Your Majesty Speaker Series • Katie Harrison, Elizabeth Cauvel & Sogoal Zolghadri
Over the last few months, we’ve had the honour of having very talented and inspiring speakers come and join us for our Speaker Series at our NY office, including wonderful women such as Katie Harrison, Elizabeth Cauvel and Sogoal Zolghadri.
Although their stories are different, a lot of common threads emerged. Here is what they shared:
Katie Harrison - Motive
Katie Harrison has been working in advertising for many years, including over 10 years at BBH where she was Head of Strategy and had the opportunity to lead campaigns for great brands around the world, from London to NYC via Singapore.
It was clear that Katie was not only talented, but also passionate and she explained that she truly enjoyed helping brands overcome their challenges and reach their goals by helping them think, strategically. Once her career was well established, Katie felt it was time to push it to the next level –– namely taking her skills, knowledge and experience and applying it to a field she felt passionate about –– CSR and social innovation. In 2012 she took the leap with a partner and started her own company –– Motive.com. Motive is a social innovation consultancy firm, that works with organizations to help position and scale their social investment in order to create maximum impact. We truly admire Katie for taking a step that many people think about doing, but don’t have the confidence to. Katie took a chance and created a great company which has proven very successful with clients such as Gap Inc/Gap Foundation, NYSE Big Start Up, Old Navy. Needless to say, Katie is an inspiration to many –– specifically female entrepreneurs in our industry.
You can learn more about Katie & Motive’s work at the-motive.com
Elizabeth Cauvel - MRY & Master Chef 5
Let’s continue on the topic of applying similar skills in different areas and taking a leap of faith to do what you’re passionate about. Elizabeth Cauvel, also known as the runner up for MasterChef Season 5, joined us for a Speaker Series session to tell us about how she’s managed to balance her busy life as an Associate Creative Director at MRY with her second passion –– cooking. It was fascinating to hear her story, not only because she is so charming and funny but also because it was very relatable.
Her cooking background is modest. Despite growing up on pasta sauce recipes made majority out of ketchup, she decided to learn more about food and the craft that goes into it. After a summer of unemployment and experimenting with cookie dough, she was inspired to start a blog called The Fearless Cook . It was a home where she shared recipes that she tried for the first time mixed with foods she just made up, foods without a recipe. The more time went by, the more her love grew for cooking and sharing, thus she applied for MasterChef and was successfully selected amongst thousands of applicants. At MasterChef, she learned that a lot of the skills she used in Advertising could be applied in Cooking: just like the creative ideas are the ingredients, the concept is the recipe. When we asked her what was next, Elizabeth explained that she was focusing on growing her career in Advertising, while spending a lot of her spare time on her passion that is spreading the love for cooking through her website, catering & lessons and of course - her instagram.
Sogoal Zolghadri - Sogi's Honey Bakeshop
Last but certainly not least, Sogoal Zolghadri paid us a visit to speak about her wonderful Honey Bakeshop that combines her two passions, art and baking. Sogoal (pronounced “so-gull”) makes and paints beautiful cookies for a living and she loves it. Yes, actual edible pieces of art. At this point, you’re probably wondering “What, How?!”.
Sogoal came across many forks in the road on the path that led her to where she is today, but her gut, heart and bravery certainly contributed to keeping her on the right track. Her journey started off in San Diego, where she started University studying Communications. However, quickly realizing that this was not the direction for her, she switched to Fine Art and interned at a Bakery so that she could pursue both painting and baking. Her next adventure took her to NYC, where she started working in Global Merchandising at Gap by day, and baked her wonderful cookies by night. Soon enough her destiny came knocking on her door again, when she was offered a position as a vendor in Martha Stewart’s bridal market. With that, Sogoal’s confidence and momentum boomed - she quit her day job and created a Kickstarter campaign to help build the foundation to her business. It earned so much success and attention, that she was overfunded and she was able to get her Honey Bakeshop up and running. And there you have it! Sogoal's wonderful story in a nutshell.
Sogoal’s story and smile were truly delightful, and really illustrated the motto “do what you love, love what you do”. Sogoal’s empire is certainly growing, so if you want to order cookies that are still hand painted by her - you better do so fast.