Behind Her Empire: How Ariel Kaye Launched Parachute With Zero Experience

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.

Ariel Kaye

On this episode of the Behind Her Empire, Ariel Kaye discusses how she went from leaving her successful career to launching her own brand with zero experience.

Today, Kaye is the founder and CEO of Parachute, a direct-to-consumer home essentials brand.

Kaye says that after spending a decade in advertising and brand development, she was yearning to do something more. She always considered herself a home and interior design enthusiast, describing herself as a super consumer of home goods, but she struggled to find a single brand that was affordable, high quality and easy to shop.

That's when she saw a gap in the market and knew she had the perfect skills to create the company she was looking for.

She took some money out of her savings and booked a one-way ticket to Europe in search of a factory. After reviewing 15 factories, she learned about craftsmanship when it came to bedding and sheets, got pricing, and came back home, ready to take on the industry.

"Being good at searching is a real superpower," she said. "Searching and follow up, follow up, follow up."

Kaye says she spent around a year developing the brand, raising small amounts from friends and family, and then launched Parachute in January 2014.

"As a sole founder, I really did feel like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, there was so much pressure, and it was really hard to not have someone that was in the thick of it with me."

In this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, Kaye talks about the "aha" moment when she realized she had to leave her successful career to start her company, the benefits that come with being a first-time entrepreneur in an industry where you have zero experience, how she built a strong foundation with her customers and brand from day one, and so much more.

Kaye also talks about the initial steps she took to launch Parachute — finding a factory and learning about supply chains, as well as using loans from friends and family to fund her business — and why she became a big proponent of taking breaks from work.

dot.LA Audience Engagement Editor Luis Gomez contributed to this post.

Want to hear more of the Behind Her Empire podcast? Subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups
March Capital founder Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

Santa Monica-based venture outfit March Capital announced Feb. 3 that it raised its largest fund to date, a $650 million investment vehicle that will be used to back up to 15 startups focused on delivering new uses of artificial intelligence.

Read moreShow less

The Three Best Ways to Work With Your Startup Board

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

The Three Best Ways to Work With Your Startup Board

When launching and running a startup, your board of directors is one of your most valuable assets. If you already understand why you need a board and how to structure your board, it may be tempting to think you can cross that item off the list. But building a board is just the beginning. Now you’ve got to get down to business—together.

Read moreShow less

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M
This Week in ‘Raises’:

While it was a slow week of funding in Los Angeles, security vendor Saviynt managed to score $205 million that will be used to meet the company’s growing demand for its converged identity platform and accelerate innovation.

Read moreShow less