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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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: 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...


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

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...


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

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...


10 Vivienne Decker - Forbes Contributor on Lessons Learned from Female Entrepreneurs

If there is a female millennial entrepreneur that is shaking up their industry, chances are Vivienne Decker has covered them for She has interviewed some of the country’s most successful female entrepreneurs and has some fascinating insight into the similarities between these powerhouse women. On today’s episode, Vivienne gives valuable and candid insider advice on how to get press coverage from the top business outlets (hint: the right subject lines matter BIG TIME!).


09 Heidi Zak - Finding Product Market Fit with the Co-Founder and CEO of ThirdLove

When Heidi Zak couldn’t find a quality bra that fit her right and looked great, she realized there was a hole in the market and ThirdLove was born. The data-driven bra company now offers 15 styles in 59 different sizes (they’re the only company to offer half cup sizes!) and provides a “try before you buy” model that encourages women to try the product on in the comfort of their own homes. On this episode Heidi discusses product market fit, exactly how her company collects and uses data to...


08 Danielle Moss - Co-Founder of The Everygirl on Using Instagram to grow your Business

In 2011, bloggers Danielle Moss and Alaina Kaczmarski teamed up to launch a website with a budget of less than $8k. Since then, The Everygirl has become a household name and the ultimate online resource for creative, career-driven women with more than 1 million unique visitors each month and 660k+ Instagram followers. Just a few months after launching, The Everygirl was named by Forbes as one of the “Top 10 websites for Millennial Women” and as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women.” In...


07 Jessica Herrin - Drawing Lines Between Work Life and Personal Life with the Founder of Stella & Dot

Jessica Herrin was on a mission when she set out to create the direct sales accessory company, Stella & Dot. For her, it wasn’t as much about the product she wanted to create, but rather a movement. At the time, Herrin had already launched a wedding gift registry site which sold to The Knot for $78 million. She balanced being a mom of two daughters as she worked tirelessly to build her second company. From there, it was clear to her that she wanted to create a company that would empower...


06 Daphne Oz - Emmy Award Winner and New York Times Bestselling Author on Why It’s So Important to Invest in Yourself

Daphne Oz is a healthy lifestyle expert, entrepreneur, New York Times Bestselling cookbook author, chef, Emmy award-winning TV host and mother of two (with another one on the way!). If anyone has effectively mastered the art of multi-tasking with style, it’s Daphne Oz. In this episode, Daphne discusses the importance of investing in yourself and reveals one thing everyone can do each day to feel more confident. Monica and Daphne also discuss “being real” on social media, why you shouldn’t...


05 Payal Kadakia - The Founder + Executive Chairman of Classpass on Adapting to Evolving Roles for You and Your Team

When Payal Kadakia went online one day in 2011 to book a ballet workout class, she was “miserably frustrated” with how difficult it was to find and attend the right type of class. After realizing her friends had similar frustrations, she created ClassPass — a monthly membership fitness-class booking company — as a way for people to reconnect with their passions and fitness. Listen in to learn more about how Payal’s passion for dancing led her to create a nearly $400 million company and...


04 Sam Yagan - CEO of ShopRunner and Co-Founder of OKCupid on How to Hire the Right People and Scale Your Business

Sam Yagan holds quite the entrepreneurial resume. During his college years, he co-founded SparkNotes, which sold for $30 million to Barnes & Noble just one year later. He then co-founded a little dating site called OKCupid and from there went on to run He’s currently the CEO of ShopRunner, a members only online shopping site with more than 4 million members, and runs the venture capital firm, Corazon Capital. As a regular advisor to Monica, Sam is never short on game-changing...


03 Cynthia Rowley - Artist and Entrepreneur Leading a Global Lifestyle Brand

Cynthia Rowley is most well known for her clothing brand that she founded in 1983, but she didn’t stop there - she created an empire. “For anyone who wants to start a company, it’s never been easier: you don’t need a store, you don’t even need an office space.” - Cynthia Rowley. Learn more about this episode of The Mentor Files with Monica Royer at


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