Jodi + her daughters
Q/A has been a mark of the Quay Australia brand for years. And it’s more than just our initials—it’s what we stand for. So, we’re checking in with some of the coolest people we know to walk a mile in their shades + get a fresh perspective on some of the topics we think are worth talking about.
This time around, we’re chatting with someone who inspires us daily. Meet Jodi Bricker, CEO of Quay Australia. We’re lucky enough to soak up inspiration from her on the reg, and we want to send a little bit of that magic your way.
Who are you?
First and foremost—I am a mom of two teenaged daughters, and I live in the Bay Area. I’m originally from the Midwest, but I’ve been in California since college, and I’m a hybrid of both places. I grew up as a competitive athlete, so I love pushing myself and reaching for personal bests. And I am the CEO of Quay, which is quite possibly the most fun I’ve ever had at work, and I’m so grateful to be a part of the brand.
We love a boss, let’s talk more about that. What’s the most important thing that you do at work?
I set the vision, mission, and overall direction of Quay. I try to inspire our teams to create and deliver in a way that solves problems for our customers and makes them happy! My background is in product, branding, retail, and digital—but I spend most of my time with people. Listening to our customers in our stores and on social media, coaching the teams at Quay, and connecting the dots along the way. I work to create and maintain a culture and working environment at Quay that inspires everyone to become their best self and do their best work.
Quay team members
And where do you seek inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. Not just in eyewear, fashion, or retail—I see the world from a consumer perspective everywhere I look, and I always have my antennae up. I try as much as possible to be in different cities and environments observing people, patterns, and trends. LA and Miami are amazing for sunnies attitude and lifestyle inspiration. Merci in Paris is one of my favorite retail spots because it’s a hybrid store—part café, part vintage art installations, fashion, and home décor.
I’m currently obsessed with Glossier and Outdoor Voices—of-the-moment brands founded by women. I am also 100% drawn to the outdoors—my favorite places in the Bay Area are Stinson beach, Mt. Tam in Marin, Hayes Valley and the Mission neighborhoods in San Francisco, and local restaurants and shops in Berkeley and Oakland.
Stinson Beach—one of Jodi’s favorite places to soak up inspiration
What exactly do you like to read?
Anything involving a story and storytelling. Books, articles, news, and Twitter everyday to get mentally sparked and stay on top of what’s going on. I’m currently reading the book Sapiens…A Brief History of Humankind. I love documentaries and podcasts and am currently listening to “How I built this” on my commutes.
In general, I’m someone who’s really curious and interested in what people think, what people do, and how they behave. All of this informs how we think about our products at Quay and the role our brand can play in people’s lives.
Self-expression is such an important part of Quay’s brand identity. What does that mean to you?
Self-expression is having a certain sense of who you are at your core, and owning that, and being willing to be vulnerable with sharing that with the world. I also don’t believe there is a finish line in life. Humans are constantly evolving, so for me, self-expression and exploration are tools for accessing personal growth.
Self-expression can feel easier said than done sometimes. What piece of advice would you give to someone trying to manage beauty standards and expectations online while owning their self-expression?
l feel grateful that I’d already developed my sense of self and had my value system in place before social media blew up. While I think it can be an incredible source of inspiration, it can also be mean-spirited and cause anxiety. My advice would be to make sure that you aren’t letting social media be a part of forming your sense of self. Go form that on your own, use social media as an amplifier.
How do you continue to express yourself personally?
The biggest thing is pushing myself out of my comfort zone—trying new things and going to new places. It can be as small as wearing a bold pair of red glasses to turn up my outfit or much bigger—like trying fly fishing for the first time (I loved it) or taking a leap into a new job. I believe that every time we try something new and push the edge a little bit, we realize we have more depth, range, and ability than we give ourselves credit.
Expressing her selflie with different sunnies style
Do you consider yourself a role model, and how do you handle that responsibility?
I don’t wake up every day thinking, “I’m going to be a role model today,” but I’m conscious of the fact that many people in my life count on me to do the right thing and want to be inspired. I hold myself to high standards—particularly as it relates to my roles as a mom and a female leader.
It’s very important to me that I walk the talk for my daughters, so through that filter I ask myself—am I showing up as a kind person? As someone who is learning, evolving, taking risks, and being open minded and vulnerable? It’s a journey, and I am a constant work in progress.
We agree—you are a role model and a total boss. How do you balance your own self-care, being a mother, AND having such a big career?
I try to think about it more as a concept of flow vs balance. I find it’s easier when I integrate my work and life instead of strictly thinking in terms of balance, which feels like a relentless scorecard. Life is incredibly dynamic and always evolving. Some weeks, work requires more of my time, and other weeks, my family needs me, or I need to put myself first. I start with being clear on what’s important: my health and wellbeing, my kids, partner and family, friends, work, learning and growing, contributing to the world. With this in mind, I try to make work a holistic part of my entire life.
Jodi + her two daughters at high school graduation
We’ve talked a lot about education at Quay this year. What does it mean to you that Quay is giving back to our community with our Education is Quay scholarship program?
Having two teenagers and watching the process of getting into college compared to my experience growing up—it’s clear that education has become too exclusive and overwhelming, and that many people simply can’t get access to it. The ability to gain an education is an important part of our society, so I love that Quay can use our platform to help open that door up for a few more people while we figure this out as a larger society.
Can’t get enough? Check Jodi out on Instagram @jodi.bricker for inspiration, behind-the-scenes at Quay, and more.