(MoneyWatch) It may have sounded like a crazy idea at the time: Launching a company dedicated to all things home, at the height of the housing crisis. But that's exactly how One Kings Lane came to be. And thanks to its two fabulous female founders, Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus, the result is an overwhelming success story. In just four years, One Kings Lane has grown into the leading home and lifestyle shopping site, with three million registered users and 300 employees. Co-founder and chief merchandising officer Susan Feldman joins The Startup to discuss.
Rebecca Jarvis: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and what you do.
Susan Feldman: I'm the co-founder and chief merchandising officer of One Kings Lane. I oversee all buying and merchandising, and I get to travel the world with leading designers to bring exciting and unique products to One Kings Lane shoppers.
RJ: What were you doing before you started your company?
SF: Before One Kings Lane, I spent my career as a senior sales executive in the New York City fashion world. I had recently moved to L.A. and after years of apartment living, I was passionately decorating my new house, and facing a challenge: Finding the time, inspiration, and guidance to find amazing pieces for my home -- at price points that were equally inspirational!
RJ: How long did it take to turn your idea into a business?
SF: I was first introduced to my co-founder Alison Pincus in the fall of 2008 and we were thrilled to discover a shared passion and vision for One Kings Lane. We had to move quickly. At a time when lenders weren't lending, we used our savings and credit cards to start the business, and we made a commitment to each other to give it our all. We launched our first sale in March of 2009, just five months after that first introduction.
RJ: What's your number one piece of advice to entrepreneurs?
SF: Move fast, and iterate quickly.
Surround yourself with passionate and intelligent individuals -- this can make a huge difference in the culture and foundation of your company.
Build a great team. In every employee we look for passion, agility, an innovative spirit, and a love for our customers. It's a guiding principle that we've had from the start that's paid off in ways we couldn't have imagined.
RJ: If you could ask one person for advice, who would it be and what would you ask?
SF: I would have loved to have asked Steve Jobs: What do you do to continually find sources of creative inspiration?
RJ: Are you hiring? How do you get hired by a startup?
SF: Yes! One Kings Lane is hiring and looking for passionate and talented people to join our teams in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We have several positions across merchandising, planning, creative and marketing, technology and operations. Check out our careers page for more info on opportunities at One Kings Lane.
For more on One Kings Lane visit their website.