Susie Kuhn is one of Women in Retail Leadership Circle’s newest members! She’s the executive director of strategy and business development at URBN, where she leads the research, collaboration, development, and executive and board communication of major initiatives across its portfolio of brands (Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, Terrain, and Vetri). We asked Susie some rapid-fire questions so you can get to know her better.

  1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently? The Economist. Every issue feels like a book.
  2. What excites you most about retail? That it’s always changing and there’s no perfect season!
  3. Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? Oprah, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Angela Merkel
  4. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? Try to build rapport and learn from everyone you work with, even if it’s difficult.
  5. Where do you do your best thinking? Walking or sitting outside looking at something beautiful like the ocean or the woods.
  6. What woman inspires you right now and why? My mother. I’m amazed by her capacity and energy to keep evolving, accepting life as it happens.
  7. When you’re traveling for work, what’s a must-pack item? My full skin care regimen (such an over 40 answer)
  8. What’s the hardest thing about your job? Getting engagement and curiosity from leaders to think beyond a few months out
  9. What’s your favorite aspect of your job? Researching and leading discussion on the trends and disruptions that are top of mind for our industry
  10. What’s the best advice that’s ever been given to you? When you’re confident in yourself and leading with your natural strengths, everything starts to work.
  11. What’s your favorite time of day to be productive? Morning! I love getting to the office before everyone when it’s still quiet.
  12. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had in your career? That hard work and being earnest aren’t always valued and/or promoted as much as being political in your opinion or connected to the right person.
  13. What’s your favorite app? Delta
  14. How do you decompress? Spending a weekend at my house on the North Shore of Boston with my dog. And once a year taking an off-the-grid vacation to somewhere remote.
  15. What barriers have you had to overcome in your career? Understanding that being female is my strength and rejecting this idea that I’m “too” anything (emotional, engaged, earnest).
  16. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? Say yes, and/or find roles that sound interesting to you. Don’t worry about a linear career path.
  17. If you weren’t working in the retail industry, what do you think you’d be doing? Politics or journalism.
  18. How would you describe your leadership style? Collaborative and vision oriented. I believe teams are a collective, and leadership is about making all the puzzle pieces work the best they can, then going and finding the missing pieces.