Well Made

Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey, Birdies: Elevating the House Slipper – Well Made E47

June 5, 2018 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

When friends and Birdies co-founders, Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey dove head, or rather feet first, into their shoe company, they didn’t expect they’d be outfitting royal duchess, Meghan Markle. They weren’t even sure how they were going to sell their first run of 2,000 shoes just two years ago. Today, the luxury house slippers can be found online, in high-end retailers, and their flagship store in the heart of San Francisco.

Both women held highly successful jobs before turning their side hustle into a full-time operation in 2017. Bianca lead retail advertising sales and partnerships at Facebook while Marisa served as the Group VP of retail strategy for Ross stores in New York. They’ve used their extensive consumer sales background to grow their business incrementally.

On this episode, Bianca and Marisa talk about making their business concept a reality and taking the leap from Facebook and consulting (5:53). They share how leveraging their social networks (11:35), making key influencer marketing choices (14:35), and good timing (16:43) helped them to scale quickly. They also share some insider knowledge about the royal wedding (17:32). Bianca and Marisa talk about manufacturing for a whole new product category (24:04), operating lean (26:08), and investing in technology and data as part of their business strategy (32:15). Lastly, they talk about raising capital and the life-changing decision of entrepreneurship (36:30).

Visit their flagship store and get cozy with Birdies on Twitter and Instagram.

 Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey, Birdies: Elevating the House Slipper – Well Made E47

Also mentioned on the show:

Header photo via The Everygirl

You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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