In this powerful episode of The Mentor Files, Monica Royer sits down with Winnie Park, the CEO of Forever 21, to discuss her remarkable journey in the world of fashion and retail, and the personal trials that have shaped her into the leader she is today. Winnie shares insights into her approach to innovation, the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset, and leading with authenticity. She also opens up about her immigrant background, the influence of her family, and the challenges of balancing motherhood with a demanding career. From overcoming language barriers to dealing with family mental health issues, Winnie’s story is one of true resilience and determination.

**[00:00:00] Introduction**

– Host Monica Royer introduces the podcast and guest Winnie Park, CEO of Forever 21.

**[00:03:00] Winnie Park’s Background**
– Winnie shares her personal story of immigration, family influence, and her path to becoming a single working mom and a leader in fashion and consumer retail.

**[00:06:00] The Influence of Family**
– Discussion on the impact of Winnie’s maternal grandmother and parents on her work ethic and passion for fashion.

**[00:09:00] Overcoming Language Barriers**
– Winnie recounts her early challenges with English after moving to the United States at two and a half years old.

**[00:12:00] Cultural Identity and Connection**
– Winnie and Monica discuss how they maintain their cultural identities and pass them on to their daughters.

**[00:15:00] Interruption from School Nurse**
– Monica briefly pauses the interview to take a call from her daughter’s school nurse.

**[00:19:00] Back to Cultural Discussion**
– The conversation resumes, focusing on the pride of the next generation in their diverse cultural backgrounds.

**[00:22:00] Imposter Syndrome and Authenticity**
– Winnie and Monica explore the concept of imposter syndrome and the importance of being true to oneself.

**[00:25:00] Parent-Child Relationships Through Time**
– Reflecting on the evolution of their relationships with their mothers and their own experiences as parents.

**[00:28:00] Family Struggles and Resilience**
– Winnie and Monica share personal family stories, discussing the impact of mental health issues on their lives and the strength it has brought them.

**[00:31:00] Mental Health Awareness and Family Dynamics**
– The conversation delves deeper into the complexities of mental health within families and the journey to understanding and acceptance.

**[00:34:00] The Role of the Strong Sibling**
– Monica reflects on her role in managing her brother’s mental health struggles and how it has shaped her resilience.

**[00:37:00] Moving Forward and Building Strength**
– The episode wraps up with thoughts on how personal challenges can lead to unexpected growth and strength.

If you found inspiration in Winnie’s story and want to learn more about her leadership at Forever 21, visit their website. Also, for those dealing with mental health issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to resources like NAMI for support. Remember to subscribe to The Mentor Files for more stories like Winnie’s, and if you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform. Join us next time for more insights and mentorship on The Mentor Files with Monica Royer.