Stella Grizont is the Managing Director of Ladies Who Launch in New York City and New Jersey along with her partner, Karla Lightfoot. Ladies Who Launch is a new media company that provides resources and connections for women entrepreneurs, with the aim of making entrepreneurship accessible to any woman with a project, dream or aspiration to start her own business and be successful.
Stella also runs her own brand consultancy, and is an early contributor to new-breed communication agency, Living Breathing, where she consults for clients such as Nintendo, NBC, Four Seasons, Sotheby’s, and McGraw-Hill.
Stella Grizont, 29, New York City.
What is your profession?
Entrepreneur and speaker, working toward positively influencing women. Managing Director of Ladies Who Launch in New York City and New Jersey, along with my partner, Karla Lightfoot.
What did you study in school and what degrees do you have?
What was your first job?
I grew up behind the counter of my parents’ optical store. Once I learned to read–I guess I was about seven–I negotiated a job for myself. For the bargain price of $2 a day, I offered to organize my parents’ files and clean glasses. At the age of twelve I was an official sales person. It took off from there.
Who or what inspired you to break into your current line of work?
Seeing women living their dream inspired me. I love the process of transforming possibilities into realities.
Name/describe what has been your most rewarding project so far?
The Dream It! Launch it! Live it! Conference. We’re in the midst of producing it right now. We’re bringing together some of my personal heroes including 500 women in an intimate forum to share, connect, learn, and grow from and with one another. We’re bringing in tons of media to publicize these small businesses and women on a mission. I’m excited.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has helped your career?
Since women make over 85% of all purchase decisions, I’d say being a woman and being a marketer work nicely together.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has hindered your career?
Thankfully I don’t have anything to report. I owe that to all the women that came before me. Now it’s up to my generation to take it to the next level. It’s not all equal, it’s not all easy, but we’re in a position to change the rules of the game instead of having to change ourselves to play a man’s game.
Who is your role model or mentor (alive or dead)?
I have many because there are many parts of me. My mom models strength and unconditional love. My grandma models good cooking. My sister models affection. My friend, Jessica Alpert, models connection. Elizabeth Lesser models growth. Dee Dee Myers models power. Lori Hoberman models negotiation. I can go on. The truth is that I see greatness in everyone. And that inspires me to grow.
If you could give one piece of advice to a woman starting out in your field, what would it be?
Make yourself happy first. Do what feels right in your heart, gut, or wherever else you receive your truth. This is the biggest service you can do for the world and for yourself. Women have a tremendously challenging time turning off the “pleaser/perfectionist” instinct. Which is a beautiful thing to have. But we need to remember ourselves. Make yourself STRONG first, and then, well, then, watch out, world.
– Interview by Haley Hogan