BASED IN: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Bubbling Bride is an ecommerce site for bridesmaid dresses that is making the process of bridesmaid dress shopping easy and fun! I was planning my wedding when I realized shopping for bridesmaid dresses was more stressful than I ever imaged. That is where I came up with the idea for Bubbling Brides. Bubbling Brides offer an at-home party for the bride and her bridesmaids. It also allows customers to sample the dresses in the comfort of their home.
How did your past experiences (school, work, childhood, family etc.) help you get to where you are today?
My first job was at the design department for Donna Karan. I worked for this man who was literally “The Devil Wears Prada.” He treated myself and the other employees so poorly. This was the moment I knew that I had to become an entrepreneur, so I didn’t have to work under people like him. This was the ultimate motivation to keep me working hard and excelling.
When I worked at Steve Madden, my boss was one of the greatest mentors ever. She told it to me like it was. She really wanted me to learn. After having a horrible experience in fashion prior to this, I was able to appreciate her generosity and talent so much more.
Is entrepreneurship something that anyone can tackle? What is the most important thing to consider?
Entrepreneurship is really not for everyone. It takes a certain person to think outside of the box and not be afraid to take risks. You have to not be afraid of failure. You also can’t let the criticism bother you, no matter what. People are going to want to knock you down, but you have to remain strong.
It’s important to consider how you can be a leader. People are going to look up to you when you have your own company, so you want to make sure you are setting a good example.
What part of your personality helped you the most with your entrepreneurial journey?
…That I’m somewhat crazy, and I have no shame in admitting that. I always stay true to myself. I don’t need to conform to my peers around me, but I think that it what makes me (or my ideas) unique. It also helps to be creative. I have always been creative, and I let my creativity flow. At least 3 times a week, I come up with new business ideas. My friends and family think I am nuts, but I swear that some of these are billion dollar ideas.
Is it important to dream big? What is the big dream for your business?
You can never dream too big. Growing up, I always wanted to be a fashion designer. It seemed so unrealistic back in the day. Then, what do you know…years later I ended up designing for some of the biggest names in fashion including Steve Madden, Nanette Lepore, Donna Karan and Nordstrom.
The big dream is to turn the bridesmaid industry on its head. I love changing things for the better, and this is an industry where change is long overdue. It’s all about a great experience, and prior to Bubbling Brides, bridesmaid dress shopping has been nothing but a drag.
What does success mean to you? What does it mean to “be successful”? Can it ever be fully achieved or is it something that comes and goes?
Being successful means being happy. You can always be more successful, but as long as you remain content on the journey, I take that as a true sign of success. Success also means doing what you love.
Did you look for funding in the past?
No; up until this far it has been self-funded. It is all about bootstrapping to make it work. I have considered it in the past, but I really wanted to prove my business before I get others involved. That way they will have total confidence in me.
Why do you think that female owned businesses are a VERY small percentage (that has not been growing) of businesses that get funded by venture capital? What can we do to change that?
I hate to say it, but many of the people who are the decision makers within the venture capitals firm are men. Therefore, they take men more seriously. I believe that the only way to change that is to have confidence in yourself. You have to really go in and own it. You have to make them believe that there is no reason in the world to doubt you and your business.