Boss Lady: Kendra Edwards

Kendra Edwards looks over her sunglasses in this black and white photo

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we talk to Kendra Edwards. Kendra is the eCommerce Director of J/Slides Footwear, an original footwear company inspired by the streets of New York City and its local surf spots.

1. How did you discover J/Slides Footwear and what prompted you to choose them as your next career venture?
Not too long ago I had started my own consulting company, K.Consults, and was looking to take the leap into working for myself full time. Around the same time, I was invited to meet with the J/Slides team and we instantly clicked! I’m a fan of the product and I knew this was a brand that I could grow with. I also knew that I would be coming in at a critical stage in their Ecommerce growth. I felt like this brand HAD to be a closet staple every NYC girl owned and I wanted to be a part of making that happen!

2. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
I am naturally a very driven person, so when that drive is met with a brand and/or product I truly believe in it sparks a fire in me that is exciting and intoxicating. Doing what I love and seeing a brand grow to its potential before my eyes, is the most gratifying feeling. It’s addicting, to be honest. It’s like this baby you get to mold into the dopest, flyest human being and send them off to take over the world. I can’t really describe the feeling. When you are on the right path of working with a brand you believe in you can’t turn the creativity off. You find yourself inspired by everything and New York is the perfect muse.

3. As Director of Ecommerce, what does your day usually look like?
Every day presents its own set of challenges and accomplishments. From the moment I wake up, I’m checking all our media channels to see if we’ve gotten press hits. Then to my email and the website to make sure there aren’t any major tech issues before I’m en route to work. As soon as I walk into the office I need to be on my game! There are times when I arrive and I have to spearhead an impromptu photoshoot because a new shoe went viral and we need to continue to promote and create content to drive sales. However it doesn’t end with the visuals, with all of our content production comes the need to edit our marketing calendar, update email templates, social media sites and homepages all before I’ve had a sip of coffee! But this is what keeps you on your toes in this industry.

4. What is J/Slides’ most successful form of marketing?
Organic and word of mouth marketing have been overwhelmingly successful for us. We have a loyal following that loves to share and post their love for J/Slides! Most of our online followers will hashtag us and then we gain new fans through them. From homemakers to teachers to travelers to influencers – they all have their own style and show how truly versatile the brand can be. It’s a beautiful thing and it really shows the essence of the J/Slides brand.

5. How do you stay ahead of the latest marketing trends and strategies?
It takes a village. J/Slides owners Jay Litvack and Dimitri Mavridakis are incredibly creative with years of experience powering some of the world’s biggest footwear brands. Their wealth of experience and foresight keeps us current and on-trend. I also have an amazing tribe of stylish international friends in a wide range of industries that keep me on my toes when it comes to what’s trending. Networking is also key, a casual conversation over coffee can get your brand included in a top publication or TV segment. With all of this in mind, I would argue that the most important part of our company’s strategy is consumer insight. Listening to our customers, responding and making the necessary changes to attain and retain customers.

6. Share one piece of advice you have for someone getting into the Ecommerce industry.
It’s a rollercoaster ride! The highs are high and the lows are the best teachable moments you will have in your career. The best thing about Ecommerce is the ability to carve your own lane, put your creative stamp on your brand or the brand you work for and see the fruits of your efforts in real-time. The best part about my job is I get to single-handedly shape the way our consumers shop and interact with the brand.

7. Who is a boss lady who inspires you and why?
I don’t have just one, I have many. I am inspired on a daily basis by my Girl Gang made up of badass women that are killing it in their respective careers. It’s inspiring to be around other creative women who push me to explore my creativity and boldness in the digital space. They uplift me in moments of self-doubt, hold me accountable to my goals and aspirations, and are always on standby with a dirty martini to celebrate my accomplishments 🙂

Just for fun!
How I take my coffee: Medium Roast with two sugars with a splash of almond milk
My favorite book is: Becoming by Michelle Obama
The tv character I’m closest to is: Maxine from Living Single
A song that I can’t help but dance to is: Anything by CiCi Peniston or circa 1990’s.
The last new thing I tried was: Kundalini Yoga

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