All Places Turns 2!

Last week All Places turned two. The professional life I had before this company seems a million years away, but the day this company launched is so vividly imprinted on my brain that it could have happened a month ago. Of course, what did “launch” mean in October 2020? It was me, sitting on the floor in my Lower East Side apartment, going online to see that our website was now live, then blasting out an email campaign to everyone I knew letting them know All Places was now a thing. I remember how excited and terrified I was. I can feel it in my body even now.

So what do you do when your business turns two? How do you keep the date from passing right by in favor of doing the next thing and the next thing. Well, one of our brilliant clients (fine, it was Lyndsey Harper!), suggested I write down everything I’m proud of from the last two years. That seemed important but daunting. Then she said I should share it. A step too far, Lyndsey! In fairness, I did consider it. But I honestly think the list would be so long, so detailed, and so personal, that it would be a combination of too dull or too exposing. Instead, I’ve pared it down to some highlights. Looking back on the past two years, these are the accomplishments that fill me with awe.

Our clients. We started with a handful of clients. These were companies I had worked with at my previous firm who believed enough in what I was doing to be a day 1 client. I cannot fully express my gratitude for these women: Maggie McAllister, Maggie Arvedlund, Roxana Saidi, Spring Hollis, and Belinda Lau. We listed them in the “Featured Clients” section of our website, which was, in fact, a list of all of our clients. That’s how we started. So where are we now? In the past two years, we have worked with more than 60 clients. That’s 60 people who have trusted All Places with their business. SIXTY! Bless you.

Honest branding. When the gorgeous team at Outset first showed us a mockup of our website, I have to admit I freaked out a little bit. It was so not a law firm website. If you’ve been to our website, you know what I mean. While I loved it and loved how it reflected me as a person and lawyer, I was afraid we wouldn’t be taken seriously. That same fear has reemerged many, many times over the last two years. Each time I wrote a newsletter, or sent out an email campaign, or put something on LI or IG that was a little edgy, a little personal, a little political, or didn’t have any legal citations in it. Who was I to talk about these things!?! Despite that angst, I feel that I have stated stayed true to who I am and what I believe in. It has been uncomfortable, but with this community regularly reminding me that what we are doing is valuable, I’ve done it.

Other humans. There isn’t much as a business owner that is scarier than being responsible for other human beings. That’s right, I’m talking about employees. These are people who have so much faith in you and your ability to run and grow a business that they have put their livelihood in your hands. It makes me tear up just thinking about it. Being able to turn around and repay that trust with a salary, benefits, profit sharing, and (what I hope is) a good working environment, is the ultimate. It’s also mind-blowing to know that I run a business that supports not only me, but other people, and that we’re able to generate enough revenue for that just two years in and are already looking to expand the team in 2023. Inconceivable!

Doing it at all. Even after two years, this remains one of my greatest sources of pride. I made that decision to leave a job that was stable and paid well in favor of something entirely uncertain. I did it. I did it with the support of so, so many people, telling me I could. That list is far too long for this post, but I do want to acknowledge two people in particular: my mom, Kathy, and my husband, Bik. They have been my greatest life supporters and have always had even more belief in me than I’ve had in myself.

The places we’ve gone. If two years ago I had to put together a dream list of organizations that would invite me to speak during our first two years, many of these names would have been on it: the Department of Commerce, Women’s Association of Venture and Equity, the New America Alliance, Transact Global, Recast Capital, Sophia Amoruso’s Business Class, Beyond Capital, and Female Startup Club. Thank you all for believing in us and our vision. And in case any of you are listening, goals for 2023: Second Life, VC Unlocked, Entreprenista, Goop, The Crazy Ones.

The work. This is a mission-driven business. We have skills and we are using them to support businesses that have real impact. Our clients are changing the game around capital equality. They are generating and controlling real wealth and putting it to use for all humans and this planet of ours. I believe, even more now than I did two years ago, that we are the best at what we do. It’s such a privilege to put those talents to work to support the businesses that are changing this world for the better.

Thank you all for being on this ride with me. It’s been a joyous, devastating, hilarious, tearful, challenging, and invigorating two years. I know enough now not to predict what’s going to happen in the year to come, except to say that it will be full of even more of all that good stuff. Even on my most tired, frustrated, fearful, and overwhelmed days, this is exactly where I want to be. Lucky me.

--Jessie Gabriel

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