“Be able to separate business and sympathy! Your employees are people but always employees first. They are required to do their job and it’s your job to hold them accountable.”
I had the pleasure to interview Danielle Forte, Founder of 828 Clothing
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thank you for having me! I’m Danielle Forte, owner and creative director of 828 Clothing. I started the brand right after my daughter was born because I could not find any clothes that fit my particular style. I wanted clothing that was functional but did not look like I was just hanging out at home in my sweats. As my motherhood grew, so did the line. It has evolved into catering to every stage of motherhood from maternity, to nursing, to post pregnancy, and beyond — we have you covered. We also have sweet clothes for your little cutie pies. All of them modeled after sayings by my husband, Matt Forte.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
828 was created by a mom for moms. We were at a pop up and I had multiple women come to me and tell me thank you for creating something meant for a mom’s body. I was so excited because my purpose was to make women feel like they could wear what they like and not worry about it being damaged by the kids and hiding whatever they wanted to if they weren’t comfortable.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?
Currently we are gearing up to launch some spring pieces as well as getting set for Fall/Winter.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Absolutely, always keep the line of communication open. A clear standard initially and allow them to feel as though you are not closed off from the day to day. They can contact if there is an issue therefore the ball does not get dropped if they attempt to handle on their own.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
There are three people in whom I am grateful for my husband, my mom and my product and developer Alva. All three have pushed me as well as encouraged me with the brand from the very start. Always willing to be there and support the brand in more capacities imaginable.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I believe I have done this by helping women feel great about themselves at any stage in their life. It is wonderful to be beautiful on the outside but to be able to connect with women and be amazed how even more beautiful on the inside is priceless. The gift of loving others and self-love is something that we all crave in some capacity. I’m blessed to watch women transform their inside to the outside.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Juggling family and a business is hard! To be able to be present in my family’s life as well as balance my business is tasking, but never unappreciated.
2. Be meticulous at all times! In order to carry out anything efficiently you have to be detailed to succeed.
3. Be able to separate business and sympathy! Your employees are people but always employees first. They are required to do their job and it’s your job to hold them accountable.
4. Stay true to your brand and its vision! Never stray away from your core with your brand in order to please a customer that maybe is not your target.
5. Mentally prepare yourself to make decisions most don’t want to! The hard decisions of things you want VS what is necessary and best for your brand.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
“I cannot tell the truth about anything unless I confess being a student, growing and learning something new every day. The more I learn, the clearer my view of the world becomes.” — Sonia Sanchez
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
That is a challenging question but it most certainly a tie between Angela Rye and Jessica Alba. Angela because my passions rest between 828 and my husband’s “What’s Your Forte?” Foundation. Her perspective on community as well as helping others and how would be priceless. Not to mention how much confidence she exudes. Jessica Alba has made an empire in the family consumer world and she’s a Mom. Picking her brain as well as having some Mommy talk would be a dream.
Originally published at medium.com