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On this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, Daria Burke, a leader on fashion and technology, talks about reinventing yourself and switching careers.
Burke had a solid career working in marketing and analysis, working with major brands like Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent.
As her interest in beauty and fashion grew, she came across an early startup known as Rent the Runway, a clothes rental platform. She decided to take a risk (and a big pay cut) to join its female founders in building the company.
"I love that two women had come up with this really cool business model. It was very timely, because we had entered into the economic downturn, and we were very much in a recession. And I love that they were still wanting to offer these sort of Cinderella moments to women," said Burke.
She grew her team of two interns to 10 stylists in a year, handling the whole customer experience. Following her time at Rent the Runway, Burke went on to work at CVS and then Facebook, working on beauty strategy and retail partnerships respectively.
Burke moved to L.A. during the pandemic to accept what she called her dream job as chief marketing officer at JustFab.
“I had spent the last maybe five years really learning a lot more about personal development,” she said, adding that the concept of internal transformation was a good match for her experience in the fashion world “which is all about external transformation. And it's important, and we feel amazing when we look right. And we often get to feel like our best selves, you know, when we get to represent ourselves the way that we want to. That's super important.”
She added that she’s found that there are always forces tempting us not to listen to ourselves.
"I think as women, women of color, there are so many messages being drilled into us that you have to work twice as hard," said Burke.
Burke suggests that budding leaders stop aspiring to perfection, and cease trying to control things.
"Why do you feel like this needs to be perfect in the first place?" she asked.
Burke has expanded into venture capital, becoming an angel investor. She’s also joined the executive board of “Fast Company,” a business publication.
dot.LA Engagement Fellow Joshua Letona contributed to this post.