Fashion

Be Bolder™: Q+A With Alexandra Dow & Grace Wheeler - Founders Of Poize Workwear

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. The Marie Hunter Modern Muse is a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

Today we’re featuring Alexandra Dow and Grace Wheeler, Founders of Poize Workwear. Poize Workwear is an online, one-stop-marketplace that aims to empower young women as they increasingly enter the corporate workforce. Poize’s macro level vision is to create a community surrounding women’s empowerment within professional industries. Through fashion, Poize highlight’s femininity as an attribute to leadership. “We provide this community with highly curated workwear pieces that are stylish, sophisticated and professional. We want to get rid of boxy, ill-fitting pant suits and replace them with pieces that merge the strength of feminism with the elegance of femininity.” I had the opportunity to ask Alexandra 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

Q+A with MH Modern Muses Alexandra Dow and Grace Wheeler

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Q: What was the defining moment that made you want to launch Poize Workwear?

A: Before starting Poize Workwear co-founder, Grace, was pursuing a career in corporate law. After interning as a Commercial Property Intern, she realized she struggled to find appropriate and trendy workwear. She used this struggle as her inspiration to start Poize. 

When Grace explained the concept to Alexandra, she was immediately hooked. The problem resonated with her on a personal level and she could see a clear future for the brand and company. Many pivots have happened along the way but the mission -- to empower women within corporate industries by highlighting femininity, through fashion, as an attribute to leadership -- has always remained the same. 

Q: How did you conquer fear when building your brand?

A: There is always risk associated with starting a new company but we are so convinced that we are solving a major issue for our customers that we just couldn't ignore it. 

We have found that research and talking to people is the best way to conquer any startup related fear! Before even launching our first products, we polled, surveyed and interviewed 532 women in our customer demographic. 100% of these women found shopping for suitable workwear challenging in some way or another. This gave us the answer that every entrepreneur wants to hear, that yes, our company IS solving a problem. Knowing that we are helping women feel comfortable in their femininity, along with supporting them in being confident leaders, is enough to allow us to push all fears aside and move forward with determination.

Q: How do you deal with resistance from those who do not share your vision?

A: People say that once you start receiving criticism, you're beginning to reach a broader audience that goes beyond your supporters, that's when you know you’re making an impact on a larger scale. The most significant resistance we get comes from people not understanding that our vision for Poize goes beyond retail. Retail is a crowded space but companies who focus on a strong social missions are limited. People, especially young women, really resonate with our idea and often have their own anecdotes regarding their workwear and workplace struggles. 

Q: What is your personal mantra?

A: Show up & work hard, even if no one applauds you for it -- It always always pays off! 

Q: What do you love most about Marie Hunter Beauty?

A: First and foremost we love that Marie Hunter Beauty is a female founded business and we are proud to stand alongside this brand in the Female Founder Collective. We believe our missions align well and we admire MHB’s vision to “Boldy empower women with beauty, confidence and class.” 

This all goes without saying that we are totally in love with their fantastically colorful and endlessly creative lip colors and names! 

Alexandra Dow - Co-Founder of Poize Workwear

Alexandra Dow - Co-Founder of Poize Workwear

Grace Wheeler - Co-Founder of Poize Workwear

Grace Wheeler - Co-Founder of Poize Workwear

Alexandra and Grace are redefining the women’s workwear industry and I’m here for it! Their modern approach to curating stylish workwear for the professional woman makes Poize unique and for that Alexandra and Grace are MH Modern Muses. Follow Poize on Instagram @poizeworkwear and Facebook @poize.workwear. You can shop Poize Workwear here and check out their blog and Pinterest @poizeworkwear for more inspiration! Got LinkedIn? Follow their company page to stay up to date with Poize Workwear.

Be Bolder™: Q+A With Jasmene Bowdry - Founder of SHIFT StyleHouse

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. The Marie Hunter Modern Muse is a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

Today we’re featuring Jasmene Bowdry, Founder of SHIFT StyleHouse and The Boutique Teacher. I met Jasmene through the Facebook Group “Build, Brand + Launch with Arsha Jones”. We later connected as Facebook friends and I have been enjoying watching her growth from leaving her corporate job to pursue her dreams full time to rebranding her business from Bella Rosa Boutique to what is now SHIFT StyleHouse. What attracted me most to Jasmene is her drive and willingness to help other women thrive. In a world where women feel the need to compete she’s all about collaboration over competition and that I can relate to! I had the opportunity to ask Jasmene 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

Q+A with MH Modern Muse Jasmene Bowdry

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Q: As a former retail buyer for large corporations, what was the defining moment that made you want to launch SHIFT StyleHouse and The Boutique Teacher? 

A: Probably my 8th year working in corporate I just really started to think of what I could create with the knowledge and experience I had. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in my role and wanted to build something of my own. I started to see all of these “boutiques” pop up online and began to research and saw that it wasn’t as difficult as I had thought. Don’t get me wrong it’s definitely hard work, but my thought process was hell if they can do it, so can I. For The Boutique Teacher I wanted to create a platform that really helped aspiring boutique owners. Even though I worked in fashion and knew most things, there was still a lot I had to figure out on my own. I bought courses and e-books and they didn’t teach me a thing. I didn’t want anyone else making that same mistake. 

Q: Who are 3 people that inspire you and why? 

A:

1. Beyoncé. She’s grown so much and to see and watch her growth to becoming the confident hard working boss chick she is today is so inspiring. Her Netflix movie lit a fire under my butt! I inspire to have that level of dedication when it comes to my craft. 

2. My mommy. Her level of sacrifice and compassion is something I am truly inspired by. As a single mother she made sure I had everything I needed. 

3. All the women currently fighting for their dreams. I follow so many amazing women who are trailblazers. So many women who don’t get the recognition they deserve because they may not have hundreds of thousands of followers, but they are hustling every damn day to make their dreams come true. I am inspired by them. 

Q: What advice would you have for a female entrepreneur ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship?

A: I would ask can you do this without a cheerleader? Meaning everyone isn’t going to clap for you and celebrate your wins. Many times you have to clap for yourself. So make sure you’re the type of person that doesn’t need a cheer team to. Do you know your WHY? Your why is what will keep you going when it gets tough. Lastly, understand that you won’t know everything. Nothing will be perfect and don’t wait until it’s perfect. If you’re working a corporate job, use that to fund your business. 

Q: What is your personal mantra?

A: A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there. This reminds me to always take risks and do things I’m uncomfortable with in order to achieve the success that I want. 

Q: What do you love most about Marie Hunter Beauty?

A: I love the innovation of the brand and challenging women to be bold in their beauty! 

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Beyoncé has definitely been a whole MOOD lately. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch Homecoming on Netflix you should definitely carve 2 hours out of your day to do so. Jasmene’s drive, passion and fearlessness is admirable and for that she is a MH Modern Muse. Follow Jasmene on Instagram @shiftstylehouse and Facebook @theboutiqueteacher. You can shop SHIFT StyleHouse here.