I recently sat down with Deena Ghazarian, founder and CEO at Austere, to talk about her new start-up. Part 2. (Part 1 here)
Maureen Jenson: What makes Austere different than the brands already on the market?
Deena Ghazarian: There’s a lot of stuff already on the market that doesn’t perform to expectations or it easily breaks. There are also products out there that are antiquated and blah to look at, from the packaging to the colors to the materials. Consumers are ready for a premium product that’s accessible and is curated with considerable intent.
We use exceptional materials and the latest innovation to ensure the best performance. But beyond that, Austere pays unique attention to the details in design and we believe so strongly in our products we guarantee them for life.
For example, packaging is so important to me. Our packaging is gorgeous with every element of its design and material handpicked for the experience; it’s incredibly substantial and reusable and it’s made from 100 percent recycled material. Austere and our target market care about the environment and this is just one example of the depth of the choices that we make every day.
MJ: How do you plan to reach your target market?
DG: Austere is a global brand. The first products in the Austere collection will be available on Austere.com and select national, regional and global retailers starting this month. We look to be in markets where customers want stylish, exceptional technology accessories.
MJ: Any advice to young women starting out in our industry.
DG: Find your passion. From marketing to sales to manufacturing to operations. Follow it. Learn from others who share that passion and surround yourself with them. And learn how they channel their passion to careers they love. Industries and jobs can be taught. Businesses can be taught. Passion cannot and if you want a lifelong career, it must be grounded in passion.
Find mentors. Find men and women whom you admire and take parts of each of them that resonate with who you want to be. Furthermore, the lessons from diverse and inclusive mentors are unique gifts. Seek the ways to solve challenges that are well outside your own journey. Look at others who overcame obstacles that are about more than just careers and success. Lessons are everywhere. Absorb them all. And apply that dynamic learning to everything you do.
MJ: Do you recommend they start their own business, or work in an already established one?
DG: If you have the passion to start your own business, by all means you should. However, working for other people – lots of other people – shows you the invaluable lesson about what kind of leader you want to be as well as the kind of leader you do not want to be. From that you can then build your own playbook for success with the experience to back it up. It will also help you understand how to get people around you who will both support you and challenge you in constructive ways, which will drive you to greater success than you’d have on your own.