Name: Abigail Slone
Company & Position: Founder, CCO at Willow Layne Lingerie
Tampon Tribe mashup: 12 reg / 3 super / 1 superplus
What was your first job? How did it shape what you’re doing now? My first job was being a research analyst at a university in DC. I quit on the 3rd day because it was painfully boring to sit at a desk all day and stare at a screen! I knew right away I would be an entrepreneur; that I wanted to determine for myself what I woke up and did every day – which was being as creative as possible without being limited to a single title.
Tell us about Willow Layne Lingerie. What inspired the idea? I was watching an episode of The Office (“Women’s Appreciation Day”) where Michael –the boss- takes all the women in the office to shop at Victoria’s Secret. Both totally politically incorrect and incredibly hilarious. Pam (the receptionist) decides to not buy anything “sexy” for herself because she’s “in-between boyfriends.” I was so sad for her, –and for myself too, for all women; because I realized that the societal message surrounding lingerie is that in order to “legitimize” buying it for oneself you generally have to either have a boyfriend/partner that you are buying it for. I decided in that moment to create a lingerie company that would send the opposite message. We should buy lingerie exclusively for ourselves, whether or not there’s a partner in the mix. Everyone deserves to feel confident and sexy.
What advice do you have for young women dreaming of entrepreneurship? Just do it! Google it, map it out, break it down into small, achievable steps– and then jump. Make it happen. It sounds simple, but it really is. I launched my business within one week and I was a business school dropout. If I can do it, then honestly anyone can.
We talk a lot about the challenges women face in business. How does being a female exec benefit you in the workplace? Yea- people love to talk about challenges women face in business. It’s a complicated topic. I feel like we’ve reached a point where being a woman in business is something that people almost over-advertise. I started out a bit like that, like “Yay this is woman-run businesses! Buy our stuff!” – which is definitely so true, because women have had a long history of being held back for SO long. But I want to be recognized as a kick-ass business person not because of my gender, but because of my merit. I want people to come to my company and purchase my products because they are drawn to the mission and ethics behind my company, not because it is run by a woman. I have always focused on the ethical basis of a company than the gender of its executives.
Most mortifying period story? Ha, that’s easy. It was a few years ago and I had just started dating this guy. We were going on a little trip and to stay with his parents for the weekend, whom I had never met. I totally didn’t think that I would be on my period but that little sucker is SO dang irregular that it popped up right when I got to their house. Sooo I had to end up asking his mom for tampons. Thankfully I’m no stranger to embarrassing and awkward situations.. yea, thanks life.
What health /beauty products can you not live without? SO many. I am a beauty product junkie. Haha. Here are a few…
->Castor oil (put it on your eyelashes… trust me on this)
What health/ wellness trend are you into right now? I am very into intuitive eating and intuitive exercising right now. Basically I eat whenever I am hungry (even if it’s not a mealtime) and whatever my body is telling me. When I walk into the gym I do what my body feels like doing . Some days it’s eating ALL carbs and later hitting some free weights. Other days it’s lean proteins and nuts… and I”ll just feel like a sweat session on a cardio machine. And one day if it’s mostly sweets, that’s fine. For me, it’s just a very positive way of saying “hey body, whatcha wanna do today?” It helps me keep balance without obsessing. So far it’s been working really well (even if people question my decision to eat pasta almost every day of the week… what can I say, I live in Rome!)
What is your guilty pleasure? I don’t believe in “guilty pleasures” really. If you find it pleasurable, why should guilt be attached? You only get one life ☺