Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a serial entrepreneur, regular television contributor, published author, a sought-after speaker and emcee and a digital influencer and blogger.
What do you want our readers to know about you?
I started Mabel’s Labels 17 years ago with three other women. We started for two reasons. The first was that we noticed a product missing from the market – durable, personalized, dishwasher and microwave safe labels for children. The other reason was that at the time, my eldest child was three years old and diagnosed with autism. I wanted to be able to have the flexibility to manage a program for him and ensure his best outcomes.
What would you like to see more of in the workplace?
I love seeing collaboration in the workplace and love when employees are intrapreneurial. I find that employees are more likely to make bold moves, be innovative and take chances when they are not micro-managed and feel they have a little skin in the game. Rewarding employees and making them have ownership or their roles is good for retention and good for business!
What characteristics and/or qualities do you admire in the women you work with?
The women I work with are supportive, encouraging and build each other up. We also know that “life happens” so we cover for each other when needed. That is what support looks like.
What advice did you wish you were given earlier in your career?
It’s probably the advice I give other people now! Becoming an entrepreneur is wonderful and gives you flexibility, but flexibility does not get your work done for you. Be prepared to work long hours but know that you can be productive at strange times and in strange locations! I built a business with six kids underfoot during naptime!
How do you think COVID-19 will change the future of work for women?
I think work environments are learning that people can be productive outside of the traditional work environment. I believe women are particularly good at this. The one issue is that households are not operating democratically. Women are still carrying the emotional and physical load in the household. We need that to change, and that will have an impact on how women work.
How do you think we can increase diversity in the workplace?
Companies must commit to educating employees and hiring BIPOC applicants. Pure and simple – hire so that your company has representation of our entire society.
Do you have a mantra or quote that inspires you? If so, please share it below.
There is something my grandmother used to say to me. She believed in being a strong and confident woman, while remaining humble. She often said, “You’re as good as the rest of them and better than none!”
Where can people find you online?