Hire Up: Why Joining StockX Was Deena Bahri’s Best Career Decision

StockX added a chief marketing officer to its executive ranks last month, bringing Deena Bahri on board to take over the newly formed position. And although her time with the “stock market of things” has been brief, she’s already confident in her decision to join the company.

Bahri — who has had stints at Birchbox, Gilt Groupe, The Ladders and Reebok prior to joining StockX — will be responsible for the content and design teams and driving the firm’s overarching consumer-facing strategy, among other tasks.

Here, the exec talks what she’s focused on at StockX, how she intends on spending her days at work and the importance of having female role models.

How I got here: “I got here, as many of my job opportunities have happened, through relationships and a door being opened to me by a mutual connection who had talked to me about StockX for almost a year. The timing was right for me to stick my head out and look around and the rest is history. I met Scott [Cutler, CEO], we spent two hours talking, I was in the office the next week meeting with a bunch of stakeholders and it quickly progressed from there. I feel like I’ve been preparing for this job my whole career, it feels like a very natural evolution based on my personal passion, my skills and experience.”

Big goals: “My No. 1 goal, shared by many here at StockX, is to grow the company to be a beloved brand worldwide and the No. 1 destination for customers who want to buy, sell and discover things that they covet. We want to go from being a young startup to a household name. We’re going to be super focused on the customer and stay focused on delivering amazing value for customers who are seeking a better solution. We’re going to build a world class marketing function, and that to me means not only are we delighting customers but we’re also setting a standard that other marketers aspire to and people thing, ‘Gosh, I’d love to work at that company,’ or, ‘Did you see what StockX did?'”

Key challenges: “Taking this lightening in a bottle that StockX is today and accelerating that without diluting that. There’s always that challenge of when something sprouts up organically and has magical momentum, how do augment that, accelerate it, multiply it without diluting it. The first thing is staying laser-focused on the consumer while expanding the people that we serve, balancing the growth challenge with that high level of integrity and service to our consumer. And then introducing discipline and best practices into the way that we work while also preserving this unique creative energy and dynamic energy that has defined the business in the last three-plus years. I need to challenge and disrupt the way that we market and press the team to think bigger and do more, and at the same time honor and protect the great work that’s been done.”

Typical day: “It’s very young, but generally speaking I like to spend my time split between being with the team and being on my own in a reflective space. Basically its working in groups, staying close to the work, helping to solve problems and staying close to what is on people’s minds. That helps the team deliver great work and also stay close to the team and the culture. The other part of it is pulling away and reflect so I can sympathize and create and really take time to put things together and not just be drawn into the crazy pace that is life. I also hope to be spending a good amount of time in the market. We have a lot of great customers and partners and being in a company like StockX, being close to the market and keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world is important.”

Best decision: “Of course I’m going to say coming to StockX, and I’ll tell you why I’m going to say that. It’s the decision-making process that led me here, which is one that I would recommend to anybody. I followed my passions and field and experience. I thought carefully about what am I passionate about? I want to be building an amazing consumer brand in an entrepreneurial environment. That was really important to me, those things coming together. I also love fashion, style, culture and lifestyle. How can I bring those together? And I have a lot of experience in e-commerce, specifically. When you put those things into the blender and think about the opportunity StockX presents to me, it was the job I felt like I was preparing for my whole life. It also brought up some unexpected things, like I never thought I’d end up in Detroit.”

Worst decision: “The flip side of listening to my intuition and honing on that intersection between my passion and my experience being my best decision is when I tuned that out and didn’t focus on bringing those things together. If I look back and think about the places I was out of flow and wanted to eject myself from the situation it happened because I wasn’t attuned to that voice that was saying. ‘Are you leveraging your experience? Are you following your passion? I can think of a few examples of jumping on opportunities that were super exciting, intellectually stimulating, but just didn’t strike that chord with me personally and it didn’t work out. There’s a lot of value in listening to that inner voice, it’s helped me figure out what matters the most.”

Career mentors: “I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of types of leaders and all of them have helped shape me. But as a woman, it’s been really important to me to have a strong female role model. It comes down to the fact that you need to see somebody like you in a leadership role, it could be impactful to get guidance form somebody who has walked in your shoes. Specific examples is one of my first bosses, I was in my first career as an investment banker, and I had an incredible female boss who was a minority, she had her MBA, smart and tough as nails, she was a mother — she represented so many things I wanted to be. And she pushed me really hard, set standards for myself as a young professional in my early 20s. And my OG mentors, my mom and big sister. Having role models from childhood who are strong, career-oriented women who are also real humans who have families and know me — having mentors who know not only your professional aspirations but also your personal life — is really important because we are most successful at work when we are looked at as a whole human.”

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