iRelaunch Team Spotlight: Jill Kravetz
I’m not sure I fully realized how difficult it is to write about yourself until I polished off an entire bag of licorice allsorts just trying to get this first sentence out. For those of you unfamiliar with licorice allsorts, they are their own food group most heavily consumed in the UK and in my homeland, Canada. And yes, I actually have, a few times in the past, purchased the very 2 lb. bag that I’m linking to here.
My name is Jill Kravetz, and I like to think of myself as the “original unicorn” because of the winding path I have taken to get to where I am today – working with the fabulous iRelaunch team, living in Boston with my husband Shawn and my three kids: Beckett (13), Eva (11 going on 16) and Sophie (not 7, but 7.5 and don’t you forget it). I am a non-Starbucks coffee snob (love me a cortado from local fave Pavement or a Stumptown cold brew) and am passionate about education, the arts, and girl power.
I grew up in Ottawa and Toronto, Canada, with a harrowing 6-month stint in France in 4th grade. Harrowing not because of the language (I’m fluent in French) but because it resulted in an introduction and lifelong addiction to Nutella and chic school supplies.
(me at the height of French fashion; my fancy school supplies)
I left the Great White North to get my MBA in Finance at The Wharton School in Philadelphia. The transition from Toronto to Philadelphia was – well – a learning experience. I grew to love Philadelphia and to this day believe it is one of the most underappreciated cities in the U.S. I was one of the youngest students in our class and really had very little idea of what I wanted to do with my life. My undergrad degree is in Biology, and I had spent two years prior to business school in an animal health marketing communications firm. I then found myself plopped into classes with investment bankers (what IS that, anyway?) from Wall Street (huh? where?) decked out in Brooks Brothers (whose brothers?).
Upon graduation, feeling like I still had no idea what I wanted to do, I joined a strategy consulting firm, The Monitor Company (now Deloitte). After a couple of years at Monitor, I moved on to a smaller strategy firm, The Parthenon Group (now E&Y), where I became the first female partner. At both companies I was able to work on such a huge range of industries and issues across clients – as a result, I know a little too much about appliances, elevators, financial information services, 1990s telecom, and soybeans. Yes, soybeans.
But alas, after 10 years of consulting, eating vending machine poptarts for lunch, becoming besties with the front desk manager at the Cedar Rapids Hampton Inn, and getting home 2 hours after I said I would be home, I hopped off that treadmill and joined a small venture capital firm as a partner. As a partnership we decided to start a company called MiniLuxe – an ultra-hygienic chain of nail and waxing salons based in Boston. I decided to get “hands on” and talked to my partners about actually running the company. They agreed, and all of a sudden I was an operator – starting up a business, growing it, setting it up for scale.
(this is me pretending to do our manager’s pedicure for an early photo shoot)
(this was our first location at night)
I had caught the startup bug, and went on to start a second business in the beauty industry – this time an online business called Gloss48. We sadly ended up closing that business, but not before we cultivated the love and affection of over 85,000 beauty lovers and 300 independent beauty brands.
(some social media posts from the Gloss48 archives)
I met Carol Fishman Cohen through a common friend of ours, Jules Pieri, founder of the extraordinary discovery site The Grommet. Jules is a huge supporter of female entrepreneurs, so our paths had crossed several times. After spending time with Carol, I was blown away by the incredible opportunities iRelaunch is creating in the market for relaunchers and employers who hire them – it was a field I had no idea existed. After meeting the team (all of whom are relaunchers themselves), I was struck by their passion for the company’s mission, their amazing dedication to our work product, and a work ethic which is becoming harder and harder to find. Oh – and their ability to put up with my sense of humor. I’m in complete awe of our team, and feel so lucky to be a part of it.