Ariane Goldman, twobirds and Hatch, Woman Entrepreneur
I met Ariane last summer. I was immediately impressed with her energy, smarts, drive, instincts and entrepreneurial spirit. Working for herself was probably in the cards from the second she was born. It was just a matter of time before she got there. Ariane has taken a smart idea and created two different businesses, twobirds and Hatch, that are unique although similar in concept. Her creativity as a designer paired with her business smarts is the key to success in the apparel business. If you take a look at the lines out there that have risen quickly over the past 5/10 years they have all been started by a designer.
Ariane grew up in NYC. She went to college at University of Michigan majoring marketing taking as many classes as possible in the business school as possible. The summer before her senior year she took an internship at Amex. She returned after college with a paid job and stayed for eight years.
She started her career in Amex in the acquisitions department and then moved into the marketing department working on sponsorships for large events such as the USOpen and fashion week. It was a big company and a great company to wet her chops but she knew that she would never be a lifer.
Ariane's parents are entrepreneurs so it is not surprising that she is too. Her parents worked together in their own shmata business in the childrens wholesale business. While Ariane was at Amex, she started to take classes in the evening at Parsons. She was looking for her "thing". She knew she had a business head but wanted to figure out creatively how to make something with that. At Parsons she took a lot of interior design classes.
When Ariane was planning her wedding she designed the dresses for her bridesmaids. She started to show people what she had created and wondered if this was the business idea she was looking for. Her husband told her to go for it and she did opening up twobirds. She went on to show her dresses on Martha Stewart and the business rapidly grew. Currently she has an online store including brick and mortar locations in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and Sydney.
When Ariane got pregnant, she saw the same void in the pregnancy market. Why aren't there simple one piece garments in a variety of colors and thus Hatch Collection was created. 18 pieces online. What she did was smart. She took the profits of twobirds to finance the start-up of Hatch. It was certainly a leap of faith and I am sure scary as hell but Ariane is savvy and knew she had found a void in the market. She will stay with the online platform for now as she figures out the needs of the customer and the business model. So far, so good.
As Ariane says, it is all about execution. She has that right. Also, execution has a snowball effect. Once you get the first step right, it is easier to continue executing and then all of a sudden, there you are. The hardest part is being a one woman band. Having a partner is always a bonus so you have someone to confirm that the next step makes sense. From what I see, she has done a helluva job trusting her own instincts. I wouldn't be surprised to see a third concept under the umbrella of Ariane Goldman sometime in the future.