Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields.
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The fast-paced world of advertising couldn't seem more opposite to vintage furniture shopping. However, after pressing pause on a career in marketing to raise her quickly growing family, Anna Brockway found herself using her advertising know-how to start her own website for selling vintage furniture. Brockway explains how she turned a little website called Chairish into the curated online marketplace for vintage home goods that it is today on episode 13 of Second Life.
Brockway studied art history and architecture at Columbia University before landing a job at an advertising agency in San Francisco. While it didn't completely align with her studies, she was drawn to the connection between business and creativity and ended up spending nearly 15 years in the industry, specifically at Levi's. "It was a really, really fun time in my life," she says.
It wasn't until she became pregnant for the first time that she felt the need to slow down and take a break from her career. Not long after her first child was born, Brockway took in her young half-sister and became pregnant with twins, changing the trajectory of her life. It was her time spent at home with children and going through multiple moves to accommodate her growing family that sparked the idea for Chairish. Curating a home she loved and collecting vintage pieces led her to dream up a place where she could sell her vintage items to people who understood their value.
Three months after first discussing the idea with her husband, who has a background in startups, Chairish was up and running. "I think the hardest part about the early days was giving up some of my preconceptions about what I wanted the site and the experience to be like," she says. While it took some adjusting, she thinks that following her gut and moving quickly was the best thing she could have done for the business. "You gotta figure out how to make that plunge… Just go try it."