This story is featured in the July issue of Seattle Business magazine. Subscribe here to access the print edition.
Self-described novice cook, Antoinette Rosenberg knew there had to be a better way.
She used to comb the Internet for recipe ideas before grabbing her small children and dragging them with her to the grocery store. She abandoned her dinner plans more than once after forgetting to pick up an ingredient critical to a meal. The family often resorted to eating out.
So, last year, Rosenberg did something about it. She launched Gather’d Market, a personalized, sustainable, online grocery store designed to be more precise and easier to use than Instacart. Her Kirkland-based startup allows customers to shop directly from curated recipes and add favorite products from local grocery stores. Items are then delivered to doorsteps.
“Why was technology helping me buy stuﬀ I didn’t need at a pace that wasn’t healthy?” she says. “I became motivated by a deep frustration in the status quo.”
Three weeks after launching, Gather’d had 115 families on the Eastside on its waiting list. Rosenberg also plans to open a small-format, experiential brick-and-mortar space in the next 18 months.
Rosenberg earned an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and previously served as a brand manager at General Mills Corp.
Leadership: I’ve been fortunate to work for some phenomenal leaders in my career, and I believe the absolute best are intensely focused while also being incredibly humble. They usually have a clear sense of where the team or organization should go, but have no ego about how to get there. One really special implication of these leadership traits is that these leaders then create an environment where people feel safe to take risks, fail and learn along the way.
Overrated Traits: Without a doubt, being charismatic and outspoken are characteristics we tend to overvalue in our leaders. I absolutely understand why, but we miss out on elevating some incredible individuals as a result.
Barriers: Society is evolving right now, and thankfully the norms of our workplaces are shifting with it. For so long, there have been unspoken expectations of how women can and should show up at work. As a result, the biggest barriers women face are that we have to think through, and sometimes overthink, how we might be expected to show up in each situation. I ﬁnd myself wanting to dial back on my natural strengths of empathy and humility to ensure that I’m also seen as conﬁdent and competent. This type of mental burden is a lot to carry.
Prominence: From my own experience, I don’t believe the issue is about taking on more complex projects or doing more incredible work. Instead, I believe that many of us need to get comfortable talking up our achievements and asking for explicit sponsorship to get to the next level. I watch men do this all the time.
Mentorship: I had this really great manager early in my career, Crystal Rountree, who created the most incredible space for a young, ambitious woman, who was also a little rough around the edges. Because of her leadership, I was able to carve my own path, take silly risks, make a ton of mistakes and learn so much along the way.
Lessons Learned: The real lesson that I carry with me is that, regardless of industry or size of business, the real work is always focused on honoring the humanity of others. This is the stuﬀ that endures way beyond our annual goals and strategic plans.
Advice: Your career is not a tightrope. It’s a winding river of opportunity and adventure. So go after what you want. You have nothing to lose.
Neworking: Networking in the traditional sense is not a strength of mine at all, but I do know this: Great things are never accomplished alone. Right now, my focus is on being part of a community of other female founders and leaders in local food. And since I’m new to the city, that means I’m sending a lot of cold emails and trying to ﬁnd ways to support others.
Do Differently: Nothing at all. Every decision, success and mistake along the way brought me to this point.
Unwind: Honestly, in rainy months you’ll likely ﬁnd me in my kitchen still in pajamas cleaning up after making a big brunch with my husband and kids. After that, it’s cartoons for the kids and book time for me. With the summer here, we trade in pajamas and brunch for exploring all of the parks and easy trails in our area.
Autobiography Title: “Following the Signs.” As a ﬁrst-generation college graduate, I had to set out on a path that was entirely new to me. Along the way I’ve learned to hone my intuition, honor my strengths, and embrace a career and life journey that is uniquely mine.