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Redefining what it means to be a luxury DTC brand with Senreve’s Co-Founder Coral Chung

by Female Startup Club
October 8th 2020
00:48:58
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Joining me on the show today is Coral Chung, Co-Founder and CEO of Senreve, the luxury San Fran based fashion startup. 

Coral and her Co-Founder Wendy teamed up to redefine what it meant to b... More

doing here, we're in month two of being part of the hubspot podcast network and I wanted to take a second to shout out another incredible women lead podcast, being boss with Emily Thompson, if you're a creative business owner or thinking about becoming one. Being boss is an exploration of not only what it means, but what it takes to be a creative business owner, freelancer or side hustler, I loved Emily's episode on taking time off as a business owner, it's definitely a really challenging part of running your own business and I recommend giving it a listen, check out, being boss wherever you get your podcasts. This is carl chang for female startup Club. Hi everyone and welcome back to another episode of female startup club, I'm your host, Don rasheen. And joining me on the show today is Coral chung founder and Ceo of SAN rev the luxury fashion startup based out of san Fran Coral and her co founder Wendy teamed up to redefine what it meant to build a luxury brand in today's fashion landscape. They've been on a major journey in the last three years, raising more than $23 million Priyanka, Angelina Jolie and lady gaga but how'd they do it?

How did they break through and stand out in a saturated market, find out in this episode of female startup club, this is Coral for female Startup Club two. Yeah. Mhm it's safe to say that most of us have been doing more online shopping lately, right, and if you're an e commerce brand that means you might be seeing more first time customers. But once they've made that first purchase, how do you keep them coming back? How do you keep them connected to you and your brand? That's what Clay vo is for. Clay vo is the ultimate marketing platform for e commerce brands. Clay vo gives you the tools to build your contact list, send memorable emails, automate key messages and so much more. That's why it's trusted by more than 40,000 brands including female founded businesses like curl mix hint and Campari Beauty. Get in on the action to delight customers, grow brand affinity and make some serious money.

Clay Vo customers made $10.2 billion dollars through the platform last year. So whether you're launching a new online business or taking your brand to the next level, Clay vo can help you get growing faster and I can confirm the platform is super easy to use and has all the hard stuff done for you, like templates, automated sequences and general email related resources to learn how to win at email marketing. Plus it's free to get started just visit Clay vo dot com slash F. S. C. To create your free account today. That's K L A V I Y O dot com slash F S C. Do you own an online business? Have you been wanting to learn how to launch highly profitable facebook and instagram ads. The ads. NBA by female startup club is of course to master the technical skills needed to run profitable facebook and instagram ads. We teamed up with leading performance marketing agency amplifier to create the best tool on the Internet for female founders to learn the exact strategies they're using right now to scale their clients to seven figures and above.

In the last 15 years their team has spent more than $100 million on performance marketing and they know a serious thing or two about e commerce. The course is designed to give you the tools needed to build a profitable and consistent revenue stream for your business, whether you're just starting out or wanting to scale to the next level, you'll learn everything from winning ad creatives to identifying your target kPI s implementing retargeting funnels and deploying scaling strategies to increase your revenue to upwards of seven figures per year. We currently have an introductory offer on the website for $149 And $30 from every sale is proudly donated to the Malala Fund, a charity that's working towards a world where every girl can learn and lead female star presence. Coral, thank you so much for joining us today. I'm so excited to chat with you. I'm excited as well. Happy to join. Thanks for having me. Can you introduce us to who you are and what your business is before we jump into things. Yeah, happy to, I'm Coral chung founder and Ceo of san rev sen rev is a digitally native luxury brand.

We launched about 3.5 years ago and have just grown tremendously and in a wonderful position of actually starting to expand as a global company and brand. So I'm happy to share more and very excited about that. You have so many beautiful pieces, I absolutely love what you've been building. I want to go back to the time of your life before you started seen rev. So a few years ago to find out what you were doing and what kind of lead you to think about starting a brand and starting a brand in fashion. I have always been passionate about luxury and fashion and I think in terms of what led me to send rev, it's almost like all of the different pieces of my life really led me to it. I grew up in a very entrepreneurial household. My parents were both entrepreneurs, they were actually academics in china and then moved to the U. S. And started various businesses. And so as an only child, I really grew up in that environment and was really absorbing that through osmosis.

And so always had the dream of one day also starting my own company. I think um when I started Sandra Rivett was actually a very interesting moment in my life where my daughter at the time was around three years old. Um I had had actually quite a few lucky breaks and successful experiences. Um actually it's a it's a very interesting anecdote but every company I ever worked at ended up having a really successful I. P. O. And so um I had some relevant experience under my belt, both at startups and larger companies. Um also spent some time at Prada, working for product Global CIO before product went public. And so I felt very confident, I felt ready both personally as well as professionally. I felt like I had experienced and learned so many things in a variety of contexts and so I didn't have any more excuses at that point. I needed to start something and really fulfill the dream that I had.

So that that was the context for me and the inspiration for Sandra. I've really was twofold one was I always had a personal struggle of finding that perfect luxury bag that was also really versatile that had the organization that I wanted that fit a laptop. I traveled so much and I really needed the bag to fit my life as opposed to the other way around even though I also appreciated luxury and beauty. I was always struggling to make that choice and forcing myself to have that compromise. So I felt like there's a real pain point here and I think a lot of women are struggling with that. So that was a huge part of the inspiration. The other part of it was I was working at a big data analytics company in Silicon Valley, working with a variety of brands and really saw that they were all kind of universally struggling with e commerce connecting with millennials with the digital world. And so I felt that, gosh, this is a real opportunity to build something that's digitally native and kind of reconstruct what a modern luxury brand should look like.

Wow. And so when you made those decisions and you realize that you had the pain point, what were those early next steps of actually getting started and meeting your co founder and bringing her on and kind of building a brand? I guess it was uh, it was, I would say actually a very fast process, it's hard to describe and actually prior to send rev, I had other ideas and other things that caught my attention, but nothing really grabbed me. And so when I have the inspiration and the idea for send rev, it really grabbed me, you know, and the rational mind, I told myself like, oh, you know, it's too risky or now is not the right time or you know, why don't you just wait until Medallion, the company I was at at that time, why don't you wait until Medallion goes public and then um, do this? You know, so I had all these self talk types of things, you know, the rational mind telling me not to do this, but what was really interesting about sin rev was this was the only time where this idea just took a life of its own, it kind of grabbed me, you know, I could not shake it.

I was thinking about it constantly, even though at the time I was working full time at Medallion and I just realized that it's because it's something that I'm really passionate about and I feel like I have a unique insight into, and even though a lot of advisers and a lot of people that I talked to said that it's crazy or it's not achievable or actually really pressure tested me in and in many cases discouraged me from pursuing it. I still couldn't shake it right. It wasn't the type of thing where somebody told me that, oh, this is crazy, you know, you should wait four years until you're fully vested. Um, I never took that feedback and said, okay, that's right. You know, I should just give up now. So that was really interesting because I think, uh, it grabbed me and it really, it became kind of an obsession, right? And so that's why I say it came really quickly. So I was working kind of nights and weekends, really vetting this idea. Um, as I mentioned, speaking to a lot of people, advisor's friends, people who really know me, people who are experts in the industry, people who, I valued their opinions, right?

And I took all of that feedback and digested it. Um, and then kind of thought about, okay, well how will I operationalize it? And so it was baby steps, you know, I got a lawyer, I got incorporated and I started um making it more real, if you will right, taking steps to make it go from just an idea to something on paper. And in terms of meeting my co founder Wendy, we had known each other for some time, we met through a mutual friend at a friend's birthday party and she, at the time was graduating from business school and so um after she graduated, you know, I basically at that point was pretty much ready to leave my job and pursue this full time. And so I invited her to join and she, she is also very rational and analytical, right? And so in some ways she was one of the first key people that I needed to convince that there was this was a viable business and this was something that was going to be successful. And she had a lot of provocative questions to make sure that I thought through all these things um like what, what kind of things was she asking you?

Well, you know, I think it's, it's um she's, she's a very smart lady and she also comes from an investor background, right? So a lot of the questions work around, you know, did you really look at the market, is it really saturated or is there opportunity, you know, what is the key points of differentiation? You know, why, why is this business model going to work, why is this timing the right timing um to make sure that all of these things were thought through and so anyway, she was, she was satisfied with with our conversations and felt like it was liable, she joined me and then the two of us started pursuing it full time um together, so that was about 3.5, 4 years ago and uh yeah, it's been quite an adventure ever since. Yes, I bet, I bet it's such an adventure. I want to get into the cool part of you finding a manufacturer in Italy and going on this journey of discovery of building a luxury brand out of europe, it just sounds so divine.

It was, it was, I would say a hard process actually, it was very tumultuous journey, but there were some parts that were divine, there was there was a lot of amazing food and wine and that part was wonderful in the relationship building courtship process with our partners in Italy and I do love working with Italians who are very passionate about product, they have a lot of pride and everything that they do. Um the original founder and owner of the factory that we work with, he's over 80 years old and he's still very, very passionate and uh works really hard and is um you know mentoring everyone else and I think that's really inspiring, It definitely shows that it's a genuine, very authentic love for the craft, which is really hard to find nowadays I think. So we manufacturer outside of Florence and I obviously go there frequently and it's really such an inspiring place, you know the birth of the renaissance, I really never get sick of kind of walking towards the town center and seeing the demo and feeling that spark of inspiration.

So I did feel like that was quite an amazing growth and learning journey for me I think in terms of getting there it was not easy because it's a very opaque type of world and um although I had a lot of business background in retail and consumer brands and fashion, et cetera. Um I was not a production manufacturing type of person, I had never been in those types of factories are worked with those artisans closely before. And so it's quite a learning experience and I really actually scoured the world to find the right partner right? So I not only looked in Italy but I looked elsewhere in europe elsewhere in Asia as well as in the U. S. And um it took some time and I would just say that you know for people who are struggling through that step of the process for someone who is impatient like me, I had to really slow things down and take time because it's a learning process and it takes time and actually all of that investment up front ended up paying dividends later on, because it was important learning for me to have um, to go through that process and for the partners that didn't work out and for the uh locations and regions that didn't work out, it was all information for me to understand what would eventually work out.

Mm Yeah, totally. What were the kinds of things you were looking for in a manufacturer and who did you want to partner with? I think the first thing for us that was really critical was quality. They needed to have a certain quality standards, they needed to produce product that we felt was up to our quality standard. That was probably the most critical point because we were out of the gate starting a digitally native luxury brand that had a very premium price point that needed the quality to really back it up. I think the second thing is it was really important for them to buy into the vision because at the time Sandrov wasn't a real brand, it wasn't a real company even and we didn't have product. And so it was a type of relationship that needed trust on their side, they needed to believe in the vision, the concept that aesthetic and and also have that chemistry with us to support us through the early days of really proving out that this was possible.

And so in some ways, not every partner, especially in manufacturing a lot of them are more risk averse. Um, I can believe in that and so I'm forever grateful that they really believed in that and that's what made it a good match. And then lastly, I think it's really an understanding of where they are as a company as well because some don't want to take that leap of faith because they are very satisfied with their existing customers. They're, you know, they're not pursuing high growth, they, they're not necessarily ambitious startups and their more traditional businesses that are generational and so um, I think really understanding what their needs are and if it matches right, if they believe in our growth and they're excited about that, then it's a good match mm for sure. And how did you get them to be on board with the vision? Was it like relationship building? You needed to visit them all the time? We needed to talk to them often? How do you, how do you kind of build the match I guess.

Yes, yes, it was a lot of relationship building and this is in part about the wine and the food and you know, I was in Italy quite a bit and uh I would say there was a time when I was in Italy uh flying from italy from California to Italy almost every other week a lot, I would do short term. Yeah, because I have a little one at home and so I was never comfortable with being away for too long. My husband and I have a rule about travel, you know, not, not ever being away from, from a business travel perspective for a week continuously, so I would go to Italy for two days and then come back and then go again for two days. But yes, it required a lot of time, a lot of mileage and um it was really getting to know you type of process like deeply, right? So, um, I've met, you know, their entire family and they have met my family and we've had many dinners together and so that that relationship building is really important.

The other point that I think is really important is to be as prepared as possible. So even though at that time the brand wasn't launched and didn't exist yet and we didn't have products and we've never made any of the cells, I felt that because I had done a lot of legwork prior to meeting with them, um, I was already prepared and it was presented in a real way, you know, um, the vision was very much flushed out, It was very tangible. Uh, and they, they also just really believed in our aesthetic in our positioning because as a top manufacturer, they work with many, many brands and so they have their own judgment of, hey, is this vision for SAN rev unique and differentiated and beautiful and something that they could get behind because it's so different from everyone else they've partnered with. Uh, so I think all of those things combined were quite critical to get them on board and excited.

Yeah, for sure. And I often like to talk about the money side of things. Obviously you guys have a higher price point, you're a luxury fashion label, you know, you're producing with top quality manufacturers in europe. I'm assuming you have to place large orders. Do you raise money straight away or do you pile your savings in? What's that sort of early days financing the brand? Like, I think it's, uh, I think it's been done in many ways, but for us, I felt that it was important to, um, have some capital raised. So in the beginning of his bootstrapped by my savings, uh, in the very, very beginning, but we quickly went out to the market to raise money actually, before we launched. And so there's, there's, uh, I would say two schools of thought, You know, some people feel that it's better to have it bootstrapped until its launch.

Some people feel like it's better to raise money earlier. Um, so, so we did go out to raise money earlier and I think the thought behind that was, it was really helpful to have some capital, um, and cushion so that we could stay stealth a little bit longer as opposed to being forced to launch and start generating revenue with products that we weren't 100% happy with. Um, so it gave us some time. And then the second thought there was, it was helpful to get people who believed in the vision, again, to put some skin in the game. And the idea behind that was those people will be advocates for us. And also, uh, not just uh, it's not just money, but also that they are really people that we admire and they could be helpful strategically. And so it was a point of engagement with them as well. So we were starting to build this center of community.

And again, most of the investors in the early days also continue to be advisers today. And I read that you really wanted to have your lead investor as a woman and that you have a lot of women who are invested into the brand. What do you think stood out about the brand to them when you were going in and pitching and telling your stories. Um, and how long did the process take for you to raise the first round? Um, you know, it's very interesting because as you know, statistically speaking, uh, there are two things against women who are founders and and who are our executives. The first thing is there are very few uh, senior women in leadership positions at various investment firms. So thats just statistically extremely skewed. And the second thing is there are very few examples of really successful female founders, entrepreneurs executives. And so when investors evaluate businesses or people, you know, there is really pattern recognition, Right?

And so consciously or subconsciously because there are very few that look like us. It's just harder. It's a, it's a higher bar. Right? And um, so that's something that I think we just all have to grapple with, it's just a reality and it's, it's true, it's extremely skewed. And so I would say that the process is really like an art meets science type of process. Again, I felt like preparation was so important, knowing the fundamentals of the business model, the unit economics, really understanding the numbers, really being able to speak about all of that intelligently in the early days, we didn't have proof, but it was really important to be able to demonstrate that we understood all the nuts and bolts. Yeah, I think the part, especially in the early days, it was really important to be able to tell us coherent story because investors are always trying to poke holes at things, right? Um, that's, that's their job, you know, to understand what the risks are and so forth. Uh, and so it's really important to flesh that out and be very confident in, um, you know, your belief in it.

And, and I think it was helpful to a degree that I not only was putting sweat equity in, but also had my personal money. Um, and so clearly there was a lot of conviction around being able to start this. Absolutely. Do you have any advice who, for women who are going into a fundraising round and wanting to raise capital to launch a business? There are so many pieces of advice. So the first one is as much as possible. Don't take rejection personally. It's super hard because it really does hurt, you know, when people say no, or when people, uh, kind of tell you that they don't believe in your idea or your business, or they don't believe in you. Um, but I think what I found is that a lot of times rejection is not actually because of you or your idea or really anything that has to do with your business, it has a lot to do with what they're going through and their circumstances, and ultimately, it's about finding the perfect fit, and it's it's like dating very much so, right?

And I think that part of it is just something to go into eyes wide open and and, and as much as possible, not be discouraged by rejection. The second piece of advice is, I do think it's really important to be quite methodical about speaking to a variety of people because unless you're very experienced at this. Again, it's a very much art meets science thing and you don't know who you're gonna have chemistry with or what their circumstances are. So, it's really important to understand, um, kind of what the available market to you is from an investment perspective. Um, and the third thing again is to as much as possible, be really, really prepared, right? And you know, you can practice this the pitch with people that can give you honest feedback and again, don't take that negative feedback personally. I think the negative feedback is super helpful, right? And be really humble about that and not kind of defensive. I think one of the things that sometimes, um, investors get nervous about is when, when there are pressure testing and founders get really defensive and so I think practicing it and making sure that you're fluid in being able to answer all these tough questions, which there will be a lot of tough questions.

Um, makes you come off as a lot more confident prepared and less defensive, which will make for a more productive conversation. Amazing. Thank you. I want to talk about your marketing, especially in the early days when you first were launching your go to market strategy. How are you finding customers and building that momentum, getting people into your network or your circle? I think it's very much uh, you know, the marketing piece is really enabled by your product and your brand and that customer fit right? So for us, we actually did not do a lot of, uh, we just didn't have the budget for a lot of aggressive kind of paid marketing. And so we were really focused on building up an organic community. So in the beginning there were a couple of things that were really helpful for us, so we had really a very strong organic network of women that are a perfect fit for this product right there. Multifaceted women, they're young professionals, there are doctors, there are lawyers there, investment bankers, accountants, creatives, entrepreneurs, and these are the women who happen to be in our circle, who went to business school with us, or uh went to college with us or worked in companies with us.

And so it was a very organic kind of community and it really developed from there, you know, what was super exciting as one example is about maybe 2 to 3 months after we launched, a friend of mine was at a conference and said, oh my gosh, you know, um three of the five panelists had Sandra bags and you know, everyone was so excited to not only asked them about career advice and things like this, but like where do they get their bag? Like who makes that bag, what's that brand? So that's like a small anecdote, an example of how that vier al Itty started to happen and it was really this word of mouth type of effect, which is so exciting. Um the second thing of course is we really focus on digital and social media and that was a amplification of this conference example where people would share about it online and their friends would learn about it and um that again kind of helped us continue to build the momentum. But it was really fundamentally enabled by a product that did have that product market fit right.

It was a beautiful, identifiable, high quality product that women really want and need in their lives. And so it was very much a pool from them and less of a push from us. Mm And I also read that you guys really thought into, you know, making sure that you had the hero peace and building the brand around the kind of cold bags that you that you wanted to put out there. Yeah, absolutely. I think it's really important to focus because in the beginning, you know, you've really time is the most precious resource and being focused is what allows you to really allocate your time appropriately and be able to uh kind of put all of the limited resources that you have into that product and that's what we did. You know, we really put all our attention, our capital, our energy into really perfecting that product. And as I mentioned earlier, a huge part of raising that capital earlier was so that we had time to perfect and not be forced to launch because we needed to generate revenue.

So I think that focus and discipline is super important, especially in the beginning. Um and it continues to be important for us today. Actually, prioritization is one of the biggest challenges because there's always opportunities and there's distractions and it's really, you know, how do you, how do you maximize and focus your attention in time? Um and how do you devote that to the most important thing? Mm Yeah. And 3.5 years down the track, Where are you guys now with the business and what's it like with marketing? What's working for you now? Gosh, it's really incredible. I I always make this analogy of having a startup is very much like raising a child. And it's funny because you know, I I kind of am doing that in parallel in some ways. And so Sandra, like a child is I would say kind of in that toddler uh phase, well maybe in the elementary school phase now, but it's really crazy because everything changes so much, even on a monthly basis or even on a weekly basis.

So um just to give you a sense, right? Um 3.5 years ago the company was shipping and fulfilling product out of my basement and garage. Right? And now we have um close to like a 10,000 square foot facility in South san Francisco and we've we've kind of outgrown that. Oh my gosh, wow! Now moving to a now moving to a third party logistics provider because we've really outgrown that space. So you know, it's pretty crazy because it did start step by step. It started at first it took over my garage and then I took over my basement and then I started taking other parts of the house and we had a family conversation where my husband was like, okay, I think it's time for Sandrov to move out. You know, it's outgrown its outgrowing the house. You are growing up, it's time to get out of the house, you've got to go Exactly, exactly. In the beginning we launched with two products and now we have gosh, you know, a ton of yeah, um we offer also not just handbag category products, but really in the height of Covid started launching other categories as well, including Sandra at home including um that collection includes really beautiful, 100% begin natural candles, a cashmere set that's really great and versatile for indoors and outdoors.

And we just launched slippers which will be really comfy and cozy for winter. Um so there's so much going on. We also launched a platform called Selected by Sandrov where it's a curated marketplace where we support a lot of female founded brands um and really kind of showcase them using our platform because we felt like a lot of these smaller brands were struggling during Covid, especially if they didn't have a digitally native or director consumer presents. So we're kind of allowing them to leverage our platform and also um we're curating really amazing products and brands for our community, but so much has changed and I think the biggest thing is that we've become a lot more global as a brand and as a company and we have teammates in italy we have teammates in Hong kong and shanghai and it's uh it's starting to fulfill that global vision which is so exciting. Um So even last year around this time Probably only uh 15% of the business was outside of the US and now it's closer to 40% and soon it's going to be half of the business which again changes a lot of different things from operations as product development to where the team is.

Um and I think that's that's a super exciting phase for us to enter into that is so exciting, oh my gosh! And I think it's so important to look back and remember those days of like when you're doing things in your garage and like looking to where you are now and having so many products and having you know you have about every celebrity that where's your bags? Um That is just so exciting and so so cool. What advice do you have for women who have a big idea? Well I think the first thing is to really be able to quiet your mind and sometimes the rational side of you that talks to you out of things to be able to kind of get deep into your intuition and really understand like is this is this a true passion, is this something that when times get hard, I'm still going to wake up every day and feel excited and motivated because it is truly what I am passionate about and it is truly fulfilling for me.

So I think that is a very internal journey and exercise that I think really is important to go through up front because it does get hard at times right? And I think if you don't have that at certain junctures, you may question whether or not you will definitely question whether or not you're doing the right thing right? But if you have this kind of internal uh conviction, then the likelihood you'll give up is smaller. So I do think it's really important before you take the plunge, find a way to really tap into that intuition, ignore all the noise and you know the rational mind the little negative voices talking to yourself and be able to tap into that and confirm that conviction that you have right and cling on to that when times get hard because times will get hard, but if you have that then you're secure and you don't have to give up because you, you fundamentally believe in yourself.

That is so true. This might be a really silly question. But when you were saying earlier and just now that you were going to your like network and you were really asking for advice specifically, what kinds of things were you asking them to help you with? Was it like, here's my business plan, what do you think? Or was it just like, hey, I want to create this company. This is the general top line thing or are you going kind of specifically asking them specific questions. It depends on the person and the relationship. Um, so if I had a close relationship with them, I would go very in depth into the nooks and crannies of how I was thinking about things and allowing them to pressure test every single element, right? And because I had a very close relationship and, and this trusted relationship with them, I wasn't, I wasn't discouraged or afraid if they said something negative. In fact, I wanted, I wanted them to do that because I felt like I needed all of these things to come out because eventually it would, you know, eventually an investor will bring it up or eventually, um, an employer of recruit will bring it up, right?

Or a partner will bring it up. So rather I wanted them to go deep and bring up all of these things. Such that I could be prepared and I could think about it right? Maybe they'll bring up things like do I actually never thought about that or I wasn't aware of this. Let me look into it a little bit more. So those were the conversations I had with the people who are really close for the people that were more. Um, let's say they were introductions and it was not a first degree relationship or we had just met or something like that. It was much more about testing the pitch with them describing it very briefly and especially if they were potentially customers, if they were women, I would really kind of see like, hey, do their eyes light up like, oh my gosh, this is the problem that I've had for so long. I'm so glad somebody is finally doing something about this or is it kind of, oh, you know, that's interesting. Okay. You know, not, not super excited, but so I wanted a gauge of that, right? I felt that it was really important.

I love that. And I love this idea of pressure testing and poking holes in it. Um, it's a good way to think about it. We are up to the six quick questions part of the interview question number one is what's your Why? Gosh, that's a great question. I love to create. I love the whole process, the creative process and it's interesting because I'm an analytical person, but I actually love creativity and, and there's an artistic element of myself that I'm able to bring forward with genre that really excites me. Question number two is what's been the number one marketing moment that's made your business pop who, you know, it's, that's a hard one to answer because there's really been a series of many moments. Um, you can share a few, certainly some of the celebrity moments are really exciting. You know, when lady gaga shared about her, my Strabag on instagram. I was excited um and inspired or when Angelina Jolie wore our bag in London, I was just really, really excited and and that was a super exciting moment.

Um I also think the organic customer moments were so important, but I will say that uh in terms of you know the initial launch of Sin rev, I remember when we launched and we were in women's wear daily to announce our launch, That was a huge moment. So that I would say it was a really exciting first step for us to become this legitimate fashion brand and have that fashion credibility For sure. Question # three is where do you hang out to get smarter? What are you reading? What are you listening to? Who are you talking to? I love reading, I don't have time often to read which that's you know, I'm always working on something and one of the things I'm working on is being able to read more. I'm really fanatic about biographies, so I love reading about entrepreneurs about leaders, historical figures. So one of my favorites is a shoe dog by Phil Knight, it's about the Nike story, I've read it a couple times and actually every time I'm down I read it because it was he had such a tough time and when I read it I'm reminded of, Okay, it's not as tough as it was for Phil and Nike um so that that's a great one um steve jobs by walter ISaAcson.

Um I'm actually reading right now tighten the john d Rockefeller story by Ron charnel uh really interesting and inspiring and uh it's um it's thought provoking, you know, it makes me think it makes me evaluate our times and my business and you know, the way that he thinks. Um I also read Einstein by walter ISAAcson, which was fascinating. I love to get into how people think, you know, how a creative and unique mind operates. Um so those are, those are some of my favorite books recently and um I think in terms of podcasts, I do love to listen to different podcasts when I'm walking or jogging, I love the NPR podcast. Um but not just about business and entrepreneurship, but I really love to hear about scientific research, human psychology, behavioral types of things, you know, fundamental things that really drive uh people and also um and how, how uh they're dealing with certain things like the pandemic, you know, I think um those are really fascinating things for me in terms of people.

I do really have a wonderful supportive group of founders that I love to speak with. I'm part of an organization called Waipio and um we have monthly gatherings where there's a small group and we give each other feedback and we just do a lot of experience sharing and I find that extremely helpful. Um and I think it's really important as the founder to have a community, uh to be able to speak about various topics, you know, not not just business, but also how business intersects with personal and uh everyone has challenges and being able to share that with a group of people who can empathize is hugely important and powerful. Absolutely for sure. Question # four is how do you win the day and that's around your AM and PM rituals? Okay, so um am ritual. Um I'd love to start off the day with a short meditation even if it's just two minutes, I think it's really gets me centered and it's it's helpful.

Um and actually I, I recently heard of a meditation, it's the lazy person's meditation, which sometimes I am, it's like all you do is you lay down, you know, and you just three and I was like I could do that. Um so I need that. Yeah, there's a, there's a more sophisticated term for it, but anyhow, the instruction is simple, you just lay down flat and kind of sprawl out your hands and legs and like take deep breaths. Um so I try to do some type of meditation exercise in the morning. Um I do, you know, especially with working from home and covid, I do like to start my day feeling like okay now I'm entering the zone and I, I think for many people it's different, but for me it is, you know, actually like getting dressed, um just just doing this routine that makes me feel like okay I'm not in my pajamas, I'm ready to take on the day. Um I I usually have a morning check in with my daughter and my husband.

You know we we try to do a kind of a morning family meeting type of thing just to make sure we're aligned on the schedule for the day and with remote learning and whatnot, there's there's quite a lot of work that parents have to do to support their young kids and so certainly we have had our share of struggles with that so we try to, you know just make sure like she's all set up for her zooms that there's no technical issues that she knows how to do what she needs to do to get through her day, so that's more or less the morning routine. And I do also um you know go through the routine of checking slack and email and just kind of clearing out any critical inbox types of things before I start kind of a full day of back to back zoom calls and google hangouts and um you know virtual conversations. Um So that's A. M. P. M. Um I have a lot of calls with Asia actually, so I do work pretty late into the evening um So I don't have actually a lot of time to unwind at the PM but usually again my husband and I try to have a check in before we go to bed.

Sometimes I do take like a bath to relax. Um, I find that to be really helpful and it helps me sleep better. Um, but yeah, usually the PM routine is pretty simple because I'm doing calls late into the night. You're busy until late question number five is, if you only have $1000 left in your business bank account, where would you spend it? Ooh, this is so interesting. Um, okay. I would, Wow. I would use that to try to raise more money. It's sort of a work around the question, but it's really like, you know, whatever, whatever that money could be spent to allow me to extend runway and get more money will be how I spend that $1,000. Nice taxicabs to meeting rooms potentially. Yes. Question # six The last question is how do you deal with failure?

And that can be around a personal experience or just your general mindset and approach. So this is may be controversial, but I believe that failure is, is a mindset and, and I think if one doesn't believe in failing. I don't believe in failing then and then I won't fail. So it is the type of thing where it's, it's just failure is not an option. That's how I think about failure. That's how I grapple with failure. You know, in terms of our, their setbacks are their challenges. Are there things that don't work out the way that I originally thought? Absolutely, but I don't really think about those as failure moments. I think about those as learning opportunities as challenges to overcome. So to me it's really this mindset that's so important and um that's kind of how I'm able to deal with it and overcome it and not be bogged down um and uh and being able to let go and move on as well? Absolutely, for sure.

I agree. Carl, thank you so much for being on the show today. I have absolutely loved learning about your brand and what you've been doing and thank you so much. Thank you for having me. This is really fun and thank you for all the smart questions. Hopefully it was helpful, hey, it's just me here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female startup club podcast. If you want to hear more head to my instagram at Dune rasheen to see my filmed interviews with incredible female founders like Erica from fluffy beauty Greta from drop bottle and Sammy leo from breeze bomb. And if you like what we're doing here, visit our website and sign up to female startup club dot com to get all of the good stuff delivered straight to your inbox and lastly subscribe to the female startup club podcast. No. Mhm Yeah

Redefining what it means to be a luxury DTC brand with Senreve’s Co-Founder Coral Chung
Redefining what it means to be a luxury DTC brand with Senreve’s Co-Founder Coral Chung
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