How Dwyane Wade and PROUDLY win the day with help from Google Workspace
The Google Workspace Team
Google Workspace Newsletter
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When three-time NBA champion and 2023 Basketball of Fame inductee, Dwyane Wade teamed up with his wife, Gabrielle Union, to launch a business dedicated to the unique skin care needs of Black and Brown babies, the couple wanted to make sure that PROUDLY was a community brand, not a celebrity brand. Launched during the pandemic, PROUDLY built deep connections with the community through education, providing access to trusted medical information, and donating thousands of diapers to the Miami Diaper Bank. It also meant building a deep and diverse team of talent, including three Black healthcare professionals — a chemist, a pediatrician, and a dermatologist.
“We wanted our team to reflect our community, but we also wanted to support a remote-first, employee-first culture, which is why we went with Google Workspace,” says Pam Cholankeril, the company’s president. “We wanted to make it easy for everyone to connect and collaborate deeply, regardless of whether they were traveling in Senegal or sitting at a kitchen table in Chicago. In a way, Workspace has helped us create norms for how we work together.”
Those norms include flexible work schedules and using Workspace tools that support wellbeing and work-life balance, like Focus Time in Calendar to mute notifications so employees have time to concentrate on their highest priorities. Meanwhile, a rich breadcrumb trail of collaboration — comments, emojis, assigned tasks, and more — in Docs, Sheets, and Slides keep projects on track across time zones and differing work styles. For real-time problem solving, the team jumps into Chat or brings the conversation into a Meet call. And because the brand works with proprietary information and ingredient lists, it’s important to PROUDLY that every interaction happens on the cloud-first, secure foundation that Google Workspace provides — without slowing down the pace of bringing innovations to market.
Staying productive and connected as a remote-first company has allowed the small but mighty team at PROUDLY to launch their products and garner praise at a national level, including a recent mention in Oprah’s Favorite Things 2023 list and an ongoing partnership with Target. “Getting into Target was a huge moment for us…kids of color suddenly saw themselves represented in the aisles. A lot of parents took photos of their little ones in front of the big end cap that featured Dwyane and Gabrielle with their four-year-old Kaavia. We loved seeing that!”
In preparation for the Target launch, PROUDLY was even able to shift the expectations of the financial community by hosting their investor calls virtually. “Almost every meeting I’ve done with investors has been over Google Meet,” says Pam, “which is a welcome shift from the historical ‘must-be-in-person’ culture of pitching investors.”
As the PROUDLY team looks to expand, they’re thinking about ways they can deepen their impact with Duet AI in Google Workspace (now Gemini in Google Workspace), a generative AI experience that helps people write emails and documents, supercharge project management in Sheets, and build presentations in seconds with custom images in Slides. Google Workspace recently announced that soon Duet AI will even help people catch up on meetings they can’t attend by capturing notes, action items, and video snippets as part of a meeting recap.
Dwyane Wade and the PROUDLY team using Duet AI to brainstorm campaign visuals for a new hair product launch.
Thinking about how Duet AI could supercharge her team’s work at PROUDLY, Pam notes, “It could help everyone get more done and stay connected, but it could also help us get back to the best parts of our days — whether that’s more time to dream up new product launches or spending more time with our families and out in the community.”