Tina Sharkey is the Co-Founder & Co-Chair of Brandless, a company that makes a curated assortment of high-quality things for you, your home, and your family in support of a life well-lived life.
What Is Your Motto?
I try to use this priceless wisdom from an elder named Rabbi Hillel for how to live my life. “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I’m only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
What Was The Most Important Thing You Learned In High School?
I went to Stuyvesant High in NYC and after school I would take the subway up to mom’s office where she was an exec in the Fashion Industry. She used to say, ‘You can join any meeting you want, as long as your homework is done and speak only when spoken to.’ I was able to be a fly on the wall, occasionally participate or be asked for my opinion. And it never dawned on me that I never had a seat at the table.
What Is Your Greatest Pet Peeve?
I hate when folks ask to “pick my brain.” Doesn’t that sound like that would hurt? Happy to brainstorm or share wisdom and advice, but “brain picking?” Doesn’t sound pleasant.
What Do You Wear That Makes You Feel Strong?
My intention bracelets. They are good reminders of what Intentions I set and help me to stay focused and always come back to the simple and intentional goals I set for myself.
What Advice Would You Give Someone With A Broken Heart?
Like everything good or bad in life, this too shall pass.
What Is On Your Nightstand?
Water and a small speaker as I am listening to more books and podcasts. Also a phone charger…. should move that.
What Gives You Goose Bumps?
Watching people of any age and any stage try to achieve their goals, and then to watch them and others smile. That includes making the world a better place every day through small, unrecognized but priceless tangible acts of kindness.
What Is Your Bad Day Backup Plan?
How Do You Define Success?
Success is just a moment in time. Significance and impact can be everlasting.
Best Advice You Have Ever Received?
Recently, I was with Diane Von Furstenberg and she said, “The most important relationship you have in life is with YOURSELF. If you have that, any other relationship you have is a plus and not a must.”
What Woman Has Inspired You The Most And Why?
Two great ladies. Firstly, my Mom. She was my unconditional, never failing cheerleader. She was also a leader in the corporate world and balanced her role at the Board table and her role at the kitchen table and believed in me and gave me the confidence to take risks and explore my passions and interests and always be developing new skills and interests. Her mom, my Nana Blanche, was the true Goddess of Goodness. She saw the world through rose-colored glasses and saw the best in everyone. Always.
Have You Always Had An Entrepreneurial Mindset?
Growing up, we would talk about work and building things around the kitchen table. As a kid, I made and sold beaded t-shirts. I had lemonade stands and went door to door to sell cookies and candy to raise money for causes. I got my parents and grandparents to sell too because they worked in offices with more potential customers. Being an entrepreneur comes in many forms including building community, solving problems and scaling yourself.
What Do You Think Is The Most Significant Barrier To Female Leadership?
The relentless pursuit of perfection. Women tend to want to be great at everything all at once. Work, Family time, friendship time, community engagement, personal fitness, diet, and self-care. You can have it all, just not all at the same time. The pursuit of balance is unrealistic so I think it is better to think about life integration and a personal roadmap for your week, your month and your year and plot your priorities out so you know how and WHEN and how you will create time and space to achieve them. Be kind. First to yourself.
What Gap Did You See In Retail That Drove You To Create Brandless?
We believed that modern consumption truly needed a makeover. People of all ages are changing the way they live and the filters and values they want for themselves, for their families and for the world at large. Trust in the established brands we grew up with has been lost and heritage brands are disintermediated from the consumers who buy their stuff as their customers are stores, not people. We wanted to build a community-informed company and create high-quality products and experiences that reflect the values we share with our community and make living well more attainable. We want to build a company in direct relationship with the people we serve to try to better life for all.
Why Is The Power Of Community Such An Important Ethos For Brandless?
Community is embedded in everything we do, as Brandless stands for something greater than any one product we create and sell. We are part of a movement of real people with shared values who just want better for themselves, their families and the earth. Real people have real stories and real lives and we are in a direct relationship with each and every person we serve. We are inspired by our community’s product ideas, their life hacks, their recipes, and their good news. They share with us, we share with them and they bring their friends and family along to share in the love that kindness that is at the center of the Brandless community experience. We try to always put people first to serve everyone better, together. That intention starts with our teammates and extends to the community at large to try to better life for all.
What Makes You Forget To Eat?
What Did Your 8-year-old Self Love Doing?
Dressing up and performing musicals on Sunday nights for my family in our living room with my sisters and cousins.
Goodness. It reminds me of my Nana and it can be stuffed into absolutely anything and everything and always makes me smile.
The Torah. So much wisdom in there that is as relevant today as when it was written thousands of years ago.
To learn more about Brandless visit their website and follow Tina and Brandless on: