Rose Stella has one question for lawyers looking for advice about going in-house: are you a builder or a maintainer?
The general counsel for New York-based Sandow, a company whose portfolio includes magazines, tools and services for the design industry, said maintainers “keep the wheels on the bus” at their companies to protect what is already there, while builders take a leading role in launching new initiatives, companies and products. Finding a fit with a company’s culture and needs is key, she said.
“Here at Sandow, in a place where we’re always creating new businesses and acquiring new businesses and have a lot of new ideas and move quickly, a builder personality is what you need,” Stella said. “It’s what my CEO has, and it’s what I need to have to match.”
Sandow owns traditional media brands like Interior Design magazine, which has been publishing since 1932, but it has expanded into other areas, including a recently launched startup called Material Bank. The new platform lets architects and designers search for materials and receive sample swatches by the next morning.
Stella, a recent transplant to Denver, said working with the company’s broad range of brands keeps her day exciting.