The national lockdown opened up opportunities for many of us. Like some of you, I used the time trapped in my home office to meet with as many professional women as I could to get their feedback on the design, comfort, and fit for VERAGANO’s first collection of comfortable pumps. Having met Brooke Bains through an informal social networking group of Facebook, she graciously offered suggestions on must-have’s in a pair of pump shoes.
She travels frequently for business and wanted a pair of designer high heels that are more comfortable than her favorite Rockstud Valentino sandals. Now she has her VERAGANO de Vera pumps in Nude and told me she is excited to indulge in her next pair when the new styles are launched. Naturally, I was also interested in getting to know her as I wondered about her career.
Having to pivot to new adventures amidst the Coronavirus crisis, she landed a sought-after position at Chowbotics, as its VP of Worldwide Sales. I was amazed at her resilience to shift according to her vision and mission; so I interviewed her immediately. I hope that you will be inspired to pursue g the career of your own design too! This is her shoes, her story.
Rima: If colleagues are to describe your character, what are the three words they would use?
Brooke: Principled, Driven, Compassionate.
Rima: What are the must-have pieces that make up your power outfit?Brooke: I love a structured navy blazer with classic gold buttons over a feminine, knit dress in a bold color. Oh, and a classic flat so if I am running through the airport to catch my flight; I can effortlessly transition to a comfortable pump when I walk into a meeting. Now I have Veragano to thank for making a truly comfy shoe!
Rima: What was your inspiration in pursuing a career at Chowbotics?
Brooke: After learning how to heal my body after a health challenge in my 20s, nutrition and fresh became one of the pillars that I lean on to keep myself resilient today. What Chowbotics has created is a micro-restaurant where I can get fresh meals anytime and anywhere and I want more people to have access to the same around the world. Oh, I am also passionate about building thriving sales organizations and companies. The opportunity to do this for Chowbotics came up and provided the perfect place for me to stretch myself!
Rima:What is your ultimate career goal at this point?
Brooke: The journey of self-actualization through my vocation is really the goal for me. My career has been circuitous. In every new step, I’ve learned more about how to thrive in work and in life. By the way, this journey has been fraught with failure, which helped me build strength and laid the foundation for my values and success. What’s on tap now is to build a humming revenue engine for Chowbotics so that the teams I work with can derive a value that pervades all aspects of their life. What’s next, being a part of Chowbotics’s successful rise. I also have several books I am working on that I’d like to publish, I want to invest in other women founders and be able to help them operate in a way that allows them to build a robust business, and perhaps re-launch Bombshell when the time is right and the world is flying again.
Rima: How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
Brooke: I define balance as the alignment of what I say, how I feel, what I think, and how I act. If any one of those four aspects is out of balance, everything is unbalanced. Work is simply one aspect of life and when it’s in balance with the whole of life, the wheel turns. I am not a fan of the term “work-life balance” because it’s easy to blame work for a lack of balance and most of the time it’s not the cause it’s the effect. However, when balance becomes a personal check-in then it’s achievable at any moment by re-aligning myself with the 4 aspects I mentioned above. But I have to be able to be brutally honest with myself to do a proper check-in and that can sometimes create internal conflict - but that is the juiciness of growth and transformation. So I’ll sit with the discomfort to find joy!
In defining balance (or imbalance) in the way I have, I realized that this discipline of checking-in is the ultimate decision-making framework for success and resilience.
Rima: What is your best advice to women who are looking to embark themselves in the corporate world amidst a global health crisis?
Brooke: Be fearless and be bold. Each one of us lives right now because we have vital gifts that need to be shared with our community and our planet. One of my favorite quotes is from an Indian mystic named Osho. He shares that “courage is the love affair with the unknown.” No matter what adventure awaits, the unknown is ever-present, and fear is real. However, fear isn’t the issue, it’s how we choose to respond to fear that has the potential to pave a new path forward, foster longing for what was, or paralyze in stagnation. In choice, there is freedom and responsibility and we have this choice available to us each moment. Carpe Diem Ladies.