I have always been a rather competitive person. Whether I was selling Girl Scout cookies or working in retail, I wanted to be “Number One.” I was a great team player—as long as I was Captain of the team. Based on that fact alone, I recognized that in order to reach both my personal and financial goals, I had to be in business for myself. Fortunately my husband WJJ had the exact same type of personality and vision.
Our journey began when we started a small women’s retail store–featuring shoes, dresses, and lingerie. Perhaps we hadn’t recognized that while there are many advantages to owning your own business, it also requires a great deal of drive, dedication, determination and LOTS of time. We were very blessed because our parents and my sisters were always extremely helpful and supportive.
As entrepreneurs we never developed a “back up plan”. We didn’t need that safety net because we were 100% confident that we would succeed. FYI , if someone does create an “Option 2”, they are probably a “wanna-be entrepreneur” –not the real thing.
Having said that, we certainly experienced a major setback when our first store, burned to the ground —with no insurance. However we remained undaunted. With no money and no job, we opened a new store barely six weeks later all all done on credit cards.
Tiffany’s Undercover Boutique was relatively successful. However, we recognized we weren’t going to reach our financial goals with just one store. We started drawing up our business plan to open other stores. Then I got a rather simple idea. Why not create a different business model? Why not take lingerie and do “home parties” ala Tupperware? While many were not confident that this business model would work–including my Mother, WJJ and the bank, I felt differently.
I realized that if this was going to work, I had to create a different concept. So I developed a Sensuality Test telling the women how sensual they were or were not. I named each piece of lingerie –with names like “Passionate Kisses”, “Romantically Yours” and even “Not Tonight I’ve Got a Headache”. I also decided to serve wine and cheese rather than the typical “Tupperware” coffee and cake. I was re-inventing the world of party plan one small change at a time.
My first show was at my parents’ home. At the time, I was 27 years old; my two sisters were 21 and 22 respectively, and my mother 49. We all invited our friends. Without realizing it, I had the perfectdemographic of people.
The party was great FUN and a HUGE success. Several gals wanted to “book” their own party and it was in that moment thatUndercoverWear was born. Through my efforts, UndercoverWear received LOTS of press –-FREE press--including newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. Let me re-iterate through my efforts. I was not going to wait around for something to happen. I was spearheading my success. As you may know, UndercoverWear grew meteorically and Walter and I became a true American Success Story.
In 1978, the same year UndercoverWear was born, F. Scott Peck wrote “The Road Less Traveled”. Do you know what that title means? It is defined as a choice made in one’s life that is unconventional, a choice that leads one in a different direction that most people. Well that certainly exemplified my life.
The first sentence in the Road Less Traveled is, “Life is not Easy.” I willadd, “Success in not easy.” Others may think that is was pure luck.
But as they say, the harder you work, the luckier you get.Tweet
Setbacks will always happen. Life will get in your way. Outside forces will want to shatter your hopes and dreams. You will experience periods of doubt and doubt can destroydreams. But remember if you want something badly enough, try hard enough and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. Believe in yourself and be confident in YOU!
And of course, work your tush off to reach your goals. As Winston Churchill said,
“Continuous effort -not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential”.