Could you give us a brief background into your career before starting MOVE Guides?
I have worn several different hats in my professional life. After graduating from Yale, I began my career as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and Standard Chartered, where I worked throughout Asia and India, contributing to more than $25bn of capital raising for some of Asia‘s largest companies.
Always conscious of the role of women in business, I was a founding member of the local chapter of professional women‘s network 85Broads and a member of the local leadership committee for an education non-profit Room to Read.
Through these experiences, is where I really gained a unique understanding of global talent at multinational organisations — repeatedly moving as an expat, I watched my friends and colleges navigate the same challenges of international moves.
Tell us a bit about MOVE Guides and what inspired you to start the business.
After an extremely painful move from Asia to London, I was venting to my husband about my frustrations, and what now seems like his famous last words, my husband said, ‘Well, do something about’. So I did!
I changed my frustration into action. I realised that a massive gap in the global mobility and relocation marketplace was an opportunity staring me in the face. I was determined to create a technology service that appealed to increasingly global companies and a changing employee demographic.
Brynne wears The Camelot Dress in Grey & White tweed
Do you have a mentor or role model that helped you during the process of starting your own company?
Heather McGregor, Financial Times’ Mrs Moneypenny has played a pivotal role in my professional development. I first met Heather when I was a student at London Business School and she spoke at our Women in Business conference. I worked closely with Heather while starting MOVE Guides and learned a lot from her about being a successful female leader. I was honoured when Heather featured me in her most recent book ‘Mrs Moneypenny’s Financial Advice for Independent Women’. I hope to have the opportunity to pay it forward and be a mentor to the next generation of female entrepreneurs.
However, I also think it is critical for women in business to have male mentors, or ‘sponsors’. For me this is Kevin Eyres. Kevin was the first employee at LinkedIn outside of the US, and built much of the company you see today. He was the first person to commit to invest in MOVE Guides and is an invaluable coach and mentor as I build MOVE Guides.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?
When first starting a business, people are going to try to bring you down, point our every flaw and challenge your vision. So in order to build a successful business I cannot stress enough how important it is to be self-confident, have passion for your business and fight for what you believe in.
What are your personal or professional goals for 2014?
2014 has been a great year for MOVE Guides. Featured this month as one of UK’s top 100 new businesses, we have grown from a small startup to an award winning company with 500% growth over the last 12 months and a current client base that includes FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 clients.
We are currently on a path towards doubling our staff, expanding our expertise to manage multinational company moves to well over 100+ cities, especially in Asia, growing our client base to cover a wider range of industries and are looking forward to raising our next round of funding to scale even faster!
Brynne wears The Harley Dress in Lipstick
Do you think the way you dress has an impact in your career?
Absolutely. You have to be conscious of your brand and the way you style yourself is a reflection of that brand. If you dress sloppy and never look put together, it isn’t a good sign to competitors or investors that you take yourself or your company brand seriously. I feel more confident when I am in a great work dress and heels – in fact, my team often laughs that I don’t even get a coffee without my heels!
I think both men and women must be aware of their look, but as we all would agree, women are judged on different standards. I have heard this said a few times before: people listen to men first and then pay attention to what they are wearing, but people pay attention to what a women is wearing first and then listen to what they have to say.
How would you define your work style?
I started my career in investment banking, which doesn’t offer much room for style expression beyond professional, conservative attire.
Today, I would say my style is still very professional, but with a fun, sophisticated and feminine edge. My ideal outfit would be a black sleeveless dress, classic high heels and a chic statement necklace to complete the look.
That said, my day-to-day outfits really depend on my schedule and what meetings I have in my diary. Working at a tech startup allows for business casual, so you will also often find me in jeans with a silk sleeveless top, blazer and heels.
Owning a global company usually means that you need to travel frequently for work. What are your tips to pack for a work-trip?
I am always on the go. This past month alone, I travelled to Florida, Zurich, Munich, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver and Amsterdam. When packing for business trips, simple is better so stick to the basics—black dress, black pants, white blouse and good pumps. You save time and can style an outfit with a great statement necklace or earrings. This is what I love about the Fold’s clothing. They are great for the professional woman on the go. Easy to mix and match and they work for a wide range of business occasions.
And finally, what is your favourite piece from The Fold SS’14 collection?
It is hard to pick just one, but I love the sleeveless Camelot in tweed. When fishing around the showroom, I was immediately drawn to its sophisticated look and feminine cut. I actually loved it so much that I purchased it that day and wore it to my business meeting. I even received compliments from other women in the room. I also love the Harley in lipstick. It is a power colour that catches your eye and the dress is beautifully cut.
Brynne wears The Harley Dress in Lipstick