Kristy Sevy is a classically trained Gold Medal pianist who grew up in The Biggest Little City – Reno, NV. Her disciplined practice allowed for many opportunities to travel, compete, practice and perform with some of the biggest names in contemporary classical music. While maintaining her love of the arts, and with the talents developed through her diverse musical experiences, Kristy went on to study Marriage Family Therapy with a focus on community development. She has been married for twelve years and is a busy mom raising three precocious daughters (Kenzie, 9; Josie, 4; Goldie, 1).
Everything Kristy does, she does to help her girls own their freedom and find happiness. Whether it be traveling to MARS, curing cancer, or finding innovative ways to make the world a better place, Kristy wants her girls to realize that there is something greater beyond themselves where they can contribute.
Kristy is Founder and CEO of FuzePlay, a S.T.E.A.M. company that brings together REAL technology, and straight-forward, hands-on play. Her products teach kids (and their parents!), high-level concepts in a way that’s as simple as 1-2-3: Build, Hack, Play.
The below interview took place in preparation for the American Express Open Forum article, “A Village of Women: Why Women Business Owners Matter as Mentors.
1) PLEASE COMMENT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN MENTORING AND SUPPORTING OTHER WOMEN IN THEIR BUSINESSES AND NETWORKS. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MENTORING FOR BOTH THE RECEIVERS AND GIVERS?
Women championing other women in the workplace has a cultural impact that is far-reaching, transcending business and social networks. When a woman takes on the role of mentorship, she is supporting her mentee, of course – but she is also betting on herself and women everywhere.
2) WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR HOW WOMEN CAN MENTOR/SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN BUSINESS? TIPS FOR WOMEN LOOKING FOR A MENTOR?
Women need to be more proactive about seeking a mentor. Make time to network with other women in your community – whether it’s an early morning coffee date or a quick lunch – try to build genuine, supportive relationships. Most successful women in business are incredibly busy, and I’ve found a direct approach to be most successful – don’t be afraid to say “Hey, I think you’re great. I would love your advice and mentorship.” I’ve also found that the most successful women are the women most willing to help. Successful women want to give back. Always know what you want from a mentor; otherwise, it will be a waste of time for both parties.
3) DO YOU HAVE AN ANECDOTE OF HOW MENTORING OR BEING MENTORED HAS HELPED YOUR CAREER/BUSINESS?
A managing partner at a big venture capitalist firm offered to help me craft my pitch. I was unsure if the meeting was friendly, or business – and it didn’t help when people kept saying “Wow, you got a sit down with her?! She never does that! Don’t mess it up!”
When I showed up for the meeting, the managing partner had decided to bring a CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation and an advisor to the VC group with her! No biggie. My mind was reeling with what the women might want or think I could offer. As soon as we sat down, I expressed my nervousness. Both women immediately told me this was just a friendly meeting, and they only wanted to help. They spent over an hour mentoring me, giving genuine feedback on my pitch and marketing strategy. They also shared their networking secrets and gave me introductions to other women who could help. Our meeting was a huge lesson for me that successful women genuinely want to champion other women, and that I should never be afraid to ask for advice.
4) ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN THINK OF THAT’S IMPORTANT TO MENTION.
Never be afraid to ask for help, or admit that you don’t know something. And if someone thinks you’re stupid, dig down, get the work done, fly under the radar, and let your results speak for themselves.
5) YOUR NAME/COMPANY NAME/URL/HOW YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO REFER TO YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS/ANY BOOKS YOU’VE WRITTEN.
Kristy Muir Sevy
CEO/Founder of Fuze Interactive
“At Fuze we show kids how stuff works! We developed the first hackable disc that teaches kids coding and electronics in a fun and simple way!”