Ever worn a really uncomfortable bra and thought “Who even invented this?” Michelle Cordeiro Grant was one of those people. She worked for major lingerie and underwear brands before starting her own, Lively, after she saw how other brands didn’t put their customer - or comfort - first. And it turns out: flipping the script worked. Lively sold out of inventory in its first two weeks. And in 2019, Lively was acquired for a casual $105 million dollars. This week, we talked to Michelle about how to listen to customers.
Michelle: That is marketing at its core, right? Forget social, forget television, marketing is just humans telling humans something is awesome. And so that's really how we built the brand early on. So today I feel the same way, right? It's like paid marketing and paid influencer is definitely a part of DTC life. But at the end of the day, how do you just get humans to get excited to tell another human?
Michelle: I said to my husband, “I’m supposed to write a business plan…question mark. I need you to take [our daughter] out of this apartment for 48 hours.” And I'm like, “Business plan for dummies, examples of business plans.” And then I kind of realized…wait, hold on. This meeting is going to be a confidence game. I bet you they're not even going to look at this business plan if I just believe in this business plan. So then I was like: simple business plan, and just started to strip out all the formulas, all the tabs. And let's make something that I truly understand and go in with.
Skimm'd by Alex Carr and Andrew Callaway
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"I don't think starting a business you can ever tell yourself that like, I'm going to be able to do everything. You have to make sacrifices somewhere. I'd rather not pay myself, then not pay other people."
"I always say to myself, 'Be who you are. Be exactly who you are.' Try not to let all of the outside noise change who I really am on the inside."
"I was broken in 2014. Building Bumble and finding a way to build this product that had intention, purpose, passion — that rebuilt me. It literally put me back together."