Operations

Coworking with Foujan Volk

She’s VP of Brand and Marketing at Parachute.
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Foujan Volk

· 3 min read

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Foujan Volk is VP of brand and marketing at home furnishing brand Parachute.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in retail? When people choose their favorite brands, they do so instinctively. It is more of a feeling than a conscious choice. That reflex is a memory that is built by winning and retaining people’s attention. Why do people wear Nike shoes or use iPhones or drive Teslas? My job is to be singularly focused on connecting the customer to our brand—creating these brand affinities that build contextual recall and keep the Parachute brand relevant, aspirational, and engaging.

One thing we can’t guess about your job from your LinkedIn profile? The DTC environment is constantly evolving at an often dizzying pace. This constant evolution has kept me growing, forcing me and our team to live in this gray space where we’re regularly changing strategies to meet the moment. We wear so many hats, the scope to our roles is so fluid, and that keeps me on my toes and lets me flex and learn in ways that would not be possible at larger organizations or in different industries.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? In 2023, we produced The Parachute Holiday Village: a European-style holiday market with snowfall and lots of holiday shopping. Forty-plus brands participated and 5,000 members of the LA community joined in, garnering 500 million media impressions to cut through the noise in a chaotic promo-heavy season.

Which emerging retail trend are you most excited about right now, and why? For the past few years, growth and performance marketing held the spotlight and brand had been relegated to the basement, especially in the DTC space. I am most excited about the resurgence of brand. Performance marketing has become increasingly expensive, almost absurdly so, and data privacy rules have hamstrung a lot of what propelled the industry. We’ve also seen the share of wallet shift and optionality for consumer goods continue to increase. So as time has passed and the early-pandemic, scale-at-all-costs fervor has dissipated, I think we’ve collectively come to realize that without brand, growth strategies and performance marketing are flashes in the pan without real consequential longevity.

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What’s your go-to coffee order? Depending on the time of day: oat milk latte (no sweetener) or almond milk matcha latte (no sweetener).

Worst piece of advice you’ve received? “There is no way to climb the proverbial corporate ladder and be steadfast in your integrity and principles.” So untrue.

What was your favorite retail product when you were 15, and what’s your favorite retail product now? At 15, I was quite a musicophile, so I’d be remiss to not include my CD collection as my most prized retail product(s). At that age, Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP and TLC’s FanMail were on repeat. And quite frankly, they still rank pretty highly for me today. My favorite retail products now might be a bit different, but I can say that I prioritize quality and comfort above most other things when I’m making a purchase. I’ve been quite a curator of socks the past few years and find myself obsessive over what makes a good pair. Also, the best supporting product award goes to my Parachute robe (catch me in it every morning and all weekend long).

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.