Donie’s Takeaway from Her Week in New York City as a TBF Fellow

Tory Burch Fellow

50 women entrepreneurs + 15 speakers + 4 days = My life-changing experience!

I knew this week in NYC as a Tory Burch Fellow would be incredible, and it did not disappoint. I kept an open mind and heart. The other Fellows came with a variety of skills, resources and all with an intense curiosity and intention to learn. Despite the fact that all of our businesses are at different stages, my main takeaway is to embrace where you are in your business. No matter how large or small your company is or at what stage of growth, it is exactly where you’re supposed to be. I found myself both learning strategic and valuable lessons from one woman while sharing my expertise in a specific area with another. 


Over the four days, all of the Fellows were both students and teachers. This requires strength and humility. Vulnerability equals creativity, without one it is virtually impossible for the other to thrive. I believe there is nothing wrong with looking to a colleague or fellow business owner and asking for help or reaching out a hand to be of service. The most heartwarming part of my Fellow Program in NYC was finally finding my tribe. Forever I will have this supportive community of women, with whom I share the honor of being Tory Burch Fellows.

The pivotal moment for me was when I ran in to hear a speaker and inadvertently sat at the same table with Tory Burch herself. It was a very emotional moment for me, to relay how much she meant to me. As I struggled after moving to the US, she embodied women’s empowerment and inspired me to go back to school and then start my company. Without her as a role model, I wouldn’t be one of the 50 Foundation Fellows sitting at that table, looking in her eyes. An important lesson for me is to always pay it forward and be of service to other women. This is what Tory and her foundation did for me. Service and giving back is the foundation and building block of my journey.  

In our next post, Donie shares her Call to Action after reflecting on her time in NYC as a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow. 

(Photo @Tiffany_Sage)


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