Well Made

Kerry Cooper, Rothy's: Turning All the Dimmers Up – Well Made E81

May 15, 2019 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

Kerry Cooper has 20 years of executive retail expertise. She helped build cornerstone ecommerce platforms for Walmart and she’s lead marketing and operations for ModCloth and Levi’s. Now, as President of Rothy's, she’s stepping into a new challenge of expanding the sustainable shoe startup globally.

Rothy’s makes stylish, close-knit flats from the fibers of recycled plastic bottles. The massive appeal of their shoe goes back to functionality and 3D knitting that's less wasteful than traditional cut-and-sew production. As consumer demand for eco-conscious footwear skyrocket, Rothy’s is strategically separating themselves from the pack by expanding to China where their locally owned factory churns out their slip-on by the minute.

“It matters to me that what the legacy we leave behind might be, and this is a great legacy.”

 Kerry Cooper, Rothy's: Turning All the Dimmers Up – Well Made E81

On this episode, Kerry talks about how sustainability is sewn into Rothy’s (13:50). She shares her polarizing views on raising capital and learning from investment mishaps (15:10). She talks about building products and teams at companies of all sizes — from 60 employees to 1.5 million. (18:50). Kerry shares what she loved about leading teams at Walmart.com (22:21): the value of servant leadership (27:30) and institutionalizing correction of errors. (29:11). Lastly, she talks about how Rothy’s is finding its footing in the Chinese market (32:00) by learning how to best market to overseas customers and leaning into the digital ecosystem of WeChat, Tmall, and KOL influencers (35:21).

Follow Kerry Cooper on Twitter and Rothy's on Instagram.

Also mentioned on the show:

Header image by Jason Henry via Bloomberg Businessweek.

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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