Orit Hashay is a Fairygodboss who teaches us that even when people criticize or fight you, you have to be strong and patient to win. Orit is a serial entrepreneur who has brought a sophisticated technical solution to a problem that most women are familiar with - the difficult of bra shopping. And she reminds us that you can never judge a book by its cover...even when it’s wearing a perfect bra.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Orit Hashay
CEO of Brayola
New York, NY
FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
OH: I consider myself a serial entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in software and business development. Before starting Brayola, I was an investment manager at Carmel Ventures and founded Israel’s most successful wedding platform, mit4mit.co.il, which I coded myself. I was fortunate enough to be named one of Forbes’ 10 Female Founders to Watch in Israel and TechCrunch’s Three Israeli Femme-preneurs to Keep an Eye On in 2013. I was also named one of Globes Israel’s Top 50 Most Influential Women and picked for the top 100 Girls in Tech throughout Europe by Girls in Tech Network in 2012.
I started Brayola after discovering an issue that women around the world have to deal with every day: the difficulty of finding the perfect bra. It may seem like a small dilemma, but it is present in every woman’s life – especially now that e-shopping has taken over the industry. As the CEO of Brayola, I’ve dedicated myself to solving this problem, and simplifying the online bra shopping experience once and for all. Using crowdsourced algorithms and smart data, Brayola sets women up with the model that is right for them, both in size and in style. In my opinion, this collaboration between tech and fashion is where the future of bra shopping lies.
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
OH: Having gotten Brayola to where it is today and having the certainty that with the help of women around the world, it will soon reach a much larger international audience.
FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
OH: As a female founder in the tech industry running an ecommerce intimates shop, I face challenges on a daily basis. I run the risk of not being taken seriously by male investors, or being overlooked in business meetings due to my appearance, sex and brand. Although it is a constant battle, I think I have managed it well with Brayola. The feedback I have received from other women has been so overwhelmingly positive that it’s made all the complications worthwhile. It is what keeps us running and as a female entrepreneur, I could not be more proud.
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
OH: As a mom of a nearly five year old little boy, all my free time is spent with him. He is a very active preschooler who loves riding bikes, skateboarding, riding scooters – really anything that involves taking risks.
FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
OH: I know we can only say one...but I’m going for two! I would love sit down with Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi.
This quote always stays with me “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” This is an amazing ethos to remember when building a company, and it has proved to be very true for me now that I am running Brayola.
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
OH: This is a tricky one. I love so many songs it’s so hard to pick! I am a big Beyonce and Rihanna fan so anything by them I would rock out to.
FGB: What is your favorite movie
OH: Sliding Doors.
FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
OH: I love to read, but I never read the same book twice. If I had to pick one to bring to a desert island, I would probably choose one that I’ve never read before – to learn something new! Maybe a self-help book on how to best to bring up my child?
FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
OH: I love online shopping, since I never have time to actually go to a mall, and it’s much easier.
I feel like I’ve already won the lottery, but if I had to shop... I would first choose to spend it on buying gifts for all the people I love – including the very hardworking Brayola Team. I think a big team trip abroad would be fun!
FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss?
OH: Does Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones count? I don’t really have one person that I look up to as role model, because I like to take inspiration from different people I meet, both men and women. There are a lot of admirable and successful people out there, and I think it’s limiting to just focus on one.
FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
OH: Be stronger than the stigma. Whether you are a woman, a minority, or simply a young entrepreneur trying to make it in your industry, someone or something will always be rooting against you – be stronger. Intelligence and persistence goes a long way.
Another thing I cannot emphasize enough is how important it is to be patient. When I was younger, my father told me a piece of advice I will never forget: “you need to kiss a lot of frogs to get your prince.” It may not seem applicable to this circumstance, but it has actually helped me greatly in business. For example, I have learned to be patient and persistent when scouring LinkedIn for potential new hires or listening to feedback from my various investors. It can be challenging, and it’s always good to maintain a good attitude and an open mind.
FGB: Why do you love where you work?
OH: I love Brayola. There is a famous quote that says “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. That pretty much sums up Brayola for me.
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women. So each week, we celebrate a woman who makes a difference in other women’s careers. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate and thank her by nominating her here.