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Female Founders: Alexandra Schuck and Yasmine Staub of Aline Events On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Photo credit: Lucas Rossi Photography / Peach Hill Media @lucasrossiphoto @peachhillmedia

Stay inspired. Owning a business means constantly adapting to a rapidly changing world. People are overstimulated and have essentially seen it all through the power of social media. You have to be innovative and always one step ahead of the curve. Learning to anticipate what people are looking for, especially in this time of COVID, is essential. Find inspiration in the day-to-day. Read, explore new places, new people, new foods, and travel whenever you can.

As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexandra Schuck and Yasmine Staub of Aline Events.

ALINE EVENTS is a bespoke event company founded by Alexandra Schuck and Yasmine Staub. ALINE EVENTS has been curating high-level events since 2018, including parties for the Oscars, birthdays, New Years and Halloween. Aiming to always realize something unique for the individual occasion and to make the best use of the location, ALINE EVENTS has succeeded time and time again in enthralling their clients with great vibes and atmospheres and making their events unforgettable.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Alexandra: I had the pleasure of living between Europe and Los Angeles for the past 7 years, and during that time I attended some of the world’s most prominent events, and also collaborated with some of the best known event-planners and designers. I drew knowledge and inspiration from these experiences and began curating my own private events in Monaco, St Barths and Los Angeles. I met Yasmine in 2017 and we quickly became close friends. We bonded over our love for design and producing events. We decided to join forces and create “Aline Events.”

Our mission is to create high end bespoke events for our clients, but what sets us apart from other event companies in the industry is we also work with our clients to curate their guest list. This service allows us to co-host with our clients and combine our contacts to connect like minded individuals.

Yasmine: I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s brightest creatives during my modeling years. I learned peripherally through watching them conceptualize and shape ideas from the mind’s eye into reality. There are a lot of small details that need attention, and each moving part needs careful consideration when creating immersive and memorable experiences. I’ve spent much of my personal time exploring the arts, and before COVID I would travel to the Venice Biennale religiously for both the architectural and art exhibitions. My favorite photography show is The Rencontres d’Arles. I’m also huge fan of documenta in Kassel, Germany. I’m enormously inspired by other creatives’ work, be it in music, art or film. I think my passion for the arts has naturally led me towards curating highly esthetic experiences.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

To begin, the way Yasmine and I “alined” with one another in a professional capacity was quite interesting. Yasmine and I were both going through similar life-altering transitional periods, and we found strength and support as good friends. During this process we both shared our desire to create our own business. Forming a company together fueled us. It gave us life during a very challenging and uncertain time. It was powerful. Finding your passion and gaining independence is empowering. How you maneuver through challenges is what makes you evolve into a better person and professional. We have learned that the key to success is to have a great support system around you.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The day before a big event we delivered bottles of wine along with notes to the client’s closest neighbors alerting them that we would be throwing a party the next evening. We did not know until a very irate neighbor called us that apparently, the client’s home had a history with crazy wild parties in the past, and the neighbors were traumatized. She threatened to shut down the party. Still being quite “green” to the industry, we were mortified. We grabbed the best bouquet of flowers from the event and knocked on the neighbor’s door. Long story short, her entire family joined us at the event and we have since developed a great relationship. The important lesson for us was despite being in a situation of fear, vulnerability and potential failure, we realized that by staying calm and taking the initiative to tackle the problem sincerely and directly, we were able to change the entire outcome, even more than we could have ever thought possible. It’s funny because we thought this woman would be our “end” and she turned out to be a great supporter of our company.

None of us is able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

A: We are very grateful for the support and guidance of many individuals whom we have met throughout this journey. It is hard to name just one person, but one incredibly memorable moment was when we were in a situation that at the time felt quite daunting. I knew exactly whom to call — Karen Waldron. She is the founder of Ampersand Entertainment. She was my event planner for my baby shower and housewarming party in 2018. She was one of the women who inspired me to pursue the event-curating business. Normally, I would be hesitant to call upon the aid of another event company, but we were tackling something we had never anticipated, and we had to act swiftly. I will never forget Karen’s immediate willingness to help however she could. Her sense of calm and her competence helped us get through the emotional aspects of putting out this particular “fire,” but she also connected us with people who were able to help and solve the problem. It was such a humbling and heartwarming experience to witness someone selflessly do so much to help us. There is nothing more important than supporting one another!

Ok, thank you for that. Lets now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

A: From my own personal experience as a single mother to a three-year-old, I can say that even with help, finding a balance is not easy. As a woman we are expected to do it all and that pressure can sometimes be crippling. There does not seem to be enough hours in the day. When you are running a business, especially a new enterprise, you have to be focused every waking hour.

Y: Historically, there have been structural issues that have made it difficult for women to take the reins in founding new companies. This is changing, but we are still behind! None of us is able to achieve success without support and help along the way. Women supporting each other is a huge part of this change, and we look to each other, are inspired by each other and draw strength and courage from our friends and peers. The more women that do unique and powerful things, the more we are inspired to shoot for the stars!

Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?

Y: Recently Alexandra sent me an article about what could be holding women back. What really stood out was the idea that many of us are thinking too small. As women we need to become more comfortable with thinking BIG. Everything really does boil down to our mindset and how we perceive the world around us. Our worldview, how we approach problems, and even what we perceive as being a “problem,” shape our actions and how we deal with the world around us. We all influence each other. Alexandra’s support and love has had a huge impact on how I see myself, and knowing she has my back has given me the courage to take leaps of faith into bettering my life. We all influence each other, and how we treat and respect one another really does shape our society, and, down the line, influences government policy.

This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

To the extent any portion of the female population is left out of participation in the economy, that portion of one half the population is thereby excluded.

What are the myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?

There is a myth that being a founder means you are your own boss. That is true to a certain extent, but, at the end of the day, the client/customer is the boss, and it is a founder’s job to make sure they are completely satisfied with the results.

Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?

A: You have to live and breathe what you do. We believe that anything can be achieved as long as you have drive, a clear goal, focus, discipline and organization, and you are able to collaborate effectively. It is also important to have “regular jobs” on the way to finding your desired métier. The key is to get inspired along the way. Try to find a job that is within the industry of something that ignites you. Learn as much as you can. Another important word of advice is not to be afraid to try new things, and to branch out into work that broadens your perspective and that gives you insight into the parallel world to which you aspire. My first job was working at a concession stand of a movie theater at 16 years old. I also worked as a waitress, as an intern at Smashbox Studios in the grip room, as a real estate assistant, as a fashion intern and as a music licensing assistant. Yasmine worked as a pizza delivery girl when she was 16, and was also a waitress. Later, she developed and managed Airbnbs. All of those very diverse jobs gave us eye-opening and mind-expanding life lessons that have carried over to what we are doing as founders of a business today.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your opinion and experience, what are the Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder?” (Please share a story or example for each.)

This is an important question. In our experience, a woman is expected to be a flower AND a shark. The effort to achieve this balance can be tricky. A woman founder needs:

1. Thick skin. It is important to keep emotions at bay, stay collected and not let every little or big thing affect you. Move forward. Your motto should always be: “onwards and upwards.” No time to worry, only problem-solve.

2. Knowing when and how to push and break stereotypes. This is a delicate dance for women. At a time when women are still cultivating the path forward for femininity, the practice of business requires thoughtful navigation and trial and error.

3. Stay inspired. Owning a business means constantly adapting to a rapidly changing world. People are overstimulated and have essentially seen it all through the power of social media. You have to be innovative and always one step ahead of the curve. Learning to anticipate what people are looking for, especially in this time of COVID, is essential. Find inspiration in the day-to-day. Read, explore new places, new people, new foods, and travel whenever you can.

4. Stay open minded. It is very important to be open to a new direction and to new ways of resolving problems. Remaining “stuck” in your vision doesn’t always lead to the best result. Nuance and subtle thinking is what makes you great at your job.

5. Communication. In a world of ideas and concepts, communication is key. It can be all too easy for a misunderstanding to ruin a good idea.

BONUS: Being OK with failure. Without ‘failures’ and mistakes, we would not learn how to be successful.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

The world needs everyone’s energy in pursuit of their hopes and dreams to create the impactful shifts necessary to keep the economy going. We carry the lessons and values with us that we have received from others. One way we can give back is passing on kindness and advice to a deserving person. Your voice means something and has the power to contribute to the greater good. That is our credo. -Y & A

You are both people of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Being a person with great influence often means a great responsibility to set an example for others. If we had the power to influence, we would want to help people build the confidence to overcome any fears and obstacles that keep them from believing in themselves. This could be in the form of using our network to establish mentorship programs and organizing inspirational events. We believe everyone deserves to feel that sense of success. We all simply need an encouraging atmosphere to help make it happen. -Y & A

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

A: There are so many inspirational people who we would be honored to meet. But one woman who has been a role model for quite some time is Bethenny Frankel. She is the Founder & CEO of the brand, Skinnygirl. She is a self made successful entrepreneur, author, TV producer, television personality, philanthropist and mother.

She is a no nonsense compassionate businessperson who used her hustle, passion and creativity to build an empire. She is a woman who leads by example. She created an initiative called Bstrong, which is “one of the largest privately-run humanitarian efforts in US history.” She is someone who doesn’t just talk the talk… she walks the walk. Bethenny works on the ground to tirelessly support people in crises while running her many business endeavors in parallel. She is an authentic, witty, strong, selfless, one of a kind woman, and of course we would be thrilled to have the opportunity to meet her one day and thank her for being an inspiration to so many.

Y: I am a huge fan of Sophia Amoruso. She killed it with her girl boss movement. What inspired me about her most is despite encountering numerous failures and facing public scrutiny she continued becoming bigger and bolder by pivoting her business.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.

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