Our next PhenomeNAIL Woman is Stephanie Cordes from the Cordes Foundation. With a background in the fashion industry, Stephanie focuses her skills on the economic empowerment of women and social entrepreneurship. Learn more about this amazing woman below!
Q: Tell us about the Cordes Foundation, and your role there.
A: The Cordes Foundation is our family foundation started by my parents in 2006 when my dad sold his financial services company. Our mission is poverty alleviation with a focus on the economic empowerment of women and social entrepreneurship. After transitioning from my previous career in the fashion/media industry to stepping into my new role as Vice Chair, we have incorporated my passions into the foundation’s focus areas by creating initiatives around ethical fashion and sustainable supply chains.
Q: Who are some of your biggest female inspirations?
A: As cliché as it may sound, my mom is my #1 female inspiration, hands down. She continuously amazes me with her unconditional love, generosity, compassion, and commitment towards elevating the role of women and girls worldwide. Another strong female inspiration is Coco Chanel - a woman who beyond all doubt revolutionized the female fashion industry. An early feminist entrepreneur, she built a legacy and an iconic brand focused on making women feel classy, fabulous and irreplaceable - characterized by her infamous quote “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants”.
Q: What’s the best advice you've ever been given?
A: “Ready-Fire-Aim” - an approach that my dad has always instilled in me; suggesting not to be afraid to jump in and take a few test runs. We often find ourselves getting stuck over-analyzing every little detail in the planning process that it’s better just to take the first leap and correct our course based on the real life successes and failures we encounter along the way.
Q: What instantly puts you in a good mood?
A: Traveling and watching the sunrise in new and unique places. Just last month we were in Angok Wat, Cambodia and Bagan, Myanmar and although we dreaded the 4:30am wake up time - it was beyond worth it. I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful and uplifting way to start our day!
Q: Do you have any great beauty secrets?
A: I love to frequently switch up my nail polish colors so have found Sephora’s Instant Polish Remover to be a lifesaver! Especially being constantly on-the-go, its compact size and ability to be used without cotton swabs makes it extremely fast and convenient.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: Most importantly, as a genuine and loving daughter, friend and colleague who prioritized helping and supporting others. I would also like to be remembered as a passionate and influential activist in the conscious consumerism movement, spreading the notion that fashion should be used as a source of empowerment not exploitation. As an avid adventure-seeker, I have always loved taking advantage of every new opportunity to learn, grow and inspire others so wish for that legacy to continue.
We loved hearing about Stephanie and her work with the Cordes Foundation! Thank you so much, Stephanie! You can find her on twitter at @sncordes, and you can learn more about the amazing Cordes Foundation initiatives at CordesFoundation.org.
To get the color on Stephanie's nails, take a look at Olive You More!