Hoya Highlight: Nora Gardner (C'07)

Nora Gardner

CEO and Creative Director, Nora Gardner NYC

Describe your current profession.

I am the founder of Nora Gardner NYC, a women’s professional workwear brand based in NYC. My primary roles are design, finance and business development.

Explain the inspiration behind Nora Gardner.

While working in investment banking, I saw the real need for more clothing options for professional women. Filling a professional wardrobe was a real area of stress for most women; we didn’t know where to find the clothes we needed and didn’t have time to shop. I knew I could help solve this problem and eliminate stress.

What has been the most challenging aspect of launching your own clothing line?

Finding the right suppliers. There are a lot of resources out there but finding the right match takes time.

Whom do you consider to be your influencers?

Diane von Furstenberg, Eileen Fisher and my mother, just to name a few.

What was the most useful piece of career advice you ever received?

To run my own race, meaning to trust my instincts and not compare myself to the competition.

What characteristics or skills do you feel are necessary for one to possess to excel in your industry?

Perseverance, creativity, knowledge of finance and accounting, a strong work ethic, sales and negotiating skills, and the ability to perceive what your market needs.

How do you think your time at Georgetown affected your professional decisions?

Georgetown provided me with fantastic opportunities to network within both Wall Street and the government, two areas that greatly interested me. I eventually pursued a career in investment banking, focusing on municipal finance. My career choices after Georgetown gave me the skills I needed to launch my own company.

What websites/social media pages do you read the most, and why?

I read Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal daily, so that I am fully aware of industry news. I also read “theSkimm” every morning.

Anything else you would like to add?

We just opened a flagship store in Manhattan at 125 E 47th Street (Between 3rd and Lex). Come visit us!