We are delighted to introduce to you Susan STEVENS – CEO of MadeWithRespect.
« I was born and grew up in New Zealand and continue to live there with my 3 children and husband who I met when I was 15. When I was 13 my parents took my brothers and I to the other side of the world where we lived for 3 months out of a campervan exploring the UK and parts of Europe. This opened my eyes to different cultures and ways of life. In my early 20’s I jumped back on a plane this time with my future husband in tow, we spent the next few years living in London and travelled around Europe and Africa. We eventually headed back to New Zealand to further our careers and start a family.
I’ve always been fiercely independent, never one to conform under pressure, I do what feels intuitively right. When life has thrown me a curveball I navigate through as best I can, using the experience to grow and learn from. I am driven by a desire to do my best, to be a great role model for my children and to live a full life with little regret.
I strive to live a meaningful life; one that not only I can be proud of but my children and husband can be proud of. My focus is to achieve a balance that affords me the freedom and flexibility to enjoy life and appreciate time with my family; I don’t consider my work a job but rather a way of life.
For me, life is not just about surviving, it’s about feeling alive and embracing the challenges that come with it. Life is about being courageous, not being afraid to make mistakes and more importantly being open to learn and grow from them. Life is about living purposefully.Top of Form
After a successful career climbing the corporate ladder in the sales and media industry I slowly became disheartened with the corporate environment, I lost my passion and I lost my faith in big corporate companies, I became disillusioned with everything they stood for and everything they didn’t stand for.
I left it behind and started down a path less travelled but one that afforded me greater enablement, where I found greater freedom and flexibilty, where passion and purpose became my norm.
In November 2014, after 20 months of working late at night on a business idea while managing two daytime contracts and raising 3 children, I launched my own company. I worked with boutique brands selling jewellery, bags and homeware through pop-up shops, select retail stores in New Zealand and Australia and through an e-commerce site. It became a two year project validating the market, understanding the opportunities and realising where my true passion lay.
In October 2016 I joined forces with Carolyn Managh, expert marketer and ex-Ebay UK Brand Director. We remodelled the business and relaunched Made With Respect as a global online e-department store that champions boutique brands Made With Respect, through virtual branches strategically located in key cities around the world.
Made With Respect brings together extraordinary boutique brands from all corners of the globe, made with respect to craftmanship, to people and to the environment, often with equally inspiring social mission stories. We are vocal champions, the storyteller and a global voice for ethical practises, transparent supply-chains, small batch craftmanship, quality and sustainability. We celebrate everything inherently good about those we partner with.
From a business perspective Made With Respect also represents not just the Founders of the company but all those connected to us who stay true to their values, who embrace life and who are committed to making a difference. Made With Respect empowers and enables.
Having experienced the crushing effect when someone in the workplace tried to disempower me by using their power and status, it stirred a passion within me to support and enable others in business. Life is much more difficult and arduous when you feel alone and vulnerable, but when surrounded by like-minded people and equiped with resources and a healthy dose of encouragement, it creates a very dynamic environment to function in.
This was the basis of Made With Respect; to create an environment where we empower and enable others with a similar vision, who partner with us. We celebrate everyones uniqueness and champion everyones individual strengths because collectively we are far stronger than when we are a voice of one.
Life is for living, not surviving. It is almost guaranteed that through life you will face adversity, but rather than focusing your energy on being fearful of what might happen, learn to face it with courage and move forward being wiser because of it. Although things may happen to you that are out of your control, you can control the way you respond to it and ultimately influence the outcome. »