Susanne Johnson was unanimously voted to serve as Chairperson of the Live & Learn Board of Directors in November 2019. Ms. Johnson is an inspiring entrepreneur with an admirable work ethic and a passion for what she does. She is currently the founder and owner of Verbena Sky, but she began her career in banking and auditing, followed by several years building digital products at technology companies. Then, Ms. Johnson founded her own company, inspired by a desire to boost women’s confidence.
Verbena Sky is an online accessory business that showcases a wide variety of jewelry, bags, and home décor from many different brands, including a Paris-based jewelry brand. Verbena Sky specializes in well-made affordable luxury accessories at competitive price points. Ms. Johnson seeks out quality products that will last for years. When asked what drove her to start her own company, Ms. Johnson expressed that she wants to bring a bit of beauty and self-confidence to women as they struggle and manage everyday life. With accessories, Ms. Johnson noted, a woman’s size is rarely an issue, which alone can help many women have a better day.
We are fortunate to have Sue as our Board Chairperson. Her commitment to empowering women in the community is unparalleled. I am very excited to work closely with Sue to make sure we can reach even more women in Arizona and break the cycle of generational poverty.
— Kristin Chatsworth, Live & Learn Executive Director
Ms. Johnson is passionate about helping a woman feel her best. She stated that she loves knowing that some of her accessories help boost customer confidence when they are re-entering the work force or have to attend an important meeting. Sometimes just feeling more polished from wearing a new pair of earrings for a virtual meeting with a client or carrying a beautiful handbag for a job interview can make a difference and help self-esteem.
Discovering Live & Learn
Ms. Johnson heard about Live & Learn through Executive Director Kristin Chatsworth. The two had previously worked together in the financial industry in California. Ms. Johnson connected with Ms. Chatsworth when she moved to Arizona, and she found the mission of Live & Learn extremely compelling. Ms. Johnson has a lot of respect for Ms. Chatsworth’s advocacy for women’s self-sufficiency. Ms. Johnson recognizes that women gaining the opportunity to move their way through the world of education is a huge game changer that can impact their lives and our broader community.
Vision for Live and Learn’s Future
As Chairperson of Live & Learn’s Board of Directors, Ms. Johnson is excited to see Live & Learn help more women pursue STEM careers. Live & Learn excels at steering women through fast-track, ‘stackable’ educational paths that target various professional careers. Live & Learn does an outstanding job of preparing and helping women succeed in the medical field, business careers, and early childhood education. Ms. Johnson is excited to see new partnerships increase the numbers of Live & Learn women pursuing careers in IT, coding, cyber-security, and other technology career areas.
By: Madison Marker
Arizona State University
Live & Learn Intern