In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Deb Waterman Johns, chief creative officer and co-founder of SCOUT, a family-owned brand known for stylish, functional and affordable bags. Listen in as Waterman Johns discusses what makes SCOUT products unique (1:05), the origin of the company (2:02), and the moments of risk and resiliency she’s experienced in her career (3:55). She shares her tips for creative leaders (6:47), how playing sports as a young girl taught her teamwork (8:10), and her advice for women juggling work and family (10:19).

In addition, Waterman Johns discusses why it’s important and empowering for working mothers to ask for help (11:28), her inspiring philanthropy work, including her pediatric oncology charity The Go Bo Fund (12:30), and the current fashion trends she’s following as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic (17:53).

Deb Waterman Johns co-founded SCOUT in 2004 with her husband Ben Johns and has operated as the chief creative officer since its inception, serving as the artistic and innovative force behind the brand and designing each product from start to finish. She developed a unique eye for trends after starting her career as the assistant fabric editor at the fashion mecca, VOGUE. She parlayed this invaluable experience into a role at Pat Tunsky, serving top fashion designers and retailers (from K-Mart to Calvin Klein) as a fabric and color predictive consultant, and eventually set up her own consultancy followed by her own personal styling company for prominent figures in the D.C. area.

Deb is a force to be reckoned with 40-plus years in fashion and business, and brings her magnetic energy, lively personality and keen eye for trends with her everywhere she goes. She’s a true storyteller with a knack for capturing any audience with endless advice and anecdotes from her world travels and experience working her way up the fashion/business totem pole.

Date: May 25, 2021

Credits: Deb Waterman Johns

Duration: 22:42