We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristina Angeli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cristina, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
For 20+ years I had enjoyed going to an office, grabbing morning coffee, creating family-like connections with teams and coworkers. Doing the work, clearing a path for teams, Learning. discovering more about myself with every stop. It was and still is a magical ride my nomadic career. Every company, every role. The ups and downs. I just got to a place after a successful IPO at Stitch Fix where I had the choice and time to pause, lift my head and breathe. I met with some confidants and one SF based founder in particular who really helped me open my eyes to what my journey and experience to date offers me. At a time I was nervous, doubting myself or what should be next, she said, “Cristina, I have never met anyone like you, that can be a visionary and guide a brand at 10K feet that knows the 360° facets of what it takes to build a brand and connect with customers. You simply have to give consulting a try.” So I did.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
So I am old enough to have lived in the pre-digital age. Before cell phones, internet and social media. It was an amazing time. Waiting to go buy the September issue of Vogue to see the cover, the models the ads. They were great times. I am lucky that my career has bridged to today and the world of technology, innovation and disruption. I personally love the blending of tradition and future. It has helped give me a perspective and sometimes unique point of view at the table when seated with a group of twenty somethings. I don’t say that in a derogatory way, the youth of today is creatively brilliant, but a little old school balance from time to time is beneficial for the end result in my opinion.
My 20+ years reads like a Kerouac novel and map. Growing up in Hawaii, horrible senior year in Northern Virginia, off to college in NYC in the mid 80’s, then the career road trip that zigs and zags across the USA. My sister has been in the same job for almost 30 years. Blows my mind, but honestly that would kill me. I truly believe that moving around and career jumping makes you stronger, a better partner. You have perspective, experience with different companies, cultures and work. It makes you learn to pivot yourself, grow and be open. That in turn, makes your perspective more valuable at any company, because you have the diverse experiences to pull for, to help you formulate and craft what is right for where you are in the moment.
I have gotten to where I am today by trusting my gut. By being my authentic self. By leading with love. Those things are more commonplace today, but let me tell you 20 years ago I got told I was too emotional, cared too much, needed to keep my opinions to myself. I read all these Forbes and HBR articles on how emotional intelligence and empathy are the new leadership cues, and it makes me happy to see that yes, love, care and warmth is needed in the workplace. I feel validated.
So what have I learned along the way? Be you. Always be you. Your journey will take you to places, companies, bosses and teams that will help you figure out who you are, what you believe in what you stand for. Along the way, with each step, stumble and success, you will discover your unique superpower. Just keep on moving forward knowing you are on the way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
OK so I have always visited LA over my career. And now, I am actually in the process of moving to LA. Again, i’m a nomad, now with a husband and 3 mini dachshunds. I haven’t been to LA in 2 years, one of which we have been homebound due to covid, but I am excited to get back to the energy, diversity of culture food and art that LA has. It’s a blend of luxe and grit which I love.
My old school itinerary would be this: cocktails at Sunset Tower bar, dinner at The Little Door and after dinner drinks at Sunset Marquis. Does that date me? Well, I don’t care. I am excited to discover and try all the new places too. It’s all about great friends, great food and a great setting where you can actually hear each other. Ok, that dates me. 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, this is the Oscar moment i’ve dreamt of. But seriously, so many people have helped shape, guide and inspire me. It all starts with my parents. I was the wild child and a bit different. My taste in music, clothes, my opinions. They always let me be me. They instilled in me kindness, honesty and empathy with a fierce belief in work ethic. They are the loves of my life.
I also want to shoutout to a psychic in Boulder Colorado in 1988 who read my natal chart. The one that shows where all the planets were situated the moment that you were born. If you believe in that stuff, which I do with a big ole grain of Himalayan salt, it gives you insight into aspects of your life. What I saw on my chart, and what was explained to me was the clustering of planets, almost all of them in my career house. This was decades ago, so I was at the start of my career journey so I just kind of said, hmm that’s interesting.
I have pulled that tattered chart out many times over to look at it again and read the meaning. It explains a lot about me, my journey and the importance of the work I do in my life. It’s so much more than a job and a paycheck. You see, nestled in the cluster of planets in my career house was the sign and planet that represent parenting or nurturing. I don’t have kids, I am a dog mom. But my career has brought me so many friends and moments I was able to nurture, mentor and guide.
Some people don’t understand my drive and love of work. But it was literally written in the stars.