With a name like Sterling McDavid, fitting of a cosmopolitan Marvel character, one must be primed for great things. As Co-founder and Co-CEO of Burnett New York, a luxury womenswear label that is by women for all women, Founder of Starling Project, a collection of very chic soy candles that donates profits towards bringing life-saving solar energy to families in need, and a Board of Director for UNICEF, where she works with the Girls Empowerment program, she's clearly done her name well.
Who inspires you?
Arianna Huffington and Diane Von Furstenberg inspire me. Both women have greatly shaped their respective industries and have empowered women along the way.
Is there an example you can share of how another woman has lifted you up?
Our brand has all female investors. To think that these women believed in us and our dream and were willing to put their hard earned dollars on the line is the perfect example of women empowering other women. I hope to personally be able to do this in the future for other female-founded brands. Women are half of the world and yet still a vast majority of businesses are led by men, I really believe we can change this problem.
How has confidence played a role in your life?
I think confidence is key. If you aren't confident in all you are doing, why should someone else be? I was very shy as a child, but my parents really pushed me to stand up for what I believe in; they also encouraged me to be 100% myself. I am still an introvert, I just happen to be an extroverted introvert because I work at it. From speaking classes to putting myself in uncomfortable situations, I am always trying to grow my confidence.
What's the best part of your job?
The incredibly inspiring women I get to meet because of it!
What are you most proud of?
My work with UNICEF where I am a proud Board of Directors member. I am proud to actively be supporting the Girls Empowerment program that helps girls around the world get access to education. My company also supports this mission.
What has been the most useful advice you've received?
Stay true to yourself.
What is your motto or mantra?
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi
What are you most excited for next?
I am excited about what the future holds for Burnett as we continue to grow and inspire women around the world. I look forward to more and more women joining the Burnett Army in the fight for empowering ALL women.
[Photo by Yumi Matsuo]