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30 Sonia Nagar - Vice President of Pritzker Group Venture Capital on Making Connections Between Founders and Investors

5/23/2018
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Early in her career, Sonia Nagar founded a mobile shopping app called Pickie. After much success, the app was acquired by Retail Me Not, where she became the vice president of product and head of mobile apps for the coupon shopping site — and earned a Webby Award for Best Shopping App! Upon relocating to Chicago with her husband, Sonia was preemptively meeting with VCs about future potential investments when one thing led to another and she was offered a position that was too good to...

Duration:00:31:21

29 Azeeza Khan - The Founder of Azeeza on Pursuing her Dream Fashion Business

5/9/2018
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Azeeza Khan left her corporate job for the chance to pursue her dream of launching a women's wear brand, which she did with just a $3,000 budget. Since launching, her store has been listed by Forbes as a top shopping destination in Chicago and Azeeza herself was named by Women’s Wear Daily as the city’s “it designer”. Azeeza's brand is a perfect combination of accessibility and luxury, so it's no surprise that it’s a favorite among celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, stylists, and...

Duration:00:31:01

28 Jen Rubio - Co-Founder of Away on Launching a Brand People Want to Talk About

5/2/2018
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In 2015, Jen Rubio was traveling back from a trip to Switzerland when her luggage broke in the middle of a crowded airport, sending her clothes and belongings everywhere. As she looked for a replacement she couldn't find the kind of iconic, high-quality, affordable luggage she was looking for. Jen called up her friend Steph Korey - the two met in 2011 at Warby Parker back when they had only twenty employees - and they got to work. Just a few years later, they launched their...

Duration:00:35:37

27 Lindsey Boyd - The Co-Founder of The Laundress on Making Laundry Enjoyable for All

4/18/2018
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Today's episode might just make you want to go home and do laundry. After graduating from Cornell University’s Fiber Science and Apparel Design Program, Lindsey Boyd and Co-founder Gwen Whiting found themselves in New York City, working at some of the largest fashion houses in the world (hello, Chanel and Ralph Lauren!) where an unspoken dress code led them to build their wardrobes with “investment” pieces with “dry clean only” tags. Tired of the pricey bills and damaged, chemical-ridden...

Duration:00:33:52

Lindsay Pinchuk - The Founder of The Bump Club and Beyond on Creating a Community for Parents-To-Be

4/11/2018
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Lindsay Pinchuk did something most expectant mothers would never do. At eight weeks pregnant, she started a business. After realizing that moms and moms-to-be needed a place to meet and connect with one another, she decided to create the community herself. Eight years later, The Bump Club and Beyond has sold out more than 700 events in over thirty cities and has a community of more than 300,000 parents and parents-to-be across the country. Today, Lindsay and Monica discuss how to best...

Duration:00:31:59

25 Karla Gallardo - Co-Founder of Cuyana on Creating a Company for Fewer Better Things

4/4/2018
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With a tagline of “Fewer, Better Things,” Cuyana might be one of the only fashion brands that encourages their customers to actually purchase less. The cutting edge brand offers high quality leather products at an accessible price point by sourcing different materials from around the world. Along with her co-founder Shilpa Shah, Karla Gallardo spent two years building their companies supply chain before launching Cuyana in 2013. At the time, consumers had not yet grasped the idea of...

Duration:00:40:13

024 Tamara Lohan - Founder of Mr & Mrs Smith on Turning a Personal Need into an International Business

3/28/2018
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Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-founders, Tamara and James Lohan first came up with the idea for a carefully curated collection of hotels after their first international trip as a couple turned out to be quite disastrous. The experience led them to write down every single thing they would want from a hotel. Those notes quickly became their business plan. What originally started as a guide book has now become Mr. & Mrs. Smith, a carefully curated collection of 1,000+ boutique and luxury hotels across...

Duration:00:26:39

23 Bobby Yazdani - The Founder of Cota Capital on Investing in + Advising Entrepreneurs

3/7/2018
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As the founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Cota Capital and as founder of Signatures Capital, Bobby Yazdani has invested in more than 130 early stage tech start-ups in 15 years. Companies in his portfolio include everything from Birchbox and Bonobos to Google, Dropbox and Uber. In 2014, he was named by CB Insights as the #1 angel investor, out of a list of 2000, for most successful follow-on funding and is also currently an investor and board member for Monica + Andy. In...

Duration:00:45:38

22 Ariel Kaye - The Founder of Parachute Home on Launching a Home Goods Brand

2/28/2018
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One weekend while studying abroad in Italy, Ariel Kaye checked into a boutique hotel on the Amalfi Coast and got into bed after a long day of travel. She felt sheets that were softer and more luxurious than anything she had ever experienced. The experience stuck with her. Ariel went on to graduate from NYU before spending ten years at an agency in brand development and advertising. In 2012, she was shopping for bedding and was faced with overpriced monotonous products. So in 2014, with...

Duration:00:41:19

21 Morgan Hutchinson - The Founder of Buru on Networking and Differentiating an Ecommerce Brand

2/21/2018
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When Morgan Hutchinson had her first child, she realized no one in the online retail market was catering to that fashionable mom who wanted to wear her favorite brands through every stage of motherhood. She wanted on trend machine washable clothing with easy access for nursing and more forgiving silhouettes. When she couldn't find it herself, she decided to curate it on her own and become the go-to style resource for pregnant women and new moms. Buru, a multi-brand ecommerce site dedicated...

Duration:00:42:18

20 Chelsea Hirschhorn - The CEO of Fridababy on Their Unique Market and Marketing Tactics

2/14/2018
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If you're a mom or dad, you probably have one of today's guest's products in your home (and if you don't, you might wish you did)! Chelsea Hirschhorn is the president and CEO of Fridababy, a solutions based brand committed to making parents' lives easier by offering revolutionary products to safely and easily tackle common baby issues at home. Fridababy products are sold in 30,000 stores across the country and last year alone sold more than 2 million of their signature product The...

Duration:00:53:44

19 Jacq Tatelman - The Co-Creator of State Bags on Collaborating Successfully

1/31/2018
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Jacq Tatelman and her husband Scott are the Brooklyn-based duo behind State Bags, a one for one company that is making a difference in America. For every bag sold, they donate a backpack to a child in need. Their mission was inspired by an organization Jacq and her husband started in 2009 that sent underprivileged New York City kids to summer camp. They saw time and time again kids showing up with their belongings in plastic bags, and sought to start a company that could help change the...

Duration:00:38:01

18 Rebecca Minkoff - The Creator of Rebecca Minkoff on Staying Relevant + Creating a Unique Retail Experience

1/24/2018
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Since launching her line in 2011, Rebecca Minkoff has become a globally recognized brand with stores around the world and a cult-like following. She’s a pioneer in the fashion industry, merging tech with fashion and constantly evolving her product line. She offers products like “connected” smart bags that provide consumers access to exclusive content and was the first brand to feature interactive mirrors in the dressing rooms. Always thinking about her core customer, she decided to break...

Duration:00:35:30

17 Tim Brown - The Co-Founder and Co-CEI of Allbirds on Building a Brandless Brand

1/17/2018
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As a professional soccer player, Tim Brown was used to receiving and trying out lots of free shoes. Somewhere along the line, he started to notice that all sports shoes were beginning to look the same. So, with that in mind, he set out to make his own. Tim grew up in New Zealand and was familiar with the great qualities of wool - it's not only good for minimizing odor but also for regulating temperature. The benefits had been applied to clothing, but not yet to footwear. Alongside...

Duration:00:42:54

16 Rob Royer - Founder of Interior Define on Defining a Brand Mission and Customer Experience

1/10/2018
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We’re getting personal on the podcast today! Monica sits down with the CEO and Founder of Interior Define, Rob Royer, who just happens to also be her husband. After struggling to find high quality and well designed furniture at an affordable price, Rob decided to make it himself. Interior Define was launched in 2014 and offers a new concept in custom furniture: edited, thoughtfully designed and well-crafted pieces that are fairly priced and complete customization as each piece is...

Duration:00:36:33

15 Maggie Winter - The Founder of AYR on Creating a Brand that People Connect To

12/20/2017
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Maggie Winters and her co-founders set out to create a line of clothing that they thought was missing in the marketplace: high quality, affordable, seasonless fashion basics. The brand, called All Year Round (AYR), it has a cult-like following, and it's clear why. The digitally native brand has found success with pop-up shops in New York, and is constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to non-traditional retail. I chatted with Maggie about her future in retail and plans for...

Duration:00:38:27

14 Alyce Tran - The Co-Founder of The Daily Edited on The Highs and Lows of Building an International Brand

12/12/2017
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In just three years, Alyce Tran has turned The Daily Edited, an affordable luxury accessories line, into a global company with stores in the U.S., Singapore and Australia. On today's show, Alyce talks about the expansion of the company — including the recent sale of a 30% stake in her company for $4.5 million - and the growing pains that come with that kind of growth. Monica and Alyce also discuss how to maintain company culture across an international company, the personal cost of...

Duration:00:26:02

13 Kirsten Green - The Founder of Forerunner Ventures on Influencing and Investing in E-Commerce

12/5/2017
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Today's guest is one of the most sought after e-commerce investors in the country: Kirsten Green. Kirsten is the founder of Forerunner Ventures, and made early investments in companies like Birchbox, Glossier, Outdoor Voices and Bonobos. Plus, she was the only one to invest in two of the biggest e-commerce sites of the past few years: Jet.com and Dollar Shave Club. This year Kirsten was named as one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World, and one of the Most Powerful Women in...

Duration:00:31:02

12 Christine Hunsicker - The Founder of Gwynnie Bee on Finding Your Place in the Market

11/28/2017
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Christine Hunsicker, CEO and Founder of Gwynnie Bee — an online subscription rental clothing service for women sizes 10-32 — launched her business from her Manhattan apartment in 2013. Fast forward to today, the company has more than 400 employees across the world, offers over 3,000 styles from 120 brands and to date have shipped over 4 million boxes. In today’s episode, Monica and Christine discuss growth, the biggest challenges of being CEO, building an open and honest culture and why...

Duration:00:35:09

11 Sari Azout - Partner at Level Ventures on The Power of Storytelling in the Digital Age

11/26/2017
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As an advisor, investor, and entrepreneur, Sari Azout wears many hats. Early on in her career she worked as an investment banker in the consumer and retail division of Lehman Brothers. From there, she took the leap to start her own company Bib + Tuck — a peer-to-peer apparel marketplace — which was acquired by Crossroad Trading in 2015. Now, as a Partner at Level Ventures and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Rokk3r Labs, Sari advises dozens of early stage companies. In this episode, Sari...

Duration:00:31:05

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