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#Troublemaker

Sharing reflections from
extraordinary women

Meet Julie Sygiel
The Pockets Project Founder 
Senior Director of Lifetime Membership, Girl Scouts of the USA 
Founder, Dear Kate 

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE YOU WOULD BECOME A _______?

I got frustrated with the lack of deep pockets in my own clothing and decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. It's so annoying and things kept happening that reinforced the realization that women need better pocket functionality. I was on vacation in Spain and my phone fell out of my pocket onto the floor at dinner -- I was lucky that someone tapped me on the shoulder to ask if it was mine, but I could have easily lost it because of shallow pockets. Deep pockets are an everyday necessity in my book, especially at work when I don't want to carry a purse around to meetings but I also have an entire handful of items that I need with me to be prepared. 

WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED ALONG YOUR CAREER JOURNEY?

Prioritizing is the key to success. As a founder, there are always endless ideas and projects to complete. The key is to figure out which ones are most crucial to the business' success and then focus on those first. It's easier said than done though so I try to set aside time each week to refocus.

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED?

I'm a very optimistic person so I like to think about what good might happen in the future and then charge toward it.  

HOW DO YOU RECHARGE?

I love a slow weekend where I get to try a new spot for brunch, catch up on emails, and chat by phone with a friend or two who lives far away.  

HOW DO YOU THINK WOMEN CAN HELP OTHER WOMEN?

I think it's important to be kind to everyone, friends and colleagues and strangers. If you say something that came off the wrong way or accidentally insulted someone (raises hand -- I did this recently), go out of your way to apologize and hear her perspective. I also try to always make time for women who are reaching out for advice even if it's a short 10-15 minute phone call, and I appreciate my mentors who have done the same for me.

WHAT DOES BEING A TROUBLEMAKER MEAN TO YOU?

I used to joke that I was a "rule follower" and I think to some extent that's still true. However, more and more I find that I question the rules and if it feels like there's a better way to accomplish a goal or there are negative consequences of following the rules, then it's our responsibility to speak up and try to change them. 

IF YOU COULD BRING 5 OBJECTS FROM YOUR PAST INTO YOUR FUTURE CAREER JOURNEY, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

Oh this is a tough question! I have a bunch of pencil skirts from J.Crew that I love -- they're colorful yet polished. I love The Make pants because they are so comfy and subvert traditional professional wardrobe rules. I had a great pair of black pointy flats years ago that I wore until they fell apart, so if I could recreate those to wear forever, that would be amazing. I don't know if I have anything else specifically because my style keeps changing through the years so I don't have a bunch of old pieces.  

    Follow JULIE @juliesygiel