Women Of Impact: Anjelika Temple, Co-Founder + Former CCO at Brit + Co
Meet Anjelika, Co-Founder and Former CCO of Brit + Co — a media company that inspires and educates women with a creative spirit.
Currently, Anjelika serves as the Interim Head of Content at Ellen Digital Ventures and advises four WOC-led startups including Consciously!
Let’s start from the beginning! What was your childhood like? What/who shaped you to be who you are today?
My childhood was filled with colorful textiles, a backyard of fireflies, an endless bookshelf, and a constant flow of relatives visiting from every corner of the globe. My parents moved to the US from India in the late ‘60s, and I was born in New Jersey in the early ‘80s. Moved to Connecticut when I was 1, Utah when I was 10 and Pennsylvania when I was 16. The common threads along the way were definitely art, exploration and community. As a kid, I was fortunate to travel a LOT. But we didn’t take camping trips or beach trips or trips that centered around a pool — our trips were all about culture. Restaurants, plays, art shows, concerts and historic sites were the focal points of all vacations, much to me and my stepsister’s chagrin as we were constantly being woken up early because we had to see the sunrise over the Lake Palace in Udaipur or the time our parents told us we would regret skipping a visit to Kew Gardens for the rest of our lives. (Newsflash: They were right.) At home, my mom filled our house with handmade everything. A classic ‘80s working woman, my mom wore a rainbow of shoulder-padded business suits by day and made beautiful things by night. If I had to boil it down, I’d say the key aspects of my childhood that shaped who I am are a love of exploring, respect for nature, finding ways to be creative in all aspects of life, and creating a sense of home and community wherever I find myself. Both my parents instilled confidence in me, knowing that whatever I decide to do, I’ll do it thoughtfully, colorfully and with social impact in mind. From a lemonade stand with laminated menus to a startup with DIY in its DNA!
You co-founded Brit + Co and are the former Chief Creative Officer. What was your “Why” behind building that company?
Our why was simple — let’s break down the barriers to creativity for our generation of women. For so much of early adulthood, we’re put into specific boxes, and forget that creative expression is present in all of us. Over the years, our why expanded from creativity to encouragement. The idea that we can simply and boldly encourage our audience to do whatever they want! To take chances, to take risks, to be creative, to find that spark, and to constantly learn and try new things. A place to find your unlock, that thing that suddenly clicks, and opens you up to a world of possibility. Our goal is to be the catalyst for all of that, with creativity, approachability, and inclusivity in mind. And as the story goes, my almost decade with Brit + Co inspired me to do just that — take a chance on myself, get uncomfortable and dive into the unknown with no set plan but plenty of confidence, ambition, and a very solid girl gang backing me up.
What are you up to these days?
Work-wise, I’m currently in the midst of what I’m calling a self-sabbatical after nearly a decade at Brit + Co. I left my full-time role at the end of 2020 and am taking time to reset and recharge before diving into the next chapter of my career. But, I’m not the best at not working! Since January I’ve been advising a handful of incredible women-owned companies, and started two consulting gigs in May that have me working my buns off for the summer. Still on my vision quest, figuring out what my next full-time role looks like and having great conversations as I navigate through it all. How’s that for vague but busy?
Why are you passionate about advising women-owned businesses?
The idea that entrepreneurs have to go it alone is officially passé. The present is about collaboration, lifting each other up, celebrating each other’s wins, picking up the pieces when a peer goes through a tough time or failure. While I believe that brilliance often does start with an individual’s spark moment, we are all so much stronger together. All of which is a long-winded way of telling you why I’m so passionate about working with women founders. Being able to share nuggets of expertise I’ve collected along the way and act as a sounding board is so gratifying — and I learn so much from each of the folks I advise. Everyone is going through different challenges in terms of business models, revenue, brand voice, and I love learning and ideating alongside them as each one charts out their company’s particular path.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
Ooh I don’t know! Here’s a smattering of fun facts. You tell me which one is the most surprising — deal?
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12. When I was in kindergarten I wrote an autobiography in which I am an artist and author who saves the world from pollution. I spent my most formative years (10-16) in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was accidentally in a cult when I was 22 and escaped in the middle of the night after a frog hopped into my room and immediately dropped dead. Oh, and a recent one, I’m a recently minted reality TV star! Okay, “star” might be a stretch, but last year I moonlighted as a guest judge on HBOMax’s Craftopia, a crafting competition show.
What's your personal motto?
Say yes and just start. Find a way to jump into the things you love right away, little by little if you need to. Don’t wait until eventually. Don’t wait until something magical happens and you’re finally able to do the thing — just do the damn thing starting today!
What values are most important to you when shopping for sustainable fashion?
I love to know that something has been responsibly made, using eco-friendly materials, no animal products, natural dyes and the like. More important than that is knowing what kind of impact the making of the thing had on the planet, and what impact it will have after an item is retired. I do tend to save everything forever and my mom, aka the OG conservationist, is all about reworking old clothes to make them on trend with a flick of her wrist and magic spool of thread. But after all that, is this thing adding to a landfill or can it be reworked again and again? If the materials are high quality and consciously sourced, any piece of clothing can legit last and be worn forever. So that’s what I look for! Timeless, affordable, responsible.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to women who are looking to live more sustainably?
Start small. Make adjustments in your life that make it better — use cloth napkins instead of ripping through a few paper towel rolls every week. Take the time to sort your trash and recycling bins, and revel in the organization of it all. Compost! Know that the impact you are making on the planet will directly affect your kiddos, so buy sustainable as often as you can.
Who is a woman of impact we should talk to next and why?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this interview with Anjelika. If you're looking to shop her style, you're in luck! Here are some of her favorite products from Consciously: