Founded by former Facebook engineer, Julia Lam, Tara & Co is a functional yet fashionable line of handbags / accessories for the ever-mobile working woman, part seamless style accessory and part function, inspired by the busy lives of women in technology. This launch was definitely just that, a celebration of women and their growing roles at predominantly tech oriented companies. From the location to the profile of the multi-purpose bag to the women that represented the models for the night, everything was a statement about women standing tall in a boy’s world.
Entering the event, there were no misgivings about the type of environment, Galvanize is a techie’s domain, filled with booths for phone calls, endless conference room, high ceilings and too many nooks and crannies for a coder to catch a coffee break. In a large, yet cozy common area, guests were treated to wine and chips as they become acquainted with one another and waited for the official presentation from Tara.
Shortly after, Marisa, the event’s host invited everyone to another common area to meet Julia and see a mini-fashion show with the first product in the collection. Following a longish introduction by Julia, the founder of Tara & Co, she introduced Tracy Chou (whom the first product is named after), a product / software engineer with stints at Quora and Pinterest and champion of women’s diversity initiatives in tech. It was very interesting to hear the advice Tracy had received as a young minority woman to be taken seriously by her male counterparts and even more so the database she had developed to foster conversation about diversity with a simple question, “How many female engineers are on your product teams?” Looking at a company like Google or Yahoo, its clear to find women in an administrative or communications focused role, but until women are better represented in development roles, technology will always employ a male slant.
Following the fairly interesting story behind Tracy’s continued advocacy of diversity and how she has helped stir conversation around women in tech, Marisa returned to kick off the fashion show and also mention that Tara & Co are fundraising on Indiegogo and we’re pretty hopeful they reach their goal. One thing’s for certain, this was no fashion week, but still was great to see all the different ways the new Tracy bag could be worn.
Following the brief presentation, guests were thanked for attending and encouraged to meet all the fabulous trailblazing women while enjoying the last of the wine (this ran out before the show). All in all, Tara & Co’s launch event went well, if not for a smaller than anticipated turnout. Still with almost two weeks left to reach their funding goal and 70% there, odds are we will be seeing more fabulous multi-functional accessories from Julia in the near future. Until next time.