Interview

Talk Shop with Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin, Founders of Witchsy

If you haven't yet heard about Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin, just Google, "Keith Mann." That's the name of the fictitious male co-founder who they invented to show people evidence of sexism in startups.

They were feeling limited and tired of censorship on other sites, so Kate and Penelope launched Witchsy in 2015. Their online art marketplace fuels offbeat craft and humor by featuring a curated catalog of artists. We can't wait to welcome them for our October Talk Shop.

Read more from Kate below. If you're in LA, RSVP to Talk Shop Thursday, October 19.


Who is the Witchsy customer? 

Anyone who isn't a total square. 

How do you choose the artists you feature on your site? 

We choose artists based upon people that strike us and we like their work. We are looking for unique perspectives and voices. We don't want people to send us what they think we would like. We want to see what people come up with on their own without restrictions.

Do you still have "day jobs", or are you both on Witchsy full time?

I still am doing side hustles while we are building out the company and Penelope is still making and selling her art. We are both taking a small salary, but right now we want to use funds to reinvest, make the site better and create exclusive products. Once we launch our Rick and Morty collection we are hopeful we will expand our business more to build our employees and pay a bit more.

Your feature on Fast Company about faking a male Co-founder to combat sexism went viral. Why do you think that story resonated so well?

It's a story that is sadly so relatable to so many women in the workplace. Our story was very neatly packaged in the Fast Company article. People also seemed to like that we chose to troll people in a way to push through the problem. Everyone loves a good, funny and sad story. People are often living in a gas-lighting culture that tells them micro-aggressions or things that they see happening to them aren't happening or they are being "too sensitive " or "crazy." Our story was a very easy example for people to point to and say "actually... I'm not making this up."

Word on the street is that you're in the midst of some TV and book deals about your story. Who would play each of you in the Witchsy TV show?

Haha! TV or maybe a movie.... We would want two young women who have good comedic timing and get our story. I've already joked that Maude Apatow should definitely be Penelope.


Come talk shop with Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin. It's Free! RSVP here

When: Thursday, October 19. Talk is at 7 p.m. Wine, cheese, and mingling at 6:30. Feel free to come early and check out our HQ!

Where: 3828 S Santa Fe Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

Enjoying the Lumi Blog? Receive our weekly email digest.