Carrie Prince

Carrie Prince is currently the COO for Carnaby & Vine, a luxury gifting company based in Los Angeles, CA, and is also a certified executive coach who works with professionals and singles on improving their work lives and relationships.

Before you became the business titan you are today, enlighten us about the thrilling adventures of your pre-business life.

One thing I take pride in is my eclectic background. I grew up with and started in the performing arts as a young adult, but I always had a knack for leading and organizing, even within those spaces. I had so many different kinds of jobs throughout my teens, 20s and 30s, and got to explore and interact with lots of different industries and segments of the population. These kinds of experiences really shaped my ability to connect to others when I was in leadership positions. I had a good 10-year run on the production side of film and television working on studio level movies and shows, but I also always explored entrepreneurial projects on the side. I’ve always had my hands in lots of things, even while working full time. It wasn’t until my experience managing the largest Covid testing site in the U.S. during the pandemic in 2020 that I realized I wanted to cut my teeth in the business world in a bigger way, and during my MBA program that followed, I simultaneously developed my skills in coaching and got professionally certified. Every experience informs the next! 

Could you elaborate on the nature of your initiative/ business/current role, highlighting its purpose and the ways it benefits people?

My work with Carnaby & Vine is really about building out a strong business with rockstar women that have their values straight. That’s always so important to me, that the work I’m doing is with people I like and believe in. The larger part of my career is all about teamwork, developing our skills together, finding ways to problem solve together, and relying on collective efforts to shine. My work with coaching is a lot more intimate – that’s a space where the one-on-one conversations and strategizing is very particular to a client’s focused goals and how they can achieve those through their individual strengths and what we come up with together.

What has been the response of the users/consumers towards your venture?

Working with private clients is very different from building out an organization from the inside, but I measure the responses for both by the kinds of relationships I build over time. To that end, the responses have always been positive. Clients that stick with coaching will see progress and give you referrals. Colleagues or companies that value you won’t hesitate to support your future endeavors, and that’s almost always been the case for me. When it hasn’t been, I know it’s time to leave. With that said, in the age of social media, we feel like we know what people are doing and who they are, but I think my previous career moves have come as a surprise to those not in my intimate circles. I definitely had some years where it took time to wrangle the larger perceptions of my work goals and skills. Thankfully, at this point, my network – whether that’s clients, colleagues or customers – probably knows I like a challenge to solve people and efficiency problems, and that can manifest in many ways. It’s always tough to shift gears and win support, but give me enough time in anything I’m working on, and I’ll find a way to rise and build meaningful relationships.

Having a strong support system is essential for your well-being. We would love to know who your biggest supporter is. Share with us and let’s celebrate the amazing people in our lives who make a positive impact.

I meditate on the mentors in my life almost daily, I kid you not. They live with me, my decisions, my setbacks, my achievements. Some have come into my life unexpectedly and some I sought out, but not surprisingly, they are mostly women. The very first person to rock my world and show me true leadership was a teacher and dance coach I met in high school, Carrie Smith, who went so far beyond her scope of influence, it forever altered the course of my life. I’m also lucky to have the most supportive mother and sisters, a tight-knit group of smart friends, and a wonderful partner who lets me grow and take risks without judgment.

As a young woman entrepreneur, what changes do you hope to see in the world and what opportunities are you seeking?

I don’t know about young people, but I’ll take it! I want women to feel like they can be powerful and influential as just their relatable, flawed human selves. AI use is heavily on the rise and is a very sexy tool for entrepreneurs to save time and resources, but it’s also creeping into personal branding in a way I don’t love. I would hope AI doesn’t take away our ability to connect in-person, and understand our blind spots and where we need to grow. There is such value to really taking time to understand how we think and feel about communication and problem solving. We sit and process stuff, make mistakes, even come up with great ideas before we bring our own unique thoughts, opinions, and ideas to the table and share those authentically. I’m seeing a lot of garbage out there right now that’s just formulaic, empty rhetoric that sounds nice and contains the proper elements, but it’s just too clean and perfect. People like something real and raw – something they can relate to as flawed beings. I don’t want us to forget that. I think that’s one of the bigger threats that could homogenize and stifle the beginning stages of learning and relationship building that are truly essential for winning people’s minds and hearts in professional spaces. AI has great tools for helping us get our thoughts and desires out there, but I don’t want it to replace critical thinking and the hard work of personal growth. 

Women now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with men in the workplace, breaking through glass ceilings to reach the top. What are your thoughts on women’s leadership today?

As long as we see there is truly room for everyone on the gender spectrum and there is pay equity (not equality, but equity), we’ll be okay. We’re getting there. I think there are still spaces where women in particular have a tougher time breaking in or being paid well, and there are now spaces where male leadership is less common, even in higher paying sectors. That’s progress! Having been in so many different kinds of workplaces in my life, there is no doubt in my mind that women are just exceptional leaders and thinkers, no matter where they decide to put those skills to work. They might always have a bit of a battle with work/life balance if they choose to have babies – and that’s okay. It’s just the reality of bodies and what we’re capable of. We need to make better accommodations for pregnant and working moms, that’s for sure! Many times, I find the culture is dictated by the top, whether that’s men or women. While I definitely want to see more women in the very top echelon, it matters more to me that the culture of the place supports women’s professional development on every rung of the ladder. Over time, that’s what creates true diversity and strength.

Get in touch with her.

LinkedIn: @carnabyandvine @youcandatebetter