Photo credit: Mandar Parab-Photography

Thursday June 7th, LadyDrinks founder Joya Dass hosted a fireside chat with Shilpa Shah, Chief Experience Officer and Co-Founder of the direct to consumer luxury goods brand Cuyana.

Shilpa spoke candidly about being an Indian female entrepreneur and the headwinds she faced from her own family when she was launching her business to the challenges of fundraising to being a mother and a wife.

Takeaways from her talk:

— It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. She went back to business school after ten years as a UI designer, and a young child. Something in her just said, “She wasn’t done.”

— Stay true to your vision and your mission. Social media makes it easy to compare, but it can be a dangerous rabbit hole to go down. Learn to drown out the noise.

— Network. Network. Network. Shilpa and Karla found a list of female VC’s on Pinterest and networked on Linkedin to get connected to them. Their first round of funding came entirely from Canaan Partners, who remains one of their top customers today as well.

— When asked about work/life balance, Shilpa says, stay immersed. Whether its at home or at work, be completely immersed.

— Be willing to ask for help

— We talk alot about men’s skills that lead them to success. But women have skills that poise them to be successful in the 21st century economy, including a nurturing manner and a gentleness that sometimes is required when doing business.

— When her child asks her why she is leaving, as she departs for her umpteenth business trip, she says “Someday, you will understand.” She wants her sons to know that she is a working mom and has passions/ambitions.

Photo credit: Mandar Parab-Photography

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Upcoming LadyDrinks events

Women in the Workplace and the Art of Negotiation. June 12th Buy tix here:

Empower Cocktails with Tiffany Hall, Sr. Counsel at Mastercard. July 20th Buy tix here.



Run. Don’t walk to this panel! I remember listening to Michelle Obama speak when I took several LadyDrinks members to the United State of Women Summit in Washington DC a few years ago. The former U.S. First Lady closed out the day in conversation with Oprah. She talked about the time she was offered her first job after law school. She didn’t even think to negotiate for a higher salary. After the birth of her first child, she negotiated with her then-employer, the University of Chicago, to scale back to a part-time position. She ended up working just as much as she had before, but for less pay. She expressed that one of the biggest challenges that we have as women is that we don’t negotiate for ourselves. “We lack the confidence. We lack the guidance.” That tees up our very powerful event Tuesday, June 12th. I’ve assembled a kick ass panel of men and women who will leave you with real, tactical advice you can walk out of the room with on how to negotiate — hard — and better. IN fact, we will pick two ladies from the audience to conduct a mock negotiation with Alison Taffel Rabinowitz who teaches women at The Finishing School how to negotiate. PANELISTS WADE DAVIS is an American speaker, activist, writer, educator and former American football player. He will speak to Negotiation and Diversity. His powerful words on gender diversity extend to not only hiring diversely, but giving that hire a seat at the table to make impactful decision SARAH WALTON is a business mentor who once ran four businesses for Barry Diller, IAC Interactive She will speak to where women stumble the most when it comes to negotiation and how to win the person sitting across the desk over. LAURA FREDRICKS, Author of “The Ask” She will share her very powerful five step process to successful negotiating for money ALISON TAFFEL teaches a class on the art of negotiation to women called “The Finishing School” She says, never say ‘thank you’ when an employer offers you a job and a salary. Simply say “That’s a good place to start.” NISHA DUA, partner at BBG Ventures and founder of the #BUILTBYGIRLS movement She will talk about negotiation from a fundraising perspective EVENT TIMELINE 6:00–6:20pm Guest check in and networking 6:20–6:50pm Joya moderates panel and TIENY board members pass around index cards for audience members to write down questions and pass up to the front 6:50–7:00PM Alison runs a mock negotiation with someone from the audience 700–7:15pm Q&A from index cards 7:15–8pm Networking and wrap


853 Broadway 3rd floor , New York, NY 10003


Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 6:00 PM

I am the founder of LadyDrinks, teaching South Asian executive women & founders how to market their most important asset — themselves