If you were to ever ask us if we have a girl crush, we would absolutely say YES a million and a half times over. Our type of gal is hard-working, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy, smart and above all humble. Who may that be you ask? Shannon Snow. She's your modern day, rock star status, go-getter muse. A woman in tech herself, she helps schools go digital as Google's Head of Industry for Education. While working in Silicon Valley, she saw a desperate need for office-ready clothing that wasn't a hoodie. So this fall she launched Shannon Snow, a new clothing line that aims to help women succeed by making functional, professional, tech-friendly dresses. Are you obsessed yet? Because I'm totally in. Meet Shannon Snow.
Give us some insight on Shannon Snow. How did the idea come about?
SS: Before I leave the house each morning, I ask myself if what I'm wearing matches what my day will bring. Will I be comfortable during my commute? Will I look professional at the office? Will my outfit be cool enough for a post-work drink or date? Will I have a pocket for my phone? Too often, I found the answer to these questions was no. I knew if I felt this way, other women must too. So I set out to create a line of beautiful, functional, tech-savvy dresses that could help women work, play and be on-the-go.
So you work at Google. What do you do there?
SS: I partner with schools and educational technology companies to help them succeed online. A typical day might include advising a startup on how to make their educational app more engaging, coaching a school on how to reach students with Youtube, or speaking at a conference on how technology is transforming the way students learn in the digital age.
Many believe there is not enough time in the day to do everything? How do you balance your time at Google and Shannon Snow?
SS: Mornings are critical for me. I wake up at 6am, do about 30 minutes of yoga, then 1.5 hours of work on my business before getting ready for work. While I walk to the office, I call my business partner and head of operations. Once I reach the office, it's all Google.
I'm inspired by many first-time authors I spoke to, who wrote their novels in the mornings before work.
How do you stay organized? Any favorite apps?
SS: A lot of time I get business ideas while walking around or traveling, so Evernote is my go-to for capturing ideas in the moment so I can remember them later. I also use the tasks feature of Gmail to write down the three most important things I must do each day. Usually I am happy if I can get through the first one or two!
Are you a Windows or Apple kind of gal?
SS: I've always used Macs. But I switch back and forth between Android and Apple phones - I love both!
Who inspires you on a daily basis?
SS: My amazing female friends. They are go-getters who want to make the world a better place. They are active and love outdoors. They are entrepreneurial and tech-savvy, and unafraid to be the only woman in the room. But they are also warm, humble, understated and fun. This first collection is a love letter to them. In fact, the Breezy, Paris and Gogo dresses are each named for a friend that inspired me.
If we were to walk into your room, what three things may we find on your nightstand?
SS: I like to listen to podcasts before bed, especially The Moth and This American Life, so you'll find a mini iPad used almost exclusively for this. You'll also find two large glasses of water - both un-drunk :) -- and a stack of WIRED magazines.
How does a Shannon Snow dress impact a working girl's day vs an other ordinary dress?
SS: Most dresses focus just on how you look. In addition to looking your best, Shannon Snow dresses focus on how you feel. We use only the most comfortable fabrics. We prioritize functionality, like phone pockets and a small look for those that need to wear a work badge daily. Our designs are office appropriate and transition seamlessly into after-work and commuting -- we even offer free shorts with styles that are bike-to-work friendly. As a result, you'll not only look great by feel comfortable, confident and ready for anything.
The female to male ratio in the technology sector is quite obvious. What is your stance on equality in the workforce?
SS: I am a huge advocate for helping close the gender gap in tech. For this reason, a portion of every Shannon Snow dress sold is donated to support science and technology education for girls. This will help more women get the education they need to get roles in tech. We also need to make sure that moms have the support they need to stay in technical and business roles. I'm a big fan of Facebook's parental leave policy, which is four months off for any new parents male or female. The more equally we share responsibilities at home, the more equally we'll be able to succeed at work.
What are you currently reading? Any must "sign-up" newsletters you recommend?
SS: I love reading autobiographies of inspiring women. Sophia Amoruso's "Girlboss" was great, and I just started "My Journey" by Donna Karen. I read Wall Street Journal daily for business news, and recommend Quora for helpful startup tips.
What advice would you give to the younger generation looking to make an impact in Technology or Entrepreneurship?
SS: Do what you love. Time is the only thing you can never get back, so spend it on something you are truly passionate about. When you put your all into something you love, impact will follow.
You can follow Shannon Snow on Insta via the handle
*Women in Tech is a series by WST documenting the lives of entrepreneurial and business savvy women.*