Behind Her Empire Podcast: Luxury Brand Cuyana's Co-Founder on Why Balance Is BS

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.

Behind Her Empire Podcast: Luxury Brand Cuyana's Co-Founder on Why Balance Is BS

On this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, hear from Shilpa Shah, co-founder and chief experience officer for Cuyana, a fashion brand that focuses on luxury brands and quality apparel and accessories, offering "fewer, better things" to women at an affordable price.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shah and Karla Gallardo, co-founder and CEO of Cuyama, met in business school and pioneered the affordable luxury, direct-to-consumer brand, launched in 2011.
  • Cuyana rolled out product slowly — one by one, country by country — to see product fit and if customers would return for a radically different product before they put all their energy behind marketing them.
  • Shah and Gallardo applied deep quantitative and qualitative analysis to develop the messaging for the brand — "a full ethnography."
  • Shah and Gallardo focused on deeply understanding the business first before raising money — instead of the other way around.
  • When pitching to investors, the founders were very metrics-driven. They found women understood the problem Cuyana was trying to solve more than men.
"I feel that it's almost a crime that we don't teach everyone a certain level of business for them to be successful in this world." — Shilpa Shah

Shilpa Shah is the co-founder and CXO of Cuyama.

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