We sat down with Annabel Lawee—a frequent business traveler with Celiac’s disease—to find out more about her bold transition into the world of airport food as the founder of Breeze, an on-demand food service designed to provide travelers with convenient access to real, wholesome food. Here, she shares her personal journey, what being bold means to her, and of course, how Birdies help her feel bold, bright, and confident.
What is your definition of bold and how do you incorporate this into your day-to-day?
For me, boldness means doing at least one thing a day that makes me nervous, despite any inner fear or doubts. This could be anything from public speaking, presenting to potential investors, or having a tough conversation. I live for the exhilarating feeling that follows a bold act—the feeling of pride, accomplishment, and sometimes just relief. The best things in life come from taking risks, seeking change, and NOT trying to fit in.
What’s a bold move you’ve made in your life?
October 27, 2018: I quit my job and dove headfirst into entrepreneurship and into a super unfamiliar industry—airports. No prior knowledge, many naysayers, not very much confidence. Just a fiery passion fueled by a very personal pain point—finding food in an airport as someone with Celiac’s disease. I raised money on a pitch deck that literally said “airport food sucks” and here we are today, live at LAX. Of course, it took a lot of hard work and perseverance along the way, but it all started with that one, bold move.
What’s one way you plan to make a bold move this year?
Being a young, first-time founder, I am constantly learning from those around me. To take Breeze into the next phase of expansion, I need a strong team of people who are smarter than me and who challenge me. Actively hiring people who are more experienced than me, and whose strengths are my weaknesses, can feel daunting at times, but this mindset is necessary and valuable to fuel the growth of Breeze, as well as my own personal growth.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about being bold and true to yourself?
My Mom always told me: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” It sounds cliché, but I’ve always taken this to heart. For me, it means embracing vulnerability as my biggest strength, owning my weaknesses, and using my authenticity to create more meaningful relationships.
How do Birdies make you feel bright, bold, and confident?
They are versatile, comfortable, and fit seamlessly into my on-the-go lifestyle. I can wear them while I'm working at the airport, running around the city, going out to dinners, or just lounging at home.
Annabel is part of our new “Bright. Bold. Birdies.” campaign, featuring and celebrating women who embody what it means to be bold inside and out. In this series, they share their stories of success and how Birdies help them soar.