2023 Honorees

Stephanie Liu


“Resilience is what sets successful founders apart.”


Tell us about your company and role.

I’m Stephanie Liu, the Founder of Levitate Foundry — we’re a Digital Growth, Performance Branding Technology Development firm, the largest female-founded Shopify Plus Preferred Partner in the U.S. We’ve worked with hundreds of consumer brands across beauty, CPG, and health and wellness to deliver best-in-class marketing and eCommerce experiences. With both an eCommerce arm and a marketing arm, Levitate is one of the only full-service firms in North America that offers end to end marketing, tech, and creative services so brands can get all these services under one roof. This was a pain point that I, and many of my CMO friends, experienced on the brand side. Our clients love us because we bridge that gap.

How would you describe yourself?

An entrepreneur with a passion for building newness. At the start of my career, I was shocked to see how few honest agencies existed, much less female-founded firms (even today) and know the unique perspective we bring to the table. Outside of Levitate, I’m passionate about creating things that make a real difference in people’s lives (more on this soon!).

What qualities do you think a successful founder needs to have?

Internal resilience is everything. Doing anything (in life) that’s worthwhile is not a walk in the park. The ability to bounce back and keep pushing forward is what sets successful people apart from those who give up. As a founder, you will be forced to navigate both the challenges of work and personal life. Many times you’ll face criticism and judgment from those who are watching from the sidelines — haters are going to hate. Founders need extreme resilience to power through the daily challenges of running a company.

What has been your biggest professional success so far?

Building Levitate Foundry, a company with an incredible team that I am proud of every single day!

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What causes are you most passionate about?

I have a passion for helping those who are bullied and victimized. Many of these people are underserved and have so much to offer, yet have not reached their potential due to circumstances. I am passionate about inventing ways to help these groups of people. Levitate is an inclusive marketing firm, we really seek to extend opportunities to those who can truly bring diverse perspectives to the table. 

Another cause close to my heart is building a supportive community for new entrepreneurs. By coming together and supporting one another, we can all achieve greater success. We can create a safe space where founders can thrive and grow together — that’s exactly why we at Levitate created Levitate Founders, a new invite-only Slack community for founders and entrepreneurs.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing eCommerce brands?

There has been only incremental innovation in the eCommerce space in the last few years, no giant leaps. As such, it’s created a lot of competition and very few unicorns (hard to scale and differentiate them). It’s going to take a unique product market fit to scale a brand in today’s world — as CPMs and CPAs are rising and the market is saturated with brands. There will be a greater gap between the ultra successful eCommerce brands and all the others. At Levitate, we’re laser focused on helping our clients achieve success because as a client-first firm we’re deeply understanding of the struggles brands face.

What's your favorite loyalty program or subscription offering from an eCommerce brand?

Amazon Prime. The UX is too good.

What do you geek out over?

Learning. The more we know about the people of the past, the better we can overcome mistakes we’ve already made as a society.