Mar. 10 2020
Lauren Bush Lauren is hungry for change. As the CEO and Co-Founder of FEED Projects, Lauren Bush Lauren makes accessories with a purpose—every single backpack, clutch, or tote provides school meals to undernourished children worldwide.
Today, Lauren and FEED Projects pair with Food Bank NYC’s Woman to Woman initiative, which provides support and self-care products to those in need. Also today, we speak with the Princeton grad about her FEED favorites, her biggest challenges in the office, and how to pack snacks you actually want to eat…
FEED started with just one bag, right?
Yes! The FEED tote bag, which is still a huge seller today. We sold it on Amazon.com when Amazon was still literally just books. But the reusable bag movement was huge and conscious consumerism was on the rise.
What else do you think helped FEED succeed?
Every FEED bag has a number on it, and that’s the number of school meals you’re providing to kids with your purchase. It’s really tangible and meaningful, not a percentage of profits or some invisible number. You know exactly what you’re giving.
What’s your day-to-day like now?
I gravitate to branding, partnerships, and marketing. I tend to think of myself as the “keeper of the brand,” you know? In every meeting, it’s my job to think, “How are we positioned? What stores should we be in? What messages are we sending? And who should we partner with next?”
This week, you’re pairing with Bumble. Why?
The obvious thing is they’re very women-led and very women-driven. They connect people to each other, and in a different but complementary way, FEED connects people, too. It’s about us all realizing we’re part of the same community, even if that community spans across continents.
Bumble encourages women to “make the first move.” How do you initiate difficult conversations or voice big ideas?
I’ve definitely grown as a leader in that regard. What I’ve learned about making the first move is that it’s not only about having ideas, but learning to put goals and timelines behind those ideas.
What do you do when you get frustrated in the office?
I remind myself that personally leading with kindness and purpose is important. But it’s also very motivating! You remind yourself of that purpose, and it really adds an extra level of happiness and fulfillment. That’s what work can and should be about.
What’s your office snack?
Chocolate-covered almonds, always!
What’s your office uniform?
Always jeans. Then a sweater when it’s rainy or I’m tired; a blazer when I feel a little sharper.
What’s your office procrastination?
On Being with Krista Tippett! It’s a podcast about spirituality that’s really thoughtful and fascinating. I’m hooked.
What’s something people tell female entrepreneurs that’s just wrong?
You meet a lot of folks with very strong opinions who don’t know your business… and it’s true that many times, people see a young female entrepreneur and think, especially, they can just tell her how to be successful. You have to filter out that noise all the time. That’s where your gut comes in. Listen to that, not the people talking at you.