We are returning this week with another incredible guest, Sarah LaFleur. Sarah came up with the idea to create comfortable and fashionable, professional attire for women because she herself found that whenever she was searching for work outfits, it seemed that fashion would always be sacrificed for comfort.
In this episode, we discuss the current state of the apparel market and how things have changed so rapidly due to the evolution of the internet and e-commerce, the future of DTC from the brand and consumer perspectives, and how previous work experiences influence a persons fashion choices.
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4:05 - What did Sarah take away from her college career, especially at Harvard?
8:17 - What was the fashion industry like at that time of Sarah’s early career?
12:24 - What was the aha moment when Sarah knew that she wanted to become a founder?
17:52 - What were some of the early supply chain processes of iterating and designing some of the first garments that were built for the “modern American woman?”
23:07 - What advice would Sarah give to founders who are looking to raise today in retail and e-commerce spaces?
23:34 - What advice would Sarah have to any founder today who might be thinking they’re going to disrupt retail?
27:04 - What does Sarah think the future of selling directly to the consumer is?
29:00 - Should women seeking to be mothers be freezing their eggs?
33:33 - Who is a woman in Sarah’s life that has had a profound impact on her and her career?
The Room Podcast is sponsored by our friends at Silicon Valley Bank and Cooley.
We have another incredible episode in store with Cynthia Plotch and Jamie Norwood, the founders of Stix, the company transforming women's health experiences. Stix was founded to “create a convenient, discreet, and judgment-free way to get the products you need.” Cynthia and Jamie walk us through their negative personal experiences that drove them to create Stix. Plus, they share their ideas to evolve Stix past being just a DTC brand and becoming an entire community of women who can help each other with anything health related. Cynthia and Jamie also explain what led them to go down the VC route for funding this journey. Themes in this episode include knowing when is the right time to fully commit yourself to your passion project, today’s women’s health climate, and what's next in DTC. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter. 4:30 - What were the first few years of Jamie’s career like?5:17 - What brought Jamie to Hungry Harvest and broke her into the world of D2C?6:18 - How did Cynthia’s early career influence her decision to start Stix?9:35 - Did Cynthia and Jamie always plan on being founders?11:26 - When did Cynthia and Jamie know that they were ready to go full-time on Stix?16:41 - How would Cynthia and Jamie describe Stix?17:52 - What was the initial mission for Stix when Cynthia and Jamie founded it?19:29 - How has Stix been connecting to its community and helping solve their problems?23:30 - What prompted Cynthia and Jamie to raise VC funding?25:39 - What advice would Cynthia and Jamie give to founders thinking about starting in D2C? ...
In this week’s episode of The Room Podcast, Madison and Claudia sit down with Sydney Sykes, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of BLCK VC. Founded in 2018, BLCK VC empowers and advances black venture investors by providing a focus community built for and by black venture investors. Out of Harvard undergrad, Sydney joined New Enterprise Associates as an investment analyst before moving on to e-commerce planning with Dolls Kill. Today, Sydney is also studying at Stanford GSB for her MBA. This week’s key themes and insights include solving the problems you see in the world, the future of direct-to-consumer investing, and the integral role of a unique perspective and driving innovation. Let’s open the door. Season 4 of The Room Podcast is sponsored by our friends at SVB and Cooley. Learn more about SVB’s Access to Innovation initiative here. … Key Theme 1: Solving the problems you see in the world Blck VC is evidence that you have the ability to solve the problems you see in the world. Sydney took her lived experience and passion for building a better tomorrow into action. This passion to unlock more equity in who’s represented in venture led her to create her non-profit. Whether you’re thinking of starting a non-profit or a for-profit business that solves something you deeply believe should change; Sydney reminds us that you are empowered to build for that future. Key Theme 2: Direct-to-consumer Brands and their Evolution Having spent time in operations at Dolls Kill, a venture-backed DTC brand, Sydney has unique insights into the future of ...
In The Room with Ash Rust, Managing Partner at Sterling Road. Since moving to Silicon Valley in 2008, Ash Rust has become an experienced mentor to startup founders and funders. Ash realized that he didn't like the traditional Silicon Valley approach of meeting someone for a small amount of time before making a decision on a large check, as fast as possible, because “that's the cool thing to do.” Instead, he chooses to spend a lot of time with founders early on to build an organic and more valuable relationship. This allows a better perspective on how Ash can properly assist the project. This episode includes insights on making an enterprise sale as an early or first-time founder, the right time to implement a sales team and who should be on it, and the current and future impacts of developing technologies on enterprise sales. For The Room Podcast in your inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter. 3:57 - What interested Ash about becoming a founder and sales coach?7:48 - What is important when making your first enterprise sale?11:38 - When is the right time to bring a dedicated sales person to your team?13:41 - How do you balance asking for a sale while managing an overcritical internal mindset?17:00 - How has the landscape changed over time for making a sale?18:44 - As technology continues to develop, what will the future of optimizing the sales funnel look like?21:36 - What are some indicators or metrics of sales success?24:51 - Are there any overlooked tips in mastering enterprise sales?26:04 - Who is a woman ...