Sometimes there is just that moment when something ignites in you and you know that you have to take a leap of faith. Even though the thought of failing is scary, the thought of not taking flight is even more terrifying. Today’s Boss Babe knew the risk she needed to take to let her career soar and for her, that meant taking a transatlantic journey to embark on a grand new adventure. So we guess that “journey” to the bodega down the street doesn’t really count anymore, does it?
Babba Canales is the type of friend that you know you can confide in while drinking mimosas by the jug. This Swedish-born entrepreneur has been working for Uber since she was around 22, and has not stopped since. After launching Uber in Stockholm as the Community Manager, she decided to go after her love of fashion and travel to NYC to become Uber’s Marketing Manager, where she mostly works with fashion and lifestyle partnerships. To say that she is talented is a huge understatement; she has been creating new content left and right, and has been leading the market one Uber car at a time. Her love for the company clearly shows, and we couldn’t be happier that she is the one that is fueling our Uber obsession.
We got to hang with Babba at her crazy beautiful apartment where we chatted about Uber, her brunch obsession and her adorable dog. Meet your next BFF that you will have on speed dial, Babba Canales.
Favorite restaurant you miss from Sweden?
Secret to flawless bangs?
Fave glasses brand you are currently loving?
A song you could totally get down to:
Hotline Bling with Drake. But actually, any song with Drake.
Fill in the blank: my guilty pleasure is _____.
Once a week I use the Glossier face masks; ‘Mega Greens Galaxy’ followed by ‘Moisturizing Moon Mask’.
A fashion brand you would kill to work with:
Chanel (I would probably kill for a bag, too.)
Dopest place to have brunch in NYC:
You used to live in Stockholm by working as a Community Manager for Uber, and now, you are the Marketing Manager living in NYC. Initially, how did you get started at Uber and did you ever think you would see yourself stateside?
Before joining Uber, I kept circling back to the idea of starting my own company; an agency that would take a data-driven approach to content branding. Right when I had finished all the paperwork, had left my job and was ready to kick things off, Uber emailed me – they were going to launch in Sweden. To me, it was love at first sight when I met the team! It was an opportunity that required huge entrepreneurial efforts, but that was supported by what I think is one of the biggest innovations in the history of travel. Before joining Uber, I had actually never been to the US, but I loved every second of my first visit to the Uber HQ. That’s when I thought to myself: I have to move here at some point!
Congrats on launching “Arriving Now” — Uber’s first ever in-car magazine during Fashion Week! Can you elaborate a little on what the creative process was like and what you are hoping for the future of the magazine?
Thank you! We saw a lot of positive feedback after our first pilot issue during NYFW and are excited to see what’s next to come. Uber is such a fast growing company which literally means sky’s the limit.
You traveled across the sea (literally) to acquire a new position at Uber. Can you tell us any cultural differences you quickly needed to get used to? Any funny moments?
OMG! I’ve had so many “lost in translation” moments. Last week we were getting flu shots at the office, and I was so excited about the fact that a simple shot would prevent you from getting the flu – until I realized the “shot” wasn’t a shot, as in a shot of tequila, but an actual needle shot. (I cancelled my flu shot.)
What is a favorite meal you love to cook at home?
I love pasta. My go-to pasta is spaghetti with mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, onion, truffle oil and loads of parmesan. Yum!
How do you feel fashion is different between here and Sweden?
I love Swedish fashion! That said, New York fashion is more diverse and creative in my opinion, while Swedish fashion is more classic and timeless. The other difference I’ve discovered is the price differences. Sweden has a lot of really cool mid-market designers, such as Filippa K and Rodebjer, not to mention all the fast fashion chains such as COS, & Other Stories and Weekday, while New York fashion is much more high-end. People here also spend much more money on designer items, literally every single girl I’ve met in NYC has at least one expensive designer bag.
We love the idea of Uber kittens! Do you think there would ever be an Uber puppies service?
As a dog person myself, I feel like we have to make that happen. It would probably break the internet. Voff.
Your dog, Little Blue, is so adorable and a little Insta-famous! Can you tell us how you guys met?
She is the b-e-s-t. We were looking for a Boston Terrier to rescue and then one day my boyfriend actually found her on an adoption site and sent me the link while I was on a trip in Tulum. It turned out she was up for adoption because the breeder considered her to be “mismarked” due to her two different colored eyes. How silly?! We fell in love with her and rented a car to go and pick her up in Pennsylvania.
You and Jasmin Yaya founded Bonocle, the world’s biggest independent eyewear blog. What is it about the eyewear industry that you love so much, especially since you created a whole company around?
I’m totally obsessed with glasses and I have a big passion for quality and fit. A good pair of glasses are not just “good-looking”, they’re also comfortable and good on YOU. After working in optical stores for several years, I realized that the true innovators within the eyewear space weren’t the big brands, but the smaller independent designers. It was really upsetting to see the big brands constantly copying the smaller designers and not to mention the fact that only these big franchise brands were represented in magazines. That’s why me and Jasmin decided to do something about it and started Bonocle, a blog dedicated to the world of eyewear.
If you could have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be, where would it be and what would it be?
Oh my, without doubt Beyoncé! We would go to Acme, and then after the drinks, we would go downstairs and shake some booty.
It seems that Uber is almost becoming a lifestyle brand. Do you believe it to be true? And if so, where do you see the future of Uber for yourself?
Yes, we totally are. If we can get you a car in 5 minutes at the tap of a button, in 300+ cities across 64 countries, there is a lot more we can do. For instance, you can now get lunch within 5-10 minutes with UberEATS and merchants can now offer instant deliveries with UberRUSH.
Can you tell us any advice for future boss babes, especially if they are looking to get into marketing?
The best advice I can give is to surround yourself by good people. People who support you, who don’t see you as a competitor, who wants the best for you – and that goes both ways. I truly feel like my friends and family are my biggest source of inspiration and energy booster. They make me want to be the best I can be and in return, I try to be that same supporter to those around me. In addition to the people around you, I would also encourage any young and driven person to be a self-starter. If you see a gap or a problem that needs to be fixed, go and fix it instead of expecting someone else to do it or waiting for permission.
Photography via Vanessa Granda