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Tracy Lewis

Passen is a digital measurement platform that finds you clothing that fits online and in-store. At Passen, we cherish and uphold a set of core values that form the foundation of our conduct and guide us in every aspect of our operations. These values, integrity, respect, and accountability, represent the moral compass that drives our behaviour and decisions.

Integrity is at the heart of everything we do. We believe in being honest, transparent, and ethical in our actions, regardless of circumstances. We take pride in conducting ourselves with the utmost integrity, ensuring that our words align with our actions, and consistently following through on our commitments. By upholding the highest standards of integrity, we build trust with our stakeholders, enabling us to forge long-lasting relationships.

Respect is the cornerstone of our interactions. We recognize and value the diversity and dignity of every individual, promoting an inclusive and supportive environment for all. We listen actively, acknowledge different perspectives, and treat others with fairness, kindness, and empathy. By fostering a culture of respect, we create a space for collaboration, innovation, and personal growth.

Accountability is the driving force behind our success. We take ownership of our actions, decisions, and their consequences. We hold ourselves accountable to our stakeholders, partners, and customers by delivering on our promises and taking responsibility for our mistakes. We believe that being accountable empowers us to continuously learn, grow, and improve as individuals and as an organization.

We are committed to living these values in our daily interactions, dedicating ourselves to moral, respectful, and responsible behaviour. We strive to be a beacon of integrity, respect, and accountability in all our endeavours, be it with our team members, clients, partners and the wider community.

By adhering to these shared values, we not only enhance our own credibility and reputation but also contribute positively to the betterment of the society in which we operate.

As a female, I want to feel confident about the fit of my online and in-store apparel purchases. The typical shopping experience of a woman who purchases apparel is to go to several retailers, and try on several styles, only to leave empty-handed and frustrated. With the Passen digital fit experience, we can direct the consumer to the best-fitting item, thus reducing the frustrating component of trying on several pieces of clothing.

Tell us about yourself?

Having worked in various industries, such as garment manufacturing, transportation manufacturing, and iconic luxury brands, I possess a diverse background and a wide range of experiences. I have been exposed to several intricacies of each business, materials, craftsmanship, and design. I believe strongly that my previous experiences have brought me to where I am today, and what I have learned will allow me to help accelerate Passen’s people, culture and business. One of my major objectives in joining Passen is to help build a strong culture. One that encompasses integrity, respect, and accountability. I believe in the mission of best-fitting clothing that, in turn, reduces returns and, ultimately, clothing in landfill.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Reflecting back a year or two, the things that I have learned, having experienced both good and bad, I can say that a title or rank in a company doesn’t imply immediate respect, trust or magically turn you into a leader. While terrible leaders may create challenging work environments, there are still several positive takeaways that can be gained from these experiences. Here are a few:

  • Resilience: Dealing with a bad leader can teach you how to be strong and resilient in adverse situations. It tests your ability to maintain professionalism, adapt, and keep a positive mindset despite challenging circumstances. Lesson, resilience is an essential quality for effective leadership as it fosters self-care to maintain physical and mental well-being, a positive mindset, emotional intelligence, and to seek support and feedback.
  • Self-awareness: Bad leaders often highlight their own shortcomings, which can help you develop a strong sense of self-awareness. Lesson, by observing their negative behaviour, you can reflect on what kind of leader you don’t want to become and strive to improve your own leadership skills. Self-awareness is a crucial aspect of effective leadership. It involves understanding your own strengths, weaknesses, emotions, values, and impact on others.
  • Problem-solving skills: Bad leaders often create numerous problems or obstacles for their teams. Lesson, by finding solutions and workarounds to overcome these challenges, you can develop strong problem-solving skills and expand your ability to think outside the box. Excellent leadership teaches you to identify problems, evaluate possible solutions, and implement effective strategies to overcome obstacles. It also encourages critical thinking, creativity, and innovation in finding solutions to complex issues.
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence: Bad leaders may help you develop empathy as you understand the impact their actions have on yourself and others. Lesson, this can enhance your emotional intelligence by making you more aware of the emotions and needs of those around you. Good leadership emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence. Understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as recognizing and empathizing with the emotions of others, are integral to building strong relationships and fostering a positive team environment.
  • Team bonding: A shared struggle under a bad leader can often create a bond among colleagues. Going through challenging times together can strengthen relationships and foster a supportive work environment. Lesson, great leadership promotes collaboration and teamwork. It teaches you to foster a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals feel valued, motivated, and encouraged to work together towards common goals.
  • Independence and autonomy: When working under a terrible leader, you may find yourself needing to take initiative and work independently. Lesson, this can lead to personal growth as you develop self-reliance and learn to trust your own judgement. Good leaders empower their team members and build trust by delegating responsibilities. Leadership teaches you to recognize the skills and strengths of others, assign tasks accordingly, and provide support and guidance when needed.
  • Appreciation for good leadership: Experiencing a bad leader can make you truly appreciate the qualities of a good leader. Bad leadership teaches you a lesson on avoiding certain conduct as they are perceived by the people you are leading. Lesson, it helps you differentiate between effective leadership and ineffective management practices, allowing you to seek out and value the guidance of strong leaders in the future.

While dealing with a terrible leader can be difficult, it also provides valuable lessons and growth opportunities. It’s essential to focus on what you can learn from the experience and use it as a stepping stone towards your own personal and professional development. You can take something positive out of every negative situation by looking beyond the problem.

The Passen Team
The Passen Team

What problem does your business solve?

We are solving the problem of limiting returns associated with ill-fitting apparel on e-commerce platforms. We strive to make the shopper experience a positive one and accurately reduce the frustrations associated with receiving incorrect-sized apparel and having to return it.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The inspiration behind the business came from our founders, who recognized a need for a better, more accurate way of shopping online for apparel. The company’s technology has evolved over the years from a large booth-type scanner typically found in mall settings to a smartphone device from the comfort of your home. The founders recognized the impact of poor-fitting apparel on the environment and the cost of correcting it. The problem is a multi-billion-dollar problem in North America, and the impact on landfill is catastrophic. In addition to an accurate fitting garment, we will reduce returns which will impact carbon footprint as well as reduce the impact on landfill.

What is your magic sauce?

Our ability to take the data from the smartphone scanner and translate it to the exact style of the garment that you are purchasing. This is done through a series of strategic measurements of the apparel as well as specific scan points from the scan data. The two combined to make a 90-plus per cent accuracy fit rate.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our plan for the next five years is to scale up the business with people and create a culture conducive to the values that I have outlined. We feel there is an opportunity for our technology to move into other sectors of business that we plan to explore in the next 24 months. Our intention short-terms is to be recognized as the premier provider of digital fit solutions to consumers on e-com platforms. Our long-term vision is to be able to use our platform to solve other problems related to fit.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Our biggest challenge is transitioning from a large phone booth-type booth scanners to hand-held smartphone device scanners. The reason that we changed course is because of the pandemic. We had to move away from a mall setting to an individual experience. This has resulted in a complete change in our technology and use of our technology.

How can people get involved?

People can get involved by helping us advance our business over the short term. We are looking for good, qualified people for which postings will appear on the hiring platforms. In addition, we are actively seeking retail customers who feel that an accurately fitting garment and a reduction in returns are equally important to them as it is to Passen.