This week’s installment of 5 Rules comes courtesy of Harper Wilde Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Jenna Kerner & Jane Fisher. The startup takes the B.S. out of bra shopping by offering fairly-priced everyday bras through a unique Free Home Try-On program which allows women to try on bras from the comfort of their homes, without the awful in-store experience. It also donates to Glamour Magazine’s The Girl Project to help put young girls through school as part of its mission to empower women and lift up a woman’s ladies, as well as the next generation of leading ladies. Here, their 5 Rules For Life in their words.
- Laugh a little
- Jenna: I remember over two years ago when Jane & I first talked about this idea – we thought, wouldn’t it be great to work together and make every day hilarious and fun? We don’t run a comedy troupe, but we try to inject humor into everything we do and check in often to remind ourselves of our end purpose and to enjoy the ride.
- Jane: And building a startup – like most things in life – is often difficult and humbling. Laughing at ourselves has been one of the most effective ways to persevere through those tough times.
- Be open to new ideas
- Jenna: Treat challenges to your ideas and beliefs as gifts from others that expand your thinking and make you a richer person. Giving feedback or offering a different opinion can be tough for those around you – welcome that feedback so others want to help you grow as a person.
- Jane: Any person can offer these valuable ideas – some of the best ideas that have dramatically impacted our business came from a one-off customer comment or a conversation with someone with no experience in retail.
- Stop searching for the right answer
- Jenna: There is no right answer to most decisions we have to make. We often seek advice from mentors, advisors, and experts, and we end up with contradicting opinions. When we first started, this was unnerving – it meant carving our own path that may be new or different from anything anyone has done or seen before. Now we see that as an exciting opportunity. We’ve learned to trust our instincts and push forward, knowing that regardless of outcome, we’ll have learned something that will make us sharper in the future.
- Jane: Once you free yourself of believing there’s one right way to do something, it allows you to not be as scared of failure. This to me was one of the most liberating aspects of not looking for the right answer – knowing that there are multiple paths to success, and you can carve them.
- Know your values
- Jenna: You can only truly succeed if you are true to yourself and your values. You must be clear on your values to be able to make decisions quickly and not worry if you made the wrong choice.
- Jane: Jenna and I had a conversation about our personal values before we set out to build a company together, and in retrospect, I think that was the single most important discussion we’ve had. It’s undeniable that our alignment on our values is what’s allowed us to work together through all of the challenges we’ve faced.
- Surround yourself with a network of ambassadors
- Jenna: I derive inspiration and motivation from those around me. By surrounding myself with people who support and challenge me, I find I’m most able to grow as a person and professional.
- Jane: Whether it’s your colleagues and professors or your friends and family, the support and guidance you receive is critical to your success and for me – my sanity. Jenna and I have made a point to build a community around ourselves who can not only enlighten us with new knowledge in our industry but also stand behind us during important moments with the business. We’ve found this network to be tremendously helpful in everything from fundraising to building our team culture.
Thanks, Jenna and Jane!
Stay tuned for more Five Rules installments.
“Five Rules,” is a series on Rouge18 in which I ask others to share their five rules for life about anything and everything. You can learn a lot about a person by reading which five things govern their actions, no?