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 WJJ had the exact same type of personality and vision.
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 time. We were very blessed because our parents and my sisters were always extremely helpful and supportive.
We quickly learned that entrepreneurs don’t believe in having a safety net. We have no need for a back up plan because we are 100% confident that we will succeed. In fact if someone does create an “Option 2”, they are probably not a true entrepreneur. We certainly experienced a major setback when our first store, rather unexpectedly, burned to the ground –with no insurance. However we remained undaunted. With no money and no job, on credit, we opened a new store within six weeks after our first store had burned down.
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. 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 perfect demographic group.
The party was great FUN and a HUGE success. Several gals wanted to “book” their own party. And so UndercoverWear was born. Through my efforts, UndercoverWear received LOTS of press –FREE press–including newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. As you may know, UndercoverWear grew meteorically and Walter and I became a true American Success Story.
But the message in all of this is really very simple. Setbacks will always happen. Outside forces may want to shatter your hopes and dreams. But, if you want something badly enough, you’ll try hard enough and you will not allow anyone or anything to get in your way. The only exception to that is when you are facing “life and death” situations. But we’ll talk about that later. So, if you want to Live Your Dreams–remember, life is not a spectator sport. Play to WIN!