By Francine Farkas Sears, President of Fabrique Ltd. and WPO Advisory Board Member
Unprecedented. Unpredictable. Volatile & Tomorrow is Just a Day away–
The Words I’ve heard describe this traumatic year, undeniably we are in uncharted territory. 2020 marks my 70th year as an entrepreneur, also coinciding with my 80th birthday. Yes, I have a long history in the world of business – I am excited about the future! Of all Women in Business, if you feel me qualified, I will share some words.
Opportunity. Transformation. Progress.
I started my first business when I was 10 years old, babysitting for other littler kids in the Bronx, where I grew up (and miraculously they all survived!) I quickly became hooked on the thrill of entrepreneurship, and found the excitement that came with being a creative babysitter and working past my duties further fueled my juvenile drive to succeed. Over the years, I developed a healthy disease of passion that led me on wildly exciting career paths. I’ve had many titles along the way: Fashion Director, Global Merchandising VP of Alexander’s department stores, Stockbroker (in the 1960s-the firm’s only woman & YES, I was the top producer!) and for fun a successful Hamptons restaurant. More than 40 years ago, I launched Fabrique. Our company became the GO TO for designer fashion companies to produce their collections in foreign markets. We designed and manufactured luggage for world class global companies, which evolved to my next growth designing and producing computer luggage for technology companies, a new niche. We now are parlaying our knowledge into another niche, Women in Business, creating bags and cases that are as stylish as the professional women carrying them. Most recently, I’ve combined my passion for business, love of travel and eye for style to create Francine Collections, a new line of accessories and bags for independent women succeeding in these turbulent times. The commonality amongst the many roles that I’ve played and worked in over the years is that things rarely go according to plan, so seize the moment! Great experiences surface, as a result.
To be an entrepreneur is to discover and capitalize on opportunity; These uncertain times have created opportunity in abundance. The business world and the role of women in it is rapidly changing, and as business leaders we know that to adapt to change is to succeed. Though not without risk, this is the time for bold transformation so that our businesses are relevant timely and exciting. Right things happen for wrong reasons.
While many are finding it difficult to navigate 2020’s rough waters, we must seize this unique chance to move our businesses, minds and strategies forward . It’s important for a business to evolve Sometimes, evolution is slow; we women must be prepared to leap, with a business plan that we stick to.
As an ardent supporter of rising WPO entrepreneurs, I see this as an opportunity for the best and the brightest to elevate themselves in the business world. This environment fosters resilience, creativity and demands hard work. Those who are unafraid to meet the challenge will emerge as bold, self-assured leaders. I am terribly excited to work alongside WPO women of the future. I am optimistic that we will eventually look back on this year as a time to reflect on the sadness of loss, transformation and progress. Women of WPO, joining in todays, tomorrow.