Why I joined the team at Boon + Gable
When trying to choose a company there are a few things I look for: who I’m going to work for, who I’m going to work with and what I’m going to work on.
Who I’m going to work for.
My favorite type of boss is talented, humble and deeply invested in the idea that mentoring those who they manage is a pathway to company growth.
In the best companies, responsibility flows up and compliments flow down. This is a difficult thing to discern from an interview but as I went through the process with Boon + Gable I was encouraged to build on solutions in a way that felt very collaborative. I look for someone who I deeply respect and who I’m inspired by.
Who I’m going to work with.
One of the best pieces of professional advice I’ve been given is that if you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room. I choose teams where I feel like everyone is smarter, more creative, and harder working than I am.
Additionally, I look for a good culture fit. As much as I can find things to appreciate in whoever my coworkers are, if I have to choose between talking about who’s going to win the Bachelor and who’s going to be this year’s League of Legends champion.. Bachelor please! If you’re familiar with engineering culture in SF you know there are more subscriptions to Twitch than Class Pass; the likely hood of fashion coming up in lunch convo is about as likely as me being the League of Legends champ. Not that it didn’t take me 3 months to figure out that the brand Joie wasn’t pronounced like a baby kangaroo.. but I have no idea what’s going on in those gaming conversations and clarifying questions lead to answers like “you are not prepared”. Yeah, pass.
Software is probably going the way of medicine; 20 years from now the all dude team will be extinct. As a physics major, I’ve had plenty of time to become comfortable working with guys and although I have somewhat avoided the gamer culture scenario, I wouldn’t let the gender makeup of the team be a factor in my decision. I care that the team is social and communicative because sometimes you get lucky enough to make friends at work and those end up being the dream jobs.
The Boon + Gable co-founders have built an incredible team. As I was interviewing, I felt like I was as much being vetted to join a family as a company. In my group interview, I was asked questions that went beyond the role I would play at the company to inquire about where I wanted my career to go and what types of problems I was interested in working on, in a way that showed a great deal of interest in me as an individual.
What I’m going to work on.
Choosing what to work on usually comes down to either how fun the problem is to solve or how solving the problem moves the needle in a meaningful way.
The most fun thing about the Boon + Gable product is that it’s something I would use. Last year, I worked at another fashion tech company, Rocksbox, a product I’ve used for several years now. In working there I realized just how valuable long time knowledge of the product, and the experience of its users, can be. I’m looking forward to trying new styles and changing the way I approach shopping as I contribute to building the tool that will allow us to scale that experience for others.
It’s unique that I’ll be able to share this experience of interacting with the product with both my male and female colleagues as users are both men and women. Boon + Gable is not a girly fashion company; it’s a company for people who hate to shop but who still want to love their clothes.
As far as moving the needle, the path taken by the clothes we wear touches a lot of lives. In this context, brands like Everlane, which allows consumers to view their factories online, go a long way in making conditions safer.
Personal shopping lends an expert to our experience and whether that expert knows us to love a specific cut of denim, that we don’t want clothes from specific factories, or that we really love statement jewelry, it provides the opportunity for the voice of the consumer to be heard more clearly than has traditionally been possible.
I’m very much looking forward to working for my new boss, Gil, with my new team and being part of the next chapter at Boon + Gable!