Entrepreneurship runs in Monica Royer’s family. Her brother Andy founded Bonobos, the menswear company that changed the retail game. And Monica took notes on his journey before carving out a space of her own. She went on to found Monica + Andy, a company that makes organic baby blankets and clothing. Monica joined us to share how she’s created a mentor network, and her first steps to get the business off the ground.
On Her Idea
Monica: I wish someone had paved the way for me as a parent to kind of help me to see around the corners. And instead, I got to the hospital, like so many other people did, and I was like, "Why am I learning this all for the first time here?"
And so, for me, it was first and foremost about the quality of the product. Because I started researching it, Danielle, [and I found out] there could be lead, and phthalates, and things are sprayed with flame retardants and all of these things that you just assume aren't in your children's clothing.
But then, beyond that, it was this movement of the community. Like, how could other people feel less alone than I did in that moment? And so I literally came into the hospital without thinking about it and left the hospital on a mission that would be three years in the making because I had a newborn. But I was on a mission. I'm like, "There's gotta be something better."
On Building Her Network
Danielle: Where do you go for advice? Does it stay within your family network? Have you been building a mentor network outside of it?
Monica: I mean, definitely family has been important but we have built a network outside…. I realized that I really look to people that have operated or... people that have seen around corners…. And so I have found that the best advice is not people that are at the same stage of the game.
…. It’s not about the money, it's about the wisdom that comes with the money. And so people that have sat in your seat as an operator, and sold their company, or they've done something and they're ten or 15, 20 years ahead of you, whether that's in age or whether that's just in experience, it doesn't matter.
And so I feel like the advice is the most key component to it. And I think that inside the family has been wonderful, but it's the outside advice that I've gotten that's also really I feel like helped to get us to where we are and to keep us on this path.
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