Leading Women Panelists

Zoë Chicco

Founder & Owner of Zoë Chicco

Zoë Chicco’s gift is an ability to create personal, classic pieces that are at the same time versatile. Delicate and modern, sexy but elegant, her everyday pieces are significant enough to be worn alone but delicate enough to wear layered together. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Chicco discovered her knack for jewelry design at a very young age and by the time she attended Skidmore College, she had committed to a major in metalsmithing and a lifelong pursuit of adornment design. After a sojourn at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy and several apprenticeships with well-established jewelers on both coasts, Chicco set off to design, create and produce her own unique line of jewelry. Drawing inspiration from everything around her, including art, fashion, and friends, Chicco designs many pieces in her collection with a particular muse in mind. Chicco’s meticulous eye for detail and quality ensures every piece that leaves her Los Angeles studio has been carefully screened and lovingly hand-made. Since its launch in 2000, her collection—which marries 14k gold with diamonds and semi-precious gemstones—has created a cult following among celebrities and trendsetters including: Charlize Theron, Jessica Alba, Giselle Bündchen, Jennifer Lawrence, Sofia Vergara, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Cruz, and more. Zoë Chicco designs are now available in over 200 stores in the U.S. and internationally. Chicco currently resides and works in Los Angeles with her husband, Tim, their son, Truman, and dog, Archie.

Christine Ha

Chef and Restauranter

Christine Ha is the blind cook who won “MasterChef” season 3 with Gordon Ramsay. Her first cookbook, Recipes from My Home Kitchen, was a New York Times best-seller. She has spoken about disability advocacy at the United Nations, served as a culinary envoy overseas for the American Embassy, and was a co-host on the Canadian cooking show “Four Senses” and a judge on “MasterChef” Vietnam. Ha holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Creative Writing Program at University of Houston, where she served as Fiction Editor for Gulf Coast Literary Journal, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. Ha’s first restaurant in Houston, The Blind Goat, was named a semifinalist for 2020 Best New Restaurant in America by the James Beard Foundation. She opened her second restaurant, XinChào, in September 2020 with Chef Tony Nguyen, and the James Beard Foundation named them as finalists for the Best Chef, Texas region, in 2022, and again as semi-finalists for Outstanding Chef in 2023. Ha’s third concept, Stuffed Belly, is coming this spring.

Leading Women
Shelby Hodge Society and Lifestyle Editor

Shelby Hodge

Society and Lifestyle Editor at PaperCity (Moderator)

From writing about fabulous destinations as Travel Editor of the Houston Post, Shelby moved on to writing about fabulous people and fabulous parties as society editor of the Houston Chronicle. After 18 years in newsprint, she jumped ship to join the fledgling CultureMap website as a founding editor. The lure of the glamour of PaperCity drew her away to a more refined media world where she has covered the city’s social scene since 2016.

Lisa ‘Lele’ Sadoughi

Founder & Owner of Lele Sadoughi

Lisa ‘Lele’ Sadoughi is known as the “headband queen” and “embellished artist” of her time. With an impressive roster working under the helm of Rebecca Taylor, Ippolita and Tory Burch, she notably launched the first ever J. Crew costume jewelry collection. She decided to launch her eponymous brand in 2012 in New York City focusing on accessories. The product assortment now includes 15 categories and is growing. She accessorizes everyone from Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, and Zendaya, and is regularly covered in Vogue, The New York Times, WWD and Harper’s Bazaar. Lele Sadoughi can be found at our flagship stores in Dallas, New York City and Newport Beach, as well as leading retailers worldwide.

Lisa ‘Lele’ Sadoughi
Leading Women Panelists

Britney Winters

Founder & CEO of Upgrade Boutique

Britney Winters is the Founder and CEO of Upgrade Boutique, a venture-backed beauty tech company offering a marketplace for custom wigs and extensions and SaaS products that enable stylists to operate more efficiently. Upgrade’s mission is to save women time on their beauty routines so they can do more of the things they love. Britney has over ten years of experience in various strategic roles including business development, finance, and consulting. Prior to launching Upgrade, she held positions at Shell, Morgan Stanley, Accenture, and Credit Suisse. Britney holds a B.S. degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, where she was inducted into the Cap & Gown Women’s Honor Society in 2008. She went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2016 .Britney is a native Houstonian. She is passionate about increasing opportunities for women of color and individuals in inner-city and underserved communities. The innovative entrepreneur hopes to empower women with her brand by providing support and resources for fellow entrepreneurs and charitable causes within her community.

Leading Women HomeMade
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