Annie Day Thorp, is CMO of our MM. LaFleur, our favorite fashion brand. Annie shared some great advice -- including the fact that careers make more sense when viewed in hindsight.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Annie Day Thorp
Chief Marketing Officer, MM. LaFleur
New York, NY
FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
ADT: My Dad once told me that careers make more sense viewed in reverse than they do while you're living them. That's certainly been my experience. As an undergrad, I majored in "Social Studies" which was my university's multidisciplinary social sciences degree. My focus was on sub-Saharan African history and development which, as everyone knows, is fundamental to a career in fashion in NYC.
My first job out of college was working in Online Sales & Operations at Google, where I was an AdWords Account Strategist. I drifted around NYC startups for a while afterward, even trying and failing at starting my own company. I then joined an Amazon subsidiary, Quidsi, the parent company to Diapers.com. I was a digital marketer there, and then moved into a more general Marketing Manager role that exposed me to a variety of channels.
In 2013, I joined MM.LaFleur as employee #3 and CMO (a.k.a. "the person who does the marketing"). Since then, the company has grown to 70 people, and my role as CMO has become increasingly complex and interesting with scale.
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
ADT: Being a part of MM.LaFleur's pivot into our "Bento Box" sales model. When I first joined MM, we were doing pretty classic e-commerce. A year later, we launched Bento, which is a stylist-enabled shopping model. It's been a real game-changer for our customers and for us, and I'm very proud to have been a part of its creation.
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
ADT: I hang out with my husband and our two toddler daughters, which includes spending an excessive amount of time in the playgrounds of Central Park.
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
ADT: Anything from Fine Young Cannibals or the movie Frozen (I know).
FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
ADT: Pride & Prejudice.
FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
ADT: I'd travel more, and better.
FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss?
ADT: Sarah LaFleur! Sarah is the CEO and Founder of MM.LaFleur, and my current boss. I could spend pages talking about all the ways in which she is gifted and awesome, but I'll boil her "fairy godboss-ness" down to this one anecdote:
Four months after the birth of my second daughter, we were fundraising for MM.LaFleur and had to travel to the west coast to pitch investors. It was the height of the Ellen Pao/Kleiner-Perkins lawsuit, and there were lots of stories going around about the ways in which the male-dominated VC world could be unfriendly to women, and how few women-led companies were being funded.
I was still nursing/pumping, and had to do so regularly, even in the offices of VCs where we were fundraising. While I wanted to be vocally pro-mom, I also wanted to be pragmatic. I worried that being a breast-pump-toting executive could hurt our chances of being treated fairly by investors. I told Sarah that I'd do my best to be discreet and not mention my dual roles, to which she responded, "If they're going to have an issue with you being a mom of young children, I don't want them as investors."
I really appreciated her willingness to stand behind me, even if it put MM in a potentially challenging position. It really sums up the way she approaches our business and the "ampersand women" we work with, all of whom play many roles in addition to their positions at MM.
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?
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