Read on to learn about Terri’s story, advice, and how Armoire has enabled her to find a new style that feels amazing and supports the life she wants to live.
Boss Ladies, we’d love to share our closet with you. Try today for $49!
“I hate shopping with a passion. After leaving corporate and having a shift in my body post pregnancy, I genuinely had nothing to wear. I found myself in a really big style rut… eventually, I just ran out of excuses not to try [Armoire].”
Past. I’m a South African-born, Texas-raised, Seattleite. I moved to Seattle after college, met my husband, and fell in love with the water and mountains. I spent the first decade of my career working in corporate as a digital product manager. I was a Director of Product Management at Capital One and then the Director of Digital Web at Premera (which I applied for and got the job, at 9 months pregnant). I led large scale cross-functional team building products end to end.
Present. I am mom to a mini-me 3-year-old who keeps me on my toes and teaches me to be a better person everyday. I am also the CEO and Owner of Virago Labs — a Strategy and Leadership company that builds startups for executives and develops tech leaders for high-impact work. All my work combines frameworks from holistic strategy and embodied leadership. Unlike the previous decade of my career in tech and finance, I spend my days working with and for women.
Future. I don’t know. I feel very fortunate to be doing what I would be doing regardless of whether I lived to be a hundred or had only 5 years to live. I genuinely feel like I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life and it feels like a path, but the destination is very much unknown. This might be because I love doing new things that challenge me and that make a meaningful impact on people’s lives. Where that will take me? The potential paths and destinations are endless.
I would have previously described my style as very corporate. I spent money on nice office appropriate, climb-the-ladder outfits. And while, I still love neutral colors and very clean lines, I’ve definitely expanded beyond that. Like almost every other part of my life, I would say I’m in a period of exploration. I won’t be boxed in. Except, no ruffles.
Why did you join?
I hate shopping with a passion. After leaving corporate and having a shift in my body post pregnancy, I genuinely had nothing to wear. I found myself in a really big style rut (all black, all clean cut, all the time). Every time I had a speaking event, I would rush to buy something to wear – which I would then never wear again. I was working out of the Riveter and eventually, I just ran out of excuses not to try it.
“I love so many things about Armoire… I spend a fixed amount — $1200 a year (6 items paid quarterly) — and I get over 300 outfits. My wardrobe has a much wider range and I get to experiment and try new things.”
I use Armoire for absolutely everything except for pajamas and underwear — cozy sweaters, date night dresses, lady-boss wears for events and speaking engagements. I had a big blowout birthday party for my 35th in January, and I wore two dresses: one for early evening drinks and one for late evening dancing.
What’s your favorite part?
I love so many things about Armoire. Although I wouldn’t define it as cheap from a budgeting perspective, it is a dream. I spend a fixed amount – $1200 a year (6 items paid quarterly) – and I get over 300 outfits. My wardrobe has a much wider range and I get to experiment and try new things.
Zuri ¾ sleeve dress, Tart vest jacket, Marina Sheath Ballet Neck dress (one of my birthday dresses), Brass trousers, all the Reiss tops, John & Jenn sweaters, anything French Connection, all the jumpsuits.
Get Sh*t Done Mode
I don’t believe we procrastinate or aren’t productive because we are lazy or bad. I really believe we have to optimize our schedules for our natural rhythms. I’m a morning person, I like to have 9-11am and all of Mondays for 1:1 creative and analytical work. During this time, I try very hard to have no meetings and I get so much done. But later in the day (after 1pm) and later in the week (Thurs./Fri.), I lose inspiration and get run down. I use these times to workout, have coaching sessions, and connect with other people who inspire me.
Boss Lady Inspiration
My 3 year old daughter. She loves what she loves. She cries when she is sad. She dances when she is happy. She loves making things and is super proud of learning something new. When she doesn’t know something, she just says so. She has never believed her body is anything but awesome. She wears whatever she feels like. She is undeniably kind and yet she stands up for herself — forcefully. May we all be a little more like a toddler.
The Future of Fashion
Renting is the future. Our current culture of consumption is unsustainable for the planet. Both our individual habits and the companies who sell us things need to change. Fashion, lead by companies like Armoire, seem to be trying to figure that out.
Advice for Other Boss Ladies
I believe every human being has to do their work. What I mean by that is we were all raised in boxes not of our own choosing. Those boxes keep us small. They don’t help us live lives of meaning and purpose. Learning to erase the walls we can, work-around and push through the walls we can’t, and a forge paths tied to what we care about is hard life-long work, but worth it for creating the life and careers we want.
Armoire x Virago Labs Webinar
Making Hard Decisions — Gut vs Brain
With the pace of change in today’s world, we have an abundance of opportunity and therefore choice. Faced with hard and life altering decisions – take a new job, become a mom, buy a house, go back to school – do we go with our intuition or take a hard-core analytical approach?
Watch this 45-minute webinar to learn how you can use both the power of your brain and your gut to make the best decisions for your future.
In this webinar, Terri combines the analytical methodology used to propel startup and product strategy with the intuition of embodied leadership.