Serving the Greater Good By Empowering Others with Vicki Bowen Hewes

Vicki Bowen Hewes is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) of SocialVentures. It’s just part of an amazing career with highlights including founding the Columbus branch of Dress for Success and Fashion Forward, an ecommerce social enterprise now piloted by The RealReal. 

Vicki’s life and, by extension, her career, has been one of finding ways to empower women to be their true selves. An advocate for diversity and equity, she believes in the power of people working together for the sake of the greater good. 

As usual, our conversation starts with the origin story – how did she become such a caring, loving person? And how was she able to turn that upbringing into such an amazing, fruitful career?

We discuss the nature of self-identity and how to find yourself. We also talk about the idea of reinventing who we are – even later on in life, after who we are is fairly well established. It’s never impossible to make changes so we shouldn’t be afraid to try new things.

We touch on her new role as Chief Empowerment Officer, what it actually means and what she – and SocialVentures – are doing to make the world a better place. 

What Brett asks:

  • [01:35] Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me about your upbringing.
  • [04:50] What was it like seeing your dad work so hard?
  • [07:30] Were you a naturally loving child or is it something you’ve developed over time?
  • [15:00] When did you begin to find yourself?
  • [30:00] Tell me how your career started.
  • [35:00] How did you start Dress for Success?
  • [40:00] Tell me about your new role as Chief Empowerment Officer.
  • [45:30] Talk about what it’s like to change who you are later in life.
  • [49:50] Any final thoughts?


Lessons for intentional living:

  • Vicki could so easily have stayed in any one of her amazing jobs for an entire career, and yet she recognized that sometimes, it’s better to move on. A fresh perspective can often be exactly what an organization needs to keep growing and moving forward. Vicki’s life is a powerful example of how we should never stop striving to push ourselves.
  • Who we are isn’t set in stone. It can be hard to rewrite our identity – not just how others see us, but how we see ourselves – once we are firmly into adult life, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. If you want to make a change, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.