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6 Quick Questions with Jane Fisher, Co-founder of Harper Wilde (part 2)

by Female Startup Club
April 19th 2022

Today we’re learning from Jane, the founder of Harper Wilde. 

Founded in 2017, Harper Wilde is a direct-to-consumer, ‘underthings’ brand for women. Frustrated with the over-priced, hyper sexu... More

I can be a bit of a fan girl when it comes to other female podcasters in the business space and I am so sure you're going to know the woman who I'm shouting about today. It's Jenna, co host of the gold digger podcast that's brought to you by the hubspot podcast network. The gold digger podcast helps you discover your dream career with productivity tips, social strategies, business hacks, inspirational stories and so much more. But if you don't know her yet, you should head over and immediately download the episode called Sales 101, a lesson in selling for people who hate it. Listen to the gold digger podcast wherever you get your podcasts Welcome Back! Here are the six quick questions. Mm hmm. So question number one is what's your why? Why are you doing what you're doing, lift up the ladies? I think sums it up, You know, I think that I don't have a love for bras. We started the company because we hated bras, we hated shopping for bras. That's that's why harper Wild exists. But it was it's about so much more than just selling a ton of bras. It's about creating a new brand that stands for the modern woman.

And when we thought about young girls looking to victoria's secret as what beauty is. That was a really painful reality for us. And so it's all about creating a brand that empowers the women of today as well as the women of tomorrow and gives them a new face of beauty, that they're actually excited about that empowers them. That doesn't discourage them. Amen Question. Number two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? I think that Kristen bell moment was really special. It also was right in the midst of the pandemic starting up. So to have this real moment of excitement and just team morale building even though we're all sitting trapped in our homes um to be able to feel that between the team. Even remote I think just speaks to how exciting of the time it was. Mm That would have been so great. So amazing. Question # three is what's your go to business resource?

If you have to think about like a book or a newsletter or a podcast. I think honestly normally I go to advisors and even team members. Um the first place that I think you get like this real operating experience that's very real, very actionable, takes into account all the challenges. So if there's something within our supply chain that's really difficult to solve you know we are fortunate enough to have the former ceo victoria's secret on our board of advisors. We worked with the former S. V. P. Of production and sourcing at victoria's secrets. So I was just on the phone with her yesterday picking her brain. I think the podcasts are helpful that I listen to. But I think what's different about yours that I really love is how real it is. And that's the difference that I seek out to make sure that it is actually real. It's actionable versus kind of painting a pretty picture that actually doesn't help because how do I use that when in reality, that's not how it actually plays out totally.

Thank you, by the way, question number four is how do you win the day? What are your am or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and motivated and successful? Yeah, um I mean being physically active is really important to me and I learned that the hard way with the pandemic where I wasn't as physically active and realized that it was taking a hit, so biking has been a big thing for me and my fiancee, we picked that up over the over the pandemic, we live in southern California, so that we're lucky enough that the weather is often very nice and we live by some like really beautiful areas to bike, so that is really important to me. I also got a dog like every other millennial and the pandemic and I think that that's not the same. I think that that's just awesome that forcing you to get out right, like you, you have to walk, you have to move, you have to go to the park and he just brings a ton of joy to my life. Also just like I think just forcing taking breaks, even if it's a random monday that you take off, it never, ever, ever feels like a good time to take a vacation.

I always feel guilty about it, but being able to come back and feel rested and feel reenergized whether that's traveling somewhere. I think it is just so, so, so critical. So I always encourage that with my teams. Yes, I'm so on board with that. I think like my husband and I were talking about this the other day, we want to actively build in taking like every second friday, like no matter what kind of just off and just being out and taking that longer weekend, even if you did it every week, fine whatever. But just making sure that every second week it's like part of the ritual and looking in like that day of just like nothing. I'm excited for it. Question #5 is what's been your worst money mistakes in business, Worst money mistake in business so many. So I think the first thing that comes to mind is um, Because we didn't buy enough inventory when the pandemic hit, I don't know if I would have changed this because the risk reward was really tough at the time.

But basically in March 2020, every piece of advice from us almost ubiquitously was hunkered down and, and hope for the best. Um, don't buy a ton of inventory, assume everything's going to shut down. Your factory is going to shut down your three pl warehouse is going to shut down the carriers, the USPS is going to shut down, you're not going to be able to sell any bras, get any bras and just try to figure out how to survive. And fortunately for us actually, the pandemic was quite good for business. You know, a lot of people moved to shopping online, relevant product was still extremely relevant, um, underwear, you still needed it. And our price point became even more relevant as people were losing jobs were more conscious of their bank accounts are sharp. Price point became even more relevant. So things totally took off and as a result, you know, to have to ordering inventory is like turning around a cruise ship when you want to change direction. So it takes a long time and the decisions you make here nine months later have an impact that, you know, it's hard to switch.

So I wish we had bought more inventory because we were at a stalk. But like I said, hindsight is 2020 there. I don't know if I would have taken, you know, I think it was still the world was such in such question at that time. The other thing, which is just a very, very, very common thing for founders to feel is I wish we had taken more money at different fundraising points when we had the opportunity to, I think you always kind of under forecast how much you need to get to the next milestone and having more buffer to be able to figure things out would have been great investors told us that, that, that's how their founders have always felt, you know, everyone kind of tells you that and it's hard to actually do it in the moment. So many great pieces of like insights there, just those little nuggets that are so interesting, thank you so much. Last question question number six, I love to just end on a crazy story, good or bad or anything in between. What is just a crazy story from the journey, crazy story.

So many things are coming to mind. I mean Jenna and I, when we first started the company, we were emailing this factory in sri Lanka and like in the early days we were totally making stuff up, We made up the gmail accounts that we were emailing from, we like tried to be, you know, very much like put on this air, like we knew what we were talking about and we've been emailing with this factory and we were like, we don't know anything about, we need to go over there, we need to see are these people legit is the factory in ethical conditions, like, let's go over there and see. So we flew over there and it was unbelievable. It's like they produced for huge brands. So you can imagine the working conditions and the factory was just one of the coolest things I've ever seen, We were learning about really nerdy lean operation stuff within our operations classes in business school and it was, they were showing us in action, There was very, very cool, but jen and I were totally out of our element. And there was one point where like, our account manager um was kind of managing everything and and their compliance team came in and said, you know, hey, can I talk to the person on in your compliance department?

You know, we need to talk about X, Y Z test that we're going to run on your product and you know, we thought we had put on this great front that we would have not just a someone in compliance, the whole compliance department, you know, and it was just the two of us, there's literally no one else, and the account manager was like, no, no, you don't understand, this is compliance, this is accounting, this is marketing, you're looking at the whole team is just like this moment where we thought we had, like, totally fooled them and like, it turns out they definitely knew what a small brand we were. Oh my God, that's so long. Also makes it so much cooler that you were like, having that moment to work with them in the first place, and they were like, yeah, I still love what you're doing. Yeah, we see through it, it's kind of a relief, totally. The facade is up. No, it's down, the facade is down anyway, whatever you know what I'm saying, this was so much fun jane, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your journey with harper Wild, What a cool story. Thank you so much. Thanks so much for having me.

Hey, it's Doom here. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Female Startup Club podcast. If you're a fan of the show, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com where you can subscribe to our newsletter and learn more about our D I. Y. Course. The ads, N B A. I also truly appreciate each and every review that comes our way. It might seem like such a small thing, but reviews help other heirs find us. So please do jump on and subscribe rate and review the show. And finally, if you know someone who would benefit from hearing these inspiring stories, please do share it with them and empower the women in your network. See you soon. Mm hmm.

6 Quick Questions with Jane Fisher, Co-founder of Harper Wilde (part 2)
6 Quick Questions with Jane Fisher, Co-founder of Harper Wilde (part 2)
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