Read on to learn about Erin’s background, style, and how Armoire has changed her relationship with shopping for clothes.
I spent two decades working in women’s development across the world. I started in conflict zones with Doctors Without Borders and then moved into epidemiologic and behavioral research with Johns Hopkins University, USAID and UN Agencies. I lead international staff, multi-million dollar projects and innovative research across sub-Saharan Africa.
I now bring my experience of behavioral science to the world of financial literacy – focusing on reducing the barrier to uptake of healthy financial habits for women across the U.S. As the CEO of Nav.it, our mission is to support and inspire in-powered, financially savvy people.
Through Nav.it, I hope to engage passionate individuals to achieve their dreams, and use those conversations to launch deeper into money management practices.
WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?
I love classic styles paired with color… so a sexy black dress with a bright red lip and an awesome shoe. I also embraced bright color pieces over the last ten years, I usually pair a bright top with a neutral coat or pant. I recently learned from a great stylish friend of mine that the trick to nailing outfits is, apparently, you need a third piece (others might know this but that was a revelation to me!). So identify a good outfit then add a sleek coat, scarf, stand-out jewelry piece or purse. I’m a mom so I don’t nail it every day but at least I know the rule and use it when I travel and speak.
WHY DID YOU SIGN UP FOR ARMOIRE?
I LOVE Armoire. I signed up because I travel and I go to a lot of events and meetings for work so I need to present well and be confident. Armoire gives me a rotating closet of designer styles that are on trend and fit well, so I always feel put together and fresh.
HOW HAS ARMOIRE BENEFITED YOU?
I love being able to swap out styles immediately — I always get a new case right before I travel, unless I’ve found my go-to dress for the month:). Also, I love being able to be trendy in each season. I don’t have to buy the hot fall coat that I might not want next year or the winter sweater in teal that I wouldn’t have bought on my own but I love wearing.
HAS ANYTHING SURPRISED YOU SINCE YOU STARTED RENTING CLOTHES?
At first I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t find items I wanted or that fit me. But this has pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I’ve actually tried looks that I wouldn’t choose to buy but I actually really love rocking. I’m completely comfortable managing it now and LOVE being able to choose new outfits and get my clothes in the mail with two clicks on my computer! It’s completely altered my relationship with clothes shopping! So amazing!
WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ARMOIRE PIECES?
I’ve loved two great fall/winter sweaters and the dresses I’ve received. Right now I have an Of Mercer black dress I can’t seem to give up yet. Other brands I’ve enjoyed are: Vertigo, Brass, John & Jean, DVF.
WHO’S YOUR BOSS LADY INSPIRATION?
The beautiful thing about this question is that there are so many now! When I was a kid we had four options, especially after Princess Di passed: Madeliene Albright, Oprah, Hillary Clinton and Marguerite Thatcher. Either Head or Secretaries of State or women married to a Head of State. Now, women truly have come into their own and I can list amazing women in every industry doing insanely awesome and innovative work. Thasunda Duckett is the first African American CEO of JP Morgan and the most amazingly transparent and seemingly balanced CEO I’ve seen, I love how celebrities are using their voice to create business that make the world a better place like Jennifer Garner and Jewel, Samantha Barry is the Editor-in-Chief of Glamour who no one had heard of but because of her intuition and intelligence made that job happen, Mylan’s Heather Bresch is the first big Pharm CEO that has an incredible perspective and approach to her work, Misty Copeland, the first African-American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater deserves every accolade and honor she receives, and of course Oprah will always make the list.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FASHION INDUSTRY GOING?
I definitely think personalized, specialized tech is the wave of the future and Armoire is on the cutting edge of that. That is equally our special sauce at Nav.it. Female-forward tech, usually designed by women but definitely acknowledging and respecting the new challenges we face as women in the 21st century, leverages technological solutions to make women’s lives easier and access seemingly inaccessible things like designer clothes or personalized stylists (or in our case conversations about the feminine experience and money). I really hope access and cheaper prices through subscriptions like Armoire, will place a premium on quality, reduce waste from cheap, wear-once clothes, and create more equitable access to designers in the future.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER, PROFESSIONAL WOMEN?
There is no such thing as perfection. I am constantly just trying my best and forgiving myself that I am not able to do everything. We put enormous pressure on ourselves to produce, be the best we can be and succeed. So those moments of self-care and self-compassion are key to keep us going. I need to hear this as much as I need to say it, as it’s hard to keep balanced when you are passionate and driven to bring something you believe in into the world!