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 (0:46), the white space they saw when launching Monrow (2:00), and how they came together to create the brand (3:05). She shares how she stays inspired when working on each new collection (5:13), how her and her co-founder’s garment training makes Monrow’s apparel unique (7:17), and what led to Monrow’s expansion into its first ever activewear collection this year (9:03).
In addition, Wenke discusses how Monrow adapted to the surge in e-commerce demand for loungewear during the COVID-19 pandemic (10:02), the difficulties of leading a team during uncertain times (12:22), and how she’s overcome many challenges over the past decade at Monrow (14:06). She shares her advice for young entrepreneurs on how to stay innovative to survive as the industry changes (18:38) and emphasizes the importance of self-care as a successful business leader (21:01). Lastly, Wenke discusses what she sees in the future for herself and for Monrow (21:51).
Michelle Wenke and Megan George, the design duo behind Monrow, met during their education at the Otis College of Art and Design. After graduating with BFAs, the two initially sought out different paths. Michelle found herself working as a first assistant to famed celebrity stylist Jessica Paster before branching off on her own to style celebrities, music videos, editorial shoots, and television shows. Taking into account Michelle’s experience in styling and Megan’s knowledge of brand development, the pair built upon their strong fashion backgrounds and reunited to create Monrow. The Monrow brand is essentially rooted in its dedication to designing superior clothing for everyday life. Through the brand’s continued success, Monrow has made it clear that when it comes to fashion, the difference truly is in the details.
Date: August 3, 2021
Credits: Michelle Wenke
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Editor Marie Albiges interviews Betsy Fore and Sofia Laurell, co-founders and co-CEOs of Tiny Organics, a 100 percent organic, plant-based baby and toddler meal company. Fore and Laurell discuss how they created the idea behind Tiny Organics after identifying a need for healthy baby foods, how the duo began testing foods with 100 founding families, and much more.29:46
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Dr. Amy Shah, founder of Amy MD Wellness and author of "I’m So Effing Tired." Listen in as Shah discusses her background in nutrition and medicine, how a car accident acted as a catalyst to her current career focus on wellness, and how women can beat exhaustion by tapping into what she calls the energy trifecta.17:29
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Danielle Moser, executive learning center leader and executive coach at Talent Solutions Right Management, a global talent management firm offering career management and leadership development solutions. Moser discusses what the "Great Resignation" and the "Great Retirement" movements in today's workforce mean for retailers, and how data shows that the "Great Reawakening" of employees is driving this dynamic.28:43
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Allison Schickel, founder and CEO of Brobe Intl., a line of recovery fashion for women and children. Schickel discusses her inspiration to create the original Brobe product, the evolution of Brobe's direct-to-consumer and digital marketing strategies, and how designing adaptive clothing benefits both consumers and her business.31:10
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Editor Marie Albiges interviews Mary Rodgers, director of marketing communications at Cuisinart, kitchen appliances for professional and home chefs. Rodgers discusses her 25-year career with Cuisinart, how she's helped to grow its marketing department to what it is today, and how the brand's entrepreneurial spirit aided its pivots during the COVID-19 pandemic.30:52
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Avani Modi Sarkar, co-founder and chief creative thinker of Modi Toys, a children's toys and books brand rooted in Hindu faith and South Asian culture. Sarkar discusses the inspiration behind launching Modi Toys when she couldn't find cultural or religious toys for her daughter, the brand’s mission to connect South Asian children to their heritage, and how her toys and books are impacting children's families as well.38:04
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Kelly Byrne, commercial director of Nasty Gal, an international women’s fashion brand, part of the boohoo group. Byrne discusses the Nasty Gal business and how founder Sophia Amoruso's #GIRLBOSS mentality still shines through the brand ethos, as well as inspires Byrne personally to trust her gut instincts and take risks.24:07
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