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Des Femmes newsletter - Issue #5

the Des Femmes newsletter
the Des Femmes newsletter
Hello and welcome to the Des Femmes newsletter! 👋

This week I am pleased to introduce one of our newest writers, Danielle Campoamor (@DCampoamor). Danielle is an award-winning freelance writer and editor published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, and more. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, she lives in Brooklyn, NY with her partner of eight years and their two sons.
@DCampoamor
@DCampoamor
Now, for this week’s feature, Alla Koretsky, CEO and co-founder of Layer, a platform for the world’s leading creatives to manage and grow their NFT businesses at scale. When Koretsky traveled to Miami to attend a Bitcoin conference last October, she was acutely aware of just how male-dominated crypto currency and NFT spaces are. “The event was 95% male, and the women just sort of eyed each other from across the room and huddled together,” Koretsky said. “There’s this camaraderie that happens, which is amazing.” 
That camaraderie is not enough though, according to Koretsky, who says the aim of Layer is to “democratize” these spaces and “shine a light on more female artists and other female founders who are entering this space.” As one of the only women-led companies using Stacks, Koretsky very clearly recognizes the need to empower more women to enter these spaces.
Koretsky and her team plan to meet that goal by changing how NFTs are viewed — instead of seeing NFTs as one-to-one transactions, Koretsky says they’re “a tool for businesses, brands, and creatives to build conversations past sales.” She is already seeing this shift in mindset via some truly heavy hitters: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and DKNY, just to name a few. She knows there’s more to come, which is why Layer is focused on working with brands to provide additional, post-sale value to their customers, with a hyper-focus on women creatives and women-led brands.
With a degree in business and merchandising, Koretsky enters this space with over 16 years of marketing, consumer products, and start-up experience. “It’s my background working with brands and creatives that really pushed me to think about how we can provide tools for both to have new conversations, through NFTs, with their customers,” she explained. And while they’re just in the beginning stages —  Layer is currently onboarding beta customers and plans to launch Dec. 10 2021 — the variety she observes among creatives and collectors is a key indicator that the NFT space, and the need for Layer, will just keep on growing. “We’re just entering the realm of possibilities,” Koretsky added.
Which is why bringing in more female creatives and women-led brands is of the utmost importance to Koretsky and her team. They’re launching Layer with a project called SatoShe, which Koretsky says will, “aim to empower women around the world to start their own NFT businesses on Bitcoin.” By making it that much easier to create and buy NFTs via their platform (“It literally takes 30 seconds to mint,” Koretsky said), the project will spotlight women artists from all over the world, support women entering male-dominated industries including Blockchain and NFTs, and give back a percentage of their sales to women-focused charities. 
“Who makes the most purchasing decisions? It’s women,” Koretsky said. “That’s what we do — we control, we understand what’s best for our children, we decide which brands go in and out of our homes. So brands need to communicate with women.” She adds that while other marketing tools, like Facebook and various online ads, treat consumers as nothing more than algorithms — a series of zeros and numbers — NFTs are the future: a tool for brands to connect with their consumer communities in a completely new way.
“That’s why it’s really important that brands center women’s voices and women creatives have a seat at the table — women who speak the same language as those making the purchasing decisions for their families,” Koretsky added. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 
To learn more about Layer, follow them on Twitter at @HeyLayer.
If you have any questions about Alla’s work with NFTs, or our Des Femmes community more broadly, feel free to ask them in the comments or reach out to us via Twitter or Instagram (Twitter: @desfemmesmag & ig: desfemmesmag)
Twitter Spaces Recap
A few weeks ago, we hosted our second Twitter Space, huge thanks to @mjackyrivero and @LindsayxLin for running the discussion! The space focused on start-ups and provided tons of valuable advice for anyone thinking about entering the space with a new project!
@LindsayxLin
@LindsayxLin
For those who were not able to attend, here were some of the highlights:  
  • @shriyanevatia recommended this pitch deck guide, emphasizing that founders should focus on the problem they are solving (rather than retrofitting a solution), show they’ve done a lot of research, and have a customers-driven approach even before developing the proof-of-concept.
  • @LataPersson mentioned that bootstrapping is a great way to start if you can afford it. In her opinion, it’s best to only think about fundraising when you reach an inflection point, maybe that you need guidance or capital to scale, etc. 
  • Further to Persson’s point, @MariaShen said that if you’re looking to build a venture-scale business and know you will need help, seek funding early, such as angel investors. Angel investors can add a lot of value, such as strategic introductions or help with hiring, although their check sizes tend to be smaller than venture checks. 
  • With Angel investors, @LindsayxLin said it’s important to think strategically. Be discerning; why and how will this angel investor contribute value to my project? Be clear and direct about who can add what value to the project. 
  • @MariaShen pointed out how the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project partnered with the streetwear brand The Hundreds for a successful merch partnership, an interesting example of how companies can leverage crypto networks and tools for cash flow without needing to be a crypto startup or a technology company. 
  • @LindsayxLin mentioned that a lot of DAOs are leveraging networks of freelancers by incentivizing community contributions with grants and rewards rather than traditional employment contracts. She described that as a more fluid, value-driven way to think about compensation. 
Thanks again to everyone who participated in this thoughtful conversation!
If you want to get involved with our upcoming print magazine, be sure to email us at partners@desfemmesmagazine.com.
Until next time, stay curious!
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the Des Femmes newsletter
the Des Femmes newsletter

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