Aliza Polkes
Copywriter & Editor @ Yotpo
November 19th, 2020

Welcome to the second installment in our new “You Asked, We Answered” series.

At an AWIE event in August, we asked viewers to submit their most burning questions to be answered by past AWIE Honorees, event participants, and other members of our community. At our UK event in October, we brought your questions directly to our speakers and published the first post in our “You Asked, We Answered” series.

At our US event on November 19, we brought a new set of questions to a new set of incredible panelists, including Alix Peabody, Founder & CEO, Bev; Victoria Aisenberg, Regional VP, Salesforce Commerce Cloud; and Reshma Chamberlin, Co-Founder and Chief Brand & Digital Officer, Summersalt.

Read on for your daily dose of inspiration, then be sure to nominate an incredible woman in your life as a 2021 Amazing Women in eCommerce Honoree!

“I’m a working mom of three. I have three kids that are under the age of five. I have two golden retrievers who keep me very active and busy. I have a super needy husband. I think a lot of us can relate to that. And I also have a live-in nanny. So my house is just completely full of people, kids, dogs — it’s chaos 24/7. The things that are making my work/home life balance are things like my Peloton and just generally getting outside. I’ve gotten into running now, running up to like a 10K, when I’ve never been a runner in my life. Getting out of my house, getting out of my office is my zen.” – Victoria Aisenberg, Salesforce Commerce Cloud

“I do miss my team because we are very close, but what’s amazing is we’re able to be as efficient. We’ve had a really incredible year. So to be able to do that in this environment — we’re very, very grateful for new efficiencies because of the work from home environment. So for example, you could share information passing in the hallway in the office, but with WFH, we’ve had to implement some really thoughtful strategic processes. So from a business perspective, I actually think the work from home has not been as bad as I think we were all thinking.” – Reshma Chamberlin, Summersalt

“From a work perspective, it definitely has implemented efficiencies that weren’t there before, and that wouldn’t have necessarily been there before, kind of like Reshma said, but I also think that, you know, we’re also scaling right now. The work from home situation has been pretty good for business because people are drinking more, and they want it to show up at their door, and they don’t really want to go to the store. And so for us, we kind of had this explosive moment where we were all on lockdown and we had to be hiring. And for me, I guess the biggest challenge has been maintaining culture with new hires, without being able to see them in person. It’s challenged me to figure out, okay, I need to make those training videos. I need to make all of these ways to integrate people into the brand now, and in a way that I didn’t think I would have to do until we were a fully nationally distributed brand.” – Alix Peabody, Bev

“I think I would tell her to trust the process a little bit more. I think when you’re 21, you want the immediate results, especially when you’re type A and ambitious, and you’ve been dreaming about your office, which I did since I was eight. I did not dream about kids and weddings. None of that was on my radar. I wanted an office and I wanted a dog. Those were the two top priorities in my life. And so when you’ve been dreaming about something since you’re a kid, you want those immediate kinds of results. You’re like, okay, I did what I needed to do. I got great grades. I did the internships, I did everything. Why aren’t I at this point? And even if you feel like you’re not moving forward, every experience is moving you forward.” – Reshma Chamberlin, Summersalt

“One of my favorite quotes of all time: Conan O’Brien actually spoke at my commencement speech and he said, ‘nothing in life is more liberating than having your worst fear realized.’ That’s what someone actually told me when I was 21. I wish I’d listened.” – Alix Peabody, Bev

“Be yourself. I remember thinking, okay, if I talk the talk, if I read the sales manuals, and the handbook of how I’m supposed to act, if I dress like people that I’m like looking up to, if I have phone calls with them and just try to mimic their speeches and their pitches and basically be them, then I’ll be successful. And I remember trying that for a good amount of time. And I kept failing and failing because I wasn’t being authentic to myself. I wasn’t doing it the Vicky way. And the Vicky way isn’t always right. But it’s true to myself.” – Victoria Aisenberg, Salesforce Commerce Cloud

“For me, it’s been a lot about learning what their game is and then beating them at their own game, in my way. For example, we go into distributor meetings and there are 300 middle-aged white men that are supposed to distribute this bright pink can. And at one point I was just like, screw it, and we started going into our distributor meetings with a speaker that was playing ‘It’s Raining Men,’ and just started dancing. And suddenly they’re like, okay, that’s hilarious. For me, it’s a game of chess, not checkers, and really being strategic. Women have that intuition, you know, and so not being afraid to use it has been really important.” – Alix Peabody, Bev

“My friend Lauren also works at Salesforce Commerce Cloud. She recently ran a ‘I Am Remarkable’ series for a bunch of women that was started by Google. She was a moderator in one of these panels and was sharing some stats about women in the workplace. The most interesting stat that she shared that day was that in job interviews and looking at job descriptions, men will apply if they feel that they meet 60% of the job credentials. Women, on the other hand, will only apply if they meet 100% of those credentials, which I find to be crazy. But also I do the same thing. I’m like, eh, they’re probably not going to think I’m great because I don’t know how to do that. Like men ultimately, because of the workforce, feel more confident to apply to things. So I just feel like we need to keep reminding ourselves and other women that we are worthy, that we are capable. We can do this. We are just as successful as men, if not more, because we’re working so hard to prove ourselves and we can impact change. We can make change happen.” – Victoria Aisenberg, Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Only 3% of venture funding went to women last year. And I believe this year it’s even less due to the pandemic. I don’t think there’s exact statistics out yet. So when you think about that, you are pitching a swimsuit to men, who’ve never won a swimsuit, who never understood what it means to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable and stressed out in a swimsuit. So that dynamic is really, really interesting. And one thing that I’ve learned in approaching kind of a male-dominated fundraising ecosystem is to really not try to be the man, but to be yourself and really understand what are those things that are important for someone to make the deal. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman; it really is about those sound deal points that make a deal attractive to any investor. So instead of focusing on who we were speaking to in terms of their gender, we really focused on what that investor reading needed to hear. What was important to them? Were margins important to them? Was marketing strategy more important to them? Was customer acquisition more important to them? I think no matter what the situation, being incredibly prepared is important.” – Reshma Chamberlin, Summersalt

To learn more about Amazing Women in eCommerce and to get involved, visit our site, join our social community, and be sure to nominate an incredible woman in your life as a 2021 Amazing Women in eCommerce Honoree!

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