twenties, you know nothing like I think back to
some of the questions I asked in interviews as if
I was smart, and I'm like, oh, I sounded just
so young, you know. And so then I had that
experience and as part of that, I lived abroad in
German for a year, which was the draw to this
particular program. It's the International MBA Program at the University

(19:04):
of South Carolina, and so I got to live in Germany,
and then I worked at Daimler as part of that
and came back got hired at Cisco Systems and they
have a leadership rotational program. And again it was like
me wanting to have applied experience on the heels of
academic experience. All of these choices were intentional to try

(19:25):
and de risk starting my own company, and so I
spent about ten years just trying to understand business as
best I could and then took the lead.

Speaker 1 (19:33):
So you were always thinking there would be a company
that you had found. In the end, it wasn't like
I think some people come to this with like a
specific product in mind or specific function in mind. You
were thinking about skill building. Were you also looking to
find what that company was going to be or you
just felt like it would come to you.

Speaker 2 (19:50):
This was skill building. I love that articulation.

Speaker 3 (19:52):
That is certainly like it was in the back of
my mind that I wanted to start a company.

Speaker 2 (19:57):
Period.

Speaker 3 (19:57):
I was passively there. I was not actively thinking what
company should it be. I just assumed that it would
present itself and the timing would present itself. And I
actually actively tried to not start the company I ended
up starting because I was like, I really like apparel
seems tough, you know, and this is not what I do,
et cetera, et cetera. But it was just sort of

(20:19):
like undeniably slapping me on the face that this was
my calling.

Speaker 1 (20:22):
So here we are, Okay, we're gonna get there, and
what's get to the founding? But what skills do you
think that you did get? You know, whether it was
to the international MBA like let's foreshadow a little bit,
or whether it's like, I mean, ten years at Cisco
is nothing.

Speaker 2 (20:34):
It slapped it like that's a serious.

Speaker 1 (20:36):
Not at Cisco, ten years across all of these oh,
ten years across all of them, but like that's real
time you put in there, Like what you know, if
the premise of the show is like everything builds us
to the next thing, Like what skills do you look
back on now? And you were like, thank goodness, I
did international what's it called like import export or you
know whatever the thing was.

Speaker 3 (20:55):
Yeah, yeah, I mean there's so many examples of it.
I think we already touched on the piece about just
interpersonal skills.

Speaker 2 (21:01):
All of that.

Speaker 3 (21:01):
I ended up in client facing roles generally and across
all of my experiences, and I think that was sort
of an obvious thing for me with a background like
waiting tables, et cetera, you know, in my childhood and
so in Chicago, I think there was a lot of
personal development that needed to happen and growth. And then
going into my MBA, I was an adult at twenty four.

(21:25):
You know, we all were just I feel like we
all reached that stage where we're like, I know everything.
But then it was the grad school that I was
forced into different groups and different projects, you know, carrying
some weight of the team sometimes you know, like mixed
caliber of partners, but they're like forcing you. And that's
what all you do in grad school is just work
together on projects, and so you're like carrying the load

(21:47):
or the weight of the team sometimes and other times
you've got like shared load.

Speaker 2 (21:51):
Well let's hope they listen to this podcast and feel
called out. I just want to name, I'd just like
to call out I want some accountability for you groups
in this podcast.

Speaker 3 (22:01):
I've actually been building up to this moment where I
can call out the people that forced me to do
the projects.

Speaker 2 (22:06):
Company, the stores, the l profile. It was all building
to this moment to call out your people.

Speaker 3 (22:13):
I mean, I just learned so much. Where I learned
the most though, was definitely Cisco. So Cisco was I
chose a program. It's Leadership Development rotational program for NBA students.
They put four people in this program every year and
you do six months and all the major functions of
supply chain and Cisco as a top ten gartner supply chain.
So in addition to that, because there's like an executive

(22:35):
course that goes along with that where you're getting exposure
to all the like top management at Cisco, which incorporate environments.
I don't know if you've had experience with this, those
are like celebrities, you know, like it's like the weirdest dynamic.
But it was so good because executives in tech at
that level are excellent at what they do, Like they're
so smart. They pushed me so much, and I cultivated

(22:58):
these relationships with individuals that really helped me grow personally
and professionally. I also really like honed my skills, my
skills set around communication. My favorite saying is, if I'd
had more time, I would have written you a shorter email.
So good, so good, because it's like you have to
take into consideration like who you're communicating with and how

(23:20):
you and what you communicate and how much detail they
need or how you distill it to like one sentence,
because it's the CEO who is receiving a billion emails,
you know. Yeah, so that consideration is probably what came
from Cisco.

Speaker 2 (23:33):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (23:33):
The last one is that at Cisco, I made the
intentional choice to join the Cloud Group as which was
a new initiative. They invested two billion dollars into Cloud
they relate to the game, and I was the seventh
person on a team that grew to two fifty in
a year.

Speaker 2 (23:51):
And that was entrepreneurship. It was you know, I.

Speaker 3 (23:53):
Had the luxury of like you know, endless cash essentially
and being able to learn on Cisco's dime. But I
got to build a team, to find a team, grow
a team, manage people for the first time, which is
really you know, you learn a ton from doing that.
And then I gained some confidence in myself through doing
that and felt like, okay, this is the point, Like

(24:16):
I'm ready.

Speaker 1 (24:17):
Like I've essentially launched a business without my own risk
in it.

Speaker 3 (24:21):
Yeah, Like I feel like I understand all that I
needed to to go start something.

Speaker 1 (24:27):
I feel like what I'm hearing from you is when
you say you know you love the context for something.
I also think you give yourself context because if you're
moving through all of these like this rotational program, in
these different positions, where you go into it with the
mindset of learning, that takes away some of the sting
of like putting our own egos in it, of being like, oh,

(24:48):
I got feedback and I didn't do it right, and
I'm trying or you know, like or maybe I'm trying
to stay in the same position because i know that
I'm doing it really well and I'm too scared to
try something else. We're going to take a short break
for some ads. Now back to the show. But like,
I hear your mindset going into it as a learning mindset,

(25:10):
and then I think you were able to get so
much more from it.

Speaker 2 (25:13):
I love that observation.

Speaker 3 (25:15):
Yeah, I think that we give up too much power
sometimes to our jobs and to our employers and it
should be a mutually beneficial relationship. And for me, and
we've touched on the fact that I'm a confident person,
but I do walk in with confidence that if it's
not working out, and let's say I do lose my job,

(25:35):
then I can find another job, no harm, no foul.
But if I'm not my like authentic self and speaking
my mind and going after problems and trying to learn
and doing all these things, like, that's not fulfilling to me.
And on the flip side, to walk in scared that
I'm going to lose my job is just not a
great dynamic. And so I think my approach to employment

(25:58):
has always been how many jobs in the world are they? Like?
Can I just get a like this is going to
be a good experience, and I'm going to learn from it,
And I always want to make sure that I'm in
a position where I'm learning.

Speaker 2 (26:08):
Well.

Speaker 1 (26:08):
Starting your own company is definitely being in a position
of constantly learning, but you do become very attached to it,
like it is your vision. So you went through this,
you felt prepared for it. How did the specific product
lane come to you in that moment?

Speaker 2 (26:25):
You mean, how did I land on Argent? Yeah? Like,
how did you land on Argent?

Speaker 3 (26:29):
I have always been frustrated by the fact that nobody
is catering to the professional woman from a war droming perspective.
My mom will tell you, like we went to a
number of places for my first job interview to just
find a suit, and how much I would complain about
it because there was just it was such an afterthought
for these legacy brands, and you know, I was just

(26:52):
always sort of sour about it, and I think about
what I wore across all my experiences, and I was
never deriving confidence from it. It was always such a
time suck to find anything, let alone something I felt
decent in. And I worked across different industries that all
call for different dress codes, like it was a whole thing,
you know. And then when I was at Cisco, I
read a study that showed that women are judge based

(27:12):
on appearance, and I quantified the impact of what you
wear on your bottom.

Speaker 2 (27:16):
Line of your lifetime and that was all it took.

Speaker 3 (27:19):
I was like, Okay, you know what, I have thought
about this long enough. In a decade, no one has
innovated the category from a product perspective, and I see
an opportunity to do that. I'm at the forefront of
the casualization of the workforce. Women in tech are really
being left to their own devices because there is no
model of dress in tech. No one's setting the dress

(27:39):
code outside of a few men. I just saw a
real opportunity to create a work where authority that was
a resource to these powerhouse women across you know, every industry,
every city, and really it's a time constrained, ambitious woman
that doesn't really want to be thinking about it, but
she does want to wear something.

Speaker 2 (28:01):
She goes grat in.

Speaker 3 (28:02):
Everyone does because we derive confidence from what we wear.
So I think I saw an opportunity from a product perspective,
and then I'm sure as obvious now on the mission side,
I had a front receipt to a lot of misogyny
throughout my childhood into my career, and I'm very, very

(28:25):
much I mean, someone who just loves women and feels
that they deserve equal opportunities. And I saw how that
conversation was being handled and how everyone was sort of
checking boxes, but it didn't feel like anything was really
changing the narrative and impacting in a meaningful way. And

(28:45):
this was in twenty fifteen, and it almost got to
the point where we were talking about it so much
that people assumed that change had happened, but it wasn't happening.
And I'd like remember talking to people about this idea
for Argent in twenty fifteen, and they're like, Oh, We're
about to have our first female president. How could you
say that so many people, But to me, the conversation

(29:06):
just wasn't nuanced in any capacity. And I saw an
opportunity to do that through a brand, because I think
that brands are the most powerful thing in the world
and can have very real impact with their platforms.

Speaker 2 (29:19):
And the gap that I touched on.

Speaker 3 (29:21):
Earlier that I saw was that no one was catering
to the professional woman from a product perspective, but also
no one was capturing those women through their visuals. No
one was celebrating the women that I was seeing at
Cisco day and day out, and like telling their story
in a way that encourages women to just pursue whatever

(29:42):
it is that they want to and gave them representation
and allowed them to see themselves in all walks of life.
And so I wanted to do that through the brand
and really serve as a resource.

Speaker 1 (29:51):
As you're again, you're making me think about, like reflecting
so much in my own life, like the choices that
I've made. I always wanted to be a costume designer.
What I almost went to art school.

Speaker 2 (30:01):
Oh, I love that.

Speaker 1 (30:02):
Yeah, I feel very strongly about how that you put
on your armor, like you are reflecting the way you
want to feel, the confidence you want to bring into
a room. And so I've always I kind of fluctuated
in the way that I've dressed, like either like very
wild or then I was like, now I'm a law student,
this is corporate me.

Speaker 2 (30:19):
And so I don't think I ever told this.

Speaker 1 (30:21):
You know how people like notoriously take the bar in
their pajamas, like people like that, Oh, this is like
a thing. They're like, oh god, I've been like studying
so hard I can't even get dressed. Yeah, well, I
did the exact opposite that. I had to look like
a lawyer, and so I took my only suit and
I wore it to every single exam I took in
law school, and I wore it to every single day
of the bar.

Speaker 2 (30:41):
Head to toe.

Speaker 1 (30:42):
I wore a suit, I wore a shirt, I wore heels,
I wore jewelry that I would have to take off
so we didn't bang on the desk when I wrote
in because I had to dress like it. And then
you know, I moved to Washington and I worked in
military policy and so I had like an all black
suit look for that, probably a lot of Ann Taylor.
I feel like that's just generally people who were wearing
a Washington. And then as soon as I left the
military policy job, I was like, well, now I'll dress

(31:04):
the way I want, although not really so Washington, but
there was no middle ground for me.

Speaker 3 (31:09):
Yeah. Oh that's so fascinating. Also, let's not write off
costume designing. Thank you so much. Yeah, just saying I
still kind of dress.

Speaker 2 (31:16):
Like I'm in costume.

Speaker 3 (31:17):
I think that though, is like when I talk about
the study and like awareness of the fact that you're
being judge based on appearance. I think that it's good
to be aware that there is very much gender inequity
in our society. But I also think we've tried to
flip that to focusing on giving women confidence and what
they're wearing and giving them options that make them feel

(31:42):
like their best self. Yeah, and like their authentic self.
And it also serves as armor. So it's like, you know,
when you step into and this was me at Cisco,
a room full of men and you're the only woman.
You want to feel the part you want to look,
the part you want to feel. Your best, you know,
and I can dissect also of you know, things that
happen and why it matters around that. But I think

(32:04):
that it is so important that we find clothes that
make us feel our best into and we can use
that to our advantage, especially in like a corporate setting.

Speaker 2 (32:12):
Yeah, I mean, you want to feel your best.

Speaker 1 (32:14):
But I think the era of the black suit, you know,
when I was doing it, when I had to as
a lobbyist and a military policy, I didn't feel like
I could bring any of myself into it. Yeah, and
so I think I was downplaying my own perspective and experiences,
like I was only there as a vessel to.

Speaker 2 (32:33):
Communicate on behalf of our clients.

Speaker 1 (32:36):
I think if I had had something where I could
feel like I was dressing more aligned with myself, then
maybe I would have had more confidence to bring my
own perspective into it as well.

Speaker 3 (32:45):
Yes.

Speaker 1 (32:46):
And by the way, my kids wear uniforms and Fridays
are dressed down days, and my four year old was
a costume every single Friday.

Speaker 2 (32:53):
Is that your spirited one? She's my spirited Yeah?

Speaker 3 (32:55):
Are okay? Our daughter is daughters? Yeah, it would be
of course. Yeah, best mines on four two, and she
is a lot of costumes, a lot of costumes.

Speaker 1 (33:05):
Love.

Speaker 2 (33:06):
I encourage. I think it's great.

Speaker 1 (33:07):
Like, if this is how you feel you want to
express yourself today, it's Unicorn day, it's mermaid. I actually
today she went to school in a wolf costume.

Speaker 2 (33:14):
That's great.

Speaker 1 (33:15):
Yeah, it's perfect. Okay, So you entered a new category
of apparel. This is not I mean, even though you
had sort of entrepreneurship, a lot of tactical experience, leadership experience,
apparel was new. And I feel like, maybe I'm maybe
generalizing here, but I feel like most people that go
into a pail actually don't come from a business background.

Speaker 2 (33:33):
They come from like a design background. That's right.

Speaker 1 (33:36):
Yeah, So how do you think you had unique challenges?
And then how could you have solved them with your background?
How did you solve them?

Speaker 2 (33:41):
Yeah?

Speaker 3 (33:42):
So I think that business is sometimes like underappreciated or undervalued,
and it's important in every business, business and business. But uh,
but I do think that my skill set could be
applied to a lot of different categories. Like that's just
the sheer nature of business and that excites me. That's

(34:02):
why I was drawn to it. When it comes to apparel,
it is a very challenging category. And I had seen
a lot of people actually start businesses focused on women's work,
were they all looked the same. No one was innovating,
and it felt as if oftentimes the consumer was then

(34:22):
designing the product, so it would be the equivalent of
me then designing the product, which is I would not
be here if I had done it that way, because nobody's.

Speaker 2 (34:32):
Going to want to wear what I'm designing.

Speaker 3 (34:34):
Similar to our careers and like you know how we've
taken a not so linear path, but like everything's built
up to this point, there are so many talented men
and women who are pursuing creative careers focused on product design,
and you know, they are creative aspects of any business
that go hand in hand with that skill set. And

(34:54):
so I knew out of the gates that I was
going to need to find creative counterpart, and that's always
been represented with an argent Our creative director now she
joined us three years ago, is unbelievably talented. I mean,
she's twenty plus years in design, She's worked across a
number of incredible companies, and she's designing the product. She's

(35:18):
picking the color palette, et cetera. And I'm the consumer
and it's very much collaborative, but I'm pretty hands off,
like she's the expert. And I think you have to
recognize what you know and what your blind spots are.
And I was very aware that that was pretty critical
to building a product led company. Can you talk us through?

Speaker 1 (35:38):
I mean, what every entrepreneur says is that the things
they don't know once they start end up kind of
defining the first couple of years.

Speaker 2 (35:49):
Okay, let me set up. Yeah, yeah, yeah, come here.

Speaker 1 (35:53):
Can you talk us through a couple of those Like,
you know, you decided to produce in the US, which
was not happening a ton there. You had to change
creative directors at different points, like can you talk us
through some of those pieces where you thought, Okay, I
might be.

Speaker 2 (36:06):
Out of my death here.

Speaker 3 (36:07):
Yeah. I think that it's incredibly important to be able
to have micro failures. And that's true of any career.
It's especially true when you're building something because there's no
way that you're going to come out perfectly in every
you know, like in every aspect of what you're building.

(36:28):
And there's a lot of personal growth and development that
comes along with this. You have to when you make
the decision to take the leap and start a company,
you have to have conviction and vision in terms of
what the end goal is. And I tell people, if
you have that, then you will make it. That's the
only way you'll make it. If you do not have that,
do not start. Because how naive I felt going into

(36:50):
this journey was pretty startling. You just there are so
many things that you have to figure out and get
through and it takes very thick skin. And with that said,
back to the failure piece, like, it's just part of
the journey that you make mistakes and that are correcting
from those.

Speaker 1 (37:10):
Were you able to have that perspective when you were
in it, similar to the way you went into learning
experiences like it's okay, I'm learning, Like were you able
to say, okay, this has been a microom mistake where
you're like, oh my god, it's over.

Speaker 3 (37:21):
I never thought it was over, and I'll never think
it's I think that's what makes me a good entrepreneur.
There's a learning that's baked into that which we can
come back to as well. But for me, Argent will
succeed because I believe that women deserve it, So I
will do everything in my power to make that a reality,
and I have overcome things like COVID. Right, that was

(37:42):
an intentional choice of survival because the opposite was the
more obvious choice, which would be to just shutter the
company because we went to zero dollar days overnight.

Speaker 2 (37:51):
I want to go back to COVID.

Speaker 1 (37:52):
Can you because I have more questions about COVID, can
you give us more examples of like sort of micro failures.

Speaker 3 (37:56):
Yeah, so some of mine. I think that starting thing
is really lonely, and it's become way less lonely for me.
I mean, I've been doing this for nine years, but
because it is lonely, you are a bit vulnerable.

Speaker 2 (38:11):
And when you're hiring, and this.

Speaker 3 (38:14):
Was mine, but you're I would project my enthusiasm and
my passion onto people that I was interviewing to the
point that I would convince myself that they were perfect
for the role, and they I wasn't letting them convince
me of that, And I allowed people into the company
or agencies into the company that were not the right fit.

Speaker 2 (38:30):
But it was because I was so desperate.

Speaker 3 (38:32):
For you know, rounding out a skill like the skills
that I did not have, because I was aware of,
like some of the things that I didn't know or
that I needed, So I think that was one for me.
It was rushing hiring decisions, and now we've gotten much
better at that higher slow fire fast fire fast is
probably another one that I have had to learn over time.

(38:53):
I used to give people the benefit of the doubt
or try and justify X y Z. But I've really
that muscle to recognize when someone's not working out, and
if they're not working out, you've just got to follow
your gut and do it quickly.

Speaker 1 (39:07):
That's a topic we actually have not gotten into on
this show, so I'm really curious to talk a little
bit more about it. How long do you give them now?
What do the conversations look like.

Speaker 3 (39:17):
It's really challenging and has been one of the hardest
parts of business, the personal piece, especially as a woman.
What I've noticed is that the second you give negative
feedback to an agency, or you fire an agency, or
you fire a person, it pivots from professional to personal.
And it's not a personal conversation. Anyone that we hire.

(39:38):
We have a business need for hiring that person, and
I want them to succeed If it doesn't work out.
I think two things are true. One, we should be
able to give very I should be able to give
very direct feedback and criticism on work or whatever and
not be judged personally for it.

Speaker 2 (39:58):
That's more true.

Speaker 3 (39:59):
On the age of side. I've had a lot of
experiences where you know, older men will become very I
don't even know what word to you. They're too emotionally
to lead. Men are too emotional to lead.

Speaker 2 (40:09):
Unprofessional. Yeah, too emotional to lead. It's wild.

Speaker 3 (40:13):
It is actually very true. So I've dealt with that,
and you just develop thick skin. Like I just said,
now see it for what it is. And then in
terms of firing fast, Argent is an extension of me,
and I'm the most tuned in on the cultural piece.
So we are very much trying to hire people that
are a fit for our culture. We are collaborative, we

(40:33):
are supportive, there's no room for politics. And just as
a sound bite, like they're the first ten hires at
any startup, shape your culture.

Speaker 2 (40:44):
It is so important to what you're building. It is everything.
And then once someone starts, I'll start seeing things I
think I'm you know, it's either they're over delivering or
there might be some flags. It comes in at different points.
But the second I mean the second you realize that
it's not right, like you have the second you have
that thought, it's not going to change. It's only reinforced.

(41:08):
And so that's what I'm saying, Like from early days,
I would see those flags for years and not do
anything about it. And now I'll see I'll see a
flag and it's done the next day. Because the thing
that happens is that it sits with you, and time
is your most valuable resource. And I need to ensure

(41:29):
that not only for myself, but for the entire team,
that we're not distracted by someone that's not a fit,
and that we're not having to carry that load and
we're not getting caught up in the stresses that come
along with that. And so we'll make those decisions and
have those conversations very quickly.

Speaker 3 (41:46):
It's not something I'm an expert at. I would say
I think that we've done both ways. We've tried to
coach people, you know, and get them to a place
where it could work. We've never had success with that,
and so I think think that we have had people
come in that have areas of opportunity that work out
long term. But I don't think we've ever had the

(42:06):
sense of, oh, it's not the right fit. I think
it's just that, oh, there's some development that can happen here,
and there's some learning thing can happen here. When it's
not the right fit. It's a pretty cut and dry conversation,
and that's where it can really go off the deep
end personally, and I've experienced that a number of times.

Speaker 1 (42:23):
Yeah, it's so interesting. It's really interesting to hear you
talk through this. You know, the majority of my professional
career has been working in politics, and there's this sense
that I think because we are brought to the work
emotionally or not emotionally, but values based, it's a sort
of an extension. We're working on an extension of what
we believe in that it's so personal that there's also

(42:45):
the sense that you can't fire anybody. And I actually
think a big part of the dysfunction of politics is
that you can't fire people because it would be perceived
as rejecting them personally. And so I actually have like
no insight into how to run a corporate environment. And
my sister and I were sort of like coming up

(43:06):
at the same time, like She was very corporate and
I was working in politics, and she'd be like, Oh,
I had to fire someone again today, And I.

Speaker 2 (43:11):
Was like, you can't.

Speaker 4 (43:12):
Did they steal? Like did they murder your first board?
Like I thought that was the bar of firing somebody.
I just I had no sense of it. So I
see how it can actually be much healthier.

Speaker 3 (43:27):
It's necessary, and the best leaders, your sister is one
of them. The best leaders can do it, and they'll
do it quickly, and they'll do it unemotionally. It's pretty
cut and dry, and we just have to shield ourselves
as much as possible emotionally because I can recognize when
it's coming from someone's own baggage and it's not about me.

(43:51):
They're just sort of projecting onto me. But it's such
a bummer because you know, it's disappointing. Like I said,
we're hiring people that I like personally, and I've had
to let people go that I like a lot personally
but aren't the right fit for what we're building. And ultimately,
I'm a steward of Argent, and like, I have to
protect the company. That's my job and people have to
recognize that as well. And I have to protect the

(44:11):
people on the team that are delivering. I want to
also mention I think that it works out for both parties.
So I've seen people that do react really negatively, but
then they land on their feet elsewhere and somewhere that
is the right fit. So I don't think we are
for everyone. Like I don't think we're perfect either, and
I have learned from every instance where it hasn't worked
out because I'm definitely not perfect. I think we hold

(44:34):
women to such an impossibly high standard. With all of
that said, you just can't hold something like keep someone
that's not working, and you want to make sure that
you have perspective that where they land afterwards is going
to be a better fit for them.

Speaker 2 (44:52):
You know, it always works out. It totally okay.

Speaker 1 (44:55):
Well, this leads me into the team that you've built
as a whole, because that now also includes it's your husband.

Speaker 2 (45:01):
Have you considered firing him? Never?

Speaker 3 (45:04):
Oh my goodness, I'm like, please never leave us. I
was actually complimenting him this morning. We are opposites. We
took a personality test. This was something we took at
Cisco that I loved so much that we now do
it at Argent every year. And it's so good for
team building because we learned how we all like tick
and operate and communicate. And he and I took it
and we're like exact opposites, which I think I knew,

(45:27):
but to see it in black and white like that,
it was like pretty fun. But the beauty of it
is that I trust him completely and in our personal lives,
like he I know that he's going to take care
of things and do things and I don't even have
to think about it, and he doesn't stress about things
that I stress about, and vice versa. So like we're
just a really good balance. And for him to step

(45:49):
in professionally, that didn't happen until twenty nineteen. I launched
Argent in twenty sixteen. I started working at twenty fifteen.
I was looking for a mark. I was looking for
someone that has that CMO skill set, and I was
living with that person, but I was I was not
using Dave on the business because I needed an outlet,

(46:11):
and he was my outlet those first few years. And
so we got to this point where I'd been looking
for this role for a long time. I think it's
actually one of the hardest roles to fill, and he
slowly started taking you just slowly started like dipping his
toe and doing some of the work, and it was
obvious that he was the perfect fit.

Speaker 2 (46:29):
I mean, he has the perfect background.

Speaker 3 (46:31):
He has worked across electronic arts, Apple, Adidas, you know,
just McDonald's. He gets such a cool resume, such a
cool skill set, and yeah, he started in twenty nineteen
and it's been a wild ride because two kids have
also come, you know, along with that.

Speaker 2 (46:46):
But it's it's perfect.

Speaker 1 (46:48):
Do you guys have boundaries for keeping the professional and personal?
No boundaries perfect right now?

Speaker 3 (46:54):
If you need to know anything about mindfulness and like
taking care of yourself and boundaries, I'm not your gal.

Speaker 2 (47:02):
Okay, great, well I'm not either. I would even not
questions to ask. I think, I do think and people
talk about this.

Speaker 3 (47:09):
It becomes really fluid when you start something because it
is fun. Like what I'm doing is really fun. So stressful,
there's so many times we're like, oh, like you know,
you think about quitting, like that's just the name of
the game. But at the end of the day, like
I'm always thinking about urgent and that's the beautiful thing
about it. But I have flexibility that I can go
pick my kids up at four thirty or even I

(47:30):
can go, you know, do something random on a Friday.
So it's it works for us. It's all very blended.

Speaker 1 (47:39):
We're going to take a short break for some ads.
Now back to the show. When I looked at you know,
I look at your product of like suiting, work where office,
and I look at the timeline of starting in twenty sixteen,
I think I intellectually knew there must have been like
kind of a dip around COVID. But then I went

(48:00):
back to listen to interviews that you've done, and you
did a big podcast in twenty twenty, right before the
pandemic hit, and the punchline, like the kind of launching
pad of that podcast was we've never really you look
so uncomfortable right now. You've never really marketed, and we're
about to do a big marketing push.

Speaker 2 (48:21):
And I felt it.

Speaker 1 (48:24):
I was like, if she only knows what's coming, Oh yeah, okay,
so talk us through this.

Speaker 3 (48:30):
So I am a slow and methodical person, and I
think building a company in apparel takes about seven years
to strike it all right. So it's like you're iterating
on product, photography, visuals, team, all the things and we
were on a more accelerated path, but I was always
a little bit slower to market. We got to twenty

(48:52):
twenty and it was like it was a time where
everyone was like gang bust. I don't know if you
remember this, but early twenty twenty and he was doing
great the economy of striving like it was a good time.

Speaker 2 (49:02):
Honestly. I had a third baby in February of twenty twenty.
I don't remember much.

Speaker 3 (49:06):
Oh, okay, May twenty twenty, but anyway, we were just
all of our metrics they were excellent, like we were
ready and we were going. And then eight and a
half months pregnant, March thirteenth, and the world shuts down
and everyone was writing emails like in two weeks we'll reopen,
and Dave and I had to have some really hard
conversations because I was thinking I was going on maternity

(49:27):
when I'm going to have like a proper break because
we had a nice team in place, and instead it
was like what's about to happen and how aggressive do
we want to be with it?

Speaker 2 (49:37):
And it ranged from.

Speaker 3 (49:39):
Do we quit to do we furlough the team, layoff
some team members, get out of all of our leases,
we had four stores at the time in an office,
and we went with that option, with the choice of
trying to survive and just gut it out, and it
ended up really working on our favor because we made

(50:02):
that choice when no one else saw what was coming,
and so it gave us a two week head start
and we got out of our leases, which allowed us
to survive. Then had a baby, which was actually a
nice escape because I had had like I had a
proper leave, but I mean a lot to unpack there
as well, because it was just the two of us
and two kids and just no help.

Speaker 1 (50:22):
I'm also feeling super stressed out for you that a
newborn baby felt like a nice stressless release for you,
Like I'm concerned for your mental health care.

Speaker 2 (50:30):
That's the right take a look.

Speaker 3 (50:32):
But it gave me, like some joy at a time
that was so tough and brutal. And I got a
text from an investor I'll never forget there's an article
from CNN that said work where is dead forever and
she said we should talk. And I just didn't throw
on my phone, but I certainly could have. I was
so angry because it was so inconsiderate, like it lacked

(50:54):
such empathy for something that I've been building for such
a long time that I'd put my blood, sweat and
tears into Fast forward to now that person's like my
best friend and reposting and sharing and anyway love her.
But it was stuff like that where it was like,
I'm so focused and locked in right now on surviving
and how we're going to get there. We ended up

(51:16):
running a campaign in October of twenty twenty that made
our year in one day, the super Majority campaign, the
Hot Pigsuits. It went viral, billions of impressions. At the
height of the pandemic, we sold out of a hot pigsuit.
It was bananas. And behind the scenes, I'm walking around
with like a sleeping baby, you know, on my front,

(51:36):
and Dave's playing with a toddler somewhere, and it's like
the two of us really running this like massive campaign,
and that gave us, I think, some pep in our step,
and you know, fast forward to twenty twenty one. We
started seeing the return to certain industries, so we kind
of dressed women that were working at the White House throughout.
We then see, you know, some lawyers around that start

(51:58):
to return, and we just started seeing parts of the
country start to return. And so the beauty of COVID
is it it allowed us to step back and really
really restrategize on everything, and take all of our key
early learnings and apply them all at the same time
and just come out swinging. So in the fall of

(52:19):
twenty twenty two, I bet the farm on the return
to the category delayed consumerism. Women are going back to
the office. They haven't shopped for this in a long time.
Bodies have changed. The list is long, and that proved
to be true. And on the heels of that, I've then,
you know, raised some money and the rest is really

(52:40):
I mean, now we're just scaling and we've been trying
to catch up with demand and we're finally in a
position where I feel like we're slightly ahead of it.
And it's been so fun and it's been the opposite
experience of what COVID has and we're executing in a
different place and the competitive landscapes wiped out. There's a
lot of upside in COVID for us, but I'm sure
there's still a lot of trauma for me to unpackage.

Speaker 2 (52:59):
I'n't dealt with, you know, someday will.

Speaker 1 (53:01):
All of us that time at home with the kids. Yes, really,
so where do you think you're going?

Speaker 3 (53:08):
So the vision of Argent is to provide tools and
resources to women to allow them to optimally navigate their career,
to remove barriers for women. And I think that for us,
our goal is to be the work where authority but
also to really own the office because nobody does. And

(53:28):
it's the thing that excites me the most in the
world learning women's stories, connecting them, bringing men into the
conversation in a meaningful and significant way. And so I
think for me, I want Argent to be synonymous with
working women, I mean just incredible women and reframing how
we think about what society looks like and having women

(53:49):
represented at all levels, and also reshaping how we talk
about moms because that's the hardest job in the world,
and so how do we establish some form of flexility
that supports them in those dark early days you know
that can be really demanding, and then also allows them
to put mom on their resume and then go back
into the workforce and speak with authority to the skill

(54:10):
set that they've taken from being a mom.

Speaker 2 (54:13):
Yeah, I feel very strongly about that.

Speaker 1 (54:15):
What is one thing that you look back and at
the time you thought, oh my god, this is the
worst thing that's ever happened to me. I'm not going
to make it out of this, and now in retrospect,
you see it as having really positioned you to where
you are now.

Speaker 2 (54:26):
I mean, COVID.

Speaker 3 (54:27):
I hate to answer with COVID since we just talked
about it, but in what scenario was I thinking, Oh wow?
And then there'll be that day where nobody goes to
an office, So you're like constantly assessing risk and you've
got your risk mitigation plan, whether it's formal or informal.
But my job is to ensure that no decision is fatal,
and so I'm always like hedging our bets. And so

(54:50):
I think the second it was obvious that women weren't
going to be going back into offices and who knew
when they'd be returning was a.

Speaker 2 (54:56):
Pretty like a fuck moment.

Speaker 3 (54:58):
And then getting past that, I mean, just the entire
that's a very stark example that does not happen for everyone,
but that exists in everyone's journey. There are moments where
you're like I just need to go watch Netflix, or
like I just don't want to fight through this. This
is so it's such a hard it's such a hard thing.

Speaker 2 (55:16):
It's impossible to articulate.

Speaker 3 (55:17):
And there are just those days or those weeks where
everything seems to be no everything like you just everything's
going against you, and you kind of learn how to
like navigate that over time and just allow it to
happen and just sort of take a back seat when
you need to, and then when things are going your
way to lean in all you know completely.

Speaker 2 (55:36):
But it really all.

Speaker 3 (55:37):
Goes back to the fact that Argent has to exist, period,
and I'll do anything to make that happen. And because
I feel that way, there's really like nothing that I'll
allow to take us out of the game.

Speaker 2 (55:46):
I believe it. I believe it. Well, thank you, Sally,
thanks for having me. This is so fun, so fun.

Speaker 1 (55:55):
Sally is still building her Powersuit empire and lives in
New York with her family. Be sure to shop all
the amazing Argent suits at argentwork dot com. Thanks for
listening to this candid convo episode of she Pivots. Check
back in weekly for more conversations with inspiring women. To
learn more about our guests, follow us on Instagram at

(56:17):
she Pivots. The podcast. Leave us a rating and comment
if you enjoyed this episode to help others learn about it.
Talk to you next week, Hey listeners, Before we close
out this episode, I just wanted to pop in and
let you know that, on top of having the pleasure
of interviewing Sally, I'm also a proud investor in Argent.

Speaker 2 (56:35):
As I interview and meet people through.

Speaker 5 (56:37):
She Pivots, I've been lucky enough to get involved with
a few of our guests and their brands, and Sally
and Argent being one of them. I'm so proud that
I'm able to invest in these incredible women own brands,
and I'm excited to continue to do my small part
in helping these women embrace their pivots. It's all for now,
Talk to you next week. Special thanks to the She
Pivots team, Executive producer Emily Edaveelosi, Associate producer and social

(57:01):
media connoisseur Hannah Cousins, Research director Christine Dickinson, Events and
logistics coordinator Madeline Sonovic, and audio editor and mixer Nina Pollock.

Speaker 1 (57:12):
I endorse Cheap Presents
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