Liz Dennery Sanders is a brand and creative strategist, personal development coach and the founder of SheBrand.com, a global online business dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs and the companies that speak to them build smart, engaging brands with style. As the past Chair of the Los Angeles Board of Directors for Step Up Women’s Network and a founding member of the organization’s Luminary Circle, Liz serves as a mentor in the Professional Mentorship and Development program and pens a monthly column, “Step Up To Success,” for Step Up’s national newsletter. She is also a regular contributor to MariaShriver.com. A member of the Vogue 120, a hand-selected group of 120 influential female decision makers and opinion leaders across the country, Liz is known for her distinctive taste in style, design and culture.
Occupation: Founder & CEO, SheBrand Inc.
Twitter Handle: @SheBrandLiz
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/lizdennerysanders
What are three words that best describe you? Creative, gracious, rebel
Could you describe your business? At SheBrand, we help women and the companies that speak to them build smart, engaging brands with style.
What is your role, where are you based and what inspires you most about your work? I am Founder & CEO and we are based in Los Angeles. I am constantly inspired by the women we work with – by their passion, determination and vulnerability.
Was there anything in your past that pointed you in the direction you’ve taken? I never had strong female role models growing up. It took me a long time to find my voice and feel confident in my own skin. It was this, coupled with the philanthropic work I’ve done with women and girls that lead me to where I am today.
What experience in your career are you most proud of? Building two successful businesses and showing no signs of slowing down (even with a four-month-old at home!)
What advice would you share with those still in school? Get some real world experience. Intern. It’s amazing for your confidence, good for building connections and a great resume booster.
Why is giving back important to you? There aren’t many things in life that are as fulfilling as giving to and helping others. It just feels good.
How has giving back helped you? Working with under-served women and girls, as well as mentoring professional women was actually the impetus for creating SheBrand.
How do you incorporate giving back into your life? I give of my time – both as a volunteer and board member, and financially. In fact, giving back is baked into the SheBrand business model. We donate a portion of profits from some of our programs to charity, and make donations throughout the year for special people and occasions. I’ve also created sponsorship opportunities for and connected some of the brands we work with to the non-profit organizations we support.
Which charities are near and dear to you and why? Step Up Women’s Network and Girl Up for their dedication to connecting and advancing women and girls. Kiva for their innovative platform that makes it easy to support fellow entrepreneurs all over the world, and charity:water for making it their mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person on the planet. I also really like what Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson are doing with Kind Campaign.
When it comes to your own philanthropic efforts, what do you look back at and feel made the largest impact on those that you set out to help? Spending one-on-one time with my mentees. It’s great to be able to write a check to an organization, but the time you spend sharing your experience, resources and inspiration with others is invaluable for everyone involved.
What is the most creative fundraising idea you’ve come across? I love what Founder Scott Harrison has done with the charity:water birthday project. In lieu of birthday gifts, you “give up” your birthday and ask that friends and family make donations to charity:water. I gave up my birthday last year and raised over $5K to build a drinking well that will serve over 250 people in a small community in Ethiopia. Best birthday gift ever.
What are some must-attend charity events for you? The Step Up Inspiration Awards, Elyse Walker’s Pink Party, P.S. Arts Bag Lunch
What brands do you wear most often? Vince, Theory, Milly, Tory Burch, Lanvin, J.Crew, Seven for all Mankind
What is your favorite beauty product? Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil
How would you describe your home décor? Classic minimalism with a splash of glamour; inviting and comfortable
What is your secret for hosting a great party? The right mix of guests, delicious food, strong cocktails and a great playlist
Favorite food: Depending on my mood: sushi, guacamole & chips or dark chocolate
Favorite cocktail: Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned
Favorite restaurant: Clancy’s in New Orleans and Bouchon in Beverly Hills
If you could host a dinner party for 8, who would you invite living or dead? Marilyn Monroe, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, George Clooney, Dolly Parton, Anderson Cooper, Hillary Clinton and The Dalai Lama.
Favorite vacation spot: Paris and Bora Bora
Do you have any tips for parents? It’s quality time over quantity. Make sure you take time for yourself.
Favorite TV show: I don’t watch a lot of TV, but my husband and I have been marathoning through Breaking Bad. It’s pretty awesome.
Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite song: anything by Frank Sinatra (although my favorite song this past summer was Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)
Favorite book: I read a lot, so it’s difficult to pick just one. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield are three that immediately come to mind.
Favorite apps: Instagram, Uber
iPhone or Android: iPhone
Favorite workout: Cardio Barre and Pilates
Where do you get your news? Sunday NY Times, Twitter