Photo:Lafayette 148 and Sophie Elgort
Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode gives you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts to stay tuned.
Meena Harris is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. She is the New York Times best-selling author of her children's book Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, a highly esteemed attorney, and the founder of the groundbreaking lifestyle brand Phenomenal. Initially launched in 2016 as a side project, the brand has grown to include Phenomenal Media and Phenomenal Productions, a female-driven media brand and creative agency that supports underrepresented communities through activism-focused campaigns and products. There's a good chance you've seen the iconic Phenomenal Woman T-shirt, which was inspired by Maya Angelou's poem "Phenomenal Woman." Along the way, the brand has garnered attention from notable celebrities, athletes, and thought-leaders such as Serena Williams, Jessica Alba, Dwyane Wade, Issa Rae, and more, helping to further inspire positive change. Beyond the popular T-shirt, the brand has launched other successful campaigns, including #1600Men, Phenomenal Voter, Phenomenally Black, Phenomenally Asian, and Phenomenally Latina. To say Harris is an influential voice of today is an understatement.
But before Harris built the incredibly empowering platform, her dynamic career began in the early days of Facebook, where she worked in user operations and saw the small company take off at lightning speed. After about three years at Facebook, Harris received her law degree at Harvard Law School before becoming a judicial law clerk at the DC Court of Appeals and then a practicing lawyer specializing in consumer protection, data, privacy, and cybersecurity—and it doesn’t stop there. Her past career at Facebook, combined with her law degree, catapulted her into two major roles at burgeoning tech companies: senior policy manager at Slack and then head of strategy and leadership at Uber. Finally, in 2020, Harris stepped back from Uber to focus on her evolving brand, and she released her second children's book, Ambitious Girl, in 2021.
Tune in to the latest Second Life episode to hear how Harris was able to make major career pivots from tech to law to entrepreneurship, where she brings together her talents as a community organizer, brand builder, and author to positively impact the community around her. To shop the T-shirt that started it all and more, keep scrolling.