International Women's Day

Who runs the world?

It's no coincidence that we decided to launch our blog on a day so important to our team: International Women's Day. Not only is Copper Cow Coffee women-owned, but it's also run primarily by women, both in the team's headquarters and even the supply chain. In order to honor these wonderful women, we asked them some questions about who inspires them and the best advice they've ever received from a fellow female leader. 

Debbie Wei Mullin (CEO, Founder)

Q: Which woman inspires you the most and why?

A: Hands down my mother. She moved here in 1975 as a refugee with just a suitcase and her younger teenage siblings and quickly figured out how to make a home and community for them in Washington, DC. Within weeks she found a job, an apartment for her family, and a winter coat for her first chilling experience with snow.  She's most the resourceful woman you've ever met - she taught me to never take "no" for an answer, the power of stretching a dollar, and how to never give up on yourself or your vision for the future. 

Jessica Franksen (COO)

Q: What is the best piece of advice you've received from a female leader?

A: I once read a quote from Indra Nooyi (CEO of Pepsico), "If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you." This really stuck with me and on my mission to improve myself, these are a few tips that have helped me:

  • Assume positive intent when approaching problems 
  • How you do anything, is how you do everything -- your teammates are always watching, regardless of your position, and you can single-handedly raise the bar and elevate the performance and culture of a company by taking even the smallest of tasks seriously  
  • Lead by example  
  • Understand your purpose and the purpose of others at a company 
  • Love is in the details -- pay attention to them
  • Progress over perfection 

Emilie Vieweg (Sales and Planning Manager)

Q: Which woman inspires you the most and why?

A: My mother is my biggest inspiration. She is the embodiment of strength, ambition, kindness and love. She has always been incredibly dedicated to her work, and I remember missing her when she had to work late but loving every minute with her when she was home. When I finally got to go to her office for 'Bring Your Kids To Work Day', I received endless compliments on how amazing, kind and hardworking my mom was. I remember thinking, 'duh'. But this was the first time I got to see her outside of being 'Mom'. This was a whole other side to the woman who held my hand as we sang terribly off-key in the car, who laughed until it hurt at the silly jokes she told, who read to me as I fell asleep and who looked at the same moon as me and told me we would always be connected through it. This was a powerful business woman who, through passion and hard work, made a career for herself and gained the respect of everyone around her. From that day on, to me, she was loving and playful 'Mom' and a 'Business Boss' who had a legal pad at the ready like Wonder Woman has her lasso. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? Our relationship is so special and I am so thankful everyday to have her as a guiding light and friend in my life. She will always be my inspiration and I celebrate the person she is every day.

Josephine Lin (Supply Chain Manager)

Q: Which woman inspires you the most and why?

A: I don't want to sound cliche, but the woman that inspires me most is my mom. The older I get, the more I realize how strong my mom truly is. As a working woman, she has shown me what it means to stand up for yourself when others won't and to always have confidence in yourself. As women in the workplace, we're already at a disadvantage. But my mom has inspired me to rise above all that and to first believe in yourself and slowly others will come around. 

Dani Fogel (Copywriter)

Q: Which woman inspires you the most and why?

A: The women who inspire me most are both of my grandmothers. Their families were torn apart during World War II and they were left to pretty much raise themselves and care for their siblings. They eventually came to the United States with mere dollars in their pockets, with the hope of a better life for their young children. My grandmother on my mom's side had to work night shifts cleaning hotel rooms, and the grandmother on my father's side worked at a deli. Neither of them spoke any English! Today, they have paved the way for their grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, and taught us that anything is possible with a good dose of hard work and determination.

Kate Strollo (Senior Marketing Manager)

Q: What is the best piece of advice you've received from a female leader?

A: I have some great quotes from Danae Ringelmann, the co-founder and chief development officer of Indiegogo

On being a leader: 

  • “Don’t be afraid to be you and own it. If you think being a leader is about having some agenda, it’s not. Being a leader is actually being completely with who you are and speaking from that place, giving feedback, sharing opinions from that place. That’s why people follow you. It doesn’t come from any title or position … a true leader is someone who is wholeheartedly willing to be their authentic self.”

On earning your team's trust: 

  • "To earn the trust of your team, I’ve discovered it’s important to listen with the intent to understand and share your knowledge and expertise when relevant. As a leader, you must be open to being wrong, vulnerable enough to admit it, and courageous enough to confidently change course if needed. You also must be willing to be a coach when it would be easier to be a dictator."

Lillian Huynh (Customer Experience)

Q: What is the best piece of advice you've received from a female leader?

A: “Everything happens for a reason, even when we are not wise enough to see it. When there is no struggle, there is no strength.” ― Oprah Winfrey

This quote has resonated with me from the start of my professional career and has helped me stay positive and find strength in any challenge that I have faced. It's inevitable to feel put down during hard times but Oprah's quote has helped me understand that in the midst of difficulty comes opportunity to grow and develop into a better version of yourself. You must always be willing to work and stay hungry which distinguishes who you want to be, to who you believe you are.