With a prior career at a very large technology corporation, I have been fortunate to see a lot of famous and inspirational speakers, but last night resonated a bit deeper for me now that I am out on my own. I attended a women's networking event hosted at the lovely Harbinger showroom on La Cienega in West Hollywood, CA. I am super excited to share the excellent tips shared by speaker Susan Feldman, Co-Founder and Chief Merchandising Office of One Kings Lane. Susan was candid, open and refreshingly honest about the creation of our favorite interiors site and its successful journey. It is always so uplifting to hear from successful female entrepreneurs who make growing a successful business sound so possible! There was some serious girl power happening last night :). I hope you enjoy these tips and some One Kings Lane facts you might not have known. Thanks to Parrish Chilcoat and Joe Lucas for being such welcoming and gracious hosts for the event. The showroom is one of my favorites in LA that I literally could move into! It is a must see on your design showroom list.
Lessons Learned & Tips from Susan K. Feldman of One Kings Lane:
1. Move Quickly - Susan realized the gap in the accessibility & availability of quality home goods on the internet in Nov 2008 and launched OKL in early 2009 which was perfect timing when manufacturers had excess inventory. They met their goal of having 5000 members at launch and then after being on Daily Candy the next day, gained 25,000 additional members.
2. Fail Fast - if something doesn't work, figure it out early and move on to something else.
3. Keep it Simple - Outsourcing many of their functions during the first year served them well because they didn't start with a lot of money. One month after their launch, they were cash positive. They eventually got funding and now pull in $100 Million in sales!
4. Be Innovative - come up with something fresh. 93% of subscribers are women and they have more members then all the shelter magazines combined! Impressive.
5. Hire amazing, passionate people - They started with 3 people and now have 200 employees and Susan surprisingly is assistant-free and answers all of her own emails and books her own travel.
Check out my post tomorrow for more lovely pictures of the Harbinger showroom.