Interviewed by: Bethney Bonilla
BASED IN: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
When Hillary Gadsby enters a room, she walks tall and confident then stands her ground. Upon her feet are fabulous shoes, of course. For Hillary, stilettos have been a motivating symbol throughout her career as a female entrepreneur. As she likes to say, “If the sky’s the limit in your career, then why can’t the stiletto be too?”
Hillary is the Founder and CEO of A Gadsby Affair, a full-service marketing business, and Chief Visionary Officer of StilettoGal, a multimedia platform for business women. She left her small hometown in Idaho at the age of 19 to study and work as an au pair for Patricia Barbizet, the executive director behind Artemis.
For months she walked upon the cobblestone streets of the city in her black penny loafers, seeking inspiration among the chic Parisian women in ravishing shoes. Hillary realized that perhaps working towards buying a fabulous pair of shoes was the confidence boost she needed to put a spring in her step. Months later, she purchased a pair of knee-high black boots, with a pointed toe and skinny heels to be exact. From Paris to London and back to the United States to Los Angeles, CA glamorous shoes have kept Hillary both poised and fashionable.
In the city of angeles, she doubles as an event and marketing dynamo. Her experience internationally and extensive work in sales, marketing and event management have earned her recognition among many powerhouse companies in a variety of industries. As the head of StilettoGal, she aims to inspire, educate and connect generations of female business leaders and entrepreneurs through relatable and uplifting content, from one stiletto-lover to another.
Tell us what you do.
I am the Chief Visionary Officer of StilettoGal, a multi-media platform to inspire, educate and connect the next generation of female business leaders and entrepreneurs.
In your own words, what does it mean to be Passionista?
Resilience is key. You will have so many no’s in business and you have to be resilient to get to that big YES.
What is the best part about being a female entrepreneur?
My favorite part is inspiring other women to be entrepreneurs and helping them get to the next level of their life or business.
Is it important to have mentors and mentor other people? Why?
Absolutely. I think it one of the most important parts of a business is having people in your corner that have 10-20 years more experience than you. Business is not started in a vacuum. You need others to help you see it through.
Why do you think now is the best time to be a female entrepreneur?
The landscape of business is changing for the better. Women are starting businesses faster than ever, but we still need the tools and mentors to help us get there.
What does success mean to you? What does it mean to “be successful”? Can it ever be fully achieved or is it something that comes and goes?
Success to me is not about making the most money in your business; success is the people you surround yourself with. Those are the people who are going to give you the advice and the mentorship to elevate your life and your business. Success does not come and go, but money does. There will always be ebbs and flows in business. You just have to set yourself up to handle both.
What is one (or more) piece of advice you can offer our readers and other entrepreneurs that are reading your interview? What is the most important to keep in mind?
Never give up on your dreams. Resilience and perseverance are the keys to your success. We get punched in the gut so much in business and we have to get back up and start over. Remember that failure is always a building block to success.