Tonight we are thrilled to share with our Nourish community this Q&A with Elizabeth Stewart of Fenwick Brands. As you read her answers, you'll feel how much Elizabeth values her work, family, and husband. She's one of the most remarkable women we know, balancing being an investor/wife/mother/friend (in no specific order).
- Tell us about your business (quick elevator pitch) and how you got started?
I spend my days living and breathing consumer brands. Fenwick Brands is a female-led investment fund focused on providing growth capital to emerging consumer-focused businesses. We are invested in brands such as Madison Reed, Lemi Shine and Ursa Major. Our objective at Fenwick is to partner with exciting brands and help them scale by providing capital and operational expertise. As a partner at Fenwick Brands, I research trends, evaluate business for investment, work closely with our partner companies, and manage fund administration.
My background is in finance and investing. When I met Melissa, my now partner, five years ago I was very impressed with what she was building. I joined Fenwick in 2016 to marry my investing and finance experience with her deep consumer operating expertise. We launched our first fund in 2017.
- What is a day or week like in the life of Elizabeth Stewart?
Hectic! Balancing work and family is art and science. I live in a boys’ world with a husband and two wild littles, George (4) and Harrison (9 months). My husband and I both travel a good bit, so it all varies. When I am in Birmingham, it is all day in the office and I prioritize evenings at home. This means getting in play time, bath time, and story time all before bed (which is hard for us). A day in the office never looks the same, I enjoy the fast pace environment and the opportunity to always be learning and meeting new people.
- What are the things that you invest in yourself to better your week?
I learned early on that weekday mornings were not the highest quality time with the kiddos. We have a nanny/babysitter that helps everyday to get us out the door. She gets the kids dressed and fed and delivers them to school. This is a huge help for me, allowing me to get to the office before 8 so I can maximize time in the office and be home for evening family time.
- How has Nourish and our meals or service impacted you?
Nourish solves so many pain points for my family. My husband and I both work a lot and travel a lot. Nourish is a god-send solution for lunches and dinners. For lunch, we both need easy, quick and healthy solutions that allow us to maximize working hours during the day. Nourish is perfect for this – easy to transport to the office (no messes), easy to heat-up, tasty and healthy. As for dinner, there are usually a few nights a week when one of us is flying solo. By the time the kids are fed, bathed and in bed, the last thing you want to do is cook for one. Nourish is the perfect dinner solution for these weeknights.
- Our readers love an authentic story, can you share a work/life balance moment that you find to be funny or vulnerable?
When George was 2 he picked up my computer and started banging on the keyboard. He then proudly announced – “I’m doing work”. YIKES!! (see video attached) It was at that moment I realized how much of a little sponge he is. I now try very hard to minimize how much I work in front of him (computer and phone). This means maximizing nap time on weekends and picking back up emails once the kids have gone to bed.
- What has been your most proud milestone/award that you can share with our community?
This is a tough one! I will go with a professional milestone. I am really proud of our ability to raise Fenwick’s first institutional fund so quickly. We surpassed our goals, raising more money faster, and also attracted a compelling investor base. This is a great foundation upon which we hope to build for many years to come.
Thank you Elizabeth for sharing with us tonight. We hope you enjoyed her interview. To learn more about Elizabeth and her business, please visit www.fenwickbrands.com