story of colors and many more

In a world where creativity and business often seem like opposites, Carrie Colbert stands out as a shining example of how the two can intersect. A digital influencer, Carrie has made a name for herself by empowering women to succeed in business and entrepreneurship.

As founder and general partner at Curate Capital, she is on a mission to provide capital, mentorship and strategic planning advice to women entrepreneurs and women-run companies.

Additionally, through her work as a fashion and lifestyle influencer, Carey is known for her bold and vibrant use of color, and has worked to help other women embrace color and express themselves boldly. Have made this your mission.

With a proven track record of driving results, it’s no wonder Carey is a popular speaker, panelist, mentor and advisor. In this interview, we get to know more about her journey, her passion for empowering women and how she uses the power of color to inspire and uplift others.

What according to you makes a powerful woman? How do you integrate that same idea into your leadership?

For me, power begins with a deep-rooted sense of self-awareness. Knowing who you are and playing to your strengths are two keys to embracing your strengths.

Also, I may be biased as an investor, but I think being knowledgeable and knowledgeable about one’s finances makes a woman powerful. I grew up in a very small town in Texas where it was rude to talk about money, which I imagine is a similar story for many women who are raised.

That quickly changed when I started working for a fast-growing energy company. Hilcorp embraces a very entrepreneurial culture. Two key components of that culture were an open book management style and an ownership mindset. All employees knew how their actions could affect the bottom line – and thus our own financial success, because we all had equity in the company. I quickly realized the power of ownership.

Although I now work in a completely different industry, I have carried forward many of those lessons in how to run Curate Capital, in which I share all financial updates, both the good and (heaven forbid) with our internal team. And not so good with investors. Transparency is so important for women to feel more invested in the results, both figuratively and literally.

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Talk to us about your growing up years. What is your earliest memory as a leader?

Growing up, one of my first jobs was at a small town golf course, which of course was dominated by men who played day and night. Very quickly I learned to speak with confidence, upsell at the pro shop, and hold my own even when surrounded by people with far more life experience than I did. I think this was the first opportunity for me to learn how to be comfortable with failure, which is an extremely important skill as an entrepreneur.

Besides, I was always a high performer. I was valedictorian of my high school class, topper of my engineering class, an officer in multiple organizations, and so on and so forth. For me, performing was a way to rise above my humble beginnings.

Your branding uses very vibrant and expressive colors. What is your relationship with colors and what does it represent?

Yes! I’ve always loved colour! Early in my career, I succumbed to (in my mind) workplace norms of wearing boring neutrals. But soon after, I learned to embrace my personality and express myself through my style choices. On Instagram I created the hashtag #MoreColorplease because I truly believe that the only way to live your life is with vibrancy and positive energy around you. It sounds trite, but something as simple as slipping on a bright pink dress or rainbow sweater can completely change my day.

From a business perspective, it was very important to me when launching Curate Capital to use color and bold branding as a way to stand out from the crowd. At the time, just a few short years ago, the sea of ​​venture capital firms was fairly monochromatic. VC websites had very conservative, traditional colors and branding. Navy blue was everywhere! So, my branding was an opportunity to differentiate myself from the first impression!

From spending nearly two decades in the corporate sector to starting a venture capital fund that supports and empowers women entrepreneurs. How was the journey for you?

It’s been a rollercoaster, that’s for sure. I was really blessed to see a steady positive progress in my career until I started Curate Capital. I rose in the ranks at an oil and gas company, I “retired” and grew an Instagram following and influencer status, and then as more and more female founders approached me on social media with their incredible investment opportunities I realized that I had to do it and do it.

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Little did I know that I would be hearing “no”s at my first fundraiser with Curate more than ever in my life. There were tears of frustration and joy, moments of fear and triumph, and in the end, we were ecstatic to have surpassed our initial goal of $10 million by 50%! Our portfolio companies are each thriving because they grow at their own pace, and we put a lot of faith in the women behind them.

While my professional experience may sound really disjointed, it really isn’t. Experience teaches us lessons all the time if we are ready to learn. I can look back and connect all the dots. No experience is lost or wasted. All of this has contributed to what I am now – what I consider to be my professional sweet spot, which is the culmination of many years of hard work.

Looking back on this journey, if you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?

Technically speaking, there are some details of structuring a venture capital fund that I probably would have done differently, but those were lessons I had to learn the hard way. Overall, I can honestly look back and say that every moment of my life has led me to where I am today. My husband and I are raising two phenomenal kids while I grow Curate Capital, and while it is wildly busy and chaotic at times, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am grateful for the opportunity to craft the life I love.

As an entrepreneur, speaker, influencer and mother, what does a day in the life of Carrie Colbert look like? How do you ensure work-life balance?

Well, while there are definitely times of chaos, I would say that age has taught me to filter through opportunities fiercely. I don’t try to be all things to all people. I am very clear about my priorities in this season of life. My priorities are (1) taking care of myself, (2) taking care of my kids, and (3) building my business. Any invitation or opportunity that comes my way has to benefit one of these three priorities – or it isn’t for me. A different season of life may look different. But for now, my focus on these three things is of utmost importance to me.

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Finally, talk to us about Curate Capital’s impact, not only in terms of supporting women-owned businesses but how it’s raising awareness of the untapped potential of this market.

We are unique in that 80% of our investors are women, and the vast majority are individual investors, not large private equity firms or financial institutions. We’ve also noticed that our investors are primarily from Texas and the Midwest, while most venture capital dollars are coming from the East or West Coasts, as you can imagine. I think all that data supports our gut feeling that Curate Capital is opening the eyes of a whole new demographic and generation of women who want to put their money where their mission is, so to speak.

If no one else is going to invest in female founders, it’s definitely our fellow women! We know for a fact that women-led companies outperform their male counterparts, so we’re not only building a movement, but we’re also making excellent business decisions. And the best part is that the sky’s the limit!

This interview is part of Exelon magazine’s celebration of Women’s History Month. Throughout the month we are releasing several interviews, stories and articles from established as well as emerging women entrepreneurs.

Read the digital edition.

Visit our magazine archive.

Visit the Curate Capital T website.

Visit Carrie Colbert’s Instagram page.

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