005: How She used Celebrities to GROW her Business – Sarah Shaw
Sarah Shaw, Entreprenette CEO, is an experienced business owner who has created and nurtured many businesses. In this episode, she discusses her secrets to getting your products in the hands of celebrities and revealing how to leverage that for powerful publicity and exposure in the media. Sarah Shaw’s products have been in over 1,200 stores and boutiques across the country, including Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Barney’s, Henri Bendel, Fred Segal, Neiman Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue, and Bloomingdales.
She’s also appeared in the pages of almost every major fashion and lifestyle magazine including: InStyle, People, US Weekly, Lucky, ELLE, WWD, Marie Claire, and the O-List. Sarah has been on TV Shows like Access Hollywood, Extra, and the E! Network. She's also been interviewed for Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com and American Express’ OPEN Forum.
How did Sarah get started in business? And what made her handbags a smashing success? She started her handbag company on a whim while working in the film business, doing costumes for movies. She had this random idea, which surprised her because she never thought she’d be an entrepreneur. “I am a third generation entrepreneur, but I thought no way would that life be for me! I want a steady paycheck and retirement!”
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
- [1:08] She owns Sarah Shaw Consulting, where she help people take their idea or develop their product and bring it to the market.
- [2:02] Had an accessory company for years and a handbag company for 5 yrs.
- [2:13] Closed the company because she lost her financing and investors.
- [2:45] Launched a website that started to sell other people’s products.
- [3:48] She and her partner split up and she decided to produce her own product.
- [3:55] People started calling her for consulting.
- [4:23] In 2009, her friends advised her to turn her consulting skills into a business.
- [5:08] She hired a business coach to teach her how to launch a service based company.
- [5:43] She worked in a film business doing costumes for movies after she got out of college.
- [6:09] Her entrepreneur boyfriend at that time pushed her to pursue the handbags business.
- [6:55] She had a business in 1994 called Rags to Order, a made to order clothing company.
- [7:52] Her other business was called Wardrobe Trailers, where they rented out clothes to the film industry.
- [8:50] Started selling the handbags at the back of her car.
- [9:13] She got her big break when she sold the handbags in Anthropologie.
- [9:52] She sold 120,000 in her first year in the early 1998.
- [16:07] She incurred huge debts because she was paying interest on all the money she borrowed from the bank.
- [21:45] The business went south after the 9/11 attack.
- [30:08] “It’s really important to understand business.”
- [41:10] She works with her clients by emails, 2 days a week.
- [41:39] She divides her time working 5-6 hours a day and spending it with her twin daughters.
- [45:05] “I kinda think I’m unemployable.”
Fabulous 4 Questions:
- 📖 📚 Favorite Book(s)? The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla
- 🙌😎 Favorite Amazon.com purchase? Alexa Dot
- 🌱💸 Favorite Tool that's GROWN your Business? Pippa hosts & Her Podcast
- 💭💡 BIGGEST Challenge keeping your Business from GROWING? Not being persistent at getting enough PR for myself to get more exposure for my brand.
Key Point from the Interview:
- Should have Trademarked her name so the company would be more valuable.