Alexandra Stanbach: Designing for a Cause

Give a woman MANY things to do and she gets them ALL done.

Alexandria Stanbach confirms receipt of my email of interview questions at 11:52 pm on a Tuesday night. At 7:50 am the next morning, she has attached her answers and is scheduling our call. The mother of two elementary school girls works full time in the tech industry for drug safety and recently began a creative business venture as a jewelry stylist with Stella & Dot, a social selling company.

She’s a big believer of “fast-tracking” or combining as many collective activities at once. This is how she is finding time to throw a fundraiser at her home for The Wistar Institute on Friday, November 7.

“Fast-tracking takes place in every aspect of my life, from combining my start up business with support of The Wistar Institute, to everyday activities like folding laundry while on a conference call,” explained Alex.  “It buys me time to give individual attention to my family and allows me to combine my loves.”

 

From now through the end of the year, if you purchase any fashion accessories from Stella and Dot, a portion of the proceeds goes to Wistar to help fund important research. Just follow this link and begin shopping, and be sure to share this special link with your friends! Click here to shop and support Wistar!

Beyond her focus and ability to think and schedule ahead, Alex believes a positive path and mindset will get the desired outcomes. During college, her mother and aunt, in succession, were diagnosed with breast cancer. Her mother’s tumor was found and removed, and she has been cancer free ever since. After a series of tests, her aunt was found to a have a stage IV tumor. Since her aunt had less fatty tissue and denser breasts, the mammograms she received were unable to detect the cancer, which means the disease had time to progress before it was properly diagnosed. Given two years to live, her aunt transformed the odds and lived for another ten years.

“Life perspective changes everything. Outlook is powerful and these life struggles have defined me and made me resilient,” she said.

Through her aunt’s struggle, Alex found inspiration and strength to become the health advocate she is today and to face each day with true positivity. None of this could be done without her biggest supporter and partner, her husband and fellow Wistar Leadership Council member Greg Stanbach.

“Greg helps balance it all. He is a huge contributor and team player in raising our children, harmonizing work and creative outlets, and giving me time to be with my friends,” Alex said.

If Wistar scientists are any indication of the power of research, Alex is a testament to the power of positivity to effect change.

 Read her Q&A below.

How did you get involved with The Wistar Institute?

I was first introduced to Wistar by my husband Greg through his professional relationship with the Institute. It was a combination of attending various events, getting to know Wistar’s mission and meeting the leadership that I learned how special the organization is.

Why is it important for you to be involved?

Wistar is doing such great work; its research and discoveries have helped improve the quality of life for so many people and there’s so much more the Institute can do. With the new research tower now open, we can look forward to continued great science to come out of Philadelphia for many years to come. I want to help raise awareness of Wistar to excite more people to support Wistar’s science.

Are there any personal experiences that inspired you to give back?   What gave you the idea to want to do a fundraiser for Wistar?

Absolutely! My fundraising experience was inspired by feeling helpless when my mom and my late aunt were diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 90s. For five years, I held some very successful fundraising events at my day job, and it felt rewarding to raise money for cancer research.  Then about two years ago, one of my very close friends was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it was devastating. I had just become a Stella & Dot stylist a few months before she was given her clean bill of health and was inspired to use my business to support an organization that played an important part in her treatment.  At that point, I realized Stella & Dot has given me an opportunity to both do something I absolutely love and choose to share some of my success by giving back and supporting other causes I feel passionate about.

From the moment I attended my first Wistar Gala, which honored Adele Schaeffer, I felt INSPRIED!  I immediately felt a connection to the passion within the Wistar organization and its supporters, and I found myself wanting to learn more about Wistar.  My husband, Greg, felt the same and when we were asked to become members of the Wistar Leadership Council, we were honored to accept the invitation.  When I attended my first Leadership Council meeting, I wanted to connect my passion for supporting Wistar with my other passion for Stella & Dot fashion–so why not look good while doing good?

What are your goals or challenges and what do you want to achieve with the Stella & Dot Fundraising event?

My financial goal is to raise at least $2,000 to support Wistar, but the sky is the limit for how much can be raised.  My other goal is to promote awareness of Wistar to my friends, family, and the Stella & Dot community.

What made you decide to become a stylist for Stella & Dot?

By day, I am a project manager with a math degree and nearly 20 years of technology experience – work I enjoy that is very technical and analytical, but not very “fashionable!” However, I have always loved fashion, styling my friends, and have dreamed of having a more creative outlet in my life. As a mother of two daughters in elementary school, I have also been working hard to teach my girls how to DREAM BIG and BE FEARLESS every day. About 18 months ago, my older daughter was feeling afraid to face some challenges in her life.  In talking through her situation with her, she asked me what I was afraid of, and it was the first time I admitted that I wanted to see what it might be like to be a Stella & Dot stylist but that I was afraid I might fail. Of course, she challenged me to be fearless as well.  So I decided to practice what I preached and signed up to be a stylist, and now, we have a “Fearless Campaign” going on in our home, where we all encourage each other to go after our dreams.

What do you love about styling?

I love connecting the women I meet to a style that suits them, to help them feel more confident.  Many of the women I meet are so busy that they forget the power that comes with the support of their girlfriends and how freeing it can be to “try on” something that takes them out of their comfort zone. A great example of this was when I did the charity event for my friend to support breast cancer research.   As I was placing an order for one woman, she told me she had just had a double mastectomy one-week prior and wanted to thank me for helping her feel connected to her femininity. I feel honored and privileged to be able to help and connect with women like her.

How do you work with people to recommend jewelry?

I usually ask them questions about their lifestyle and do a lot of listening.

How do you balance being a Stella & Dot stylist with your full time job?

Being efficient and highly organized are two of my key strengths that help me balance my full time job, my Stella & Dot business and my family life. I pretty much schedule everything, even down to things like making my weekly grocery list! However, I could never be as successful and balance it all without the support of my amazing husband Greg.

If you could ask people to do one thing what would it be?

Be fearless by supporting Wistar!