Fairygodboss of the Week: Helen Bui
Photo credit:Helen Bui
Helen has an incredible vision for her company, Stash-it: build a successful business that helps promote financial literacy and independence for young women. Helen’s diligence, stick-to-itiveness and passion are an inspiration for us all.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Helen Bui
Founder & CEO, Stash-it
New York, NY
FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
HB: I am the Founder & CEO of Stash-it. Stash-it is a personal finance app that helps young women develop good money habits. Prior to Stash-it, I spent 10 years in media. Before I left the media industry, I was the Head of Innovation Management at News Corp and was in charge of developing and incubating new products and businesses. That role gave the confidence and skills to begin my own startup. I always knew I wanted to change the world for the better. And my dream was to find the intersection of my passion and my business skills. Everything I have done in my career, the skills that I developed, and the opportunities I went after, have all led to amazing opportunities that I could have never imagined.
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
HB: I am most proud of my ability to have a positive impact on the people that have worked for me and with me throughout my career. To help others grow and become successful is probably one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.
FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
HB: When I left my corporate media career to start my tech company, a lot of people told me I was crazy: That it would never work out, that personal finance is tough, that apps are hard, that consumer businesses are hard, that women have a hard time get funded, and that startups rarely succeed. If I had listened to all of this noise when I first started, I would have never kept going and been able to grow Stash-it to have the impact it does today. Belief in yourself is so important. Believe that you can defy the odds even when others tell you you can't.
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
HB: I love helping others, so I spend a lot of my spare time working with non-profits both in NY and overseas. I particularly enjoy supporting efforts to that have a positive impact on the young people in my home country of Vietnam through providing scholarships, mentorship and entrepreneurship coaching. To keep balanced and healthy, I also spend time playing tennis and practice meditation. I also love to travel!
FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
HB: My mom (cheesy, but she is my hero). Everything good about me today is because of my mother. Her strength, her love for others, her appreciation for diversity, and her perseverance throughout her life growing up and fleeing in a war torn country has taught me how to be strong and good.
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
HB: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
FGB: What is your favorite movie?
HB: Million Dollar Baby
FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
HB: "Wherever You Go, There You Are" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I practice meditation and mindfulness and this book helps you think deeply about the present and the beauty of life and the right now.
FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
HB: My shopping vice is Amazon. You can get anything and that is dangerous! If i won the lottery I would buy an island. That island could house scientists solving the most difficult problems and challenges: learning to produce resources that could help the world become more sustainable; trying to find cures to diseases; and we could also provide education and training that empower people all over the world. The opportunities are endless in my private island!
FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss?
HB: Lynne Brennen. Lynne gave me an amazing opportunity in my career to learn and develop new skills and get hands on experience in B2C. She also gave me this opportunity at a time in my career when I had felt I was stuck so it was literally life changing for me.
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career?
Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.