Welcome to Women in Retail Talks! We’ve updated our format to better serve the wants and needs of our community. Our refreshed podcast will feature in-depth interviews with female C-suite executives from enterprise retail organizations who defined their own career success and made their way to the metaphorical corner office. The episodes will include stories of professional growth, leadership development, personal journeys, and more. Every other Wednesday, you’ll get real advice and valuable lessons from powerhouse women across the industry. We hope you enjoy our show, and we welcome your feedback!

In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Laura Ravo, chief operating officer of Strand Book Store, the New York City heritage community bookstore. She’s also a Women in Retail Leadership Circle member! Listen in as Ravo discusses how she got her start in the retail industry (2:38), what she loves about working in retail (3:42), and what she enjoys about her current position at Strand (5:27).

In addition, Ravo shares her journey to authoring her new book, “The Power of Grit & Grace,” during the pandemic (7:44), why both grit and grace are important leadership qualities (9:49), and examples of when she’s used these skills throughout her career (11:15). Lastly, she discusses her advice for the next generation of female leaders (16:13), her personal and professional goals for 2022 (17:54), and her favorite quote that helps keep her grounded (19:06).

Laura Ravo is a retail guru whose talents and charisma have developed some of the highest performing teams in global retail. Her scrappy determination and endless curiosity have been the cornerstone of her success for nearly 30 years. Laura embarked on her “accidental” career in college when she began her retail career as a part-time night associate in ladies lingerie. As her journey continued, she worked her way up through the store ranks in department stores and specialty retail.

Laura advanced as a leader with some of the greatest brands in the business — Macy’s, L Brands, LensCrafters, Oakley, and The Body Shop. Each brand left a mark on her heart, and she left each brand better than she found it. Laura is a sought-after mentor, speaker and industry expert. Her mantra is that in order to lead with authenticity and purpose in today’s complex world, you must bring your whole self to your job and your team.

Date: January 18, 2022

Credits: Laura Ravo

Duration: 20:25