As the Director of Operations & Sales Support, Jenn Toro knows the ins and outs of the shoe business—and keeping the Larroudé train on track. After an entrèe into the industry at just 22, Jenn dove head first into any role she could, from customer service to sales, learning how a footwear brand was run even with just one short semester of college under her belt. Splitting her time between work and school, Jenn dedicated herself to pursuing academic and professional goals, and her achievements—and current career—speak for themself.
First of all: how are you doing?
If you could send a DM to your younger self, what would it be?
This is a trick question because there are soooo many pearls of wisdom that most of us would love to give their younger self, but we wouldn’t have this knowledge without our experience. Our journey led us to where we are now, be it for better or worse and everything in between. So, the only advice I would give is to keep going, because you are not supposed to have all of the answers, ever. That’s the real beauty of the trip.
What are you most looking forward to doing outdoors this Spring?
Running into the arms of people I’ve been missing and having some deep intense belly laughs about silly sh*t!
What are you reading right now?
Swearing Is Good For You-The Amazing Science of Bad Language
What are you watching right now?
Oh boy, I watch everything! I take full advantage of all my streaming services lol. But recently, we just finished season two of “For all Mankind” on Apple TV- watch it!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Be confident in your own shoes.
Embrace creativity and diversity.
Have integrity, pride, and passion.
What’s the biggest takeaway/learning you’ve had from the past year?
Learning to let go of certain habits and thoughts that no longer fit who I am or want to be; it was a forced initial break, but it was easy to accept. Also, realizing that being grateful and sad at the same time is ok…opposing emotions do not negate each other.
What brings you joy lately?
Laughing, being silly, driving with the sunroof open singing loudly along to a 90s jam or Yacht Rock! That’s right, no shame in my game.
How did you start in your career?
By answering an ad in the New York Times! (oh, I just dated myself, again!) It’s true folks—no crazy story or exotic internships. I needed a better job, I answered an Ad and got called for interviews. The rest is a wonderfully messy journey of working hard, learning a lot, earning my way up, and laughing through the ridiculousness, with some of the most amazing coworkers, that I am proud to still call friends.
What is you advice for young adults who want to start in the business?
I’m going to be general with my answer and say don’t let fear paralyze you or hold you back in whatever you want to do in life. Move with intention and authenticity, not in haste! Get a mentor, or a few mentors so you can broaden your way of seeing things. I don’t mean someone to emulate, I mean someone who inspires you, who has the knowledge and who you know carries themself with good intention. And on the days when your best falls short, instead of beating yourself up find out where you could have done better and learn. No one knows everything and everyone can learn.