Downtown Q&A: Kristen Zeff

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KRISTN ZEFF Formerly a management consultant for both Deloitte and Accenture serving Fortune 500 clients. Started BLACKBARN in 2015 with husband, Mark.

Kristen Zeff

1. Name three women that inspire you, and tell us why.

My mom is one of the hardest working, professional women I know and a great role model. She gives 100% for literally everything she does.

Cindy Allen, Editor in Chief of Interior Design, is not only a forward-thinking design icon, leader, and business woman, but she is also simply effervescent! Her energy is contagious.

What is more inspiring than activist & Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai’s dedication to bettering the lives of other girls and women? She is serious #goals.

2. What has been the secret to your success?

I think having a can-do, problem solving attitude is key. Essentially, the ability to work through challenges and issues gracefully.

3. If you were going to pass on one piece of advice to a young woman, what would it be?

Invest in relationships with other women around you; both with peers and as women who can serve as mentors.

4. In the fight for equality, what area do you think needs the most attention?

This might not be the popular answer, but, at least in the US, I think pay equality is a serious issue. It kills me to know that men often make more to do the same jobs!

5. What are you most proud of in your career?

Creating the BLACKBARN brand with my husband, Mark, is the culmination of our vision for a lifestyle brand.

6. Where do you get your confidence?

I think I’ve gained my confidence mostly from years of experience living and working in NYC. Sometimes NYC can feel like a tough environment, but at the end of the day, you gain a lot of confidence from successfully navigating the city. Like they say, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

7. What makes a woman beautiful?

Self-confidence and kindness are beautiful qualities.

8. What gives you joy?

Spending time with my family and traveling to different parts of the world. Our globe-trotting inspired the creation of BLACKBARN.