On November 17th I spoke with the members of the Princeton Company of Female Founders Club at the Techstars office in New York City. The members were from all class years and majors. They wanted to talk about my experience starting The Clear Cut, fundraising, scaling, and more. Some of the members have even started companies themselves – like Madelynn Prendergast who founded an energy bar company, Ketnu Foods. Others, like Ayushi Sinha, co-founded a clean water and electricity system, WellPower. They wanted to know the ins and outs of being a female founder a few years out of college. They asked incredible questions that ranged from dealing with failure, to scaling, to design advice. I remember being in their shoes – discovering my passions and wondering if I could make something of my own.
My path was certainly not linear – and I don’t think any entrepreneur’s path is either. I knew I loved jewelry since it runs in my blood. I’m 4th generation jeweler, but I thought I would try something different. At NYU, I studied Media, Culture, and Communications because it really interested me. I found internships during the summers in the fashion industry. Eventually, I felt a pull towards jewelry. I studied at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and joined Tiffany’s engagement ring floor. That’s when I started helping my friends with their engagement rings and realized I could turn my passion into a business.
This was my biggest piece of advice: focus on developing your passions. I worried a lot about if my major was the right one for me. In retrospect, following what interested me was ultimately what led me to The Clear Cut. I told them that your major does not put you in a box for the rest of your life. I still learn new skills every day and that is an important mindset to have if you want to start a company.
My advice for young women who want to start a company: follow your passions, become an expert and seek opportunities that align with your passions. Ask for advice from people who have been in your shoes. I cannot wait to see where you go!
This trip was organized by Daniella Cohen and Madeline Cheyette -- thank you!