At Vitiello Communications Group, we believe everyone’s story is worth telling. Wonder Women is a blog series that lets me introduce you to amazing businesswomen doing remarkable work. In this series, we amplify the success stories of women who live and work in New Jersey. Their contributions to the Garden State include professional, civic and personal endeavors that enrich our community. Meet Brigitte Bastaldo-Tsampalis, founder and inventor of Bond and Lead, a fashion technology company. Be sure to catch our new lightning round at the end of the Q&A.
Q: What’s one leadership lesson that’s helped shape your career?
A: Never hide your spark – that’s one thing that makes you so different from everyone else. Very often as women we’re asked to just “put that aside for this meeting with the client or this speaking event or even when networking after work.” But that spark is the gift you’re given to optimize your path in life and in your career. Be proud of who you are and figure out how you can use that special spark in a way that you can bring happiness to yourself, success in your career, and inspire others. To lead, invent and innovate you must be comfortable standing alone in a room, defending your ideas.
Q: What advice would you give to a woman who aspires to achieve the level of success you’ve achieved?
A: The piece of advice I’d give is knowing when what someone is telling you won’t work for you. Not everyone will be as invested in what you’re doing as you are, (superfluous comments, suggestion and information runs rampant at times) so always go with your gut.
Q: What are the three traits that you think are vital to be a Wonder Woman in your industry?
A: Be confident in trying and resilient to failing. Sometimes, especially when we have children, we feel there is less opportunity to experiment because the people we love are depending on us. Allow yourself to try and try again. There is no better reward than having those who depend on us embrace the value of confidence and resilience.
Q: How do you use communication to lead and to grow your career and business?
A: I remember when text messaging was new and social media was nonexistent. It’s amazing how things have changed, and I can truly appreciate the variety of outlets that we have today. As a result, Bond and Lead has a broader audience today than we could have had ten years ago. I appreciate social media and video technology where we don’t miss out on body language and we get a level of authenticity in the conversation that you can never get when you’re talking on the phone. I like to use all methods of communication but given the chance to make a full connection my preference is in person so that bond will always be there.
Q: Tell me about a time you used communication to turn a challenging situation into a success.
A: The most effective way for me to overcome a conflict situation is through storytelling.
It can take place in many ways, easing the situation. Video works in getting your message across. There is so much opportunity for communication technology — people are still figuring it out and technology helps advance it.
Q: What personal qualities fuel your most significant accomplishment?
A: Authenticity. When meeting someone for the first time, I always find myself searching for authenticity in their voice, message or even actions. If I can’t find it, I find it challenging for me to feel 100% connected. It turns out many people feel that way, especially women leaders. The benefit to this quality of mine is I’ve managed to find the most amazing women to have as Brand Ambassadors for my company. Jessica Ruiz, the world’s first disabled make-up artist, Tina and Amanda of Brainy Kids Yoga and Courtney Battista of Mindful Life Therapy.
Q: What woman inspires you and why?
A: We meet so many wonderful women through our daily lives, but I’m going to go down a celebrity path and say Serena Williams. There are three qualities she exudes: focus, confidence and clarity. Those are amazing qualities to have, and she seems so consistent and authentic every single time. I feel like I have so much to learn just by watching her.
New Jersey Lightning Round
From one Jersey girl to another, answer these questions:
Q: Taylor Ham or Pork Roll?
A: Pork Roll.
Q: Wildwood or Seaside Heights?
A: Seaside Heights.
Q: Yankees or Mets?
Q: Giants or Jets?
Q: Does Central Jersey really exist?
A: Yes! I am part of that!