Community//

“Why it’s imperative to empower your team with the freedom to make their own decisions” With Dr. William Seeds & Stacey Hunter Harrington

Hire people who are self-starters, motivators, and who you trust to do their job with passion! Usually, the people who gravitate towards startups aren’t the same people who would prefer to work in a corporate environment, so it’s imperative to empower your team with the freedom to make their own decisions, while also keeping them […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Hire people who are self-starters, motivators, and who you trust to do their job with passion! Usually, the people who gravitate towards startups aren’t the same people who would prefer to work in a corporate environment, so it’s imperative to empower your team with the freedom to make their own decisions, while also keeping them accountable for tasks and deliverables.


As a part of our series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stacey Hunter Harrington of QUO Active.

Stacey spent the better part of her career developing R&D for global brands including Victoria’s Secret, Under Armour, Lululemon, Speedo, GapBody, Nike, Target, and Spanx. In 2008, she founded a consulting business developing activewear, swimwear and intimates for brands including Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Patagonia, and The Row Nike. Stacey met her business partner in 2016, and launched QUO in 2018, combining their love of solution-based products and quality fabrics.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve been active in the industry for 25 years, and I noticed a void in solution-based products for active women. There are many innovative active apparel options that fit into the “sweat solutions” niche for men, although remained a huge white space in the market for women. I’m passionate about fitness and take many classes, and was seeing that women in the changing rooms didn’t have good options to wear under workout pants other than cotton underwear that can trap moisture and breed bacteria. I wanted to create a solution that would serve as a protective barrier, repelling harmful moisture away from your skin and keeping you dry where it matters most.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

The constant tides of change that come with growing a brand always keep me on my toes! Building a direct-to-consumer brand and gaining exposure in an organic way is always a challenge, although one that allows me to be creative and inventive with my journey.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When we were gearing up to feature our product in fitness studios for purchase, we tried to design a product display that would function as a dispensary. The design turned out to be much more complex than we anticipated, and at the end we had gone back and forth with our designer and vendor for 3 months — all just for a box! It taught us the lesson that sometimes you give power to things that you don’t need to, that don’t end up making a large difference for the bottom line anyway.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

QUO Active stands out for our innovative product design and solutions-oriented mentality, creative art direction, attention to detail, and the impeccable quality of our fabrics.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Right now, we’re working on building new styles and add to our product line, including a full back bikini underwear, active leggings, and a sports bra by the end of the year. We’re confident that women will feel good putting them on and working out in our new products, since the benefits are something they’re looking for (like antimicrobial properties, sweat-wicking, and no rolling or shifting).

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Support one another! It’s also important to find a good mentor who can guide you and inspire your hard work, perseverance, and strength.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Hire people who are self-starters, motivators, and who you trust to do their job with passion! Usually, the people who gravitate towards startups aren’t the same people who would prefer to work in a corporate environment, so it’s imperative to empower your team with the freedom to make their own decisions, while also keeping them accountable for tasks and deliverables.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m definitely grateful for my business partner, Moise Emquies. We met on a consulting project and developed a great working relationship, as he had been on a long pursuit to perfect the ultimate t-shirt. He created the brands Ella Moss, Splendid, and Stateside, born out of his search to find the softest fabrics and most color-absorbing yarns in the world. He believed in me and our shared idea and vision, which led to us building QUO in August 2018.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I’m always happy to mentor young women and aspiring entrepreneurs to reach their goals. Especially in such a competitive industry, it’s important to help each other learn and grow.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. Starting your own business will take more money than you think! Having smart financial goals and practices will be beneficial long term.

2. How challenging the startup process would be

3. Surround yourself with people you trust

4. Not to be so hard on yourself!

5. It’s alright to be ok with the failures as well as successes

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I’d like to inspire a movement around community, as well as fostering mentorship, kindness, and honesty.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Follow your dreams and be happy! Hard work and perseverance will always pay off in the long run.

We are blessed that 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 with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Richard Branson has always been an idol of mine! I’d love nothing more than to visit Necker Island and pick his brain on how he got his start — his journey is quite fascinating to me. Michelle Obama is also a huge inspiration and I’d love to speak with her about her path to success.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

When ENTJ’s Go Remote

by Caroline Stokes
Community//

Female Disruptors: Cathy Lang and Stacey Hawes of Epsilon are shaking up how data is used in marketing

by Yitzi Weiner
Community//

Stacey Kehoe: “As business leaders, only when we feel mentally and physically well are we in a position to be able to thrive in other areas of our lives”

by Yitzi Weiner
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.