As the founder and host of The Valley Girl Show, Jesse Draper has the distinct opportunity to interview and get to know the creative individuals shaping our generation. In an effort to share her experiences and learnings, Glam presents First Fridays, where Draper will outline her learnings from founders, CEOs, visionaries and more!
Who loves shoes? Better yet, who loves incredibly comfy, walkable and STYLISH shoes! I met Dikla Gavrieli, the co-founder of Tieks, an e-commerce and Oprah approved company that has reinvented the every day ballet flat while sitting across from her at a Levo League round table discussion. This particular round table discussion was on company culture, talent management and retention. Gavrieli stood out on all of these fronts.
Tieks really takes a new age approach to culture and hiring. At Tieks, they’ve hired many females and Dikla discussed that she was very conscious of the fact that Generation Y women aren’t looking for a job, they are looking to build a career. She takes this into account by attempting to foresee any future needs the new generations might have.
I grabbed Gavrieli at the break to tell her what a fan of ‘Tieks’ I was! While we stood by the buffet of fruit, and coffee machines, she told me how she started this LA-based company with her husband and two brothers Kfir and Elram and has grown it from the ground up. I was so mesmerized that I forgot to put sugar in my coffee. A true inspiration. She believes in encouraging female entrepreneurs in developing countries, she’s a rockin’ mom, born and raised in LA, Both a Trojan and a Bruin, wears cool shoes and here are 12 things I learned from Gavrieli…
What are Tieks?
Tieks are ballet flats, reinvented. We believe they’re the most versatile flats in the world. Each pair is made from the finest leathers and fabrics and take 3 days and 150 steps to make. Tieks are foldable and very portable. There are over 50 styles and they are sold exclusively at tieks.com.
Have you always loved shoes?
Yes. Shoes have always been my favorite accessory. It’s such an easy way to incorporate bold colors and styles into an outfit. They’re a crucial part of any look, not least because they determine how comfortable we are all day.
When did you decide it was time to make the transition to being an entrepreneur?
The truth is, I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. Always trying to shake things up and more interested in new and better ways of doing things. I grew up in a family business and watched my parents build a great company from the ground up. I was always very involved and fascinated by the process. When I came up with the idea for Tieks, I was so excited and knew it was what I wanted to do.
How has your life changed now being an entrepreneur versus when you previously had a 9-5 job?
I’ve never been more excited than I am now with what I do. Tieks has been a great vehicle for having impact, and I’m more absorbed in what I do than I ever had been before. First, we get to create great products that women love. But beyond that, we’ve been able to give back through the Gavrieli Foundation and help other women entrepreneurs around the world.
Walk me through a typical work day.
I wish I could. There’s never a typical day at Tieks, but that’s what makes it so fun! I split each day between working with teams on various initiatives (whether it’s a photo shoot or designing a new style), battling my email inbox (unsuccessfully) and alone time thinking about things that require deeper thought.
How do you prioritize?
Every night I spend 15 minutes before going to sleep thinking about what my priorities are for the next day. It’s amazing how much that helps focus my attention, because it’s so easy to lose focus in such a fast-paced environment.
Tell me about your company culture?
We’re blessed with a fun and vibrant culture founded on our shared passion for creating amazing shoes and having an impact in the process. Each member of the team brings unique energy and skills and is given the room and responsibility to grow. Together we have a lot of fun along the way.
If you could offer the working woman one style tip, what would it be?
Don’t sacrifice comfort for style.
How do you wind down at the end of the day?
I come home to my kids. We have dinner together and play before baths and bedtime. This is one of the few times in the day when I put my work aside and really get to relax.
I know you are married, but…Do you have a celebrity crush?
Not really. Sorry, I know that’s boring!
Who inspires you?
My mom. She is the kindest woman I know and the first person I turn to for advice. She also built a business while raising young kids and is my role model for living a balanced life. She inspires me to be the best I can be.
What are you the most excited about in the future for Tieks?
In the near future, I’m very excited about the upcoming launch of new styles and our blog!
UCLA grad, Jesse Draper is a technology expert and creator and host of The Valley Girl Show through which she has become a spokesperson for startups and has helped to pioneer the way of new media content distribution. She oversees everything from pre-production to distribution of the show. Draper started the show because she realized there was no FUN business talk show, only grilling teeth clenching interviews, and she believes the most interesting and inspiring people in the world are the ones who’ve started a business. In her former life, she was on a Nickelodeon show called “The Naked Brother’s Band”. Draper also writes columns for Mashable, Forbes.com and San Francisco Magazine and speaks at business conferences around the world including SXSW, DLD, TEDx, TechVentures and STREAM.