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Shark Tank Alum Chrissie Lam Selected For Forbes 1000 List | A Look at the Judges

March 03, 2021 4 min read

Forbes Next 1000 Chrissie Lam Love Is Project

I was so honored to be on the Forbes Next 1000 list for 2021! The list celebrates entrepreneurship by featuring sole proprietors, self-funded shops and pre-revenue startups across the country who demonstrate unlimited drive and ambition as they redefine what it means to build and run a business.

This past year has presented some of the greatest obstacles yet, so I’m especially touched to be included in this impressive list of some of the most resilient and determined business owners of our time.


I’m also so proud that Love Is Project is getting some of the recognition it deserves! We’ve worked with more than2,100 female artisans around the world to develop our beautiful, handcrafted jewelry. In doing so, they’re able to earn a fair and ethical wage, provide educational opportunities for their children, reduce food scarcity, and so much more! When we do better, they do better. 


So, as I celebrate these major milestones like Shark Tank and The Forbes Next list, I want to share what I’m learning with others starting their own gigs. I believe we should do everything we can to LIFT each other up. So with that, I’ll be writing a blog series dedicated to the judges who selected the honorees on the 1000 list, beginning with the four from the Bay Area who chose me!

Sheryl Sandberg Forbes Next 1000 judge

I think most of us knowabout Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and the Founder of LeanIn.org. is. When commenting on the Forbes 1000, she said “I am so inspired by how the next generation of business leaders are redefining business amidst the pandemic”, and I was beside myself!Can you imagine? Being part of a group that inspires someone like her has me simply giddy. She is such an inspiration herself, I can hardly put it into words.

Ayesha Curry Forbes Next 1000 judge

In January, I held my breath in anticipation, as I’m sure most of you did, for the opening ofAyesha Curry’s Sweet July Store and Cafe in Oakland. I’ve devoured her magazine since she launched it in early 2020, and with Ayesha Curry’s recipes becoming staples in our home, I knew this latest project of hers would be even more delicious. When I found out she was among the Bay Area judges for the Forbes 1000 list, I was thrilled. And also so humbled by her comment that “It’s inspiring to see a list of promising leaders that all share originality, passion and a deep drive to succeed.” I strive to live up to this every day!

Reid Hoffman Forbes Next 1000 judge

Reid Hoffman knows a thing or two about being a business pioneer. If you’ve not heard of Greylock Partners, you surely know some of the many businesses his capital firm has funded. If not, you may have heard of another one of his little pet-projects - LinkedIn? As a Forbes 1000 judge, he said “Silicon Valley has long been a center of gravity for startups, but entrepreneurship knows no boundaries. No matter their geography, background, or area of focus, these entrepreneurs are bound together by a relentless drive to turn their ideas into reality.” That last phrase says it all, my fellow entrepreneurs. We are bound, we are relentless, we are the visionaries who walk the walk.

Aileen Lee Forbes Next 1000 judge

As founder ofCowboy Ventures,Aileen Lee knows what to look for in a business idea with potential, to put it mildly. One of the many things I’ve always admired most about her is her desire and willingness to learn from those around her, even those with far less experience than she has in her impressive repertoire. I couldn’t possibly describe it any better than she does, “I am so excited to have a chance to learn from and connect with the diverse group of amazing, brilliant next gen entrepreneurs and problem solvers involved in the program.”

I’ve learned so much from these amazing leaders! Their courage and ability to believe in themselves and their own abilities, while remaining humble and open to inspiration by those above, around, or below them, is something I will always hold close to my heart. I want YOU to go find your own role models, or borrow mine, and really study them. Read what they write, listen to what they say, follow them, support them, emulate them. Get passionate about them and tell me about them in the comments below so I can learn from them too!

Keep checking back here as I continue my round-the-country tour of these wonderful judges and the many things I’m taking away from this experience. For now, one last bit of advice to you my fellow entrepreneurs, or soon-to-be entrepreneurs: be bold, be brave, and believe in yourself. Or asSheryl Sandberg might put it,Lean In!

Want to read more about my initial feelings on being named a social entrepreneur on the Forbes 1000 List? Check out our previous Forbes blog post for a deeper insight.


PS: Let’s connect on LinkedIn! Follow Love Is Project and we’ll follow you back, and connectwith me personally too.  


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