Our conversation with Gianna Driver-Balme and Silvia Scandar Mahan focused on the ups and downs of starting and running a business. Gianna and Silvia each founded their own fashion-focused businesses and gave us some really great insight into how they decided their ventures were worthwhile ones to take and how they transitioned from their corporate jobs to being CEO's of their own companies. They answered our questions about finances, taking on new roles, working with family and developing the right support network. We're so grateful for their honesty and candor and for sharing their experiences with us. Many thanks to Silvia, Gianna and our friends at Framed Data for making this such a great evening. See more pictures here on facebook.

About Gianna Driver-Balme

Gianna spent part of her childhood living in a Texas women’s shelter with her Filipino mother. At 16, she was the first in her family to go to college (later attending Wharton) which led to a career in commercial insurance. She left the corporate world behind when she realized that she wanted to empower women like the ones she saw in the shelter growing up. Her company Gianna Fair Trade employs women in India, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines to handcraft accessories and items for home decor.  Her work landed her on Inc. Magazine's "30 under 30" list in 2011, and a profile in Glamour magazine in the same year.  Gianna moved from working on Gianna Fair Trade full-time to part-time, and expanded on her international experience in her role as General Manager of Balsam Brands. She is currently VP of People Operations at Talend. 

About Silvia Scandar Mahan

Silvia Scandar Mahan is co-founder and CEO of Vividly, a clothing line designed for customization by visual artists. She was a litigation attorney with Skadden, Arp LLP in New York before moving west and learning front-end web development. In 2012, she ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, which allowed her to launch a company focused on crowdsourced fashion design. That company eventually became Vividly - an art community and fashion house, featuring digitally printed artwork on high-quality fabrics. In March 2014, Vividly closed its e-commerce site, and now serves only wholesale clients. Silvia divides her time between San Francisco (the city where she lives and Miami (the city where she grew up), and is currently working on an economic development project for the city of Miami.

About our sponsor

Framed Data is a predictive analytics company that tells you why your customers are about to leave, and why they stay on your product.. If your company cares about user retention, check out Framed! 

Posted
AuthorRosies Daughters