Female Founder Change Maker: Laura Piety | Noble Media
- Kristiana Tarnuzzer
…marketing your cause-oriented brand or organization is no easy task. Introducing Laura Piety, who has the gift of fusing the message of brands standing for cultural good with a powerful story. Her professional experience across the social good industry, combined with her own personal core values and passion, is a true testament to the work she’s created through her company, Noble Media, for the likes of leading brands KBH Jewels, The True Cost and RE/DONE. Laura shares more with us below…
TCB: How did your journey with Noble Media begin?
LP: My journey with Noble began a couple of years back. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, preferring to kick start my own projects, consult for brands, or puzzle piece together my passions in some tangible way, rather than climbing up the ladder for one or two companies.
Then, a few years back I had the privilege of working on a project that really cemented my core interests -- specifically on the documentary film The True Cost. We had a small team, and it was incredible to see the way that a powerful story, fused with a powerful campaign, had the momentum to help change the conversation in the global fashion industry; a lot of which we are still seeing come to fruition today.
I couldn’t shake that experience, and so there was always something niggling at me wherever I worked after that. I was also lucky enough to be at Violet Grey for a period when the brand was cutting through the cultural conversation in the luxury beauty space -- again this fusion of brand and story left an indelible mark on me.
I knew I needed to fuse the two areas, the “change the world for good” aspect, with the “powerful, beautiful storytelling that speaks to consumers” piece. And while I went through different iterations of what Noble could be, it was really cemented by a series of unprompted, coincidental (or synchronistic) conversations with individuals and brands that needed consulting work done at this intersection. Soon I had a boutique agency. Today we typically work with companies in the entertainment, fashion and beauty spaces who care about the cultural good.
We’ve got big dreams for the company in the future -- we’re slowly moving into starting our own projects, from a small editorial platform, Noble Conversations, to developing film and tv content as well as other creative ventures. We’re multi-faceted people so we’re building a multi-faceted company doing the things we most enjoy.
…Who are two women that have played a major role in shaping who you are today, and why?
LP: It’s too hard to nail down just 2! I’ve been fortunate to have had many women intersect my path over the years, some who have shaped me just in one snatched conversation, speakers who have impressed a truth on my spirit that remains with me until today, to great friends and mentors who consistently love and challenge me, have put their money where their mouths are, and have pushed me out of the boat for sink or swim moments.
I remember one story when I was traveling in Africa when I was younger, hosting a series of conferences. My mentor and boss at the time, Aileen, woke up one morning and decided -- even though I was the intern -- that I’d be speaking at the conference that day -- with a translator! I’d never done anything like it before. But I had a talk on my heart about the power of story, and despite my nerves went with it and we saw some really cool things happen. If she hadn’t followed a gut feeling, I don’t know whether I’d ever have done (and enjoyed!) public speaking!
I also have key memories of both women -- and men -- who have really directed my path over a few key conversations. People of all ages, backgrounds and demographics. So many of these conversations have been indelibly marked in my mind -- whether they’ve been full blown conversations or just a few well-placed words spoken over who I am and my potential. It reminds me that we all have the power to speak life and purpose over one another, whether they are a close friend, a colleague, or someone at the grocery checkout.
For the last few years I’ve had the idea in my mind that “one conversation can change the world,” because simply put, words can change the course of someone’s life. This has been my personal experience and I think sometimes it can be that way for others too. People are all around us, so I like to be on the lookout for the one person who might need a word of encouragement that day, whether I know them, or not.
TCB: You are going to be a mom -- congratulations! Has life as an entrepreneur changed since learning you are going to be a mom?
LP: Well I’m just about to hit my second trimester so I’m very early on in this whole journey. I’ve also had terrible morning / evening sickness so that has sparked some logistical change -- working in bed with my laptop has been my 2019 so far!
But, I do have a quiet sense that some of my biggest entrepreneurial dreams will come to pass as a mother, and that’s not just an age/experience thing; but a sense that I’ll become more “me” as a mom, and as a result, new doors will open.
…What would you tell someone reading this who is considering starting their own thing about the journey?
LP: Don’t care what people think! If I had been worried about what people thought I wouldn’t have started (and stopped) dozens of projects that have all weighed in to provide me the experience I have today. I wouldn’t have concentrated on freelancing from company to company to build relationships and learn. And I certainly wouldn’t have moved to LA from London because I had a gut feeling I should live here (and then watched miraculous doors open as a result).
There is always risk associated with stepping out and doing something in your own name. Be ok with that risk. And if it doesn’t work, no big deal. Of course, it can be “embarrassing” on the surface. But how do you measure success? Yes, revenue and a growing company is great. But flexing your vision and creativity -- even if it doesn’t work out -- is just as much a marker of success, but culture just doesn’t always trade in that economy.
I’ve never taken calculated risks. They’ve always just been straight risks! Although my husband is trying to teach me to be more careful! But to be brutally honest, the most powerful experiences I’ve had in my life are when I’ve taken a risk and the road less traveled. And the results of those experiences have been both exhilarating, but also incredibly painful -- both of which are good.
Listen to the strength of your internal conviction, if you know you need to carve your own path, be prepared for the good and the bad, take a risk, and employ wisdom.
TCB: Please tell us the cause closest to your heart.
LP: My husband and I support Compassion which is an amazing child sponsorship program that enables children in developing countries to go to school. We’ve heard so many incredible stories of kids lives being changed with the injection of just a few dollars a month.
I was lucky to spend time in Uganda earlier on in my career and saw with my own eyes the power that education had to inject health into communities.
We also love Thirst Project, a water activism charity. For many communities, access to clean water and education go hand in hand. If we can help provide those key things we can help foster a generation of world changers.