We are thrilled to introduce our latest Marfa Muse, entrepreneur and women’s advocate Dee Poku.

Dee is the founder and CEO of The WIE Suite, a private membership community and peer learning platform for women in leadership launched in 2020. This Spring, we are excited to reveal that Dee will launch The WIE Suite UK.

In 2019, she also founded Black Women Raise, an initiative designed to accelerate the ability of leading black female founders to raise growth capital, scale up and create pathways for the women behind them.

A frequent speaker on women’s workplace advancement, culture and community building, Dee has been named one of Marie Claire Magazine’s 50 women changing the world, one of TRUE Africa’s 100 Top Innovators, amongst other accolades.

Dee wears the new Patchwork Parachute Parka in Bronze / Reverse: Mocha Brown and Oyster in size S-M with the Zip Hood in Dark Olive, Pale Sage / Reverse: Soft Peach and the Shearling Collar in Blush.

Tell us about your background.

Well I’m a Brit currently living in New York and I grew up between London and Accra, Ghana. My parents emigrated to the UK from Ghana in the 1960s. And I then moved to America in 2003 to work for a movie studio. I thought it’d be for a couple of years but twenty years later, I’m still here with an American husband and son in tow!

My love of connecting people ultimately led to the recreation of my company, birthed from the intimate dinner parties I used to host to bring together inspiring women within my network. My parents had instilled a deep work ethic in me that persists to this day. That hard work, knowledge, and experience were the key to success. True but not enough for women. I had an epiphany halfway through my career. I needed to work smarter, not harder. Success is a direct result of the relationships we build and more importantly the people opening doors for us and providing tactical support. So the supper club quickly evolved into a more tactical, curated community and peer coaching platform for women in leadership.

I studied maths at university and remain a bit of a maths nerd to this day, so nothing brings me more joy than the fact that my 11-year-old son has inherited that love of numbers. We live in Brooklyn Heights which is about as close to feeling like London as I could get.

Talk us through your career journey so far.

I’ve always been a marketer. I began my career in the fashion industry working for Lynne Franks (on whom the tv show Absolutely Fabulous was based). Wild times. But the bulk of my career was spent in the movie business. I worked for Focus Features in New York on films such as Lost in Translation and Brokeback Mountain and then at Paramount Pictures in LA overseeing international marketing for one of their divisions. My proudest moment was working with Al Gore on his documentary An Inconvenient Truth. It really shifted the narrative on climate change. I eventually left the entertainment industry to become a founder and built a membership community and platform for women leaders. Our members are powerhouse founders and executives running incredible companies and it makes me proud to play any part in their continued success.

What advice do you have for female leaders and entrepreneurs?

You’ve got to develop a level of self belief that feels almost ridiculous. A deep seated confidence that allows you to walk into any room and be perceived as leadership material. A conviction that allows you to comfortably ask for the salary or funding you deserve. It helps if you surround yourself with people who make you feel like your best self.

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of all the risks I’ve taken in my life.

Leaving friends and family behind to move halfway across the world to New York where I literally knew one person is no easy thing!

And starting my own business which involved walking away from a stable career and regular salary to follow my dreams.

What’s next?

We are launching The WIE Suite in the UK and I’m incredibly excited. Our goal is to become the most valuable and thoughtfully curated global community for creatively minded women who want to have true impact.

How do you style your Marfa Stance pieces, and why do you like the brand?

Marfa Stance pieces stand alone. They are beautifully made and instant classics. Forever wardrobe items. What I love is that you can wear simple jeans and a white shirt and throw a coat on top and look instantly fabulous.

Photographer: Amelia Allen