Diane von Furstenberg, Lo Bosworth, Rupi Kaur and More, Celebrate the Official Launch of Breadwinner

Cooking puns were not lacking at the Be a Breadwinner event, courtesy of Daniella Pierson, founder and chief executive officer of The Newsette.

“After announcing the launch of Be a Breadwinner, the financial fitness movement created by Pierson, earlier this month, Pierson and Kristin Lemkau, CEO of J.P. Morgan Wealth Management co-hosted Breadwinner’s first brand event at the J.P. Morgan tower to officially kick off the venture with friends.”

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“The goal today is to help you all define your dream, Lemkau told the audience. “Most people actually don’t really know what it is to define your dream and we don’t want people to limit themselves based on self-doubt or what they think is possible. We’re actually going to show you how to make a plan to achieve that dream and how to become your own breadwinner.”

Nodding to the timing of Be a Breadwinner’s launch landing in Women’s Month and acknowledging the largely female audience, Lemkau shared moments of her own difficult career journey as a woman. According to the company’s research, 57 percent of today’s labor force is made up of women. Forty-three percent of today’s small businesses are led by women. Still, only 32 percent of corporate executives are women — a stat that Lemkau said is often celebrated because it used to be lower.

Daniella Pierson and Kristin Lemkau

“Women all have unique, incredible stories and I think you’ll find there are a lot of surprises,” Lemkau said. “I’m sitting here as an example of living a life I never thought was possible for myself and I love this place. You don’t have to start your own business; this is my dream job. I don’t think this is a man’s world. This is my world.”

“Out of all of the incredible things that I’ve done in the last nine years of my entrepreneurial journey, this moment eats it all,” Pierson said. “Today, I stand here with my head held high to introduce a brand that was baked from ingredients that I used to be too ashamed to even say out loud, let alone publish as a recipe. I started this brand as a rally cry and movement for anyone and everyone who has ever felt counted out or pushed aside. Through the breadwinner ecosystem, our community will be informed, empowered and guided through ways they can become financially free and it all starts by making financial fitness a daily priority with our upcoming launches.”

Moderated by Pierson, the first panel included Lo Bosworth, founder of Love Wellness, Danielle Duboise, cofounder of Sakara Life, and Rupi Kaur, poet, illustrator and author of the bestselling book “Milk and Honey.” During the discussion, the group shared barriers to entry and learning moments through their journeys to becoming breadwinners, including how they financially built their businesses.

“I feel like my biggest roadblock sometimes was that there wasn’t even a road and I was building the road because I just loved poetry and performing but there was no roadmap for someone to build a business and a team out of it,” Kaur said. “I was selling millions of copies of books but I was still finishing my degree, so it took a few years.”

Daniella Pierson, Kristin Lemkau, Danielle Duboise, Lo Bosworth and Rupi Kaur.
Daniella Pierson, Kristin Lemkau, Danielle Duboise, Lo Bosworth and Rupi Kaur.

In the spirit of the event, Duboise and Bosworth shared their advice for other women. Duboise said that, while it took a long time for her to learn, it is important for those starting a business to recognize where their strengths lie and where to bring on help. Similarly, Bosworth said that as a founder she has found the importance of staying true to who you are through challenging times. “I am really quick to make decisions because I know in my heart, body and soul that I can look very next day, make another decision if I don’t like the outcome of the decision that I just made,” Bosworth said.

Following the panel, Sam Palmer, Alpa Patel and Deepti Nagulapally took the stage to discuss J.P. Morgan Wealth Management serviceable tools for consumers. The solution has been built with users’ goals in mind and takes into account behavioral science as well as current economic data.

For the event’s keynote, Lemkau welcomed Diane von Furstenberg to the stage to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and finding inspiration.

Furstenberg explained that she has kept a diary nearly all of her life, which has helped her to stay honest with herself and be her own best friend. “If you are true to yourself, if you’re honest to yourself, you are free,” she said. “When people used to ask me when I was growing up what I wanted to do, I said I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew the kind of woman I want to be. I get a feeling. I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to pay my bills. I wanted to feel like I was in command. My view indelibly shows where you’re born, you are not master of your destiny. What you can do is learn to navigate along the way, whatever happens, and do the best you can and if you’re honest with yourself, and if you are your best friends, you will always find strength in yourself.”

Along with writing in a diary, Furstenberg said she advises others to pay attention to others, noting that “kindness is a currency and generosity is a great investment,” to inspire through storytelling and sharing challenges and, lastly, to advocate for a cause you believe in.

“Intention,” Furstenberg said is a powerful word, “intention is focus on what is the long term. I love this word, manifest intention. And then of course you can’t. You’re not in control of your destiny, things happen but navigate it and the complexity with yourself. That doesn’t mean being so kind to yourself, you also have to make sure you’re not delusional.”

Calling back the discussion of imposter syndrome, which was brought up during the day’s first panel, Furstenberg said she advises women to put a name to insecurity and call it out to neutralize it, whether that be being too young or inexperienced for a potential opportunity. “Only losers don’t feel like losers,” she said. “I watch the news and social media and what can I do? The world is at war. Right now, the world [with] all the wars, all the guns, all the rockets, all these metallic things in the shape of penises everywhere and it’s like the world is having a major hard-on. But hard-ons don’t last.”

Kristin Lemkau and <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Diane von Furstenberg;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Diane von Furstenberg</a> at the Be a Breadwinner event.
Kristin Lemkau and Diane von Furstenberg at the Be a Breadwinner event.

Furstenberg ended the discussion by encouraging everyone to find kindness. While now, Furstenberg focuses her energy on connecting people and being kind, when she was focused on becoming “in charge” at the beginning of her career, she admits that she wasn’t thinking as much about kindness. Today, she believes that feminine energy is all about kindness — to yourself and others. “We have to find a way to make kindness sexy,” she said. “I think that if you [are going to] remember something I said, it would be to be a better friend to yourself.”

To get them attendees started on their financial fitness journey, the Be a Breadwinner event ended with select guests winning mentorship sessions with industry leaders including Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, Katie Couric and members of the J.P. Morgan Wealth Management team, among others.

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