Behind Her Empire: AptDeco Co-Founder Reham Fagiri on Being Scrappy and Resourceful

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, Reham Fagiri talks about why she left Goldman Sachs to become the CEO and co-founder of AptDeco.

Fagiri said she was inspired by her family. At a very young age, she wanted to build something for herself.

"My entire family, essentially, are entrepreneurs — whether women or men. A lot of my aunts have their own businesses, from architecture firms to... university professors," she said.

The idea for AptDeco came out of an experience Fagiri had moving from Philadelphia, where she attended business school at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, to New York. She turned to Craigslist to sell off her furniture, and found herself having to negotiate every aspect of a transaction and deal with no-shows. One particularly bad incident stuck with her.

"I think a turning point was when I had this gentleman come into my apartment, came to buy my TV, and he let me know that the TV I listed was actually the wrong model. And he got really upset," said Fagiri. "It was just an honest mistake. But, you know, he essentially told me that he's just gonna take it and he's gonna pay what he feels is fair."

Fagiri lived by herself at the time, and felt she didn't have any options. When she told her classmates the story, many said they'd dealt with similar problems when selling to strangers.

"I wanted to do something about it, so that it never happens again to anyone," she said. "And that's [what] really helped me and inspired me to start AptDeco. I wanted to create a solution, not just for me, but for every really every woman out there."

In the rest of the episode, Fagiri talks about growing up in a family of entrepreneurs and offers advice on connecting with your customers and raising money in difficult circumstances.

dot.LA Audience Engagement Intern Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Here’s the Latest on Fifth Wall’s Early-Stage Climate Tech Fund

Harrison Weber

Harrison is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. They previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find them on Twitter: @harrisonweber. Send non-sensitive tips on L.A. deals to Pronouns: they/them.

Do you know something we should know about L.A. tech or venture capital? Reach out securely by downloading Signal on a non-work device: +1 917 434 4978.

Fifth Wall, the fast-growing real estate tech venture firm, revealed this week that it has scored at least $116.8 million for its Early-Stage Climate Technology Fund, according to an amended SEC filing. That figure is up from $79.5 million in May 2021, when the firm last disclosed its fundraising efforts for the climate investment vehicle.

In December, Fifth Wall announced it had brought in prolific clean-tech investor Greg Smithies to head its efforts to "decarbonize the built world." That's when the firm went public about its plan to raise at least $200 million to invest in climate tech.

Read more Show less

Electric on the Ends, Autonomous in the Middle: HP's Plan for a New EV Trucking Supply Chain

David Shultz
David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many defects in our society, but chief among them may be the fragility of our supply chains. From toilet paper to bicycles to lumber, the virus has shown that even relatively minor disruptions to the chain can cause long-term shortages of important goods.

In Los Angeles, a San Francisco-based autonomous trucking company is carrying out a new pilot program with computer hardware giant HP Inc. In the next couple of years, the startup wants to reduce emissions and transit times in HP's supply chains. And if it's successful, expand the model to other companies.

Read more Show less

Tradesy Is Leading Shoppers Away from Fast Fashion, and Investors Are Buying Into It

Sarah Favot

Favot is an award-winning journalist and adjunct instructor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She previously was an investigative and data reporter at national education news site The 74 and local news site LA School Report. She's also worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. She was a Livingston Award finalist in 2011 and holds a Master's degree in journalism from Boston University and BA from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

Tracy DiNunzio wants to kill fast fashion.

Founder and CEO of Santa Monica-based Tradesy, DiNunzio said over the last decade consumers are recognizing the harmful effects of low-priced, rapidly-produced fast fashion on the global climate. She argues that in addition to being environmentally conscious, buying and reselling high-end fashion items can also be affordable.

Read more Show less