Phoebe is the founder of NOCORI handbags which are perfectly made to hold your workout clothes and look stylish. She currently lives in NYC and is the Head of Operations at Finding Ferdinand. She told us about her career in New York City, how she started her company, why she loves working at Finding Ferdinand, her love of yoga, and what it means to her to be powerful.
Phoebe, tell us about your career and what you are doing in New York City today.
I grew up between Taiwan and Texas, so I feel like I had a very international yet Southern upbringing – a little bit of a weird mix I will admit. After going to college at The University of Texas in Austin, I spent time in management consulting. First in the healthcare space, and then in the social sector working on a Citi Foundation Grant for the Mayor’s Office in Chicago and then a social impact consulting project in Kenya.
Now I live in New York City and love working with startups. I am currently with a company called Finding Ferdinand where we let you make any custom color of your choosing. We believe in letting you find beauty your way. For so long beauty trends have been dictated by big brands, and our goal is to try and promote inclusivity in the beauty industry.
Tell us about your start-up!
I started NOCORI as something I was just interested in because of my background as a yoga teacher and someone who loves to workout. I always feel pressed for time, so I thought: why isn’t there a product in the market that could be a gym bag and looks like a handbag? I went to friends that had built handbag companies before, and they helped me make a prototype to understand interest in the market. It has now grown to a point where it needs more working capital and a marketing budget to make it grow, so I am taking it day by day. Currently, I’m focused on working at Finding Ferdinand and excited about making the beauty industry more inclusive.
How is the design of Nocori bags better for workout clothes?
The interior is mesh and can be taken out to be washed. The outside is leather, but the mesh protects the bag and allows the bag to air out.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurial women?
If I were to say one thing, it is being willing to do anything. A lot of people go into a job and are a little hesitant when approached to do a task outside of your job description. My advice is to be open to doing anything and everything because it shows you are dependable and proactive. In a startup environment, we want people who are invested and willing to roll-up their sleeves. Also, this is a skill in life that just helps you learn and gain exposure because you get to learn a little bit of everything. At the end of the day, it is about being open to new experiences and seeing where that can take you! Also, if there is something you really want to be doing, I think it’s important to put your intention out into the universe and seeing where your path leads!
What does it mean to you to be powerful?
What is most powerful to me is when an individual lives authentically. This means doing what feels best to you and being true to yourself. There have been a lot of conversations around this lately, and I think again it comes back to being true to yourself and knowing your boundaries – when to say no and when to say yes, and most importantly, when to speak up. Specifically for women, I think being powerful is still recognizing that you are a woman. What I mean by this is, we don’t need to “act like men” (in the way our societal standards dictate) in order to fit in during a business meeting or for us to make our voice heard. Being authentic to who I am as both a female and a human is when I feel the most powerful.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love traveling. I think I’m on a plane at least once every other week if not more frequently! Other things that keep me busy include meditation, yoga, pilates, running, and cultivating my relationships with the people I care about.