Your ability to watch fabulous fashion shows from your couch or to win new shoes through Twitter has been influenced by Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, a pioneer of digital activations for fashion brands. After managing PR campaigns at Fleishman-Hillard and launching Ralph Lauren’s global social media team as Director of Digital Media, she co-founded Digital Brand Architects. The fashion entrepreneur shares how she conquered the chic side of cyberspace.
Name: Kendra Bracken-Ferguson
Title: Co-Founder and COO of Digital Brand Architects
Hometown: Round Rock, TX
Twitter: @kendrabracken & @therealdba
The gig: Our company works to amplify the reach and social engagement of fashion and beauty brands through cutting-edge digital tactics. When we started DBA, there was no Pinterest, Instagram or Google+. Now I have a front row seat to every new platform, app or tool. #winning.
The journey: Meeting my business partners really ignited this passion inside me to create a company from scratch. It was also recognizing there was a need in the industry that wasn’t being fulfilled. We started with just one or two people in the living room of a NYC apartment and now span offices in New York, LA, Milan and Hong Kong.
Her mantra: Be Aware. Gain Knowledge. Have Conviction.
Her biggest lesson learned: No company is built in a day. You have to learn and take something from every experience. We are often moving so fast that we don’t take time to reflect on what’s just happened and the valuable lessons that can come from it.
Network tip: Do your homework of who’s in the room and find a common vocabulary.
Her best entrepreneur advice: I was really struggling when deciding to leave Ralph Lauren and start DBA, because I always thought I’d stay at RL for a very long time since it was my dream job. Someone said very candidly “Your last name isn’t on the door, so go for it and if it doesn’t work you can always get another job.” So I did and I’ve never been tempted to look back.
Her tech must-haves: I’m super practical and love apps that allow me to manage my life. Chase, American Airlines, and my gym app to book classes!
Her beauty bag: I love the creative freedom that a good makeup bag provides. My favorites are Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, YSL Touche Eclat Highlighter, Sugar Lip Treatment, MAC Blush and Eye Crayon.
Her power style accessory: A little black dress.
Her stress relievers: I love to travel and experience new cultures and places. I have become a huge fan of Yoga and acupuncture.
Breakfast of champions: My go-to breakfast is Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, granola and chia seeds.
Her inspiration: My mother has been my cheerleader, mentor, confidante, business advisor and friend. We talk every day and she gives it to me straight! She sent me a great quote from Henry Moore that I look to every day: “One never knows what each day will bring. The important thing is to be open and ready for it”. Every morning, I wake up and view life as one big canvas that I get to throw all the paint on it I can!
Juggling marriage and career: There's always something pulling for your time, so you have to communicate with your partner and put your relationship at the center of everything you do. We have mutual respect and are each other's cheerleader.
Her theme song: The sound of my cell phone ringing. (laughs) I'm always running full speed, so it’s my lifeline.
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