June Recap 2023

written by: Kaylee Franklin

We’re officially halfway through the year! It’s been a crazy couple of months but we have a lot more amazing content coming your way! Let’s dive into June, find out some of the best moments, and see what’s to come in July!

1. Garbage, Grit, and Greens

Starting off the month is Jonathan Bonnell, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Wholly Veggie.

Johnathan Bonnell, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Wholly Veggies, a company making it fun and easy to love your veggies with delicious veggie-forward meals and snacks inspired by restaurants around the world! Nothing can truly prepare you for the stress, hard work, and curveballs that come with being an entrepreneur, but as today’s guest has learned, sometimes the challenges that life throws at you can give you the training you need to trust you can make it through anything. Lee talk’s with Johnathan about his upbringing in Canada, some of the financial challenges his family faced growing up, and how his mother losing her job while he was in college shaped his outlook and influenced his path to entrepreneurship. Johnathan also shares how his varied work experience — from working as a garbage man during college to taking on various roles in advertising — influenced his entrepreneurial journey, so be sure to tune in to hear it all!

Best piece of advice:

 “Once you start scaling, it's really hard to come back from that, because you're already hitting critical mass with your retailers or distributors.” 

If you haven’t listened to Johnathan’s episode yet, you can tune in HERE!

2. From Fashion to Frozen Flavors

In the second week of June, we got to hear from Alicia Liu, Founder and CEO of Lavender and Truffles! 

Raised in the midst of art, food, and fashion, despite being encouraged to pursue business, it’s no surprise that Alicia managed to incorporate all three in her career journey. Alicia joins Lee to discuss her varied career journey from her first job as a graphic designer to interning at fashion magazines, working at Prada, then Amazon, and ultimately founding Lavender and Truffles. Tune in to hear Alicia’s advice and learn how her story weaves together her upbringing, experience, and passion to culminate in an inspiring, authentic business endeavor.

Best piece of advice:

“To be an entrepreneur or leader of any kind, I think you have to embrace change. And it doesn't mean that you have to be a complete 180 flip, but just be nimble and be flexible.”

To hear more of Alica’s great advice tune in to Episode 162, and be sure to check out our product review on Lavender and Truffles!

3. Unwrapping Gifting and Grit

Continuing the month of June, we had the incredible Bridget Johns, Founder and CEO of To&From.

Gifting expert Bridget Johns shares her story, from selling piglets for pocket money in Western Pennsylvania to following her passion for retail and working for upscale brands like Lancôme, Links of London, and Tiffany & Co. Join us as Bridget shares why she decided to build a “holistic gifting” platform and offers some insight into gifting occasions and trends, as well as the assumptions she made about fundraising, the lessons she learned from launching her first company, and so much more!

Best piece of advice:

“Be open to having conversations with people who are competitive in the space, because you always learn things. You learn the macro picture that helps to shape the industry more than it’s actually going to help shape your company.” 

To listen to more of Bridget’s story, check out Episode 163!

4. Willpower, Work Ethic, and Wearable Wellness

Ending out the month strong, we had Cedar Carter, CEO of The Good Patch

Lee sits down with Cedar Carter, CEO of The Good Patch, a pioneering “wearable wellness” company offering plant-infused patches that deliver sustained relief for a variety of everyday ailments. Cedar shares her 20 years of collective experience across the apparel and wellness industries, from her first internship with Donna Karen in The Big Apple to her time at BCBG Max Azria, Roxy, and O’Neil. She also talks about her passion for wellness, her leadership style, her first fundraising experience, the importance of hard work, and why “big picture thinking” has been key to her success as well as why highly creative people don’t always make the best CEOs and more!

Best piece of advice: 

“If you believe in your idea and you believe you’re going to be successful (which you should; that’s why you’re an entrepreneur, that’s why you started this brand), you’re giving investors the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Be sure to tune into Cedar’s episode, number 112!

Change and Belief

Throughout June, we heard from four different Founders and CEOs and the most common theme was that it’s important to take the time to embrace the change and have belief in yourself and in your business. 

This Month: July  

Stay tuned throughout July to hear from amazing CEOs such as:

  • Julie Nguyen, CEO of Methodology
  • Katie Diasti, Founder & CEO of Viv
  • Danielle Gronich, Co-Founder & CEO of CLEARSTEM Skincare
  • Alison Cayne, Founder & CEO of Haven's Kitchen

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, follow us on Spotify, or tune in wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Have any guest suggestions, comments, or questions about Stairway to CEO? Drop us a line here!

Kaylee Franklin


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