For today’s Women Making History feature we honor Dina Selkoe—one half of the husband and wife team that runs Karmaloop.com – the top online retailer of name brand and underground streetwear.
Of Russian nationality, Dina was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, a small country north of Iran once part of the Soviet Union. At the age of 4, Dina’s family emigrated to the United States where she was raised in Brookline, MA.
After completing high school in Brookline, where she first met Greg, her future husband and Karmaloop founder, during their freshman year, Dina received her B.A. from Boston University, J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Dina and Greg began dating seriously after college and married in 2002.
If this isn’t a modern-day fairy tale, I don’t know what is! Read on…
Greg Selkoe began Karmaloop in 2000 while the two shared the 3rd floor of his parents’ house in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. In law school, and during her early career as a lawyer, Dina was a major supporter of Karmaloop and assisted as much as she could with its growth – even taking mail to the post office on her way to class.
Soon after Karmaloop’s success, Dina Selkoe left her job at a law firm to begin working exclusively as the head of Karmaloop’s women’s department, quickly growing the department by 250% during her tenure. Dina gained expert knowledge at predicting trends in fashion and determining consumer buying patterns.
In the past two years, Karmaloop has grown from an online retailer to a significant voice on streetwear trends with the launch of its blogs and KarmaloopTV. To continue the company’s growth, Dina is now the Creative Director of the company – partially overseeing the women’s buying department, sending a weekly email newsletter to Karmaloop’s growing roster of female customers, designing and overseeing the new women’s blog, conceptualizing and overseeing the women’s Look Books and other editorial photo shoots, and working with the lead designer to develop the look of Karmaloop’s new VIP program. However, Dina’s most significant long term project at the company is a new KarmaloopTV show called “Globaloop,” an international affairs and history program designed to educate young people and increase political and social awareness.
Same Sex Marriage, Parts 1 of 3: Same Sex Marriage
More on Dina below:
A Q&A session with Dina…
M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
Women in public policy/human rights – Shirin Ebadi, Aung San Suu Kyi, Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice (even though I don’t dig her politics- especially her affinity for Baby Bush Duvalier), and the three current/former female supreme court justices- Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.
M.I.S.S.: You were originally a lawyer and now you are the Creative Director of one of the largest online stores. How did you make the transition?
I actually transitioned from lawyer to the women’s buyer (versus Creative Director) – I didn’t really have a plan and overall it was a good transition. I moved from doing boring work in a dull and stifling environment to doing something I loved in a super fun and stimulating environment with lots of people I liked around me all the time. Having an attorney’s anal attention to detail and organization definitely helped. I learned on the job, but, luckily, it all clicked together nicely.
M.I.S.S.: Karmaloop has many facets from retail to Karamloop TV. What’s your favorite Karmaloop project that you’ve worked on?
I love working on Lookbooks and my favorite recent lookbook is our tribute to Grace Jones … fun with mirrors! But my favoritest project these days is Globaloop, which is our newest show on KarmaloopTV. Globaloop is a political and current events program whose aim is to provide our audience with interesting information and stories about important global and domestic issues in an entertaining and concise way. I write and edit (actually, stand over the real editor’s shoulder) the pieces and host some of them. Globaloop is an amazing opportunity for me to get extra educated on a variety of topics while also hopefully helping others get a little info too. Recent pieces include a 3 part series on Same-Sex Marriage, US involvement in Afghanistan beginning in 1979, Burma and Shepard Fairey: Social Activism Through Art. Topics in the works include The Animal Rescue League, Philanthropist Bobby Sager, UNICEF, Darfur/Sudan and Iran. Globaloop also has a weekly news rundown hosted by my buddies Panda and Jose and a Pet of the Week adoption clip.
From the Karmaloop’s Global Journal: Shepard Fairey: Social Activism Through Art, part 1:
M.I.S.S.: Karmaloop has worked on interesting collaborations in the past including Puma. Who do you want to work with in the future?
Yes, love! We’ve had some great collabs with brands including Crooks and Castles, Hellz & Roxy Cottontail, Married to the Mob, BLVCK SCVLE, and currently have projects in the works with Han Cholo, Joyrich, Crooks and Castles and Android Homme. We are starting to do more collabs with artists and other creatives (versus strictly brands) – a bunch of the Karmaloop gang is going on a trip to Tokyo this April (reminds me, I need to book hotel) and we would love to do something with photographer Yasumasa Yonehara.
M.I.S.S.: How do you go about finding new brands to feature on Karmaloop?
I’m not really involved in actively seeking out new brands for the site now that I am no longer the women’s buyer, however, I always keep an eye out for cool brands and people/brands still send me stuff that I pass along to our women’s buyer, Jasmine.
M.I.S.S.: What part of being the Creative Director of Karmaloop is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
Having so many diverse projects (from site enhancements and planning trips to document review and editorial stuff to Globaloop) makes juggling, timing and prioritizing quite tricky!! I honestly don’t dislike anything about my job –maybe feeling overwhelmed at times, but that’s to be expected – and I’m trying to get into meditation.
M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path similar to yours?
Try to get into an organization that you love or you’re whose general product/process you’re interested in and work your tail off – hard work and commitment pay off – they get you noticed and help your boss or colleagues know that they can give you more responsibility and more sophisticated projects and that they can rely on you. Once you have an organization in mind, don’t be afraid to reach out to people there even if you don’t know them – I get tons of emails and Facebook messages looking for jobs or internships and I always pass them on to the appropriate department here (unless I hire myself ).
- Sign up for the Karmaloop Ladie’s Email:
- Stay up on Karmaloop via the links below!
- 5 Questions With Dina Selkoe
- KarmaloopTV Schools You With Globaloop
- M.I.S.S. x Karmaloop Holiday Giveaway!
- Get Your Globaloop Update Here: Pet of the Week!
- Karmaloop TV Is Looking For You!!