August Member Host: Nellie Stokeld
Signature Cocktail: La Croix all day.
Tea or Coffee? Coffee
I collect… houseplants
Favorite City? New York! That’s why I moved here! For travel, Hanoi, Vietnam & Tulum, Mexico
Style Icon? Annie Hall
Bloom of choice? Ranunculus! They’re like a peony & a rose in one!
Favorite Season? Fall . Scarves really do it for me.
I'm lusting after... a down jacket for my first New York winter
Most prized possession? My experience
Lady Crush? Issa Rae of the show Insecure. She’s hilarious and blends vulnerability & strength in a really interesting way.
On weekends, I… read a lot and meet up with friends to eat!
What's your background- career, where you grew up, school? I grew up in northern California, where my dad (who is an English eccentric) and mom owned a pub where they would put on amateur dinner theater in which they acted (to my embarrassment). I learned about the life of entrepreneurs being 24/7 but also very joyful and I wanted to recreate that in my own career. I studied anthropology in college, lived in Brazil for a year, and settled in Oakland to work for a nonprofit that helped women start businesses. I worked days connecting women to resources and at night took the class we offered, wrote my own business plan and started doing pop ups at local restaurants selling English meat pies from my family’s recipe book. I did that for five years, made every mistake imaginable, learned an amazing amount and having a lot of fun. But New York was on my brain, it’s just the most fantastic city, so I came to the conclusion that rather than lay roots to make an empire out of meat pies, I would sell off all my possessions and move to New York.
What's your biggest success so far?
Being on a motorcycle tour of the Ho Chi Minh trail in Vietnam while my business was making me money in CA was pretty cool.
What's your favorite thing about being a Lady Project member?
Connection to a purpose I believe in. Women have innate abilities that are powerful and necessary in the world more than ever and we can do so much if we have connection to one another.
What is the biggest challenge in your industry?
Currently between industries! But I’m learning about starting a startup in the apparel industry and it’s an entirely new world. It’s exciting and daunting so I’m always looking to meet people who’ve done it before.
What advice would you give to a business owner starting out in your industry that you wish you would have known going in?
For the food industry….loving to bake or cook is a great start to wanting to own a business but there is so much more to it than just that part! Figure out how to do the aspects of the business you love and hire others who can do the rest for you. I spent too long trying to do everything and when I finally made hires that could take on other aspects of the business I had so much more mental space to think big picture!
Is your business involved with any community groups?
My startup apparel company is growing thanks to the Brooklyn public library system (books are everything!), classes at General Assembly, Maker’s Row online network, and obviously, NYC Lady Project. Always on the lookout for more.