Innovator Insights: Founder & Executive Director of Finding the Fabulous, Lauren Curiotto @theFabulousinme
Name: Lauren Curiotto
Title: Founder & Executive Director of Finding the Fabulous Twitter: @theFabulousinme
Lauren Curiotto is the founder and “chief dreamer” of Finding the Fabulous, a nonprofit that unites fabulous girls with fearless attitudes and revolutionary futures to advance the next generation of role models. Since 2010, Finding the Fabulous has grown its Sisterhood to include 500 girls across New York and New Jersey. Lauren is also a member of Dreamers // Doers, a highly curated community of high-achieving trailblazing women who come together to support each other on their entrepreneurial paths. The community encompasses a diverse mix of female founders, women working at startups, and other female creators, change-makers, and influencers.
Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?
Lauren: I tried really hard not to be. I did everything “right” including the expensive education, but I never landed the perfect, well-paying job that I imagined would come with a corner office and the validation of others. Instead, I started with zero and am still struggling to explain to people that I do indeed have a job.
I am an entrepreneur because I found myself doing something that I loved, something that was so much bigger than the narrow vision I originally had for myself, and I didn’t want to let go. I am an entrepreneur because I am terrified every day and I hear that can be a good thing? I am an entrepreneur because if I want to prove to other girls that they should make the sacrifice to pursue their dreams, I have to do it first.
It doesn’t hurt that my couch is probably way more comfortable than that corner office.
Me: What problem would you like solved?
Lauren: Fear of failure. It’s something I’ve always struggled with and I have encountered so many girls and women who do too. It’s often rooted in self-doubt or an expectation of perfection and it’s always damaging. I am constantly motivated by thinking of how much more we could accomplish if we spent less time thinking about the what-ifs or worrying about what other people will think if we make a mistake, and more time taking risks.
Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?
Lauren: I wish I’d been a little braver and become a coding guru.
Me: What does success look like for you?
Lauren: Ultimately, success for me is a feeling of peace. I’m doing my best to see success as an attitude or mindset that I channel every day, not this intimidating status that I am supposed to achieve in order to feel good about myself. I think I feel most at peace, and therefore successful, when I am fully focusing on what I’m doing, whether that is writing a new camp curriculum or cooking dinner for my husband. Distraction and guilt don’t fit well into the equation.
Me: Who are your heroes?
Lauren: I have a love-hate relationship with this question because my most sincere answer sounds so cliche. But my family is stellar. Their creativity, generosity and encouragement are unmatched.
I can’t not mention Gesche Haas for the eloquent, inspiring way she has masterminded Dreamers // Doers. She is truly exceptional.
Mae Jemison, because she became absolutely everything she wanted to including the first female African American astronaut, a doctor, a dancer, and she holds nine doctorate degrees in the humanities, science and engineering.
And while this list could probably go forever, I’ll end with Lucille Ball. Her resume kicks butt.
Me: What is your best discovery?
Lauren: Time spent laughing is time well spent. Make it a priority. Also, broccoli can be pretty great if roasted.
Me: What would the title of your biography be?
Lauren: May God Bless You in Many Many Ways.
I could probably come up with something more witty or artsy or intellectual, but this is probably the most telling. As a kid, I signed all my cards (and I wrote a lot of cards) this way. Everyone makes fun of me for it now. But hey, I grew up as a pastor’s kid, I couldn’t help it.
Me: What is your biggest regret?
Lauren: Any time I’ve been angry. It’s such a waste of energy.
Me: Anything else we should know about?
Lauren: We just launched a new initiative this week called [Inner] Beauty in a Bag. We’re calling it a “get one, give generously” model. So when you purchase a tote bag, you also gift a bag full of inner beauty encouragement and health necessities to girls in hospital care and women in shelters. Check out our social media and help us spread the word!
This post originally appeared on Kelly Hoey’s website. Keep up to date with Kelly’s latest Insights by signing up for her Innovator Insights newsletter.
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