#12 Fran Dunaway
What Fuels You

Full episode transcript -


Hi. This is Shana, the CEO and founder of Fuel Talent. One of the things I have loved most in my 25 year recruiting career has always been the stories that people tell stories of leadership, career choices, company ideas and team building. My inspiration for starting the wet fuels you podcast came from being curious about people's lives and wanting to help share their stories. What path brought them to this place? What decisions did they make that led to failures and successes, who influenced those decisions and what lessons were learned along the way? I hope you enjoy the what fuels your podcast brand. Dunaway is today's guests on What Fuels You. Fran refers to herself as an accidental entrepreneur. Formally, having worked in human service is as a video producer, an activist. She's now the CEO of Tomboy ex,

creating underwear for all people of all sizes and genders, which she founded and runs with her wife, Naomi. Through her business and her life, she's teaching people to be comfortable in their own skin and unapologetically themselves. Welcome, Fran. Thank you. You're welcome. Thanks for being here. So we're gonna start with rapid fire. You ready Yeah. Okay. What's your favorite podcast?


Gosh, um, lately, you know, it depends on the day I love to listen to loose threads. Ritch Ritchie Siegel, out in New York has a great podcast that's been really helpful because he brings in founders of retail e commerce companies. And I always ah, learn a lot. Get a lot of tidbits.


Love that duper for black or wait black. Me too. What's your favorite season? Spring. It was your cocktail order.


Ah, dry vodka martini dirty.


Um, who has been the biggest inspiration professionally in your life?


Oh, probably one of our adviser mentors who has been with us now for about Oh, gosh. Coming on four years, I think. And, uh, her name is Deborah Benton. She's based in l. A. And she's just been incredible.


I love it. What's your biggest pet peeve?


My biggest pet peeve is ah, not getting to the point.


People who take too long this house in the same way. Favorite film director.


Oh, gosh. 1st 1 that comes to mind is vim venders. But that's ah dating me a bit.


Like whose fan vendors I'm gonna look it up now. Um, best vacation spot. Rome, Italy. Nice 11. So, in this podcast, I'm really just curious to get to know people better. I feel like I get thio meet interesting people. You're one of them, and I'm super thrilled that you're here. So tell me, um, let's start from the beginning. Where you from? Where we raised


Well, I was born in Mobile, Alabama. My people are still in the deep south. I was an army brat. My dad was in the military and we traveled extensively. I went to 13 or lived in 13 different houses before I graduated from high school. Well,


yeah, in different houses and 13 different geography. He's ended


up being in various parts of Missouri from sixth grade through graduate school. So But you had different homes.


This is so interesting. And how has that shaped you?


You know, I'm pretty adaptable. I can pretty much talk to anyone and feel really comfortable because of my work in the, you know, growing up in the military. I think that Ah, I'm not very deferential to authority. And my dad told me pretty early on. Friend, don't even think about joining the army. You're not fit for it. and hey, meant in terms of my attitude. Of course. My brother became an army ranger, so and very, very different ways of


adapting. So you said brother is here. Only sibling? Yes. And where are you in birth Order. He's three years younger, three years younger. You kind of the the mama bear big sister with


him? No, but I've been a boss since I was about five. So, um or maybe it came out of the womb that way, but


Ah, yeah. Say that you and your parents Are they still married?


They are. They have their 60th wedding anniversary


in two weeks. Wow, That's incredible. Yeah, that's amazing. So they're healthy. They're married. It was What type of childhood would you say? So the Army brat part put you in a position to Obviously your mom probably wasn't working. She


actually was. Her story is really pretty interesting. She came from a very small town in Mississippi, Shady Grove, Mississippi, And, ah, did I think attended, like, home at college. You know, there weren't many options for women in Mississippi at the time. And then when I was in ah junior High School in Kansas City, she was working as an Edmund, our secretary. I think it was called for a stock brokerage firm and she decided that she wanted to become a stockbroker. So she worked really hard and became a stockbroker's. I'd say middle school through high school is a latchkey kid. Um, because she was working full time and my dad was working full time Well, and she just grabbed a bull by the horns and made


things happen. And would you say that that influence, dude, that you could do it? Or would you have done this anyway, then? This driven entrepreneur, I


think, rebelled against her for a while. But I certainly recognize that I have a lot of her traits. Ah, the traits that ah make her, you know, stick to things and just kind of pick up and go. They're both very adventurous people. Ah, they just moved back into their home that they rebuilt after Katrina. They lost everything to Hurricane Katrina, Didn't realize that they came up here for a while. They were in Seattle for about eight months. And then I, um, moved back down to Florida and yeah, a couple years ago,

my mother had had Ah, bad accident and had shattered her ankle. And I was in the hospital with her and said, You know what? What do you guys, Future plans? What do you want to do? And she's like, I want to go home. So I was like, All right, here we go. We're gonna rebuild


a house that isn't interested in the stage


of life. So it 82 removed. Interesting home. We just were down there last month and helped him


move. And are their values that they raised you with that are clearly kind of being brought into tomboy ax? At this point, I think that I think that we have


very differing political views. Um, I think that they're very, incredibly proud of what we've accomplished. And they did write the first check


I didn't realize. Yeah, Yeah.


We were estranged for quite some time. They weren't thrilled with my sexuality.


When did you know


them? I was 21.


Oh, later. I guess. I mean, not later, but I know that I don't know what nowadays


about it. I feel like I've wasted a lot of years.


Well, nowadays kids here, like I'm gay like a level I know. Yeah. It's an unbelievably different time. Yeah, I think I knew internally that I was. But well, all of my friends who are gay said that they knew what they all say the same age. And they're saying, like, 67 huh. Not even, like 17. Like, Yeah,


yeah, yeah, definitely. Middle school. I started having dreams when


I was in middle school. Yeah, and so when you told them is at a moment in your life that you remember the exact moment.


Oh, I remembered very well. Yeah, very well. And, uh, yeah, they didn't take it well. And fortunately, I had an opportunity to kind of, ah, grab my bags and leave a few hours later. And ah, took often. Yeah, it took a long it actually took until Hurricane Katrina Toa kind


of get us. That's how long. The size. Yeah. Yeah. And is that being from the South thing or conservative religious like, what are there? Oh,


no, it wasn't religious. I think it was appearances I


thought appear in keeping up appearances to their friends.


Yeah, because you know, he was a military. He was ah, officer. And they had come from you know meager means. And I think they had, um, kind of some ideas about presentation. Yeah. And, uh, and my dad's on the real pleaser.


Yeah. Yeah. Common. I'm glad that things have come. Yeah. No, it is grateful. Circum. Sure, you've done a lot of work to try to work through that. That would be really painful. You can imagine. And so paint a picture for me of Fran, the middle school girl. Were you confident, or did your sexuality and confusion around that inform your personality a little bit? I think


some of both. Um I remember I used to right chapter books and ah, in ah, pass them around to my friends So in the spiral notebooks and would write different chapters and ah, and also played sports. And what sports? I played softball myself. I'd play, um, through college and fast bitch, But, um of played volleyball.


And were you a good student?


I was I was It was fairly easy for me. Thio I didn't have to work too hard.


Yeah, um and was that a value in your home? Yeah. Yeah. And And the next generation doing better than the previous one?


Yeah. Absolutely. I mean Ah, I think there were was financial incentives involved, as I recall. And I was really independent. Um, fiercely independent from a pretty early


age, I learned something needed to be. Yeah. Yeah,


exactly. I mean, we were Well, we live for about four years out and, uh, farmhouse out outside of Platte City, Missouri, and I learned to drive when I was 12. And, um, I used to drive this little Volkswagen around, and when I was a great story with kind of show you how my parents were in what I was like. But at 14 I was still borrowing the car, and my dad had bought this 1953 Ford pickup and painted it fire engine red. And I loaded it up with a bunch of friends and we took off down the street in the neighbor sauce and reported us to my parents. And


so the same thing happened to my brother. Is that right? He was on Mercer Island. Oh, my God. Oh, God. Yeah. Yeah, Exactly. So in the neighborhood they said


they did in my parent's summit. Was too. It was Ah ah. Week before my 15th birthday and in Missouri had to be 16 drive legally. And so, um, I was grounded, of course, for two weeks, and on my birthday I was presented to envelopes. And then the first envelope was a contract saying that I would not borrow the car anymore without their permission. Which, of course, they wouldn't give me on. And then the 2nd 1 was once I signed that, Then I opened the 2nd 1 It was tickets to Mississippi, which is where my grandfather lived in the legal driving age at that time was 15 0 So I flew to Mississippi and got my driver's license


at 15. So


they don't have to put up with me borrowing the car


for another year. But that's actually cool. Yeah, it was great. I mean, that does tell a lot about your Yes. And so you went to the University of Missouri? Yes, right. Did I say it right? Missouri? Yeah. Missouri, Missouri, Missouri. How did you choose that school and your major?


While I was in, I was in Ah, Platte City, Missouri, for high school. My parents sold some strings. They My dad was transferred. He actually did my senior year. He was in Iran and ah, and I put my foot down and said I was not moving in high school. So they bought a little piece of property so that I could stay in the district. And then I commuted. I drove from Kansas City up to Platte City, Missouri, in order to stay in the same school. So it was already in Missouri. My dad came back from Iran and got a gig in Ah,

in Fort Leonard Wood. He was, ah, commander in Fort Leonard Wood. And there was a ah, University of Missouri Rahl. A was down there nearby, and so he wanted me to come in and stay. I I had moved out my senior year of high school. Um, my mother and I didn't get along very well. And so he had come back, um, and wanted me to live with them because he was back. And so I tried that for six months. And the so the school down the road was Rolla. So I lived at home for six months and then


moved. And how did you choose to study? I owe psychology. That was not It was master's


of ah, education,


right? Yeah, And what about your undergraduate degree?


Um oh, my undergraduate degree. Yeah, yeah. Um, you know, it was it was an engineering school and a math wasn't ah, one of my greatest skills or passions. And so I chose the psychology track. I think partly because I was trying to figure out what who I was and what I was doing and then was fortunate There was no graduate program in, um, psychology there. And so I was able to work as, ah, assistant to, like, the professors in the psychology department started with that. It was a sophomore.


Did you think he wanted to pursue that? Yes


and no. I ended up working in group homes and working with disabled people. Um, I


How did that come to be? I would love here, and that's as a recruiter. Yeah, right. So I just love hearing people's traces along


the way. Well, I graduated from college and I came out about the same time. And so then I moved to Columbia, Missouri, And


you have a girlfriend? Is that what kind of Yeah,


Horst, the Yeah, Yeah. Hang out there. They're Yeah. I mean, I I had a pretty good notion and I was having a hard time. And so a friend of mine, um, took me aside and kind of asked me what was going on. And I told her how I was feeling. And turns out, um, she had experience, and it's the show me state. So


you see, the first person


that you told? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the first person I was with. So yeah, yeah, and I'd gone to


high school with you Didn't


know her, and not weary note. It was Yeah, sure, experimentation. And when I say it was like and then that was like, everything came


into focus. That is a big deal. Yeah. Yeah. Felt probably £20 later. At the end of that year. Yeah, it was It was


pretty intense. Ah,


yeah, it was hard, e think, cause I was raised here Like I when I hear things about racism, anti Semitism or anti gay anything. I'm Mike, Huh? Why do you care, right? Like, just live your life, do your thing. It's like what people do in their own lives and their own homes. They're all good people. Exactly in that,


I think was one of the hardest things for me was because when I came out to myself, I was just blown away at how everything came into sharp focus and all of these doors open. And all of this stuff that had been kind of lurking in the back of my mind came into focus. And so I was excited. And, um, I quickly realized that Ah, there were not very many people that shared that excitement with me.


So I did read about you that there's a book that you read called Ruby Fruit Jungle. That kind of changed your life. What's the book about


Ruby Fruit? Jungle was written, written by Rita Mae Brown, and she was an out lesbian in the seventies. She actually dated Martina Navratilova for awhile. 11 murder? Yeah, and, ah, she wrote these amazing books and I think more than anything, it's just being able to see ah, read about people like me. And so it was just this a shared experience? Exactly. Yeah, And it was stories. And she just writes with such wit.

Ah, she also wrote one six of 1/2 a dozen of another that had made you know, laughing out loud. I can't believe I remember that was a long time ago and, uh so it's more about being seen. And I think that that's kind of relates back to the Tomboy X brand, which is what's really important is that to be seen and heard, and it's just like if you don't see yourself in the media or anywhere. And so to find out that there were more people like me was a real epiphany, and I was excited about it, But yeah, it was.


It was cool. I love that. Why did send it to my friend? So I'll let you know. I think it's a good it'll be helpful for her daughter. Okay, so then walk me through the next things that you graduate him out. Then then what?


I went back to college and I took a year off, and that's when I started working in group homes, and it was just Ah ah, job that paid a pretty good boy.


Joey's off more of a job. Less of a career. Yes, yeah, absolutely. And then you were like, Now I need to feel passionate school. Well, no,


because the interesting thing about the group home work was the first day I went, I was absolutely terrified. And I went home and said, I can't go back There was terrified of these Children and because they were, you know, at the time was


called behavior was all special needs. Yeah, behaviorally disordered. That's higher. Yeah, it


was the scariest thing I've ever done. And so I went home and thought, I can't go back. And then I said, Don't. That's why I have to I have to go back. And the biggest thing I learned at that was that I think I went into it. A lot of people go into it thinking you're gonna give. And I got so much more than I gave him. And so it was an incredible learning experience. And, um, I ended up managing group homes in kind of specializing in that and found a niche there and girlfriend and I moved out to We came out to the northwest for vacation. We met at the at the group homes and we work together. And then we came out here. She had finished a buffet in Ah, Missouri.

And so I brought you to Seattle mountains and water. Actually, it was Vancouver Island. We came up and went camping, and I was like, Oh, my God, mountains and water together Let's do this. So moved out here, packed up the little Toyota pickup in January in 1987 and drove out here. And I was not going to do group homes and ah, and ended up being, ah, swayed back into it because of incredible opportunity. And I ended up being executive director of this agency. So what, 25? I was doing that. And then, at 35 I decided to sell everything and go to film school.


And what? Ah inspired that decision.


It's coming back from vacation in Hawaii and was tired of the bureaucracy of what we're doing. And what I found was that, like a project, I'd like to start something. Get it going. And so with the group homes, you know, I had, like, 40 employees and 60 clients and and plus, I ended up I was working for a Christian agency and I was out, and so we both we all had to learn, you know, I came to respect them, and I think they came to respect me in a different way. And so ah, But it wasn't my place that they weren't my people.

And I needed to hand it back to the people That should be, which were people within their covenant. It's the dust reform community up in Linden Washington. So and I just knew that I wanted to do something different that would allow me to be more creative. And so I went to film school with a bunch of people who wanted to be directors. And I didn't want to be a director on it to be producer. And so did that. And then, um, graduated and ah started doing documentaries and, ah, working on futures.


And what were the documentary is about? My 1st


1 was about kids with autism. So yeah, I kind of blended


that. Even with all of your worlds together. Yeah, that's great.


And then, um, what started doing seasonal work for, uh, Democratic campaigns, politicians here in Seattle and then ended up being a partner in that firm and, uh, producing political ads and ran production for D. C and Seattle office.


That's awesome. About 15 years. Yeah, that's awesome. And so is the way that I remember this Correct in that you were looking for a comfortable clothes for someone like you and Naomi suggested, like, enough is enough. Let's just start kind of producing these clothes.


She said, how hard can it be to start a clothing company? And off we


went. And at what point? When did you meet? Now? Me.


So I met Naomi of the president of the firm I was working for. Ah, is ah, wonderful woman who lives in D. C. And I used to stay at her house with her wife and triplets and watch their animals when they were gone. And so name. We had just moved to D. C. And, um, Don said you guys should should hang out. No, it was a No, no, not at all. And,

uh, families a few years younger than me. So it never dawned on me. I just thought she was, you know, nice and cute and that kind of thing. But I just never went there. She she Did


she go now? Yeah, she put


it out there. She put it


out there. But we were friends


for a year. Um, so every time I come to D C, we go to museums and hang out and go to dinner. We both are foodies, and we just I mean, when we first met, we were, like, both going the same


flu bog shoes and lucky jeans. So it's kind of like, Oh, hey, like many exactly, Exactly. You don't have the curly hair. Yeah. So you and so she put it out there. And did you have Ah, that feeling of like, Whoa, Why didn't I think of this? Like, now it She, uh,


made the first moves, and


then I thought, Oh, that


was fun night. And then, you know, I was on my way.


And then you were living in Seattle.


Yeah, I was in Seattle where we met up, and that happened was at an art gallery opening in l. A. So, Yeah, I was going through some medical stuff. And so I was just kind of like, heads down and I'm not. I'm thinking about a relational, and I didn't single for three years and was perfectly happy. And it wasn't


really. And how long did you date long distance? Because about a year he moved out here. Yeah, a year. That's really cool. And so she's like enough is enough, honey, you. How hard can this? Yeah, Yeah, exactly how long between the time that you started. I know that you've gotten a lot of inspiration from your customers and people who are buying your clothes. And it was them who said, Can you create underwear? Yes. Um, and that's been your biggest source of revenue.


Were an underwear company. We no longer make


a button up shirt. Yeah, we used to make. I know that you put in orders, and then you were, like, sold out before you could even Yeah, that fulfill


the orders, Will we first started making. We introduced the first boxer briefs for women designed for women were now gender neutral, but at the time, and that was in, ah, September of 2014. So we


didn't have the money to just over four years. I mean, yeah, yeah,


yeah. So we didn't have the money to pay for Roman, and we just went for it, and we pre sold them. Sold out in two weeks. Six months later, we triple our revenue, and we thought I think we were on the underwear company. Yeah,


and so you said that your parents seated the company And since then, you've raised how much money. I think


we're just over six million


and has that process. Ben


has often brutal, brutal, brutal. Yeah, Yeah. You know the numbers. Yeah. 2% of female funded companies are getting


good, right? I'm just curious how your experience has been. I don't want to assume it's been brutal. Yes, it's. I


think it's brutal for everyone, but it's, you know, um ah, over 50 year old lesbian who didn't know in it from a woven and has never started a company. When me and my wife there are a lot of reasons that people are gonna look at us and go.


I don't You're. And when you're a $50 million company, you're still gonna be saying that. No, I love the check. It's a bunch. But I think you're past that point. I think you actually know in it from a woman now. Yeah, I do. And now I think that, uh, you're probably gonna have investors lined up. How did you decide who was going to be in wet role between you and Naomi? And were you nervous about going into business together?


I'm a collaborator. I really liked collaborating. And I think that there's always been a part of me that knew that, um, with the right partner. I mean, uh, the woman I moved here with, we ran group homes together and we were a great team. Um, so I know that I do better when I have someone at my side and Naomi and I are just a really complimentary fit. And then we, um


you have opposite. I'll say, Yeah, we do. She's more


operational, She gets into the details, and I can barely read a second paragraph of an email.


And so you and I are the same.


I just can't. And so it was a pretty easy demarcation toe where I'm kind of marketing in front of the house and fundraising, and then she's more back end operations


and and she doesn't have a desire probably to be No, she does not not seen but kind of the face. Yeah, although, you know, she used


to say how she couldn't. She wasn't a good speaker. And one of her best friends is Brian the Scurry, who was the soccer goalie. And when Brian was inducted to the U. S. Soccer Hall of fame. She asked me only to introduce her,


and then we got up there and killed. That doesn't surprise me. Very is this is wrong. You've made me up here the front person, and look what you just did. Yeah. Yeah. And when did you get married? We,


uh, Naomi proposed to me on a trip


going todo


you ever see that Jeb Jeb thing where it's shut up and dance at the Yeah, Yeah, that's me, Naomi. Just shut up and dance. So she just She proposed to me at the mill on the Melancon in Cuba. She's Cuban, and, uh, we were planning to get married. A year later, we had told some people were getting married, We're engaged, and I kind of got who hooked up into this crazy company thing. And, um knew we didn't have time to plan it. I said,

You know, let's get married in Boston, which is where her people are, because she had moved here to be with me, and we should go there with her people and realized that it wasn't going to be impossible to plan a wedding. So we decided that we'd get married the following weekend and we had a flash flag football game. That way we could invite everyone every last inch. Yes, we invited everyone. So everyone was invited to our wedding. That's kind. Of course they not money. We didn't tell them we were getting married. Yeah, and, uh, yeah. So people showed up. It


just all these. Like, and then you got married at halftime.


We did. We did. Our friend karma who, um, also was very critical person in our making boxer briefs for women. It turned out that we were having a beer that weekend before and said, We're thinking about getting married next weekend. She said I just got my


martini. Yeah, we're Dane thing because the Internet. Yeah.


Yeah, exactly. Because I'm marrying someone else, and we're like, Oh, well, you could do it. And so yeah, halftime. Karma blew the whistle and said, Anybody here object to these two getting married and we walked down to the water. It's would


park, and that's so we're face timing with my friends at the at the time. That sounds like it was a blast. Yeah, way.


We had called her brother Nam, his brother and my parents that morning and said, Be ready at six o'clock. We're gonna face time you because we're getting married. And so we called my parents. My dad's in his dress blues and my mother's in there on a long gown. And and, Ah, we face time and you know, friends holding the camera up and my mother goes,


they play in football. I love it, I love it. And so they love Naomi. I'm assuming


oh, more than me.


She's pretty lovable. Yeah, exactly not. But you're not that she's. I mean, I can't think of India's precious. She's really amazing. And what qualities made her the one, I think, because it's just easy, It's


easy and she likes me and I like her and we laughed. She laughs at my stupid dad jokes and all the time, and, um, we've fight fair. We're okay with conflict, and, uh, you know, there's no name calling. It's not personal, and we work through things and we have horrible memories.


And do you both have the same work ethic?


We're definitely in sync. You always to say OK, after 10 o'clock, we're not talking about work. Hey, it's 11 o'clock nor work. She works much harder than I do. You know, one of the things that I say when we started this company, I've had two jobs. One is to not run out of money, and the others did not fuck it up and namely, does everything else. And that's still true. And so, yeah, she's back there,

you know? She does a lot of work. It's interesting now because we're moving from kind of co founders and start up. And now I'm trying to figure out how to be a CEO, and she's figuring out how to be a CEO. But it's really cool to look back. It kind of where we've come. Oh yeah, together and individually.


Yeah, and you can feel that you've built a great culture When you walk in. You can feel that people are happy, people are accepted their themselves. Um, and they're there to work, but that it feels like everybody's working toward a common goal. Absolute. And so were you deliberate in creating a culture? And did you set the values early on?


It was really important to me and Naomi, too, not just create a brand that had no substance


money. We're number one driver. Never what is your number one driver.


I think we both share the same thing where we want to fix. And we want to leave the world a better place.


E have to say I mean, I follow you on Instagram and I own my tomboy axe. I have the black little boxers with Weyland. Um, and they are super soft and comfortable. Which ones are your favorites? You know, it


depends on the day, but I tend to search for the micro model, which is the luxury fabric.


It's You may not be money motivated, but you like the final. I do love finer things that I like


money, but I don't. I'm not driven by money.


Do you like the nice underwear? So your instagram is just incredible for for the listeners who have not followed, um, tomboy X on instagram. It's so inspiring. These women clearly feel so empowered to just I mean and men mostly women in all shapes and sizes wearing, um, you know, basically barely anything on and just rocking it. And it's in that is leaving the world a better place, right? That's huge. And so I know that you've kind of been clearly motivated by leading the way for other women and that you are leader within thegame community, and that's incredible. But what else would you say is a big part of your identity?


Well, I feel like a mission driven and that that's kind of like the thing and and figuring out how things work. I'm very literal, and so can I have to hit me over the head with things Hence Naomi and ah, it's so at this point when I figured out how the game works of around funding and in OK, only 2% of female and companies ever make a $1,000,000 check. OK, only 2% of female and companies get venture capital check. And ah, I really now have come to the recognition and understanding that gender equity isn't gonna happen until there are more women in power in that equals wealth. And so that has become kind of my new mission. And so, um, I think it's important because then when women have more power wealth, we can fund


people that look like us. Yeah, I love that. And so you've got a large company. At this point, I'm not huge, but of all of the different employees. Is there a common thread of a type of person who's successful? Tomboy X?


I think anyone in a start up has to be comfortable with change. And, ah, you know, that doesn't seek what people call


work life balance. What is that? I don't have


a flu. I think mediocrity is the fulcrum of work. Life balance. But, you know, you gotta lean in and go for go with gusto after everything. And so, um


and so how do you interview for those qualities? That's


a good question. I'm still figuring that out. I feel like we've had some adjustments, but our current team is phenomenal. Ah, we we kind of took the company to where it was about six months ago without any e commerce experience on the team in several. Amazing. Yeah, but it was timeto level up. I'm a video gamer and so leveled up with our team and ah, pulled in a leadership team that have been with us for four months now that have the e commerce experience?


Yeah, well, it's just a May stages of growth. Exactly. So you're you're ready. You two here? Yeah, absolutely. And I have learned that having recruited for somebody start ups that there's just let's get from point A to point B. And it's not the five year plan. It's six months or a year, right? And then regroup, right? I think you've done a great job, but that How would you describe your leadership style?


Yeah. You see, what you see is what you get. It's always been that way. You know, I like to start the day, um, talking everyone and finding out where people are and, yeah, we just are who we are sometimes too much so. So I think that's part of the learning how to be a CEO. And I'm not just friend at work,


you know what I mean? Yeah, I've had to grow up as the company has grown. It's hard. Yeah. What do you do to unwind besides your martini?


Well, yeah. Um, you know, we're taking our first vacation in five years, and we used to vacation quite well, and, ah, walking the dog. Uh,


what kind of god? She's a Labradoodle. A Labradoodle played. They would love each other. Yeah, you had to say kind of the ultimate name of this podcast. What fuels you


our customers all day long. It's so important. We didn't start the brand to create a company. I just truly wanted a beautiful shirt like a Robert Grammar been chairman for women. And when we realized about a weekend to her Kickstarter campaign that we had stepped into a white space that Ah, women and girls around the world were identifying with our brand Ah, we feel very fortunate to be embraced by the trans community. We wanted to make sure that we made We weren't shaming body shaming anyone so started out of the gate with extra small through four x at the same price. We start our Monday ball staff meetings with a customer review and I look a customer reviews every day. It's really, really important to us. Ah, that we're seeing and hearing, um, you know, marginalized people.


Yeah, well, as a woman, super grateful and as a friend thank you for being on the podcast. Give us the tomboy axe handle on Instagram. And I guess Facebook is just Tom by ex


Yes, tomboy ex dot com. And then Tom works on Instagram and Ah, and, uh let's see, I couldn't give you a code. We


could make up a car. Let's


do a code. Could, uh how about fuel?


I love it. How about what fuels you?


What fuels you? There


it is. All right. Why fuels you use


that code and you'll get 15% off your


first. Nice. I'm all over it. Thank you so much. Thank you. Okay. Thank you for listening to the wet fuels. You podcast. Be sure to subscribe. Rate and review on iTunes. Google podcasts are Spotify and follow us on social media To keep up with the latest news and episodes, you can also contact us at podcast at fuel talent dot com to provide feedback, ask questions and share topics or guests you would like us to cover in the future. We hope you feel inspired by our guests and that we have helped fuel your day.

powered by SmashNotes