Ever wonder if it’s possible to build a flourishing career and global brand, without going to college?
Growing up in San Diego and Tampa, Rebecca Minkoff (http://www.rebeccaminkoff.com/) learned at a young age, if she wanted something, she’d have to work for it, or make it herself. That work ethic led her to begin making her own clothes in her early teens, then designing and creating costumes for theater in high-school.
Desperate to leave Tampa behind as soon as she could, but not feeling college, she headed to New York at 18 years old and began to work in the world of fashion and design, learning everything from design to all aspects of business. She began making her own designs and, working tirelessly, created a single t-shirt that would seed the launch of a business that would grow to produce an iconic line of handbags, apparel, accessories, footwear, jewelry and build a global brand.
And, more recently, she’s headed into entirely new territory with the launch of her own podcast, Superwomen (https://www.rebeccaminkoff.com/pages/superwomen) which celebrates the multidimensionality of women, from CEOs to chefs, entrepreneurs to instructors who shape culture, change the world, and lift each other up along the way.
We talk about all of this and much more in today’s Good Life Project episode.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
So I'm kind of fascinated by people who have decided to opt out of college and then ended up building really substantial companies. Enterprises brands that make giant differences out there. Today's guest, rebecca minkoff is one amazing example. This growing up in san diego and tampa she learned at a real young age if she wanted something, she'd have to work for it or make it herself, and that ethic led her to begin making her own clothes in her early teens and then eventually leaving tampa behind to head straight to new york, where she wasn't feeling college. She actually tried it for a few weeks worth of evening courses and it just wasn't working for her. So she went into the world of fashion and design learning every aspect of the business that she could eventually started, making her own things and working
relentlessly, to find her way, she created a single t, shirt that would eventual
see the launch of a company that will grow and iconic line of handbags, apparel accessories, footwear, jewellery and really building into a global enterprise. More recently
She is actually even heading into an entirely new territory, with the launch of her own podcast superwomen, which celebrates the multi dimensionality women from sea owes to chefs entrepreneurs an alternative.
but who shared culture changed the world and really lift each other up along the way we talk him
all of this, along with miss and truths about founding and building a company, we dive into the choice to opt into or out of secondary education,
and so many other different places. We talking about building a mega brand around a personal name or and a set of values and transparency in the world that we live in today and building something where you're you really adopting and standing behind a larger set of public values as well, really fascinating. I learned a ton from this conversation so excited to share this with you. I'm Jonathan fields- and this is good- life-
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but you have to start from like something and I'm always curious when somebody builds a substantial company that seems to be very passion, driven and deeply connected to something that you love to make or create.
when do you remember the earliest seated at taking it
very clear memory which has condemned the beginning,
origin story of desperately wanting this dress. When I was eight that I saw in a store window,
And my mom was like no, I'm not buying that for you,
but I will buy you a pattern and I will buy you the fabric of your choice and I will teach you how to make it an one would be like, oh that so gray, but as an
you're algae like now. I just want the dress mom, but what happened? Was I've really found? I was selling and then as an awkward teenager, who got bullied
for being too thin, which I should have said yeah you're just jealous. I it really was. You know hard to find clothes that fit me so to have the power to alter my own clothing and fine,
cyber threats stores all trade or make mound. Things was really confidence building and so that's kind of where this seed of being a designer one day began
Were you with your mom, then somebody who is very much.
her crafty here you know she was prior to having kids, which it
I now understand why you would not be able to do anything else once you have children being that I have three myself, but
made her own engagement, I guess post a wedding, dress, slash, engagement, dress
She would make you know she was a hippie, so they made a lot of things. So
I didn't see a lot of that, but I probably absorbed it because, as soon as I can start making things, I did whether it was
poorer candles or my own clothes it was that was also stuff. I love to do that. Also, when you grow up a grip half
in san diego till I was ten and then,
I dad he was a doctor and he needed a sabbatical and he uprooted us to florida, and that was the end of my life. I was miserable and he was like it's just for six months. I need a mental break and then, at six months he sat me down was like we're not going to go back
and then my life was really over all over again aware of laboratory in temper and then at eighteen. I was out, I couldn't get out fast enough.
Right I mean how do you like him? I mean that that's kind of devastating, especially that age.
is your really looking for routes and friendship means everything or act. I had an incredible social circle. You know of girls. I had grown up from my birth tat
ten and I'd sort of projected my future of
Andy. I go in suddenly europe rooted in this place, I'll, never forget
and I was like, but we're going to live on the beach and there's sand at our footsteps, and we got to this place. It was like an interim apartment building until we could move into the house,
as I said, dad where's the sand and he liked picked up in Florida where you live, the dirt is sand, so he picked up the dirt he's like it's sand anyways and it was. It was awful now as a parent. I love it and I think it's a great place to raise kids, but when it happens to you and you have to rebuild your whole network and who
identify with it's prey. It was challenging for me for a long time. Yeah I mean that's. Also interesting. You said your dad was a physician yeah. He still is, but different field now rey cause, that's also the type of career where
lean on shake things up a whole lot serve lake.
You build your practice, he stay where you are, and you basically just keep doing the same thing and in the same place in t it's time to retire to that sentence, some major shake up. Yes, he had a huge
agreement with its partners and then said a six month off and then right
Emily got an offer from the e r doctor and he's never done that before and got into that. And then you should talk to him and then he got into alternative medicines of his
I'm not gonna, rightly and not the norm. The surveys
so I'll turn medicine that sounds like it was pretty early further. Yes, he's been part of lots of experimental staff
there will remain and talked about
better so you're exposed to your mommy exposed to that and how transparent was your dad about what sort of like the shifts and things that were going on when you were a kid versus early you now, knowing isn't double what was really happening. I didn't have an awareness of you know that he wanted a sabbatical because he disagreed with his partners. I just they just said: listen. We want to take a break.
Of two new spot. It's warm there all the time and similar weather and so thou
is my awareness at the time now? Looking back, I can see how having owning a business, how you could have disagreements, you'd kind of want to start fresh. You know. Sometimes I go. Maybe we should just pick up and move to Montana like that sounds wonderful! We're not going to do that, but we talk
it's like having every new yorker has a fantasy of, certainly just the thing, ok and done a moving out where the richest open field,
mountains, our diet for like climate ocean or something like that, how easily the other the other hot topic in the household is. Let's move to greece, my husband,
open, a scooter shop and mass make sandwiches. Guess I'm a really good thing that you have a fall back.
And I totally like, if anything happens here, that's what's happening with them or will be that's pretty awesome. And so, if your dad was a physician- and you said, like you're, you're kind of a surrender by a hippie vibe that
from your mountain. Definitely my mom I mean my parents were not even though my dad worked in a conservative profession and they, I guess weren't conservative in terms of some of the
we were raised. You know we were not taught that we had to aspire to go to college or have a certain career
that's probably where the hippie comes in there like. If you want to go to college cool, if you don't get to work, grades were important, but they weren't the things within the household like being a new yorker
how competitive education field in the city. Yes, oh my pet, my my parents, I guess happiness and sort of relax agnes in those areas made it so that you know we had to do well in school, but it wasn't like to get on a certain track. Two then become a certain professions sounds like apply ourselves, because it's just what you do, but whether to graze, whether she has fought air thing, it was
wicked yeah, so you get turned on to making your own stuff and at a really young age did that take hold like. Did you continue doing that? From that moment power I did and it's kind of a long circular path, but I was also
I'm in love with dance, and so I started dancing and I applied to attend a performing arts high school cool and I applied for three things: creative writing, art and dance and got into all three.
And then decided you know. I really want to be an answer when I grow up. I want to pursue this path and I guess the fortunate or unfortunate devil. Worse prada, like mentality of the dance teachers, they picked their favorite. I was not one of them and in addition to that,
I was too tall and I couldn't partner and I would ruin the symmetry of being in the core. So really had this allotted
I'm a four hours a day, no elective just four hours a day where I could be dancing, I could be in the costume department, and I really
decided. While they don't want me dancing answering them, then
supporting me at all. Let me go the costume department, so
the the teacher really could see that I had a passion and so taught me things that when I moved to new york and enrolled at mit for the six weeks that I was there, I was like. Oh, I've learned this already, so I relief,
got a head start on selling on pattern. Draping did, although school costume so really just found my place, whether it was by choice or not,
yeah I mean it sounds. It sounds like this type of thing where I mean for those four hours a day, this type of thing where you really just got lost in it. Eventually I loved it, it was it was challenging
dressing. The human form might seem easy, but especially when you're designing costumes in it,
so about a theme or a personality or getting into someone's head and showcasing that through their outfits and some stuff for movement. As a dancer, you need to be able to move in your costume, so it was just fun to to learn all these different aspects of
cause to making the. So what makes you wanna go to fight you, then I moved to new york. When I was eighteen, I had a paid internship
being like whatever minimum wage was back and ninety. Ninety nine, not a lot, and my aunt who is conservative, who missed the happy,
she was ten years older than my mom was like you, ve got to go to school or no one succeeds without college
lived here, and she was just this pressure and I was like maybe she's right I'll see.
Alan role and I'll go to night classes and to see if I feel like this makes sense to me.
Came to new york with that it wasn't because
As you are accepted f, I a key, and that was your plan you down to new york. I came to new york being accepted to go work for this designer. Ok, for an internship side also was loan.
See. Everyone at the office that I worked at was thirty ancient people, and I thought that at F I t I might find people my age, and so I went and did night classes for a semester, and I was like get me out of here. I will die, not no offense to anybody who took that path, but I was I just felt like I couldn't breathe and I needed to just start working and just focus
well? Not in learning the skills that I hadn't spent the last four years, learning that so when I mean when it becomes clear that that's not right for you sounds like your. Your parents are probably pretty cool with that, but you're was
and who was like you have to do this. She did she. Could she could only push me so much. I knew I didn't have to listen to listen. I tried it, it's not for me and I'm going to keep working and we'll see what happens. My parents were like whatever you want to do. You know they also weren't just to be transparent, paying for any of this. So.
There. It is like a however you're gonna live and, however, you're gonna pay your bells, whether you now and pay for school or whatever, like that's on you right. So you better
really and she'll be holding a bit even sell it. Just kind of I there's so much. I think, pressure
these days, nearly push kids
to a really well defined gas it at a path, at least
college and these days I think even it's a lot of that extending tell grad school and for some kids just right
for some kids they'll get lot out of it, but the financial equation, especially, is just
the different than it used to be a generation or two ago it's horrifically different. I mean my.
It's been went to u c l a and his entire four years
U c, l a cost. What one year of us sending our child to private school in new york city costs. You know. So when you look at that you're just like something's wrong here, but I will tell you my son, who's seven will be like when I go to college and I'm like ok buddy, let's
a throwback juvenile colleges and no you're actually not allowed to go to college. Unless you want to be a doctor or a lawyer,
or you're gonna, like enroll, in a music institute and you're going to like learn your craft as like. There's no just going to college for you, so I think it and passing it on. That's all I'll, say yeah.
You have to prove that better. So I go with reasons he go to college round. Yet that's an interesting approach we didn't hit. That was
and there I mean It- is such an interesting cray. It's just a very different exploration right now, but I dont think many people are exploring it differently in the way that you
think about it and clearly that's gotta be largely because you took a different path and its its work for you,
I think it has a mean everyone's gonna have a different path is not one proscribed away, but I feel, like I have a lot of friends that didn't know what they wanted to do in college. Was this the delay for them? So I just didn't want my kid to feel that pressure I'd. Rather, he like take off for a year and go travelin law
and by being in different cultures and immersed in different things and just see what happens there, a pretty much of it
so you find yourself, then in new york, you're
opting out of college stole
broken the day job in the environment, with the ancient people in their early thirties, maritime gas, so free internet with the job,
that I had. I was an intern for six months, and then I asked if they would hire me and they did, and I was on the design team. There was only so much work you could do in a day
and then you were done and there was nothing else you could do. What kind of company was over this may he was making high end men shirts for women, so he had the type of client base that didn't think twice about spending five tat.
five hundred to thousand dollars on a really well crafted shirt and he had avid collectors of tee. Shirts comes a woman in texas, had you know a dry cleaning rack in her house to house all her collection of his stuff, so he only had a
size of his collection phenomena, materials and then, when you were done, I was literally twiddling my thumbs and so
well, the ceo got savvy and sort of had me help other areas out of the company and and then, if I finished my work early, then she's like work on something for yourself
which I think is really rare. And so that's when I started.
in a look at. Should I launch something, and should I make you know, do what I'm good at, and so I began to design a small five piece collection of apparel, and
and was beginning to work on that during my day job. If I've got all my work done,
I mean in your mind as are
designing this for them, like its can be part of what their lunching ory like now. This is this is the first step of my serve lake next thing on my own, I dont think then I at the time had
confidence that I could pursue it as my own, and I deaf, I knew it wasn't the right aesthetic for who I was working for, but I just knew that I had this feeling inside me. That was like. I have to get these ideas Adam. I have to get this clothing made and I was obsessed with it, and so it would eventually become my own company, but at the time I just had a creatively that was my output, and so the ironic thing is every time I put one of those items on I
didn't feel like I could wear it so, as for someone else always spending time hello, we actually there. I was there for three years ago what we're
I mean what did you learn? I mean clearly, you learned it wasn't for you eventually and that you need is due out on your own, and but I mean it's. It's interesting
is effectively three years at that age to cultivate. This is your college, education, cracked, yeah and the eeo literally put me in a task in every department. I got a great exposure to pr and how that works, and I got a great exposure to shipping and sales and client relations
reception. She really had me head all aspects of it, which timmy is more valuable than what you know. Some people come away without a school
I was really in real life dealing with real things in a living breathing business there. So the these sort of push to start my own company, it was not planned, am I had just come back from the caribbean
I went to an arts convention and I really love down the caribbean. They were cutting up shirts and putting beads on them, but I didn't want to come home with, like Aruba on assured
So I did, and I love new york shirt and I cut it up and I was wearing at my sister in law's
she went to one I made her one and then she is
nor were there well known actress at the time was like I want one, so I sent it to her on september. Ninth, two thousand one. Obviously, nine eleven happened
and she wore my shirt on angeleno like the twelve or thirteen, and he commented on the shirt she said, my name and again pre social media. The magazines went why
with it. They just started putting it in the magazine like us, weekly and lucky magazine in any any print and that mattered and they talked about it. So much that suddenly that's what I was doing for nine months straight was all I did so. The ceo can see that I was busy she's like you're, fired go. Do it now's your time, which was really scary cause? It's not like? I was making money on the shirts. I was barely able to pay rent, but it got a. I had momentum
yeah, but also this was a time where were in new york. City postnatal live unlike within the year. Did you say
was decimated? I mean in the city and a lot of business, anything that would be considered in any way shape or form
You know discretionary spending was kind of christ. In
Advertising marking space was crushed so to start that here. At that time there was a light for you, so I didn't. I probably would not be here if the sequence of events didn't happen, because people were like cool you over five,
his clothing collection, that is not related to the t, shirt yeah, maybe I'll, buy a piece or two and put it in my store and pay you a check when it sells, but that t shirt being on her
and then her saying my name and then what for?
what is the meaning behind that shirt is really what allowed me to come back and call boutiques or stores and say I don't just have a t shirt. I have a clothing line.
I think that the name suddenly had currency and I can use it to get in the door, but that might not have ever happened had you know I not
I met her at the towers, not fallen. I'm not grateful or happy that that happened, but it was just some things that you're not in control of this notice, at a series of circumstances that changes the course and so from those relationships of being able to pick up the phone and saying you saw this in this magazine. You know here's the rest of the collection. I was able to build up a small but good base of boutiques in a small clothing business that I did for about four years before launch
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he and I have a similar overlap so
I started business near to assign the least fer a securities for a floor in a building in healthcare in the day.
Four nine eleven plough and two months later ended up on the front page of the new york times job section feet.
and but that the article was about businesses that had
inadvertently benefited from,
nine eleven and there.
It's really weird cause you're like oh, my god on the front page of the times, it's a surrogate and at the same time you're like
I didn't do this because I knew I was coming. I wanted to benefit. There was no opportunistic intend here, but but I can't deny the fact that also I had accompany them
because it served a need that was amplified after this horrific or of experience it did benefit. There was
very strange feeling for me. It's a very strange feeling, I think the only
that made me feel not strange was one hundred percent of the profits at the time. From that shirt went to charity sigh, you know I paid my rent believe
I was not living. I was living in a room this I said I had a bad,
his last name by the way. This is not a big and small studio, I might my room might have been smaller. I was like on a bad. I couldn't afford a frame, so I slept an egg egg crates and then the mattress over at my closet was in the back little corner of a kitchen, so I'd pay my rent and I would like eat ramen and make the shirts
everything else went to charity. I think that that help me me like, in light of these horrific events, on contributing to something that hopefully helps people, even though I am sure I am benefiting from the what
happened there. Do you re spiritual person? Yeah, do you
think or feel that the decision that you made to sort of like directly redirect the benefit from that to some greater good?
in any way shape or form was there was a party karma- was some kind of like a benefit in some way
hold on to the idea that if you are contributing to anything charity ball or something that helps others or whether it be people the environment, animals I feel like. I have to know that at some point you get taking care of carmelites. I you know I have to hold onto that cause. I have continued this pattern of charitable giving throughout my career, but I do have hopes lake
It pays it forward yeah. I think you kind of have to do it that way, because if it's because, especially in the time since then, and now, really the last decade decade and a half or two decades and it's kind of become vogue,
to have some bigger connected purpose or can contribution for, while with green. Now it's all sorts of other things, and I
I've seen a number of companies are really do this. As I say, we need, like a marketing bump type, a thing verses now this is
like this is an extension of my beliefs of the way there,
think I want operate personally the there. So I'm going to build a company that just carries a forward totally, I think there's a ton of companies
who again sit as a marketing opportunity in I was talking about
someone today. You have to come from a really authentic place and everyone can have a different thing that they want to pay for it, but it has to be truly authentic to the human or to the brand that it makes sense that you're, not you know, of a company full of men taking on a female empowerment, meant initiative unless you're gonna change the company and make a fifty. Fifty in you know, do all these things.
Is that really speak to what you're doing yeah? No, I completely agree, and so you find yourself, sir you're living in a tiny place, making sure to.
ass you possibly can and that, like the events, as rarely happen, allow
partly that into bigger and bigger stuff. You said it was about four
here's. Your growing things would have been around for years. Is that changed? Ah two things. I began to see that what I was doing with
a little clothing company and then being stylists. Actually pay: the bills was not gonna, there was
and a momentum other than myself propelling it and and that same actress, her name's, Jen, elfman she's on fear the walking dead now, but she was on dharma and greg
I I met her in l a and she said. Do you make handbags? I said, of course I do. I was lying through my teeth and she goes great because I have a role in a new movie. That's going to be coming out and you know the bags and all the scenes and it'd be great exposure for you and perhaps get you know, help take your brand to the next level and I was like on it. She said you have two weeks, that's when we start filming. So I came back
york and I started asking around like: where do you make bags and and my leather vendor who I would make leather jackets with gave me a couple of resources? I went to these factories and a gentleman who ended up working with for many years and we still make some production with him today. I came out and said
This is the brands I make for, and I said no way, you're lying. You must be a knock off brand and or maker, and he took me in the back. He proved to me that he did make these local designers that I had looked up to.
I admired their business before then. You had no idea that they weren't independently producing their own stuff. I just assumed that some of the brands that I had admired were either not made in new york. I thought maybe they were made in China or how would I be so lucky to stumble on this hot handbag company her factory, so I made two samples one for her one. For me, my sample was going to be for pr purposes
it's. The movie aired fedex did not deliver on time and they were late to our sat in the film production had to move on. They used a different bag. It's okay! The phone went to dvd, so nothing was lost, but at the time it was devastating. It was sixteen hundred dollars to make those two samples. It was my last of my savings.
It saved through bat, mitzvah and babysitting, and all that stuff. Truly, this is going to be the thing that really just blows everything wide open and then the whole thing falls apart because of a shipping till it has a fedex who do I love you fedex down now I'm a big fat ex user, but back then they'd miss delivered my package, and so I said to myself. This is now. I have now purchased my first designer bag. Congratulations now
I just like to spend eight hundred dollars on a handbag and I was wearing it around and I had enough people stop me on the street and literally come up to me and say who makes that bag. I love it. I want it that I began to think that maybe there was something about this style and how the market was back in two thousand and five
so daily candy was just getting started. It was you remember that was like everything back then dear, so a friend of mine was
I know the writer for daily candy she's going to write a story about it and all carry the bag. In my boutique I was like great, so we were brainstorming about names. What should this bag be called and back? Then? There were bags that were the name of boys or streets, and I said you know what
six. I would really loved had the experience that I go out all night and of sleeping at a guy's house, and I have to go to work the next day.
So maybe we should call it the morning after bag. She thought it was a great idea and it was really catchy for the daily candy story. So the title of the story was the catwalk of shame and daily candy wrote about it and it sold out that morning that it went up and the boutique sold all the bags company that they had.
twenty prey, such as a boom done gone and then they came back said we want to fill in order for seventy five, and at that point I was like I dunno how I'm gonna pay for this. Like I have no money now I really have no money left and I called my dad and I was like alright,
you're a loser daughter who is almost homeless many and many of them.
To the year. Finally, I have like some success. We allow me some money like no call your brother.
maybe he'll loan you some money, and so my brother, I called him up. He had a software company, he was living in florida still with his family and he just was I
I'll loan, you, you know how much is the production alone, you the exact amount, and then I want to check for that back, and so we did that for many months. He below me just the exact you need to do the deposit, I'd collect the funds, pay him
and then two is like your factor for like the earlier there, and then he began to see that the heat and the growth rate was at a level that he was like. Oh, this, I think, is real. That's when we formalized a business arrangement, he started coming up once a week and then twice a week and then four days a week and then commuting back and forth and marked his house. You know maxed out his credit cards because we couldn't get a loan and really
bought a business savvy to the side of the the company that I definitely didn't enough. So then you, you guys end up in business together as partners at that point, correct that I mean, but if he lives in
in florida any as a family there. Also at that time. Yes, sir,
a son and then he had another son and when his second son turned three, he realized that he'd missed huge chunk of his sons, life and so that's when he talked his wife into moving appear. So basically everybody comes up here.
when he comes up here, I'm always fascinated to when you have something like where there's a catalyst that comes at an hour. You know where I met just if, if you think about
planning, verses. Serendipity. I mean there is what happened:
after nine level, with the teacher that's one moment, there was the fact that you get this call
Jen alf man, hey. I need a bag in the scheme.
That is a goal. The moment that vanishes
then you have this other uppity yeah, there's out of the blue daily candy you
when you have this bag, because you had to make it for an opportune that didn't work out. So you ve got is ready to go and that
becomes the same, which kind of just like blows everything out from that pay forward. Now
significant company, where there's a lot
the planning process and systems that have to happen we'll talk a bit more about that, but when you, when you think about all these moments, that you couldn't have seen beforehand,
and the rule serendipity a fortune lock whenever you want were gonna use, please enter the process of growing something.
what do you think about about that being opened?
and those things just happening, verses being really intention on deliberate about the process. I think that there is a mixture of opportunity presenting itself
but you have to know when to seize it, and you have to know what to do with that opportunity, and I think that I dont necessarily believe it's luck. I believe you know you have sharks right and they use this invisible sort of radar right because they can't see very well so sound.
And senses on their site on their outer layer. Always sensing like what's happening, and so I feel like if you can get good at developing that sense of like opportunities,
or was happening or how and always being on the look out. Then it's when use
that window. That you're, like ok, good, I'm on it and you can attack not in a bad way like a shark attack,
I saw even remember when you know a friend of mine worked at the new york posed and would take me to events in power
he's in. For me, I would come home and count business cards as if I was counting dollar bills. Will I couldn't I meet? Who can help me to the next step and really
seizing these opportunities and have also had always a stable idea that if I continue to outflow what I'm doing were messaging or whatever, I will get something back like the world works in that way, that
constantly promoting or talking about something or emailing or sending a cattle
whatever it is that you are putting out there, you will get involved and it's a mathematical equation. That's probably different for every company, but there is a point at which you are out bound. Communication will get in bond back
There said he ass, lightning, sometimes strikes, but also you ve had a consulate
yeah they're running around with a thousand different lightning rod to catch it when it does correct. Definitely
clearly are also somebody who's wired to work relentlessly hard without a real you're somebody's comfortable taking action,
and making decisions when the stakes are high and you really don't know how to an end. Yes, because I come from has a good question,
I know from early on our mom made us work for everything we wanted. So if you were to say to us
and we were eight or nine like. Can you be successful as a doctor and my mom was a nurse I would say, don't go into that profession as we were poor our whole life, and if I got the idea that we,
poor, because everything I ever wanted. The answer was no or you have to work for it, and so what it instills in me was a work ethic having to figure stuff out and again, not stuff that you think you should be doing at the age
I had to do it, but that's what it wasn't my family and so
for me now the idea of figuring out how to do something or approaching a problem I might like. I can figure this out, because I've had to do that. My whole life, so it's definitely from my mom and I think that it's like a muscle as you do it you get better at it. You can more comfortable some other risks we take today. I definitely would have been not comfortable doing years ago, but I think we've now seen these risks that we've taken us company pay off and I think sometimes just pointing out someone else pointing it out like when we decided as a company to change our whole.
When we delivered when we showed our fashion shows, you know we were nervous. We were going to do something that was against what everyone else in the industry was doing and he said. Can I just take you guys back through all these different steps and every everytime you guys did something that was a risk or was not off the off the main path you won. So why be so scared about what you're about to do and once he said that, and he gave us enough examples of that. I was like. Oh just honing
The parachute like lashes, keep jumping, and if we fail guess what it's ok, you know you can be like. We try something it didn't work, but most of the time it pays off yeah. I think that's the thing that most people really struggle to culture comfortable with though they do, and it takes
How to get comfortable there, but I think the beautiful thing about failing is you always learn something I don't know if I came up with this, or maybe I absorbed it from some some one, but like the cycle of
growing, failing learning, growing, failing learning, because when you fail there so many lessons
I bet you just do it smarter the next time around so- and I agree with that completely and
to me at least it's a lot easier to where those glasses.
when you're in early teens in your early twenties before you start to build a life,
lifestyle around your ability to succeed more than you fail.
So as you get older married, you become a mom
there's a lot more on the line and- and you are a primary contributor to the household when you see
to make decisions like that, and thinking about me anything I so many friends at I've had that had been founders, whether their parents or not,
You start to say: ok, a move.
into windows my life where I feel like. I don't want to go back to that place again, right roused living intimately, and
ok going there anymore and I've got people looking to me
to provide some sense of even if its enemies,
security, my arm, how do you keep making those decisions
when you're sort of life circumstance like that changes, so I dont think we ve ever met
The decision that head in one split second make the company go out of business. I think the decisions are around innovation. It's about trying new things. It's about changing certain business models that no matter what we'd be safe, but I will
be fully transparent and say you know. Two years ago we were looking at a situation with a few suppliers.
in their deliveries on time and the chain reaction that would occur within the company of we can't ship our goods and we can't pay our bills, and I really sat there for a long time saying: okay, if this happens and you can't pay your bills and you get shut down, you suddenly go out of business, and what does that look like for me? How? How do I feel- and I really just sat in it in that- I guess visualization- of what could happen-
I said, while the bank can't take my husband- and he can't take my children- and I know that after years of building a business, I could come back and build something else or something similar, and god forbid. If I couldn't do that, guess what I'll just go work for my dad, it hell or I'll go start a new life somewhere else, and so I think that one say reassessed where my fears,
we're and it's my family. Like anything, I see with my family being taken away and then I don't mind failing because, as long as I have that intact
and we can live in a man and I'd be good. I feel
Also, the more you go through the cycle of taking those risks sometimes exceeded
sometimes failing and seeing yourself come back time after time when it doesn't work, the more confident that you get that yeah, you can take a ahead
How can it be fun and they really supper- allow maybe really painful, but you are
have whatever you know you have whatever you need to have to come back to a place. That's ok, yeah and I and I think that if you build up a network of enough people that trust you that even when times are tough, if you have a really good relationship and people care about you will you know we that exceptions made for us in the past of like this experiment? Didn't work,
or you guys were stupid, and this made me this mistake, but we're still going to ship you or we're still going to be on board, because we believe in what you're doing so. I think it's also you know nice to have meaningful relationships with those who you do business with in that respect. So that when you do take those risks, if it doesn't go as planned, you have a support circle.
yeah and you bring up something which I think is so important, also, which is the impasse
so relationships and integrity and genuine lasting relationships?
for a moment I back as yours.
nobody there. I that's built anything substantial that has not gone through these like neo, troughs of sorrow and
and freak out moments sometimes caused by our own sort of like misstep. Sometimes the market like changes, profoundly something happens, and it is relationships with people that have been built up with trust over a period of years. Where somebody else takes a flyer on you and says: will sustain you when it comes to getting fit. We all start off with the best in
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doug till night story nobody's gonna list of books, hurried only on site.
I didn't, but it was same thing was like from the outside. Looking in nike, is growing into this massive massive company, but like at any given morning for the first
fifteen years or so he never knew whether he was going to walk in and the company is going to declare bankruptcy that day or they were going to declare like a massive massive win and yeah, and I think
people realize from there
I'm looking at you can see like accompany. It seems to be flying high in a giant brand and you're all
he's taking new risks? Always I mean
and tell you: how are the experiences to have you know if I'm travelling for work or a trunk shower appearance? Evans, I oh my god. It's amazing
and unlike smiling and unlike they have no idea,
they shit that is going on right now, and I can't talk about it. You know and unsafe this egg, I think, there's a term for now impostor syndrome and then you start
opening up which not a lot of people do and they shed in everyone's like this is happening in my company, and this is happening in my ear.
thank god, I thought I was alone in the struggles and the you don't know if you're gonna, walk in someone's gonna have taken your company from you, but we we ve been through that and there a real, a real zillions that comes from expiring.
now there are now so agree. So is your billing, this with your brother to that as a whole, nother dynamic,
you know, on the one hand, you've got this beautiful trust me the other hand, it's complicated, it's complicated, we're very open in the fact
that we don't always get along. We see a couples therapist once a year, sometimes twice to air out our frustrations and anger in whatever, and I think that we have very different roles but as the company has grown weave overlapped in a lot of ways with each other's traditional role, so I think that makes for a great ideas, but also no disagreeing on on one subject that before we know, that was right.
in his lane. So I think we're just constantly working on it and I think we always put the business first so, whether or not or fighting we are professional. We make the right business decisions and we don't let if we are
into a disagreement, were really extraordinary at our team, doesn't know and then at family gatherings. No one is impacted by it. So I think that I've seen other family businesses and why,
side suffers like the family, you know all getting together, they can sense the tension or at the corporate side, like you
I like all those matters on getting long, but I think we ve been good alike. We envisage
we'll work it out when we see our therapist hand until then, let's just keep going this as it is illegal
compartmentalizing, sir. I think it's really are.
Yes, there's a man is going on, but only this one place at this one, this revolutionary get it we might not be when everyone out of their own did they go on for a fairly is also an that's funny emit
so brings up the idea of near you. You use the phrase, your lands and
some people really reao against ideas like here. You gotta, let stay in it. This is the thing you're good at just focus on that, and only that, so I think
at a long time ago you could have a lane and you could stay in it. I don't think that now in at least in my field, you can just be a designer. You have to be a smart business person. You have to be good at content. You have to be good at
ten men, and I think that, similarly, for my rather who's, the ceo he's had to get really smart on what designs, work and one dozen and the customer and technology base initiatives. And so I think that there isn't one lane and that we both had to grow in terms of our skill set, so that we can continue to be as competitive as you have to be too.
Staying in business in this in this landscape that I definitely think you need to. Everybody needs to broaden out to certainly, but that also brings up another thing. I'm really curious about with you, which is that you basically built an enterprise around your name around you as an individual,
Which means people look at you, they look at the way you
they left the choices that you're making a personal life and what you wear, what you choose not to wear where you go,
how you are as a person, and especially these days,
Were now you know, with social media, everybody's got a voice. How do you know how to get that? So I think if you were to go back, it was always coming from a personal place. It was I like this. I dont like that
and, as you decide to grow or as we decided to grow a big company can just be about, I it has to be. What is my customer need in her life that I can give her a through. My aesthetic lens may not be something that I want aware right, but its through my design, aesthetic and then on the social side. We ve gone back and forth from me, sharing too much to me, sharing too little. I think right now
the right size. What is the appropriate amana sharing? You know, you know an example of what save me and the brother not agreeing, as I think I should share everything and he's I let save the reality shows for and how their enterprise. So I think there were experimenting right now on social about you know what is what part of the life is exposed and what's not an that's on to say that everything that we show is like perfectly created, but it's also like they don't need to see the deep deep like
Who knows the real, the realist, realist parts of my life, maybe could just be enough for another time right. It's
fishing, though, because a lot of people are really completely going there, or at least it feels like that, you know back in the early days of blogging, I I used to call it train wreck blogging, where it's like
This is the fall catastrophe of every single thing. That's going on in my life, my marriage, my relationships, my health, everything and when people
put it out there- and this was in the early days of blogging, where there was really only one channel, so aromas was,
but even then there be me
ass. If massive response now, when you put it
they put out. There are five different platforms and its nail it it's exponentially amplified, which can which
it's so hard, I think, to really understand. On the one hand, you want to be real and transparent on
their hand. There's a certain part of your life that you really want over tat, especially, is apparent,
right. You know, even though it may be affecting you in a really deep way, maybe
setting the decisions are making in life and business, but there
a line in the sand that I think, at least for me. I have a very conservative line in the sand. I dont care much yeah, but at the same time I see people who share everything and they seem to benefit from.
and I just personally I I just don't feel comfortable going there yeah. I think
fall somewhere in the middle, because if you were to ask me five years ago, I would have shared everything
as this world is turning into more and more a master place. I am happy that I have not shared like you know so much about my children or
you know certain things that undertaking. I am happy that that's private, because there's crazy people out there doing crazy, crazy things, and I just don't need everyone to
No, I my kids look like or where we live or where they go to school, or you know like that. She's certain things, privacy, why's- that I now I'm really
api that have just sort of setting up. This is the lifestyle these you know exciting moment.
Here are some the laws here is me,
always being real with you but like there's just again, like you say, like a part of my life that I'm not going to overshare on any more debt,
it's about being being re,
But not you don't get the whole thing like what you get is real
but it's doesn't represent the entire picture of every aspect of her eyes, but it also brings
the question which is you said: we live in a messed up, world
in a lotta ways are astonishingly good and awesome things happening in the world right now, and also a lot of struggle and a lot of strife and a lot of people and taking
very strong, contrary positions and digging in positions that I think a lot of people
business, who are both individually doesnt, have strong personal opinions and also represented are the
we serve and make decisions on behalf of a significant brand are really struggling with. How do I dance with us? How do we dance with personal conviction and what the voice of my
and my company is and how how much? If at all those two overlap, do you is that part of sort of like your your current thought process? I think that for me, it's all
is an it's obviously gotten more and more precise. As always,
then about female equality ass being equal, whether it is in pay or on board seats or rights that we should have access to. So I've never wavered from that, and I think that obviously there is a microscope on that now, but it was always something that I've been behind and sort of talked about and been a part of. I think, each again. Each person has to really take a look:
and for themselves. What is true and that's my lane? I can't take on everybody's issues. You know I have to really go on the ones that matter to me most, which is like women, equality and obviously hoping to provide a better future for our children,
So anything within that lane? I'm all in what I like to see. Other things change? Yes, what I would I love us to not have global warming. I would totally, but I feel like you- can only focus your efforts and you know twenty,
our period and so like. Let me be the most effective in that area that I can be there
Do you ever do you think about whether the company boys will take us like a strong?
where position on those things too, is that it does it. I mean, if you look through the past, whether it was quote or teachers that give back to charity or.
The launch of our latest campaign, which is called, I am many which is really celebrating the many different parts of a woman as well
and we ve been marketed to to be one thing: be brave, beautiful, be bold and so were now celebrating all the different complexities that make up a woman, I think you see there are messaging- has been really strong in that stance and only getting stronger there so sitting here today to me
What, if, when you wake up in the morning, and you think about okay, this is what I'm dead. This is what I've created like if you just kind of like look at where you are, and.
do you ever take a look and say five years out,
This is what I would like to see happen, and if so, what does it look like? So this is something I struggle with and I dont know
That's because my brother and I say that were neurotic jews or this is
sickness that entrepreneurs right but
got married, my head and who also maybe the comedy lighter bernard, I mean you're, exaggerating,
with every gas every morning
got that I'm like. We are such failures, you know, and-
you can then make yourself sicker and pull up your instagram feed and see everyone who you think is doing it better. So I will say that, and so in five years I want to not feel that way,
and I don't I don't. I now know that as an entrepreneur. I feel that every time I've set a goal of like if I just get to this place, then I'll be feeling the things that are the opposite of what I'm saying you know I'll be able to feel like yes, hi. I got to the mountaintop and I'm so satisfied and then
If I've hit that goal like a man now I really want axe or whatever. So I think that in five years I would just love to not have that feeling. I would love to just wake up and be like I'm really proud of myself proud of my brother, I'm proud of what we built damn. We did a good job and like it feels
It's like we've hit that whatever that mountaintop is. I have a feeling knowing me, it won't feel that way: hmm yeah, it's the perpetual discontent of the creator, correct and, and that's why, for me now
it's more important than ever that I thoroughly enjoy every part of this journey because I think it's more about that
and the people you mean and there the experiences you
to have and lake. Oh, when I get that Portugal,
at the end of the rainbow, then that's going to feel like all this work was worth it. I think it's really more about like there's. No there there there's. No there there FIA doesn't exist. I mean that's a
it's funny cause. I have such a similar experience, system or question and I'm always like okay. So what would I need to do to feel that way? Now, pract, you know it's what practices would I engage with? What retreat will I take? How would I read construct my day or my life may interactions so that it like if this was at right, I'm good yeah. I said to my husband, I said you know it let's, there might not be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow and that's fine,
We live our life like that, doesn't exist and what are the things that we get to enjoy and I'm not saying we don't enjoy it. We have a great life but like let's really thoroughly
enjoy all that it has to offer not thinking that, oh in five years we are gonna get to live in greece with our scooter, intend which up, which still says for the gift to act with a solid fall back
It feels a good place for us to come full circle to says we're hanging out here and good life project. If I offer up the phrase to live a good life, what comes up for you to live a good life, don't take it seriously and find someone that makes you laugh. Thank you. Thank you.
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Transcript generated on 2023-06-27.