Executive Director of PORTERO
Alexis Clarbour is the Executive Director of PORTERO, the leading online retailer for pre-owned, authenticated handbags and accessories. She is responsible for the overall strategic vision and day-to-day operations. Alexis combines her creative, passionate personality with business acumen to direct, plan and coordinate all marketing and operations initiatives for the brand. With over a decade of experience in the luxury goods industry, Clarbour brings a keen understanding of the service demand in the market.
Clarbour has been integral in elevating the competitive positioning of PORTERO, while developing an identifiable voice for the brand. Paying careful attention to the accurate representation of all merchandise to ensure customer satisfaction, Clarbour creates an approach that is solely focused on the client. Working with top, trusted resellers, as well as independent product experts around the world, Clarbour manages her team of in-house category specialists to source the company’s ever-evolving inventory and deliver unparalleled access to certified, pre-owned vintage and collectible merchandise.
Tell us what your greatest personal challenge is, and how you’ve achieved success in spite of it.
My greatest challenge has been balancing being a mother and having a job that requires a tremendous amount of time and energy. A website is a 24 hour, 7 day a week job, but so is being a mother. I work hard every day to make sure that these two very important pieces of my life are well cared for and always thriving.
Name something that guides both your personal and professional development and helps you to regain focus during challenging times.
I have been lucky to have a mentor in my life who knows me almost as well as I know myself. I’m able to call upon her when I need her most, or when I doubt myself. She’s always come through for me and I try to do the same for other women.
What do you believe is at the core of why women hesitate to “lean in” and pursue leadership roles where they are?
Unfortunately society has conditioned it to be so. Growing up we have been told, though not explicitly so, that other women are our competition because there is only so much room for women to thrive in the work place. We have made great progress since, but this message is still being delivered to our young girls. This is why it’s imperative we work together to get more women into leadership roles, so we can lead by example.
Tell us one of your greatest professional accomplishments, and why it meant so much to you?
As I have been in several startup or revamp situations, I always feel proud when after many months of hard work, testing and decision making I culminate a project; whether it’s developing a new website, redesigning or opening a store.
How do you manage fear in both your work and personal life?
As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that any moment of fear, whether at work or in your personal life, is temporary. So I get through it by reminding myself that this too shall past.
What do you believe will be the greatest global benefit to having more women in leadership roles?
Women are more empathetic by nature and always try and look at things from all sides. A lot of the fields I’ve worked in have a lot of men, and bringing more women into not only the work force but leadership roles is sure to bring new and fresh ideas to the table. I think our opinions evolve as we receive more information while I’ve seen men sometimes be more stubborn in their ways.
What have you found to be the most effective way to motivate and energize your team?
My team would say that I’m a very a supportive and communicative boss. I lead by sharing information and objectives and letting them know their opinion is valued. I also think positive reinforcement is important, as well as letting them know when there is a mistake, and how we can learn from it and move forward.
What is at the “core” of your drive and motivation to succeed?
The core of my drive comes from having my son and wanting him to have all the opportunities and happiness life can offer. Becoming a mother changes your priorities completely as life isn’t just about you anymore. There is something bigger now. At the end of the day, my success will be defined by what kind of person he is and will be. So far so good!