048 - Leah Fessler
Prior to moving into investing, she led editorial and brand voice for Chief, the private network for women executives. She was also a journalist at Quartz, covering tech, gender, and power.
What makes Leah’s workspace her own?
- I've always been a pretty interdisciplinary person, and with past roles working as a journalist, editorial lead at Chief, and now investor at NextView, I'm always trying to engage as much creativity and intersectionality in my approach to my work as possible. For this reason I've made a concerted effort to keep my workspace reminding me of my love for art, painting, literature (I was an English and creative writing major at Middlebury), and writing.
- I recently moved my desk to face this snowy back yard window which has given a lot more brightness and joy to my days, previously my desk was facing the kitchen so I just ate all day. My apartment in Brooklyn is basically just one room, so I've featured a couple of core elements of my work "room" which is also my living room, kitchen, etc.
- On and around my desk I have my macbook, and beloved nulaxy laptop stand which keeps my neck from breaking. I've also got a candle that I light when I need to get into deep work, it helps me focus, multple pairs of blue light and reading glasses because my eyes always hurt, and an empty bottle of fernet branca to remind me of more fun times in the past. I also have my laptop standing on some books that mean a lot to me — I used to work at Quartz, and The Objects that Power the Global Economy was our first print publication. My best friends at Chief gave me this book about Soupology because it's my favorite food, and I love "All We Can Save" a collection of essays and poems written by women about how we can actively improve our climate impact starting today, and how we got to the really terrifying place we're at with respect to global warming.
- On the shelf under my desk I keep some of my favorite books focusing on literature and sociology that I like to read whenever I can take a minute or two off work, and just refocus on my larger picture interests — the ones I have currently include Angela Davis' Women, Race, and Class, audre lorde's Sister Outsider, Moby Dick, my long time favorite book, and Venture Deals — which is basically an encyclopedia for all things VC.
- My three year old pug, Chester, is a huge source of love and happiness in my life, especially during this 11th month of quarantine. we are pretty attached so you'll see him usually sleeping next to me or behind me on the couch. He's a fan favorite in zooms. you'll also see that a friend got my partner Sean and I a paint by number of Chester, which I hung on the wall to work on because it was hurting my back, but it always makes me smile to look at and make progress on if I need a mid-day break. I love painting and drawing, and always try to fit in some creative art during the week for stress relief and fun.
- Hung on the wall nearby my desk I keep some prints and photos that keep me motivated and remembering pre-covid times — the pink print is by my dear friend Ludi Leiva, who's an incredible artist and writer, and who reminds me through her art about the joy of female beauty and self-expression. I also have a print that an editor gave me at Quartz that sums up my personality and love for risks and career pivots pretty well — I believe in getting in hot water. I think it keeps you clean. And a photo of one of my favorite beaches, where I have fond memories with my parents and brother during childhood summers. I also included a photo of a painting I think is hilarious - of a dino getting hit by a rock. life is too short to not have a sense of humor.
- Lastly, I included a shot of my book shelf and my photo wall, which both sit near my desk as well. This book shelf is jam packed of my favorite novels, non-fiction books, and text books from my days in college and beyond. I travel with my books everywhere and they're an extension of me at this point. You'll also see a perspective-oriented print of Moby Dick that I've had in my room since sophomore year of college. My photo wall is a collection of my favorite memories with friends and family, and even though it's a bit depressing to look at sometimes because I miss seeing the people I love so much, it keeps me sane.
Let Leah know what you think about her workspace: twitter.com/LeahFessler 🐶