Tell us about where you work and what you do there.
I am a Senior Enterprise Account Executive at Shopify Plus, working closely with an extended portfolio of strategic brands to help drive their digital/retail model forward for growth. My role is to really be a trusted advisor for these merchants by having a strong understanding of their unique DTC/B2B business needs and formulating a solution path with Shopify’s platform and technology. I get the opportunity to establish key relationships with really talented teams behind these inspiring brands and capture their perspective for innovation as we work together to figure out how to scale the business for success.
How would you describe yourself?
I’d say I’m quite driven and resourceful, yet empathic to the world around me. My family and I immigrated from Vietnam after the war when I was a 1-year-old and those hardships instilled in me a strong sense of awareness, grit, and determination to earn success while leading with a good heart. I’m a firm believer that you can advance extremely far in life while still being a great person. I’m also a very meticulous planner and pride myself on execution. I love creating memorable experiences for others whether that happens through a curated team event, elaborate travel itinerary, or hosting an intimate dinner party — it’s very gratifying to see it all unfold before me.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’d still love to experience elements of what I’m doing now but hopefully situated somewhere in Lake Tahoe with my family in a beautiful mountain home, designed by my partner and myself. I’m obsessed with the How I Built This podcast with Guy Raz. I totally see myself aspiring to take that same framework and host it in a slightly different format — definitely a cooking show — spinning out great dishes while uncovering origin stories with amazing brands and people.
What do you think has been your biggest professional success so far?
This award is absolutely a pivotal highlight that I’m so grateful for. Throughout my career in sales, I’ve had a proven track record of success and my fair share of accomplishments — thanks to some amazing mentors who have helped guide me along the way. However, in this moment, the biggest professional milestone I’m relishing in is more of a personal state of mind I’ve been able to arrive at.
Being in tech sales, I’ve seen this field traditionally be dominated by men. I’m going to be frank here and share that I’ve interacted with a lot of ego, interruption, self-righteous privilege, and oftentimes have experienced different layers of alienation — despite the time I might’ve spent immersing myself in sports analogies and golf vernacular to validate my presence or worth in the room compared to my male counterparts. As women, we struggle with imposter syndrome statistically at a higher rate; insert being a woman of color into that equation—that feeling really skyrockets and it’s something I struggled with for a long time.
Making the full transition into eCommerce and working at the company I’m at now, I’ve been able to tap into a new level of confidence because not only is this an industry that excites me, I’ve found a space that I understand and can relate to without having to alter my authenticity, and I genuinely want to learn more about it every day. The state of mind I’ve arrived at is that I no longer question myself on whether or not I deserve to be here, I default to knowing I do and I’m really proud of this arrival. One of my favorite quotes that has catalyzed this mindset is by Elaine Welteroth: “Sometimes just being yourself is the radical act. When you occupy spaces in systems that weren’t built for you, your authenticity is your activism.”
What do you think is the next big trend in eCommerce?
Apart from live commerce being a front-runner, I have no doubt that we’ll also see an upward inflection for VR/AR shopping this year. What I think would be so cool to see is this sphere of AR paired with machine learning to help elevate the shopping experience. For so many of us, outfit realization is a major staple to how we think about key events in our lives including special occasions, and how we travel and plan trips. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could determine how an item on the page might wear in real life as the AI takes into account the material, a specific destination, climate, and the time of day it’s being worn while we are in the live process of purchasing? I’ve fallen victim many times to wearing pieces that are beautiful but impractical for the city I was visiting and it was impossible to know until I got there. It’d be incredible to somehow help eliminate these common pain points and marry all of these rich variables together to create the ultimate experiential shopping moment. I’d coin it “ensemble forecasting for eCommerce.”
Name an eCommerce brand you admire and why.
Skincare has been a vertical I’ve been extremely passionate about for as long as I can remember, because at its very core, skincare does a wonderful job to really promote self-care and it reminds people to take the time to honor and nourish their most organic self beneath all of our daily exteriors.
One of the brands I’ve been really impressed by is Glow Recipe. Not only is it a female-founded and female-led company, the founders are also Asian-American and this representation at the executive level is so important to see. For a while, K-Beauty was a well-kept secret that hadn’t hit the mainstream market yet and now you see flagship brands like Glow Recipe charging this massive wave of curiosity, awareness, and interest for K-Beauty, across new demographics. They’ve built a phenomenal community online through social platforms and have fostered transparency around realistic expectations for skin. They even trademarked the word “skintertainment” to make skincare a philosophy and the approach to a self-care routine enjoyable and fun. It’ll be a treat to see their success continue to evolve.
What do you geek out over?
My short list of things I geek out over consists of slideware, interior design, and baking. I’m very aesthetically oriented and there’s nothing I love more than spending the time to create and curate a product that visually excites other people, and myself. Whether this creativity surfaces in an artisan pie, through a presentation for a merchant I’m working with, or a living space — all of these elements can tell a beautiful story and I love being a craft maker in this sense.