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Build a bigger business
Lively Founder Michelle Cordeiro Grant on how she created a brand that changed a $13B industry
In this episode our host Ana talks with Michelle Cordeiro Grant, the founder of Lively, a clothing brand that is changing the world of fashion – specifically athleisure and lingerie. Through a lively conversation, Grant shares what she has learned about balancing life and running a business.
Grant is passionate about supporting, creating and developing brands from concept to customer. Prior to starting Lively, Grant spent a full career working with industry leaders like Federated Merchandising Group, VF Corporation and Limited Brands/Victoria’s Secret. She was responsible for developing and launching private label and global brands, including Nautica Women’s Sportswear.
Noticing the industry shift to ecommerce, Grant worked on merchandising and strategy for Victoria’s Secret digital arm. During her work here, she learned that Victoria’s Secret dominated the $13B lingerie market. Frustrated that one brand with one point of view had so much influence on this category, Grant decided to shake up the industry – Leisurée as she calls it – and start her own brand.
To gain experience working for a start-up, Grant moved from industry leader Victoria’s Secret to thriving startup, Thrillist Media Group, where she oversaw their commerce division. She left in 2016 to start Lively.
In late 2017, Grant was named one of eight winners of Shopify’s Build a Bigger Business competition. One of her prizes was a trip to Namale, Tony’s Fiji resort, for group and one-on-one business coaching.
At the time, Lively was just another brand new start-up with a passionate CEO. During their one-on-one coaching session, Tony could see the passion Grant had for her business and vision. What she needed to learn was how to create a sustainable business where she could do what she loved but also be aware of the signs of burnout and exhaustion before they took over.
With Tony’s guidance and her industry knowledge, Grant grew Lively into an industry-changing business that was acquired for $85 million after only three years.
Listen as Grant talks about how she has strategically leveraged social media, curated an extraordinary customer experience and built a company ethos that helps spread a message of body positivity and community.
Grant set out to build a business that was different from her previous positions – both in the way it operated and the message it spread through its marketing. To do this, she had to think outside of the box.
Grant started by marketing to a mindset and focusing on how a woman feels in her clothing instead of the traditional mindset of marketing to how a man wants to see a woman. In the process, she grew Lively from a start-up to a business that was acquired by Wacoal Industries for $85 million in only three years.
Her experience with industry leaders paired with her start-up work taught her the importance of creating a strong brand identity, crafting a quality offering and building a team that keeps the consumer in mind.
All of her knowledge paired with her passion and vision created a success story that shows what one can achieve when you build big.If you are an entrepreneur who is looking to grow your business, apply to attend Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery course. During five immersive days, you’ll learn how to use your skill set to create a thriving future.
[00:58] Episode introduction
[01:30] A look at Michelle’s one-on-one session with Tony
[06:00] Welcome Michelle
[06:25] The Shopify Contest
[07:55] Starting Lively
[09:35] Understand your blind spots
[09:50] Leveraging connections
[10:40] The visual articulation of the brand
[11:25] Growing up in retail
[13:20] Developing an ethos
[15:00] Stop participating and start leading
[16:00] Identifying the right customers
[17:00] Building a brand with a community
[18:05] Moving to Instagram
[19:10] Learning more about the customer
[19:40] Meaning, emotion and life
[20:40] Diversity in income
[22:00] The supply chain advantage
[24:40] Keeping affordable pricing
[26:55] Don’t undervalue your product
[28:35] Managing an exceptional customer experience
[31:25] Pain points going into the Shopify experience
[32:30] Moving from an operator to an owner
[34:40] There’s no such thing as a work-life balance
[35:40] Michelle’s experience with Tony
[36:50] How that experience changed Michelle
[37:40] Doing a couple things really well
[38:50] Michelle’s experience at Business Mastery
[39:10] You can’t win if you don’t know the score
[40:10] Giving each customer a score card
[41:20] What’s next for Lively (including the Lively Tour)
[42:10] The future of physical retail