Fostering the Entrepreneurial Spirit


How Three Young Fashion Mavericks Designed Their Own Paths to Success

As part of our Generations series, Fiduciary Trust regularly invites entrepreneurs to share their insights, inspiration and experiences with our clients. We also share their passion for innovation, because Fiduciary Trust was founded 86 years ago by a group of entrepreneurial families that wanted to create a new and different kind of wealth management firm.

Our most recent event featured three accomplished, next-generation entrepreneurs: Stephanie Benedetto, the CEO & Co-Founder of Queen of Raw, a company on the forefront of fashion tech and sustainability; Ken Natori, President of The Natori Company, who effectively transitioned from careers in Broadcast Journalism and Wall Street to help transform his family business; and Jordana Warmflash, the founder and sole creative director of Novis, a trendsetting New York-based clothing company with a flair for fun.

They participated in a panel discussion about what sparks their “entrepreneurial spirit.”

Q: Successful entrepreneurs often talk of a single moment as the catalyst or tipping point in their business life. What was your “Aha” moment?

Stephanie: I wouldn’t say there was a single moment, but a series of moments, followed by building things out of sheer necessity. It started for me with the crash of Wall Street. I was an M&A and securities attorney at the time and saw the good and bad of what was happening in the economy. This turned into a moment of opportunity for me. I left my job to go full-time into the startup I was building with my friend around manufacturing sustainable raw materials.

Over time, we found we were constantly adapting our business to find solutions for any supply-related issues inherent to the industry. And from that first-hand experience with the problem, Queen of Raw was born. Honestly, if you would have told me four years ago that we would be leveraging blockchain to sell fabric across the world and map, measure, and trace supply chains I would not have believed you.

Q: A lot of people want to become entrepreneurs but never take advantage of the opportunities. What compelled you to make your move?

Ken: Despite being an only child, my parents – to their credit – never pressured me to join the family business - they pressured me to do a lot of stuff—but they had always given me freedom to pursue my own career paths. While I had always been determined to establish my own independent careers, in both broadcast journalism and on Wall Street, I eventually realized it was shortsighted to ignore the amazing opportunity I had in front of me to help transform and push forward a great company with tons of potential.

I have been afforded the opportunity to really make a difference. Given my background in finance and my love of establishing new businesses, I realized quickly how I could help bring Natori into the digital age to grow and individualize our brand through online channels. Our recent successes in terms of solidifying our core business and growing and developing new channels has been incredibly rewarding.

Q: What influences have shaped your outlook and helped you make it to where you are today?

Jordana: I come from a family of entrepreneurs who all work in very different industries. While my mother is a doctor and my father is a lawyer, they both have their own privately controlled businesses. so that kind of entrepreneurial spirit has been in my blood since the start.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a designer. Growing up in New York, I found inspiration in the art and the fashion that is everywhere we look. So, I would say that it was my passion for design and family background of entrepreneurialism that really motivated me to own this aspect of my life.

To learn more about Generations and our programs for educating future generations, please speak to your Fiduciary Trust contact.

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