NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Philippe von Borries & Justin Stefano: Founders & CEO's Refinery29

My NativeAdVice:


Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries are the co-founder and co-CEO’s of Refinery29, Inc., a transformative media and technology company. Justin and Philippe have known each other for almost 20 years and originally met in high school in Concord, MA. Passionate entrepreneurs, they launched Refinery29 from a kitchen in Brooklyn in 2005 as an independent site for finding new designers, and have since grown it to a full-fledged media brand, cornering the millennial market.

Justin leads the company's revenue, finance and business development functions and has helped drive the innovation behind the marketing solutions platform that has led to Refinery29's hockey stick revenue growth. Before Refinery29, Justin worked for the New York City government investigating complaints of police misconduct. He is a graduate of New York University where he studied philosophy and politics.

Philippe leads the Refinery29 product, marketing and commerce teams as well as oversees strategic direction of its content strategy. Philippe got his start in digital media working at The Globalist, a DC-based international affairs startup. He graduated with a degree in history from Columbia University. 

How did you get into the media/publishing industry?

We came into media largely as outsiders. Our vision for Refinery29 was to create a place to discover new and emerging designers, brands and boutiques; to highlight and tell the stories of independent creators and makers who weren’t living in the spotlight and weren’t being featured in the Vogues and Elle’s of the world. There was a high degree of usefulness and service built into Refinery29 as well as constant narrative; we were content producers from day one. At the heart of Refinery29 was a vision for curation and story telling and growing an audience around a unique and coherent point of view (celebrating personal style) and that was our entry into media and publishing. 

What do you believe has been your most successful decisions and biggest mistake and how did you learn from your mistakes?

Among our most successful decisions was investing in a world-class sales and marketing force. This was back in 2010 when we had raised very little money, less than $500,000, and we confronted a pivotal moment of allowing large faceless networks represent us to brand partners in the marketplace or taking a bold step and hiring more senior headcount at once than we had in our entire history. It was a huge decision back then and it proved to be incredibly successful because it gave us control of the conversation, control of our most important assets, and allowed us challenge the biggest media brands on their own turf.

As for mistakes: not making a decision fast enough. That could be anything from a person who’s not working out to a part of your business that’s not working. The moment you have doubts, you need to start a quick and efficient decision-making process. Is this going to work out with a few corrections or do we need to make a tough call?

What strategies does Refinery29 employ to stay ahead of the competition? Partnerships or co-branding?

Media and publishing is more exciting than it has been in the past ten years. Things are moving at rapid speed. Audiences are growing faster than ever, content is everywhere and business models are being challenged and reinvented. There’s disruption happening at the fringes everywhere. But at the end of the day, creating irresistible content and programming, investing in your brand and nurturing a community and audience that is truly and deeply engaged will always keep you ahead of your competition. Always know what you stand for and always make sure that your brand is bigger than your business. 

What traits do you believe contribute most in your becoming a successful media entrepreneur?

A killer blend of right brain/left brain. 

What’s next for R29?

A lot. We feel like we’ve only scratched at the surface of what’s possible. Video is a big part; next-level programming and entertainment for creative, stylish, smart women that builds and expands on our roots in fashion and style. Building on our network of best-in-class voices and contributors. Great tools and service to make R29’s content actionable, addictive and always useful. Our mission is to be the #1 global media brand for smart, creative stylish women everywhere. 

Most visited websites on your browser? 


Justin: Business insider, Re/code, NYT

If there were one food and type of drink left on earth you could have, what would that be? 

Philippe: Shrimp Tacos and an icy cold stash of Pacificos

Justin: BBQ pulled pork sandwich and a Six Point Crisp

Life Motto?

Philippe: Find the good in everything.

Justin: I love the Sartre quote - “Genius is what a man invents when he is looking for a way out”

Refinery29, the largest independent fashion and style website in the United States and the fastest growing media company on the 2013 Inc. 500 list, delivers nonstop inspiration to live a more stylish and creative life. In addition to its global and local newsletter editions and 24/7 original editorial content, Refinery29 connects readers with content, commerce, and community, giving them all the tips, tricks, and tools they need to live a more beautiful life – and share it with the world. For more information and to browse content, visit