In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Beth Gerstein, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant Earth, a global leader and retailer of ethically sourced fine jewelry. Listen in as Gerstein shares the story behind Brilliant Earth and how the brand offers an ethical alternative to the issues that plague traditional diamond jewelers. She discusses how the brand utilizes blockchain technology to provide supply chain transparency to consumers, why she feels that millennials have such a desire for ethical jewelry, and how sustainability is now table stakes for modern retail businesses. Brilliant Earth offers showrooms for customers to interact with its products, and Gerstein explains how these shoppers receive personalized service from jewelry specialists, who curate products specifically for individual shoppers. Lastly, Gerstein discusses Brilliant Earth’s nonprofit initiatives, including how the brand gives back to programs supporting human rights, education, environmental restoration and economic development in diamond mining communities, while also sharing how she sees the company growing in the future.
Beth Gerstein’s search for a responsibly sourced diamond engagement ring inspired the creation of Brilliant Earth, a global leader of ethically sourced fine jewelry and a leading e-commerce jeweler. When Beth became engaged, she and her then-fiancé struggled to find a jeweler that could assure them that a diamond was untainted by civil war and human rights abuses. Recognizing a gap in the market, she combined her passion for social enterprise and 10 years of technology and business development experience to co-found Brilliant Earth in 2005 with Eric Grossberg. Beth holds a B.S. from Duke University, a Masters in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a M.B.A. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to Brilliant Earth, Beth worked in technology and business development roles at a number of large corporations, including Booz Allen & Hamilton. Eric and Beth also manage the company’s nonprofit initiatives, dedicated to investing 5 percent of Brilliant Earth’s profits in communities that have been impacted by the jewelry industry.
Date: March 10, 2020
Credits: Beth Gerstein
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Michelle Wenke, co-founder of Monrow, a loungewear brand known for its timeless design and comfortable fabrics. Wenke discusses her and her co-founder's career history in fashion design, the white space they saw when launching Monrow, and how they came together to create the brand.23:15
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Genevieve Rosen-Biller, founder and CEO of Bed Threads, a leader in carbon-neutral, high-quality linen bedding, is interviewed. Rosen-Biller discusses her career shift from journalism to founding Bed Threads, the inspiration behind the brand, and why the company was founded on a direct-to-consumer model. She shares how the COVID-19 pandemic uplifted the business as consumers invested in home goods, why Bed Threads expanded into bath, tableware, sleepwear and homeware as the brand grew, and the advantages of being a digital-native business.21:18
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Zoia Ali, Abby Warner and Taimi Kennerley, co-founders of The Girls Company, a company revolutionizing the way people address women's health, discuss how the business was created from an assignment during a college entrepreneurship class, how The Girls Company's cramp-alleviating band product works, and why the digital-native brand partnered with Target to launch into physical retail.14:19
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Vanessa Quigley, co-founder and chatbooker-in-chief of Chatbooks, the photo book subscription company for busy moms. Quigley discusses the inspiration behind the business, how her struggle with mom guilt combined with her Instagram account helped create Chatbooks, and how she learned how to to lead a retail company with no prior business experience.27:18
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Nina Barjesteh, senior vice president of product development and design at DICK’S Sporting Goods. Barjesteh discusses her career background in retail merchandising, what drew her to join DICK'S, and how the sporting goods brand forecasts new product demand based on consumer habits.21:24
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Stephanie Summerson Hall, founder of Estelle Colored Glass, a luxury brand of hand-blown colored glass cake stands and stemware. Listen in as Hall discusses how her grandmother inspired her to start the brand, Estelle's vintage-inspired yet refined and modern colored glass collection, and the research behind deciding to manufacture the glass in Poland.14:04
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Julie Pike, chief merchant officer at Bonobos, a clothing brand focused on delivering great fit, excellent customer experience, and a fun approach to menswear. Pike discusses her professional background in retail, what drew her to join Bonobos, and the brand's foundation in a strength-based leadership model.19:37
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews DeeDee Shaw, founder of Monkee's, a high-end luxury lifestyle boutique that offers the ultimate selection of quality shoes, clothing and accessory products. Shaw discusses the genesis of the brand, how her partnership and friendship with Monkee's co-owner came to be, and why she believes the business experienced growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.15:08
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Salena Knight, retail strategist and founder of consulting and training business The Retail Academy. Knight discusses her indirect career journey to retail consultant, how retailers can figure out what's holding them back, and why businesses will experience exponential growth if leaders focus on fixing the biggest challenges that are often pushed to the sidelines.24:52
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Angie Tebbe, co-founder and CEO of Rae Wellness, a women's wellness company supporting calm, sleep, energy and more through pure and powerful supplements. Tebbe discusses her professional background, how she overcame the many challenges she faced while launching Rae Wellness, and why entrepreneurs need to be anchored in the "why" of their business to succeed.