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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