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How She Did It: Grace (Fooden) Correy

Updated: Apr 23

image of Grace Fooden

If you can't see it, you can't be it! EvolveMe's How She Did It series features inspirational women who've reinvented their careers in midlife. Learn how they did it and take away usable tips from their professional journeys.

We're thrilled to introduce Grace (Fooden) Correy, Advisor to the fashion and beauty industry. Grace is no stranger to career reinvention! She's on her third act after a long career in the corporate fashion industry and a successful beauty brand launch.

And she's not stopping her career evolution any time soon! Stay tuned for Grace's first book, which she's co-authoring with a fellow minority startup founder.

Read on to learn how she did it!

What's your personal mantra, mission, or manifesto?

It's not too late!

What inspired you to launch your business?

After a 20+ year career in the corporate fashion industry as a designer, merchant, and executive, I decided to leave the industry to become an entrepreneur. I partnered with a veteran formulator from the beauty industry and we launched a skincare brand, Biophile. We won the award for Best Serum when we launched at the Indie Beauty Expo in NY and were written up in Forbes.

Then the pandemic hit, and that was scary. I reforecasted the business thinking we might have to close in 6 months. But because our product was innovative, we launched in over 30 stores in 3 countries, including Blue Mercury, The Detox Market, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks, among others. We were also featured in Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire.

A year after raising a seed round, my partner decided to leave the business, and we closed at the end of 2022. I pivoted into consulting in the fashion and beauty industry. Several of the contractors we used in the brand were part of a consulting community called The Upside, so I joined and wrote a post announcing the company closure, and one of the companies we had worked with became my first client.

In addition to consulting, I am working on a book with another minority start-up founder about fundraising money as a minority woman. I also mentor African American women and girls, and I am currently considering another pivot to expand that to include paid mentorship. To sum up, I would say my inspiration is always to find new ways to do things I love.

What's unique about pivoting in midlife? Challenges & opportunities?

I have found that it is unique to pivot in midlife because I am so much wiser now. But I also maintain a beginner's mind because there is still so much to learn.

What’s one intention you have for your work this year?

A year from now, I expect the book to be done and to have a clear direction on what I will be doing in my third act.

"My inspiration is always to find new ways to do things I love."

What are you most passionate about right now?

I married my second husband last year and I am most excited about being a part of his family. I chose not to have children but have been blessed with three beautiful grandbabies!

What does a typical day look like for you?

No two days are alike, but I start every day with meditation or breathwork. As a consultant, my work life is either feast or famine. I either have so much client work that I don't stop for lunch or am quiet with sporadic clients, long lunches, and networking client lead gen.

What’s one thing that's advanced your career in the last year?

I had a client for most of last year that was all-encompassing. I like digging deep into a project, but in the end, I didn't feel completely fulfilled. It made me think about changing my focus to projects that truly fulfill me, even if that means I make less money.

Who’s your “tribe” when it comes to professional inspiration or support?

I am a member of a community of consultants called The Upside. I can usually find someone in that network who can inspire and support me. I also have a group of close friends that I call my "Board of Directors" that I can reach out to any time when I feel excited, inspired, stuck, angry, or down.

Favorite book, app or podcast?

My favorite podcast is: This American Life

You’re granted an extra hour in the day, how do you spend it?

Taking a walk

The advice I would give to my 20-year-old self is…

Even as an early teen, I always knew I would be a late bloomer. As a biracial black woman raised in white culture, it took a long time to find a sense of self and community. I eventually found that community through mentorship.

The advice I want to give to my 75-year-old self is...

Continue to nurture relationships in every decade of life. I often ask myself if I know someone from 0-10 years old, 80 - 90 years old and every decade in between.

Your theme song that plays every time you walk in a room should be?

"Finally" by CeCe Peniston

Your best career advice for women in midlife?

Take big swings in life. Even if you miss, it will be worth it.

When did you feel you got “you” back?

On the day I came back from our destination wedding. I went to meet a new client and knew I had nailed it.

What’s up next?

I am going to include my experience as an African American woman raised in white culture in everything I do rather than my default, which is trying to blend in.


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