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Stairway to CEO

Apr 22, 2019

Welcome to episode 8 of the Stairway to CEO podcast, I’m your host Lee Greene and in this episode, I sat down with April Uchitel, the recently appointed CEO of Violet Grey. Violet Grey is a luxury beauty brand and online retailer known for its expert curation of industry-approved beauty products. April shares with us her impressive career journey, from climbing the corporate fashion ladder at DVF where she helped build the brand from a $6M company to a $300M company to diving into the startup world working as Chief Brand Officer for Spring. April talks with us about what she’s learned along the way, how building relationships have been essential to her success and what it’s like to now be called CEO for the first time.


In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • How an early penchant for shopping at Contempo Casuals sparked a lifelong passion for fashion.
  • Why she credits studying Sociology and Psychology in college with helping her to be successful in sales.
  • The tools she used to manifest her dream job at DVF.
  • What NOT to do and why you should never burn bridges.
  • Her take on the nuances of successful scalability.
  • The value of a Shared Economy approach.
  • Why she knew it was time to pivot and leave fashion for tech.
  • Why she considered naming Spring’s first blog post “Fuck the Department Store.”
  • The critical importance of company culture.
  • Why “good enough” is a bad thing.
  • What the toughest challenges she faces as a CEO are.
  • Her best advice for others aspiring to a CEO title.



“It took me a while to learn how important it is to champion yourself.”

“There is a fine line between overselling yourself and not having the goods to deliver.”

“My heart and soul and purpose were in disrupting the industry.”

“I think we, especially as women, feel like we can’t do it unless we are a thousand percent qualified, whereas men say: I can do one of these things, I can do the whole thing.”

“You have to really believe in and love what you do.”

“The leader sets the tone.”

“Sometimes we’re paving the road while we’re driving.”

“Get ready, fasten your seatbelt, and suck up as much information as you can.”


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