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America’s most exciting on-demand home decor brand The Inside, with Founder Christiane Lemieux

Today I’m joined by serial entrepreneur Christiane Lumieux.

She sold her first company to Wayfair in 2013, going onto being their Creative Director and now owns The Inside, a home decor tech company that creates stunning, customised furniture at an affordable price - all for the modern consumer.

Christiane shares her journey of selling her first bootstrapped company, through to launching a VC backed startup and her new book Frictionless - which has just been released - where she’s sharing all of her learnings and lessons along the way, among interviews with the most successful founders from around the world. We also talk about where we should be focusing our marketing efforts right now, and how the global pandemic has shifted our mindsets in business and our personal lives.

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

Let's jump into this episode. Female Startup Podcast, let's get started. Then I'm so excited to dig into your origin story of The Inside and also even going back to dwell studio wherever you want to start is where we want to start from. Well and you know what the interesting thing is that it weaves in and out with the U. K. And like lots of really beautiful ways. So I am what the tech community calls a creative. Um and sometimes that's good and sometimes it's not. Um and I think that what's interesting is that I run a technology company but I do not fit the standard rolled. And I think it's because my story starts before my tech company. So when I was in, I am Canadian and I came to new york to go to Parsons School of design and I think, I don't know if entrepreneurship is in your D.

00:03:47Edit N. A. And I look at my kids who are constantly starting side businesses. Um so I think that there's something there, I think it has to do with how we're structurally put together and our risk tolerance. So the higher your tolerance to risk, I think the more likely you are to venture down this road because it's sort of an all or nothing thing. So I went to Parsons school of design. Um I graduated in 1999 and I walked out the door and started my company Which was 12 studio and you know, I had taken any business classes, I hadn't done any of that, but I just sort of figured it out along the way because it was self financed. I got into a situation where I could grow it organically so and I can I can talk about the nuance difference between having investors which I do on the inside and not having investors which I have in a whole bunch of side projects companies that I have in addition to dwell studio. So I was able to do it organically. There wasn't the sort of scaling necessary to make your investor base happy.

00:04:48Edit So I organically grew it over 13 years. I had a couple of very serious sort of inflection moments. One of them being when we took all of the kind of mid century designs we had and made them small for baby and kids. And that really catapulted our business. I think the next inflection point was what I got a call from Target which is a very large U. S. Retailer. Um and they asked us to come in as as collaborating partners. So we were in Target between 2007 and 2011. And I would say that again there are a couple of these moments in my sort of entrepreneurial history where I got to work with the best people in, you know in that in that case mass retail right? So they taught me so much about sourcing and infrastructure and you know how they siloed their business and what the different operating tactics were. And so I just sat and also they were excellent you know world class marketers. So I just sat and listened over those That couple of years and then uh we we wanted to sort of pivot and go up market.

00:05:54Edit So we left targeting 11, opened our first retail store in New York City pursued a licensing model that was really beautiful, high end allowed us not to carry inventory, you know wholesale effectively. And then I sold the business to Wayfair which is the largest us home furnishings e commerce company in august of 2000 and 13. And then I went on to their executive committee and you know to say that I was surrounded by first of all the sort of best engineers, one of the most thoughtful tech ceos in the country. And I was immersed into this completely new business model is an understatement and again just like target at Wayfair, I just sat there and I absorbed everything I could spoke to the engineers, you know, worked with the search team like did things that were sort of outside my wheelhouse but became very much my wheelhouse. Um it was incredible and there was a thoughtful reason why I sold it to Wayfair is that I had about 2012 got to the entrepreneurial fork in the road where for the first time the dwell studio business, if I really wanted to grow, I was going to have to raise money and so I took a long, long look at the business model I built right and so it was our store was great, we were dropping catalogs, it was direct mail, you know, we were doing all of the sort of e commerce one point oh at that point, you know 2000 and 13.

00:07:16Edit It really was one point oh there wasn't advertising on facebook at that point, there wasn't advertising on instagram at that point, instagram was only like two years old. And I, you know I was looking at the sort of future of everything and then where I was and I realized that the business that I built, the business model that I built was something of the past. And so instead of raising money and building something of the past, I hired investment bank to sell the business to somebody who was working on something of the future was really my thought process. And so I you know met all of the sort of usual suspects in the U. S. Home furnishings sort of emilio. And when I walked into boston I realized these guys were so far ahead of the game. It was it was like being in two different plants, you know, one of the other really large retail companies told me home furnishings company, you know that the retail, the retail end of it told me it would take them two years to merge our e commerce platform onto. There's been two years with Wayfair.

00:08:20Edit We were able to do it in eight weeks and go live the day the the uh the sale was announced, wow Yeah it was two totally different things and so I learned, you know I learned home versions, e commerce and while I was there I kept thinking myself, oh my God, am I crazy enough to do this again? You know, am I crazy enough to start a business again? And so I challenged myself, I said, okay, learn everything you can and if you can figure out how to do what Wayfair is doing beautifully, which is e commerce frictionless, no inventory, large selection, right? If you can do that, drop ship, largely drop ship like logistics that got figured out, if you can take all of the best of what they've done and then figure out how to merge it essentially with all of the best of what you built at at 12 studio, which is designed um you know, custom exclusive. So you know, one of wayfarers underlying problems is they because they don't hold inventory. Um you know, amazon and Wayfair share a lot of the same sk use the same units on their site.

00:09:27Edit So then it becomes, you know, then it becomes like how do you build a moat around your business? I mean how does anybody really, that's going to be the existential question for anybody who does anything in retail ever, It's like where do you fit in the amazon puzzle? Right. Yeah. So I think what Wayfair did beautifully was they understood that it's complex in terms of logistics and so they got enough market share that, amazon can't take their business anymore. Um but I really wanted to think about what, how do I build a moat around my business against amazon and then how did how do I do the things that I'm good at. And so I challenged myself to do that and it had everything to do with supply chain, new three D. Modeling technology and then digital printing. And so I immersed myself into that. I left wafer in 2000 and 16. I built the supply chain and then I got my first investor which I never I didn't even go looking for. A friend of mine was like you have to meet this unbelievable woman named Kirsten Green and Kirsten Green, she's probably the best U.

00:10:29Edit S. Consumer investor. She runs a company called forerunner. Um And so I met with Kirsten and she said we're gonna do this, I'm gonna write you a pre seed check. I was like, I don't even know what that is, but I'll google it. Um figure that out, and then the rest is sort of is history from there. Oh my gosh! I mean this is a lot, this is a lot taken into five minutes here. It's a lot to process. Yeah. And so when you're at Wayfair and you were like okay I'm going to like start this new business and you hadn't yet thought about you're going to raise investment, but have you thought yeah I'm going to go out and look for a business partner or like what was the kind of because it is a lot. I had the benefit of having done this before. Right? So it's pattern recognition. It's understanding like the underlying structure like all of those things were first hand knowledge I had right? So I knew how to set up an LLC, I knew how to you know sort of copyright whatever thought process I had like all of those structural things. I you know I had a corporate lawyer like hell all that stuff.

00:11:33Edit So um and I understood but you know when you're thinking about a business like the first thing you need to do is make sure you can get the U. R. L. With dot com like it means a lot. So whatever your name is like the first thing you have to do is think about your name and then see if you can find it on you know go daddy or wherever you're gonna get your your l it's as simple as that. And so the inside it seems like something that wouldn't have been available. I bought it. I had to pay $16,000 for the US. I mean some of the ones we were looking at what people want to. Yeah. That's pretty good actually. Yeah. No because some of them were like 250 K. I was like I'm not paying 250 K. For you are all like I would have to in order to do that. I would have to have a really substantial existing business that could support that. You know the purchase of the dot com right? It made no sense for us. So I also, you know, I also know that everything is negotiable, right? Every entrepreneur should know that. So like I got on the phone with go daddy, I was like, I'm not, you know, I think they started at like 45, I'm like I'm not paying that, I'm like, I'm interested but here's what I'm gonna pay you. Like I tried for 15 and we ended up at 16 so oh my God, hey.

00:12:38Edit Yeah, that's where you have to start, right? You have to start with your you really have to start with your name and it didn't used to be that way in business but it really is now because it almost, you know if you start, if you start to understand trademark law, especially the the eu right? If you go to market first with a name, you are protected with trademark law because its first to market and so it's hard for anybody else. So having the dot com is really important because you can prove first to market that way right? Yeah. Amazing. So I want to talk about the capital raising process. I think I read you raised a few million dollars um you said that they kind of got introduced to um kristen was it Kirsten? Yeah, Kirsten, sorry. Yeah. One of my college friends, what I told him what I was doing was like, this is a really interesting idea, you should talk to Kirsten Green. She, she understands consumer better than anybody else. I was like, okay, so you know, I happened to be in SAn Francisco anyway, so I sat down with her and I was like, wow, she really does.

00:13:39Edit And also when I started to understand what the rest of her portfolio companies looked like, I was like, not only is she understand, like she sort of has the midas touch. So I want to know what she knows in the same way. I, you know, sat in target and that I sat in, I wait there, like I wanted to understand what she understood. So, so she, she got involved really early on and she kind of led the round, right? You have like a number of investors now who are also like high profile, um, you know, really interesting um, dtc brands, people in the e commerce space. What were some of the learnings that you found from going through that process that might be relevant for other people, other women who are looking to fundraise. Um, well fundraising is a full time job. I mean, honestly, so I feel very lucky that Kirsten landed in my lap, but that being said, I mean it is possible to do, I mean you have to have great materials, you have to have a great story, you have to be extremely passionate about what you're doing. You have to do your research and find out who the right investors are.

00:14:44Edit So, I would say that, you know, if I had to start from scratch today, I would think about what my business looked like, and then I would research, you know, you can go on things like Crunch base or techcrunch or, you know, all these different things and you can find out if there's something that's tangential to what you do, you know, who in the investment spaces touching on something, you know, it won't you don't want investors are doing something exactly the same because they won't, there's a conflict of interest, they won't invest in you. But somebody who has was philosophically aligned with, you know, because there are people that invest in sustainable businesses or people that invest in female funded businesses. There are people that invest in, I don't know, design brands, like, so you can start to map out who the right targets are for you, because I think that just sort of going for everybody is a going to take up too much of your time be you're gonna be told no too much. And that's really like, it's like demoralizing honestly, so to the core of your like, part, because Here's the other thing about raising money is that 98% of people are going to say, no because you're, you know, it's going to depend on what their, their investment philosophy is, it's gonna depend on what your chemistry is.

00:15:56Edit It's gonna depend on what the, you know, the economy looks like. Um, you know, in our last, just in this last round, you know, post we work, um, we went into it pre we work and then fundraising through, we work. And the problem is, is that, you know, before we were, people were throwing out money money at businesses and thinking about scale, right? So you may not be profitable today, but just like Jeff Bezos, you'll, you know, you'll get to the top of the mountain and then you'll summit it. And then after that, you'll be highly profitable, right? So we're going to give you the runway to be unprofitable for many, many years. Well after we work that stopped, right? And so they want to all of a sudden, investors wanted to see profitability in the near term and not necessarily the long term and they wanted to see in the near term and not necessarily allow their portfolio companies just to take market share. So it was like this radical change in the middle of our fundraising. So you have to also be able to pivot right to be thoughtful. So, now I would say that, You know, if you're going out to raise money, you have to show profitability in the nearer term than you did, you know, even 12 months ago.

00:17:02Edit So I think that that's a really important thing. Um, so it's really understanding where the market sits right now and then finding those people that are, you know philosophic like that are in your Venn that are philosophically aligned somewhere with you and then strategically going after them and not just going after everybody because it one it helps you with the time commitment that it takes because it's extraordinary. Although with Zoom now everybody it's probably a lot easier because you know, I took like 60 subways a day in New York just to go to all these different meetings. Um but also it will sort of mitigate the number of knows you get which is soul crushing. Um and it will help you to the finish line faster. So the extent you can research up front do that and then really, you know speak to the people that are more likely in your yes camp. Yeah. Yeah. And you know how you were saying just now about how you know, you had to pivot to become uh you had to sort of forecast to be a brand that was going to be more profitable sooner versus like the long term profitability game.

00:18:04Edit What were the kinds of things that you changed in your actual strategy then? Like did your launch plan and everything changed at the beginning? No, no, we've had to pivot all the way through a lot of it is overhead. Right? And so our business model is great because we don't hold inventory. Um our team was dispersed already. so we went looking for the best talent globally. So you know, our our full stack engineers in Colombia in Medellin Colombia, our front end engineers in santiago chile because we couldn't afford to um compete with you know google and facebook and all these other guys in new york city for talent, we just couldn't, so to the extent you can softly keep your overhead down and grow as much as possible with your with whatever money you've raised is and you know, constantly look for margin improvements, that's how you get there more quickly. I mean, you know that's a different model than raise tons of money, take so much market share and then cross your fingers and hope that it works. I think that I I mean I I imagine that we'll get back there a little bit, there will be some of that delusional optimism because that's the only way you can really get to scale, It's the only way you really take, you know, these big parts of the market.

00:19:16Edit But I think right now it's like how can you figure out how to do both is really the entrepreneurial challenge of the of the moment, in my opinion. Yeah. And I want to talk about how you were acquiring customers in the beginning and sort of how you've been acquiring customers now, like what's working at the moment for you guys a few years in Mhm, I mean, you know, it's a digital first brand. We're doing all of the sort of usual suspects whether it's, you know, facebook advertising on instagram and facebook and you know, google bad words, google shopping, all of these things. Um You know, and there's like pretty easy margin calculations, like sort of thoughtful and responsible companies spend between 25 and 30% of their margin on marketing as they grow. I mean all those things, I mean we had, the only way I know how to build businesses is having design actually lead your, lead your marketing efforts. So beautiful images. Right? So because that's what stops us on the endless scroll, right? I mean if you see something that's amazing, um that's how you stop on your whatever, whatever feed you are looking at, whether it's, you know, from Tiktok on down, I mean if it looks great, you're going to stop.

00:20:27Edit Um and that is the way to get human mind share right now. So I think about it all through that lens, but I'm also a visual person, so that that works for me. You know, there are some really interesting, very, very advanced marketing companies in new york now that understand me, I'm sure that globally as well, I just run into them in new york cause that's what happened to be, I'm sure there's excellent ones in London and paris and Berlin and Hong kong and everywhere. Um but who understand the sort of instagram science down to, you know, there's certain lighting that stops people versus others. So you can use data to back into creative in really effective ways. I haven't gone down that road yet, but two people in my portfolio cohort have and the results are astonishing. So it's really about, you know, really now it's about how your story tell, how you create beautiful imagery, how you stop the endless scroll. It's dwell time. Right? So the longer you can get people to look to dwell on your asset, the better off you are, the higher your conversion is gonna be.

00:21:28Edit So I think about it all through the visual lens. That's, that's just me though. I mean it depends on what you're, you know, I don't know that you can think about, you know, insurance or, or I mean I think you can actually, you know, if your graphics are better, you're going to win. Yeah, maybe maybe you'll get, you get really modeled on the graphics for, for insurance and attract people that way, then you have to follow through with like a really seamless UX experience. But I think if you can do both, I mean it's definitely the recipe for starting to win. Yeah, absolutely. Um, and you guys also lend yourself to like having really great partnership opportunities and partnering with, um, you know, these, these women and these companies that you've partnered with so far, that also allow for that visual storytelling moment to come to life Yes, that's right. That's right. Yeah. So I think it's also thoughtfully thinking about, you know who you're partnering with, how beautiful the thing, the assets you can create our, I mean all of those things to your point. That's right. You know what you were talking about early on in dwell.

00:22:33Edit You had those moments that they would like the step change in the business and they were the kinds of leaps ahead. The inflection points. What have been those inflection points for the inside so far? Well, you know, the interesting thing is, um, this shelter in place moment has been the inflection point for a lot of digital companies. Right? So go on this journey with me. I'm there. We as a globe when we were all, you know, forced to quarantine themselves or shelter in place went from being what I call like an analog society. We were all forced to become a digital society. So like the for example, I give is that my 72 year old mother, you know, called me the other day. I was like, oh my God, I was like, what mom? She's like, I can watch BBC on my phone. I was like, welcome To the 21st century mom. Um, and I said, you know, you have to understand that while you were sitting at home, I don't know, doing what we were all enjoying this, but I'm glad you're here.

00:23:37Edit And so this woman who, you know, thought that technology was a waste of time and you know was taking the outside my hair, I mean every single you know all of things that A 72 year old mom would tell you, she realized now is actually not true and she also realized that she can navigate through technology and pick and choose the things she wants to interface with and she can ignore the ones she doesn't want to right? It's like a menu, it's like a lifestyle menu, right? And so we all did that globally. So we all became digital first consumers and citizens, let's say digital first citizens at the same time, all of us. And so the companies that were digital first obviously had a you know a huge advantage in this particular scenario. The companies that were digital first and then you know my book friction lists really had a scenario like where they were going to win. And then on top of that, if you were in one of the categories like home furnishings, ath leisure turns out alcohol as well like one of these categories that everybody was looking uh cooking.

00:24:45Edit So pots and pants, like all of these digital first brands that got into the cooking space killed are killing it versus you know, digital first brands that are in travel and suitcases and like all these other things that came to a full stop. So if you happen to be in one of these categories, I mean you are able to use, not only demand People being at home, you know, general digital citizenship now and then lower costs of advertising, I mean this was the crucible for all these businesses and it's really interesting, so I wrote this book, in you know I finished it in at the end of 1999 at the beginning of 2020 and then I went back and interviewed. So it was important then like the idea of frictionless nous then and then I went back and interviewed some of the people in the book and like what they've seen in the last nine weeks is insane. So One of the founders who has a direct to consumer personalized hair care business said they did 10 years of e commerce adoption in 10 weeks.

00:25:52Edit So they got to them, yeah, they got, they modeled out um their business going from 15% to 35% between 2020 And 2030 and it happened in 10 weeks. So yeah, I mean, I could go on and have so many data points around this, it's insane. But it is because we all, you know, it's because their customer used to buy you know fancy shampoo at the salon when he or she went to get their haircut and no one's getting their hair cut, no one's going to the salon, so they found them online, you know, and I think it's fascinating to me, it's just when we walk out of this, which we are now, it's not going to look like what it used to, you know, and I think in the US we're starting to see which companies are going to make it out and some of the biggest companies in the US aren't going to, so there's going to be a lot of bankruptcies between now and october november, like a lot um of large scale bankruptcies because it's the end of this really marks the end of an era, like, not only philosophically, but you know, in every single way.

00:26:58Edit So if you were, yeah, if you were set up ah in the kind of digital first, you will walk out of this if you weren't, if you were one of these incumbents that was trying to catch up. I think that there's, you know, for some of these guys, it's the, it's the, it's the end, Yeah. Gosh, it's a crazy time, isn't it? You know, I think it's better to know exactly what you're facing than not right? Like, like we have to take our heads out of the sand because there are ways you can get your business ready to ride through this versus if you're sitting there thinking, oh, it's going to go back to the way it was like, let me be the first person to tell you? It's not, it's not so how can I help you or how can we help you or how can uh, you know, the world thoughtfully help you get to the next place because the next places where we're all going. Yeah, and I imagine for you in particular and any brand who was kind of thriving during this particular time, you've now set yourself up with this foundation that coming out of this, you can kind of explosively take on more market share, grow bigger, grow faster, that kind of thing.

00:28:05Edit I think so, I think so, I mean, I think that there are, I mean, I think that it works even better for companies that are kind of omni channel already and set set up for real explosive growth after this because what they can do, I'm not quite there because our company is too too young, but what they can do now is walk into, you know, retail scenarios that that will be vacated by some of these larger brands who won't make it through this. So I think it's gonna be this incredible shift from some of these digital first brands that are pretty sophisticated, like I can see amazon opening, you know, they have, they have storefronts here that they're beta testing, I can see them opening a ton of them now and that amazon becoming the new department store, which is what I think will happen on the retail landscape as we lose some of these historic incumbent ones, I think that, you know, amazon will be our basic purveyor for everything. Yeah, wow crazy, It's gonna be, it's gonna be some big changes for the rest of this year. That's for sure. For sure. Gosh.

00:29:07Edit Um and I want to say congratulations for your book because it's coming out really soon on the 23rd I think next week your book will be out by the time this podcast goes live, but I will be ordering a copy. I'm so excited to read. It looks like it's just packed full of loads of value and loads of different people insights coming in there. Is it about your journey? So it's structured in my journey. But what I really wanted to do was to bring in as many points of view as possible. So it's structured in the journey. You know, my underlying philosophy was if I wrote a book um for the, you know, 12, 13 years of 12 studio it be worth nothing now except for a, you know, kindling for your fire because everything changed. And so I talk about frictionless, which applies to really applies to this post covid time. Now it's really important now, it's not even uh you know, it's not even a sort of an idea. It's fundamental the companies that because what we realized I think through technology and through becoming digital citizens, all, all of us at once is that you know, the only non renewable resource we have as human People is time right?

00:30:17Edit You can't pay for it. You can't go find it. You can't manufacture it, you can't we have whatever how many 27,500 days on earth, whatever it ends up being. You don't get extras. Right? And so what technology allowed us to do was to think about time in a different way. Right? And so if you no longer have to go to the grocery store and your milk comes on a regular cadence and everything is taken care of. You get that time back right? If you no longer have to, you know, as a mom, like go to the toy store to get the lego for your son's friend's birthday party, you get two hours back. How do you spend that two hours? And I think that that's, you know, back into wellness and all of the, you know, experience and all the things that we get to do now with this re assorted time and what we want as digital first human beings is as much time back as possible. We want to do as many things as well. Like are necessary things that we need to do on a day to day basis in the most frictionless way possible. Right? And so the companies that understand that and the companies that make transaction the easiest are the ones that are going to win.

00:31:22Edit And listen, Jeff Bezos did this to us. Right? And so I would say steve jobs too right. These two guys change the way we interact with everything. So I mean, besides told us we could have whatever we needed delivered to our house in, you know, in under two days, right? And then all of us were like, wait a second, but it's so wasteful that packaging and then when we all stop driving our cars and we all stopped going to the stores and the stuff still keeps coming to us, we realized that, I mean amazon might be re forcing the amazon because we get what we need and we don't need to go and get it and it actually ends up being a lot better for the planet cardboard a size. So maybe there's a way to do all of it, you know, it's it's yeah, we're going to this incredible shift. Yeah, I feel like for me, especially I had in my mind like podcast episodes needed to be in person and then when you're going to these meetings and all this kind of thing, it takes up so much time and now I've been able to like scale up my episodes, you know, a million percent. I can record every single day.

00:32:24Edit I can record multiple times a day if I want. And it just wasn't possible in my mind before the same way that it is now, I mean it's a different quality but you're frictionless lee running your business, but you see you and I are still having a conversation person to person, right? You're in London I'm in like, I'm like hanging off a cliff in the water? We're still having a conversation and it's frictionless, That's exactly right, right? So you have become a digital first podcaster, You are using all of this technology frictionless lee. And what it's done is it's exactly that it's like up your throughput, right? You can do a lot more frictionless lee easily and you're realizing that all the things that you thought were important, like in person meetings are not not important. 100% not important, not important and you're getting your time back, right? And so that is the difference between and I think, you know, people that were in technology understood that fundamentally because it's part of what we do every day. I mean, same for you. It's part of what you do every day. I think now the entire world knows that because they were forced to in this nine week period.

00:33:25Edit So I think it's the as woo woo as it sounds like the universe helping us re prioritize. And what I hope is that people don't use that found time doing this with their their, you know, devices they use that found time to lead better, more productive lives learn more, take care of themselves. Research new things. Yeah, I think about how they can, you know what they can impart to their Children and that, you know, if you're not on the subway and you get to spend that time with your kids and I mean, it's really valuable to them too and like, and then how can you take that time and give back, right, how can we thoughtfully restructure re prioritize because if we don't have to grocery shop, you know, we can raise money for our favorite charity instead. And the net, the net net ends up just being a better world. And so I think about the friction listens technology not as a bad thing as a good thing. And so I'll circle right back to this And now I have my mom who's 72 who told me what I was doing was crazy before on my team and that is what we've gone through in the last nine weeks.

00:34:36Edit I also think it's really interesting that like a lot of women that I've spoken to who have the traditional office, um, you know, everyone reporting into their offices, they have also experienced this shift where now that they've had time away from this daily office that they've been building. Um they've been like, you know what, it's better remote and we're going to start introducing this for everyone company wide. And I think that's like really important when we saw that this was the trend happening anyway. Um, with people moving out of cities into country towns and living a more peaceful life and working from home. But now it's accelerated that growth. Like exponentially well now now now I think you're right, you're absolutely right, it's also now, it's acceptable, right? And so now I think you can say if you are the best, most thoughtful, you know, I don't know most desirable candidate, you're gonna be able to make your own terms because you can now say you know what I live in, I live outside of London, I wanted three days a week, I want to you know work from home and I think it's a negotiation tactic now that everybody has at their disposal which they didn't necessarily have before and I totally agree, you know, I love not going to the office, It's so much more efficient, I can do 10 times more every day, you know, turns out like I found out in this whole pandemic that workaholic is my aholic unfortunately, so this is like you know, I could do like just dig right into it but I'm trying to thoughtfully think about how to balance now that I could do 50 things in one day instead of riding the subway, but you know there's upsides to it.

00:36:11Edit So I think you just have to sort of thought they look at who you are, but we're all going to be able to do this now to your point, we're all gonna be able to make our own rules in ways we couldn't before and I think that that that I mean listen that really works for women, it really works for mom's right because I can thoughtfully structuring my day, you know I could jump off of this, Make sure that those kids are doing their Zoom school after this, then I can jump back into it. You know, I work till 9:30 last night because it's much more flexible and I'm, my output is much better. Yeah, you're happier. And I think it's like now that you have the ability to lifestyle design your life, everyone's yeah, mentally better for it. Yeah. We all are mental health is going to be um, instead of suffering is going to be thriving. I think it's gonna be driving. And I think that I also think that we all got this reset, right? So we realized that technology is not a bad thing which were, you know, we were starting to go down that road, right? It's not a bad thing. It's not a bad thing unless, you know, unless you're my 12 year old son who's on fortnite, if he could be on fortnite 24 hours a day, he would be, that's not a good thing, right?

00:37:18Edit My job there is to, is to actually turn off the technology in his particular situation. But for the rest of us who are using it to balance their lives. As you say, it's a great thing. It's like, it is a phenomenal thing and this, this whole reset will allow us to structure our lives in ways that work for each and every one of us as individuals, right? And then the companies that we hold hands with and we will find that right are the ones that will deliver what we need in the most frictionless way so that we get those hours, those minutes, those seconds back to spend doing what we actually love to do which is probably not commuting. Yeah, it's commuting. That's what really gets you. It's the worst. I want to ask you, what is your main piece of advice for women who have a big idea or want to start a business. Okay. My main piece of advice is do something you love. Okay, don't chase white space or you know, opportunistic opportunity. It better be something you love because this is so all in right?

00:38:23Edit And when you make as we all know now when you make decisions about what you trade your time for your personal time for it better be something you better be giving it to, something you absolutely love or there's no upside, There's no point. Time is worth more than money. Like everybody needs to know that. And so your time and your life and what you love is worth more than any sum of money. So chase your time, chase your passion. Don't chase the dollars because that will sort itself out somehow. It really will. Working and spending your time doing something you don't love because you think it's going to have a big payoff. It won't have a big payoff and be you'll be trading your time for something soulless. So that is my biggest piece of advice. I am not only in business but in life like time's the only thing you don't get back. Yeah, you've got to become a you've got to become a no person I think at some point as well and just really be like, is this worth me saying yes to exactly everything that I return on investment calculation and the investment doesn't have to be money.

00:39:31Edit The investment, I think at the end of the day is quality of life for sure. Absolutely, we are up to the six quick questions. Sure, ready to go, I'm ready to go. Number one is what's your wife? What do you mean by that? Give me some context. Like what's your why in doing the business that you're doing? It kind of rolls off from your advice I guess like what you just said, why? Why? Because I love it because you know, because it's something I would do even if he didn't pay me because it feeds my soul. Um also in a creative so it's like, it's just it's like why? Because designing is like our art is like breathing to me. There is no, it's just it just is I love that. Number two is what was the number one marketing moment that made your business pop for the inside for us. So when we did a so when we did a collaboration with salome andre which is this incredible um heritage design house in new york, you know that did Jack Eos White House, I mean every single person who loves design was like, wait a second, The insides onto something.

00:40:43Edit That was our number one moment. Oh my gosh, amazing! Number three is where do you hang out to get smarter? You know, it used to be a lot of places online and now I meditate. Um and I think it's the only way to get smarter is to quietly shut everything down because that is when you synthesize everything and then afterwards after the meditation, that's when the idea is really crystallized. So I think it's much more, it's much less about taking in information. It's much to me as much more about editing it out. Nice. I need to get better at meditation. I'm not very good at it. Um Number four is how do you win the day? And that's around your AM and your PM rituals, which also might be similar to your third answer. Um you know, I'm a go with the flow person, so I don't like to structure anything because um for me, the beauty of life is the things that randomly happen. So I try and I don't know, I just leave it all open to experience and I very much practice living in the moment.

00:41:56Edit Right? So for me it's I, the less I plan, the better it is. So that's what I'm saying, you know, it's just just live it instead of planning it because the minute you put a future or past or a day or night or when you create expectations, if you don't meet them, you will be disappointed. Whereas if you just walk into everything and everything is an experience, then there's only upside. So that's the way I try to structure my life. Yeah, that's great. I love that. Um, question number five is if you only had $1000 left in your business bank account, where would you spend it? Well, marketing right now because my $1,000 that like nine weeks ago was, it was, you know, was $1,000 is probably worth $10,000 today. So I'm going to just like push the gas pedal and get the message out to as many people as possible right now is instagram you're like best performing channel, do you think? Yeah, for sure. So, great. Well, because it's a visual brand, what would we do without it?

00:43:00Edit Also like pretty like what is the next? So I think Tiktok is the next instagram um only because I just lived through all of this, You know, craziness in new york and half of the information was disseminated on instagram and the other half I would say was thoughtfully disseminated on Tiktok. And so, um, I am going to spend a lot of time figuring out how to instagram Tiktok. Great. Yeah, that's another piece of information. You know, people keep saying, what is the next instagram? It's Tiktok by the way, just, I'm just saying that out loud. So go figure it out. I need to figure it out. I'm a consumer and that I'm watching on there, but I'm not like actively. Um I'm just stalking. Basically, I'm just learning it through stalking, but I haven't actually just start to start iterating. Like I would say, just especially with what you do, because you can do, you can do short videos and upload them and then you can, you can, you know, you could preview every single of your podcasts on Tiktok and just get it out there. Um, but start building that start building that it's an interesting thing because it's one thing for individuals and a different thing for businesses and businesses haven't really figured it out yet, but beyond the forefront and figure it out.

00:44:08Edit Yeah, I need to figure it out. I'm going to look at it after this. You've inspired me. Um and last question is, how do you deal with failure? And it can be personal experience or your mindset failure is the best thing that can happen to you. And I know people say that all the time, but it really is because all the lessons are learned in failure, there never learned and you know, when, when things work perfectly, you're not learning anything because you already know you've already been there, the heart of the fall, the more you learn. So, um, I embrace it like literally and how many times can I fail a day? And what can I learn from those failures? Because also failure means that you're taking a chance. That's the only way to start and grow a business. You gotta be willing to, you know, fall and get back up again. Yeah, you got to fall and get up again. You gotta, you gotta and I think that all of the lessons are there, so for sure, think about failure as an opportunity. Oh, I love that. I will. Thank you so much. I've loved learning and listening to you.

00:45:12Edit Same learning from you rather and listening to you. I love learning from you too. Yeah, thank you for being on the podcast. Thank you.



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