Annabel is the founder of Suitably, a women’s workwear company that offers the foundation of a woman's wardrobe - all machine washable and under $100. Before founding suitably, she collected data from two thousand women and found that 8 out of 10 were frustrated with the process of shopping for workwear because it’s often too expensive, poor fitting, unflattering, or stores don’t have the main essentials.
She solved this problem by creating a one-stop-shop where women can find high quality, highly functional workwear without compromising style, comfort, or price. Their clothes provide confidence and are intentionally made to be versatile so you can dress it up for a night out or down for professional casual wear.
Suitably is more than just a solid wardrobe—it's a growing network—a resource for all things success` with like-minded women.
I LOVE what suitably stands for. Confidence, women empowerment, and achieving goals in style? I mean, it’s the perfect combo!
When do you feel the most empowered?
My passion in life has always been working to improve the lives of others. I feel most empowered when I am mentoring and supporting other women. As women, it’s so important we root each other on. There is room for all of us to be successful! Suitably can but does not have to be a part of that process. Whether it’s leaving a conversation with someone who has shared that I gave them tools to help navigate a stressful problem or receiving an email from one of our customers who has shared that our 24/7 blazer gave them the confidence they needed to ace their interview, that’s when I feel most empowered.
How can women be a good support to other women?
I love answering this question and it is so important, showing support for other women is crucial for our future. Here are my favorite ways:
1. If you have already climbed the ladder and are in a position of power, pull others up with you! 2. Make yourself approachable to other women, especially if you are in a male-dominated workplace.
3. When you see awesome work, acknowledge it.
4. Seek out opportunities to mentor others. Take the extra mile to share your wisdom and help those who do not have access to the same resources as you.
What woman inspires you, and what is the best advice that she has given you?
My former manager at Groupon, is a major inspiration to me. From the day I joined her team, she took me under her wing and did everything to help me reach my potential. I observed her do this with everyone on her team. That’s just the kind of leader she was. The kind who wants every person on her team to feel fulfilled and succeed. She was so passionate and empowering others, it created an environment where I was excited to come to work everyday and work my absolute hardest. This is the kind of leader we should all aspire to be! In addition to being a top executive, she is also a mom. She has shown me that it really is possible to do it all. While she is incredibly busy, she is always there for me whenever I reach out for advice years later. The best advice she has given me is to create a safe space for feedback for and from my employees. Take time to carve out regular meetings with my employees, share where they are crushing it, share areas of opportunity and ask what I can do to help them. This is advice I live by to this day!
If your younger self met you today, what would she be most proud of?
Early on in life and when I was in college, I always knew that I wanted to create something that would help other women. I didn’t know what that was or how I would do it, but looking back, I know I would feel very proud that I channeled this desire to start a business that is helping women thrive professionally.
I saw that you partnered with Dress For Success, why was it important for you to partner with them?
Correct, we donate our returned in good condition garments to Dress For Success. All women, no matter their education or background, deserve a wardrobe that helps her feel confident. Partnering with Dress for Success, helps further Suitably’s mission by enabling us to give high quality workwear to women who may not have access to it otherwise. Dress for Success was the perfect partner for us. They are part of a global movement for change, empowering women to obtain a safer and better future and the work they have done is unparalleled.
As a leader, what is one thing you’ve had to learn?
One thing I’ve had to learn as a leader is that appreciation and acknowledgment of your employees really goes a long way! Letting your employees know how much you value them and their contributions, no matter how big or small, ultimately creates more loyalty and unity among your employees.
From a leader’s standpoint, it’s easy to get caught up in the weeds of your role or your business that you forget to show appreciation, but it is imperative. It’s something I try my best to convey to people who have been involved with Suitably.
The brand wouldn’t be where it is today without the hard work and contributions of others.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their career and starting to feel imposter syndrome?
It's a sign that you are in a role where you are pushing yourself professionally and may not be 100% comfortable with it yet. Recognize the feeling and embrace it. It means you are pushing yourself to accomplish bigger, better things.
What is your favorite quote?
"Please, do not be cynical... Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O’Brien
Conan is one of my favorite talk show hosts (he also has an amazing podcast that I love called Conan O’Brien needs a friend). In good times or tough times, I have always found solace in this quote.