Columbia Magazine

Steph Korey: From Bags to Riches

Steph Korey ’15BUS was in her last semester of business school when she got a call from a grumpy friend, stuck at the airport with a broken suitcase.

“She didn’t know whether to shell out a lot of money for high-quality luggage or to buy something else cheap that wouldn’t last,” Korey says. “We got to talking about why there wasn’t an affordable, durable option on the market and wondered what it would take to make one.”

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Entrepreneur

Why Embracing Failure Is Good for Business

When you’re building a business, a lot of people will offer you advice. But, I’m going to bet that you won’t hear this often: Make lots of mistakes. 

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Inc

The 5 Keys to a Top-Notch Company Culture, According to the Co-Founders of Away

Since we launched Away in 2016, my co-founder Jen and I have inevitably gotten one question more times than I can count: What’s your secret? I’ve always said–and firmly believe–that there is no secret. There’s no magic formula, or some untold truth everyone’s hiding when it comes to building a business. But the foundation? An incredible team.

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Columbia Business School

A Day in the Life: Steph Korey ’15, founder and CEO, Away

Since Steph Korey ’15 founded Away with Jen Rubio in 2015, the company’s travel bags have become the “it” luggage. Photographs of Hollywood A-listers wheeling the signature carry-on—complete with a pop-out battery for charging devices—appear in magazines, and social media influencers post pictures of themselves in picturesque locales with Away duffels and backpacks.

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CNBC

Columbia MBA and multimillion-dollar start-up co-founder: Here’s what business school doesn’t teach you

When you’re at a start-up, “you see things like, this is how we scale our operations, this is how we do marketing in a way that resonates, this is how we on-board people, this is how we create a cohesive vision for our team,” says Korey. “Those types of things are theories you can learn in a formal education environment, but it doesn’t compare to being able to learn on the job.”

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Fortune

40 under 40

Since shipping their first soon-to-be-iconic minimalist suitcase in early 2016, Away’s Jen Rubio and Steph Korey have sold more than a million bags; they posted $150 million in sales in 2018 and expect to double that this year. By selling direct to consumers, the company’s products cost less than half of those from competitors like Tumi.

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Crain’s New York

40 Under 40

In the three years since Steph Korey co-founded Away, the direct-to-consumer luggage brand has evolved into a lifestyle company. Away now has seven brick-and-mortar retail stores and an editorial arm that publishes Here, a print magazine about travel, among other media.  “This business was never about suitcases,” said Korey, the CEO. “It was always about travel.”

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Business of Fashion

BoF 500

Steph Korey and Jen Rubio are the co-founders of Away, a premium travel brand founded in 2015 after the two women believed there was a gap in the market for quality, stylish luggage. In its first year, Away surpassed $12 million in sales and has raised over $81 million in venture capital funds.

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MissBish

Jet Set in Style | Meet the Founders of AWAY, Stephanie Korey and Jen Rubio

My best advice for someone who wants to work in the startup space is that heart, hard work, and flexibility will be the keys to your success. In startups, you’re going up against the odds, and you need that passion and work ethic to really take on an industry. And flexibility because need and realities constantly change, and if you’re very rigid in how you approach your work, you won’t be able to keep up.

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La Ligne

The Bon Voyage

Line to live by: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” – Steph

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