x

Meet the Team: FEED Projects

the style line feed projects

FEED Projects proves that when put to good use, creativity is a solution in itself…

Having bridged the gap between cause and community, FEED’s dedication to combating world hunger has re-energized the conversation around what it means to give back. Since its inception, the debut FEED 1 bag and succinct mission has paved the way for tangible results… All in thanks to the tiny yet tenacious team whom have been able to utilize design as a method of garnering awareness, interest and impact around this global issue.

the style line feed projects

What’s been even more impressive, is their ability to reach the masses in a way that excites the world to have an open mind and heart. In fact, we here at The Style Line found ourselves inspired by their recent efforts surrounding World Food Day – a grassroots initiative to raise 1,000,000 meals by October 16 by inviting people from around the globe to get involved and host their own FEED Supper. The marriage between creativity and community spoke to us, so we too came together with a few artists we’ve featured to help bring our own supper to life. The result? A small fête, can in in fact, inspire a big leap towards positive change.

Even so, one might assume that working towards resolution for something as daunting as World Hunger might seem like a tall order to fill  – but our recent visit with the incredible team behind FEED proved otherwise. Hailing from a myriad of professional backgrounds, the 10-person team has had the opportunity to contribute their respective expertise and experiences in their day-to-day at FEED. And still, when meeting each member the common ground between them is instantly clear: A sincere and compassionate commitment to the task at hand.

the style line feed projects

With that compassion comes endless creativity. We were curious to hear more of their insight when it comes to utilizing creativity as a mean for change. FEED Founder and CEO, Lauren Bush Lauren shared, “It is going to take a lot of creative problem solving to tackle the world’s biggest issues, so the more young, optimistic and talented minds we have working on this the better!” 

As a platform for discovery, today we are truly honored to share our afternoon with a special group of innovators working to create wearable goods, that truly do good for the world. This story features the stories of each FEED’s team members along with a sneak peek of their upcoming Dusty Collection available online this summer.

If we can encourage you to take anything away from this story its this: You may never know how much change you can affect – especially when you come together.

STORY BY Rachel Schwartzmann – PHOTOS BY Christina Emilie

the style line feed projects

Lauren Bush Lauren

Founder and CEO

Please introduce yourself! 

I am a daughter, sister, wife, and friend who enjoys fresh flowers, crafting, reading, and traveling to places I have never been.

Talk to us about leadership – How has launching FEED projects informed how you lead? Do you think personal style plays a role in leadership?

I have learned a great deal about being a leader from launching and running FEED over the past eight and a half years, and my leadership style has also grown and evolved during that time.  I believe it is most important as a leader to treat others as you would want to be treated. The culture at FEED is very open, collaborative and kind- and I expect everyone on the team to be leaders in his or her own right.

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

One scoop or two?

the style line feed projects

FEED bridges the gap between cause and commerce – So as a designer and philanthropist do you think that in this day and age, it’s a necessity for young creative people to consider creating/working with a cause in mind?

It excites me that it is more and more prevalent for creative folks to want to merge their talents and passions to make the world a better place. It is going to take a lot of creative problem solving to tackle the world’s biggest issues, so the more young, optimistic and talented minds we have working on this the better!

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself and your style since launching FEED?

The biggest change in myself and in my style over the last eight years is that I know myself better and am more comfortable owning up to who I truly am and what I feel good about.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”?

A FEED bag, chambray shirt, and comfortable shoes.

the style line feed projects

Kristina Fell

VP, General Manager

Please introduce yourself!

Kristina Fell, Vice President, General Manager of FEED. I’ve been at FEED for six years, and I’ve been in New York City for 14 years.  I came out to New York from the Midwest to go to college and play basketball for Columbia University (Go Lions!), and I’ve been here ever since.  Aside from creating good products that help FEED the world, my colleagues at FEED know that I love watching and playing sports. I’ve recently gotten into spinning classes in the city, and I’m always trying to convince them to come with me.  I value being a good person first and foremost above anything else, and look for the people that I surround myself with to share that same value as well.

How has your role at FEED inspired you to celebrate personal style?

Everyone at FEED has their own style, and its fun to see how our styles show our personalities each day.  I have more of a casual style than most of my teammates – you’ll often see me in leggings and a dress, or jeans and a pullover sweater in the winter.  Comfort is key!  I even wear slippers on our hardwood floors at the office.

the style line feed projects

How has being a team member at FEED redefined or re-inspired your definition of discovery?

Lauren really helped establish the term social enterprise through her creation of FEED, so it was an incredibly exciting time to join the company (I still feel as excited to be apart today!).  I was actually the first hire, and I loved getting to play a role in establishing what success for a social enterprise looked like.  Our ever-increasing meal count each year (over 87 million meals provided so far) is the most rewarding part of my job.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”?

When you live in New York City, you are always on the go and need to plan ahead each morning. My colleague Katy and I tend to sport the biggest FEED bags (think FEED Overpacker), and carry our entire day around with us once we leave our apartments.  From the morning gym class, to the commute to work, to after-work drinks or dinner, you need to plan for the whole day.  The great thing about FEED is that there are always enough bags in the office, if you are ever in need of one!

the style line feed projects

Emily Corker

Manager of Product Development

Please introduce yourself! 

I am very curious! I think my curiosity drives me in a lot of ways. It’s why I enjoy living in New York City, exploring, traveling and meeting new people. My curiosity also compels me to create. I wonder what a design might look like, then want to find out!

Personally, what is your favorite aspect of city style and do you think this translates into the aesthetic of FEED’s products? 

I love New Yorker’s ability to marry style and functionality. A bag can’t just be a fashion accessory- it needs to be a gym duffle, work tote, lunch pack and grocery shopper on any given day in the life. I love how FEED is able to provide a product that is stylish, functional AND makes an impact on the world. Talk about a multitasking bag for the multi tasking person!

How has your work in product development for FEED influenced your sartorial preferences? 

I have discovered the value of simplicity. If I am struggling with a design, Lauren often reminds me to “keep it simple, don’t overcomplicate.” I heed this advice in my personal style as well.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”?

The people! Everyone is so unique and unapologetically individual. I always wonder who they are, what they do, and where they’re going. It inspires me to evoke the same questions through my outward expression as well!

the style line feed projects

Katy Wanserski Lee

VP of Operations

Please introduce yourself!

As a former Midwesterner (from the frozen tundra of central Wisconsin), I value the strong friendships and sense of community surrounding me here in NYC. Each day I wake up I revel living in such an energetic city, which inspires me to forever explore, trying new things and seeing new places as often as possible. From a theater date off Broadway to snowboarding in the Poconos or wine tasting on the North Fork, it’s hard to sit still!  That sense of wanderlust pushes me to get out of town as much as possible, seeing as much of the world around me as possible, never taking a day for granted.

the style line feed projects

How has your role at FEED inspired you to celebrate personal style?

I am lucky in my role in managing FEED’s supply chain that I have been able to work with many artisan groups FEED has supported over the years. From beaders of the Masai Mara of Kenya, to weavers in Guatemala, to block printers in India, I have seen first hand how sustainable, consistent employment impacts families and communities alike.  In that regard, I consistently seek out unique hand-made or one-of-a-kind items not only to celebrate my own personal style and individuality, but to support the continuation of cultural traditions as well.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, what is your “style line”?

In New York everyone is always on the go.  I go from a workout to brunch or work to an event or meeting friends, so the need to create effortless and layered outfits really inspires my personal style.  A quick add of a statement earring or change to a cute shoe with a pop of color instantly refreshes a look.  To me it’s finding those little unique pieces that show off my individuality.  P.S. Thank goodness cute kicks are what’s what – it makes running around town a bit less painless.

the style line feed projects

Scott Fell

VP of Finance

Please introduce yourself!

Who am I?  I have a soft spot for older people walking alone in the city and for kids who have trouble making friends.  I’ll talk more in the first fifteen minutes of meeting you than I will in the next 15 days, because by then I’ll be listening.  I don’t know what to do with my arms when I’m standing still. I’ll give you directions if you look lost in the West Village.  I’m a friend, a brother, a colleague and I pretty much do whatever my mother tells me (because she teaches the second grade, so she knows all of the important stuff).

What speaks to you most about the FEED mission and product and how has working on team FEED impacted how you live your life?

What’s great about FEED is that the company is fulfilling on so many different levels.  The business challenges FEED faces are just as complex as any other retail brand in the market today.  The key difference being, when we’re making decisions on new products or entering into new markets, not only do we think about how those decisions will help FEED grow and thrive as a business, but we also think about how those decisions are going to help children and families all over the world grow and thrive in life… And that’s a privilege not everybody gets to have everyday when they go to work.

the style line feed projects

What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

I wish more people would ask questions and listen to the answers… Instead of just waiting for their time to speak.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”?

Thoughtful details.  One person in our office wears a brooch every day, and she has about a million of them.  It’s gotten to the point where each day I look for that brooch, and 9 out of 10 times there’s an interesting story that goes along with whichever one she chose to wear that day.  So now the little details stand out to me, because they’re always what took the extra thought…. and turn out to be the most interesting.

  • the style line feed projects
    FEED's rustic and earthy environment is reminiscent of their product and passion of feeling at home in the world as they combat global issue of world hunger.
  • the style line feed projects
  • the style line feed projects
  • the style line feed projects
  • the style line feed projects
  • the style line feed projects
  • the style line feed projects
  • the style line feed projects
  • the style line feed projects
  • the style line feed projects

 From the rustic interiors to the bold mood-boards, FEED’s offices were truly a feast for the eyes. Let’s not forget the products – from burlap bags to bicycles to leather goods, our sartorial wheels were spinning.

the style line feed projects

Tascha Rudder

VP of Business Development

Please introduce yourself!

Tascha Rudder, Vice President of Business Development at FEED. [I am] an ever-curious global citizen, passionate social and social business change-agent and mama to 6-year-old dynamo daughter/FEED-er-in-training, Nico. And wife to a wonderful husband and dynamo dad, Daniel, of course!

On what I value, having traveled extensively, I’ve seen both the positive wonder of this wide world and the heartbreaking and enraging inequality and suffering which has deeply touched and forever shaped me. From this, I have absolute clarity on the importance of gratitude for family, loved ones, health, having all I need in this life and being of service to others.

How has being a member at FEED redefined or re-inspired your definition of discovery?

Joining FEED coincided with me returning from living in Cambodia for several years and having a baby while there so the general time period really ignited my interest in world issues, human rights and justice. Being able to combine my professional work with this deep-seated passion has been life-changing.

the style line feed projects

What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself, that you might not have had you not joined team FEED?

That I could break into tears while in pitch meetings and still secure very serious business partners! In my former professional life in fashion-based marketing and business development, that definitely would not have flown. But when discussing world hunger and the enormous number of children and families it affects, the occasional emotionally honest moment happens… to me and those on the other side of the negotiating table! And that I could come away from meeting people in the field who are suffering terribly and not feel completely useless to help bring change. Instead I, and we, are able to use those experiences to inspire action in ourselves and others through shining a light on these realities.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”? 

Four words: FEED bag. Harem pants. Both are reflective of my life, travels and work and combine my interest in style from various cultures and need for functional, utilitarian apparel and accessories. Add my extensive collection of artisan-made jewelry picked up on travels to Africa, Asia and the Middle East and you’ve pretty much got my style line down.

the style line feed projects

Jenny Johns

VP of Marketing

Please introduce yourself!  

The question “How will I make an impact?” fuels me, and I use it as a criteria for most major career and life decisions. If I were on a trivia team, my expertise would be film, pop culture, and influential women. Fish tacos are my signature dish. I used to be a middle school teacher, so some part of me will always head to work half expecting to play field marshal, counselor, and evangelizer. It keeps me on my toes!

How would you characterize the FEED community?

Passionate, engaged, emphatic “doers.”
the style line feed projects

What impact has working on FEED had on your approach to personal style?

It’s made me a much more conscious shopper; I try to pay attention to ethical sourcing and transparency as much as possible when buying anything new…and consume less and focus on a few key pieces a season. I’ve also discovered new and like-minded brands and artisan groups through my work here (Shinola and Made to name a few!).

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”? 

The city itself — its many facets, neighborhoods, and ever changing cultural touchtones — has inspired me over the years to find a core, consistent style that is adaptable based on the day, event, or my mood. When I moved here for college, I tried to keep up with the latest trends, and it felt like I had a new ‘look’ every month! Ten years later, I’ve learned that true ‘New Yorker’ style is one that is entirely, uniquely you.
the style line feed projects

Lindsey Swedick

Manager, Community and Content

Please introduce yourself! 

My life revolves around relationships. Although I absolutely love my job and the city I call home, I don’t think those things can be enough to keep someone in New York for the long haul. What keeps me here–and keeps me loving it–is my community of friends from all walks of life who have committed to doing life together. Thinking about relationships in terms of what you can give rather than what you can get is my secret to happiness.

How would you characterize the FEED community?

As the manager of community, I am privileged to not only interact with the amazing community of Team FEED, but also the broader community of our followers and customers on a daily basis. I would characterize them both as communities of creativity and purpose. We all love FEED because it is a way to make a difference in the world through great design and style. The FEED girl totally gets that and puts a lot of effort into ‘doing good’ through her daily decisions. It’s that commitment to consciousness that I love most about the FEED Community.

the style line feed projects

What impact has working on FEED had on your approach to personal style?

Pre-FEED my work uniform was strictly business professional, so I’ve loved getting to tone it down a bit by incorporating more denim and color. Everyone on the team definitely has her or his unique style and being here has inspired me to identify and own what personal style is and feel comfortable iterating on that without copying anyone else. I’m most comfortable in jeans, a chambray shirt and a blazer, but at FEED there’s room to be creative in how I pull that off.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”? 

My style is mostly inspired by my favorite NYC and LA bloggers. As a Southern California native who has lived in New York for eight years, it’s important to me to express both my West Coast and East Coast identities in what I wear. Finding inspiration from stylish ladies like LA’s Emily Shuman, who tends to incorporate a lot of bright color, and NYC’s Joanna Goddard, who sticks with more classic cuts and neutral tones, helps me stay balanced in my attempt at integrating both worlds into my style.

the style line feed projects

Melissa Crossley

Manager of Sales & Operations

Please introduce yourself! 

I’m originally from NJ and have been in NYC for the past 10 years (currently on the Upper West Side) and love everything about living here. I enjoy a good yoga class (Yoga To The People on St. Marks is my favorite studio when I can get down there), spending time with my friends, cooking (I’m a bit of a newbie and still make quite a few mistakes, so I suppose there are times this isn’t that enjoyable!), and now that the weather is nice I’m looking forward to going for a run outside. My friends and family are the most valuable things in my life. I’m lucky to only live a train ride away from my family, so I can easily pop home for a visit when I need to escape the city for a family dinner.

How has working with FEED inspired some of your off-duty goals and passions?

Working with FEED has helped me understand that everyone can make a difference and truly no effort is too small. I try to keep this in mind in my day-to-day life and apply it to all my goals and passions.

the style line feed projects

How has your role at FEED inspired you to celebrate personal style?

FEED can be such a great conversation starter, people come up to me all the time and ask my about my FEED bag. My role at FEED has inspired me to have fun with my personal style and switch up my (FEED) accessories, often (it’s so fun to be able to tell all the different stories that go along with each product)!

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”? 

I live uptown and work downtown- I love seeing the way that styles change between neighborhoods. It’s funny how much can change just with one subway ride. My personal style is currently in the process of trying to incorporate the best of both worlds; we’ll see how it goes!

Katie Steele

Office Manager

Please introduce yourself!

Hi there! I’m an Alabama native who is loving every minute spent exploring the city I now call home! Scouring antique stores for hidden treasures, getting lost in sidewalk flower shops and adventuring to unknown neighborhoods are a few of my favorite things. Fast-paced and hurried lifestyles seem to be a commonality for most of us these days, leaving little time to soak in special everyday moments. Taking time to enjoy the simple happenings of life with family and friends is so important to me.

How do you stay #FEEDPowered?

I recently heard a quote that sums up the attitude I try to always encompass – it reads, “When life knocks you down, roll over, and look at the stars.” I stay #FEEDPowered by trying my best to make the most out of each life moment – even the one’s that seem less than ideal. I believe that everyday, we have the opportunity to brighten someone else’s and I’ve found that by thinking this way, my focus is taken off the negative, and keeps my perspective positive and hopeful.

What impact has working on FEED had on your approach to personal style?

For one, I wasn’t aware that “burlap goes with everything” before working at FEED, but having been with the company for over a year, I can attest that this statement really is true! On another level, FEED has expanded my thinking when it comes to my purchases. I’m now more aware of the impact my style choices have on the environment and those inhabiting the world around me. I try my best to consider each purchase carefully and make smarter decisions, while still staying true to my personal style.

The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”?

Pops of color! The majority of my closet is made up of bright colors and florals galore, which isn’t necessarily the normal dress code for most New Yorkers. When I’m out and about and see vibrant pattern pairings or bold, statement-making hues, I take notice!