In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli chats with Jennifer Sey, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of global brands at Levi Strauss & Co., a worldwide legacy retail brand. Listen in as Sey discusses her career journey, including her 20 years of experience working at Levi’s, and her current role at the brand. She discusses Levi’s history of social and civil activism, and touches specifically on the brand’s recent nonpartisan education and outreach on voter participation in the United States during the 2018 midterm election. (Levi’s plans to continue that initiative during the 2020 presidential election.) Earlier this year, Levi Strauss & Co. organized a corporate push for common-sense gun safety legislation that included a letter sent to the United States Senate with signatures from nearly 150 CEOs of global brands backing the effort.
Sey goes on to discuss her childhood experiences as a competitive gymnast, and how that challenging and difficult time of her life shaped her value-led leadership style today. She shares her hiring strategy and why she emphasizes diversity, inclusion, values orientation, and love for the Levi’s brand when building her team. Sey discusses the two best pieces of advice she’s ever received, the creative passion projects she’s currently working on, and how everyone has their own unique Levi’s story.
Jennifer Sey has been with Levi Strauss & Co. for more than 20 years, holding a variety of leadership positions within the marketing, strategy and e-commerce teams. In 2013, Jen became the global chief marketing officer for the Levi’s® brand, and in 2018 was appointed senior vice president and chief marketing officer, overseeing marketing for the company’s portfolio of brands. She’s also a member of the company’s global leadership team, which guides the strategic direction for LS&Co.
Jen has received numerous awards, including the distinction of being named one of Ad Age’s “Top 40 Marketers Under 40” in 2006, one of Brand Innovators’ “Top 50 Women in Marketing” in 2015, Billboard Magazine’s “Top 25 Most Powerful People in Music and Fashion,” recipient of the 2018 CMO Social Responsibility Award, and was featured on Forbes’ CMO Next List for 2018: 50 Chief Marketers Who Are Redefining the CMO Role. In 2018, under Sey’s direction, the Levi’s brand was awarded a Silver Cannes Lions award for the “Circles” advertising campaign, the most ambitious chapter from the Live in Levi’s® effort.
As a child, Jen led an intense life of dedication, challenge and competition. She won the U.S. National Gymnastics Championship title in 1986, less than one year after having suffered a devastating injury at the 1985 World Championships. As a result, the U.S. Olympic Committee named her Gymnastics’ Athlete of the Year. Jennifer retired after eight years on the national team and went on to study at Stanford University. In 2008, Sey released a memoir, “Chalked Up,” a New York Times e-book best-seller detailing her triumphs and struggles within the world of competitive gymnastics. She has published an op-ed in the New York Times and her writing has been featured in a variety of outlets as a leading voice in athlete advocacy, seeking to drive cultural and legal changes towards safety and athlete empowerment.
Jen is on the board of directors for the Red Tab Foundation, an organization within LS&Co. committed to the mission of employees helping employees and retirees in times of need.
Jen lives in San Francisco with her husband, Daniel, and her four children, Virgil, Wyatt, Oscar and Ruth.
Date: October 8, 2019
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Arda Tashdjian, founder of Little Lady Products, a kid-friendly, scented and toxin-free nail polish. Listen in as Tashdjian discusses her inspiration for starting the brand, as well as how she adapted to having her children home during the pandemic while running the Little Lady Products business.14:28
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Manager Kristina Stidham interviews Caroline Danehy, co-founder and chief creative officer of Fair Harbor, a New York City-based sustainable swimwear company that makes swim shorts from recycled plastic bottles. Listen in as Danehy discusses her young career, the inspiration behind co-founding Fair Harbor alongside her brother, and the company's focus on sustainability.18:25
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer at Ulta Beauty, the largest U.S. cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, and beauty gifts retailer. Listen in as Arnaudo discusses the launch of the retailer's Conscious Beauty initiative, and what the program means for Ulta and its customers.20:55
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Manager Kristina Stidham interviews Jessica Rolph, co-founder and CEO of Lovevery, the award-winning play essentials company. Listen in as Rolph shares her career background, including previously co-founding organic kid's food brand Happy Family, and what lead her to start Lovevery. She discusses the extensive research behind each product sold at Lovevery, how learning and mental development are essential to the brand's products, and why offering a subscription model makes sense for the company.19:36
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Heidi Hertel, founder of Fitz Frames, an online eyewear retailer creating custom-fitted, 3D-printed glasses for children and adults. Hertel shares how Fitz Frames has managed an increase in demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, why the brand developed a new prescription protective eyewear design, and how the company is donating pairs to healthcare workers.11:43
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Manager Kristina Stidham interviews Carrie SiuButt, CEO of Simple Health, an online birth control prescriber. SiuButt explains the ways that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted women’s health, how Simple Health has experienced a huge increase in online birth control orders during the crisis, and the other trends she's seeing in this sector.22:59
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Kelly Murphy, director of experience at Olivela, a luxury retailer with a philanthropic twist. Listen in as Murphy discusses the brand's 20 percent giveback commitment, its statement on social media saying it stands with the Black Lives Matter movement, and how the luxury retailer is committing to actionable change within the organization.9:09
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Aliza Licht, founder and president of LEAVE YOUR MARK LLC and author and host of the LEAVE YOUR MARK podcast. Listen in as Licht discusses her background in the fashion industry, how she thinks retailers and brands should be marketing to consumers during the COVID-19 health crisis, and how companies can sell nonessential items through storytelling.20:22
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Manager Kristina Stidham interviews Rachael Dalfonzo, founder and president of Monkey Feet USA, a fast-growing e-commerce brand selling children's and women's handcrafted moccasins that are fashionable, functional and high quality with affordability in mind.22:17
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Influence Central, a social and digital consultancy. Listen in as DeBroff discusses a recent report Influence Central published based on a consumer behavior survey. She shares some of the data found in the report, including consumer behavior shifts during COVID-19.19:22