Welcome to another episode of The Female Founder with Bridget Fitzpatrick, Co-founder of ASBN and the CBT Automotive Network. The Female Founder is a show dedicated to assisting women in growing their businesses and reaching their full potential. Each episode features inspirational stories alongside advice from female entrepreneurs to assist you in developing and expanding your business.
Today’s guest is a renowned inspiration to women and anyone, for that matter, interested in building a powerful brand. She is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, former fashion model, and more. Her company, which sells everything from fashion lines to financial technology, was deemed “The most valuable female-owned licensing firm in American history in 2022” by Women’s Wear Daily. We’re beyond thrilled to announce today’s guest, Kathy Ireland.
1. From the very beginning of her entrepreneurial journey, Ireland understood that building a brand around her name and stature alone wouldn’t be sustainable in the long run. Therefore, she created her brand around trust.
2. Ireland says, “As a model, I knew I belonged on the other side of the lens. And I used my failed business endeavors as education.” In addition, she used her shyness and introversion as strengths to expand her business naturally behind the scenes and to fit her growth framework.
3. She observed, “Comfort is irrelevant,” after realizing that progress truly occurs outside of one’s comfort zone. Failure paved the way for maturity. Furthermore, Ireland exhorts female business owners to “please don’t let other people define or destroy you.”
4. Despite acquisition bids for Kathy Ireland Worldwide, she can maintain control thanks to her private business—not because she is a “control freak,” but because she is a passionate and considerate colleague. Ireland is adamant that every aspect of her business, from marketing to manufacturing, contributes to its success. Ireland also values the contributions made by her staff, which is another reason she currently opposes selling her business.
5. Ireland recommends female entrepreneurs to focus on their customers rather than themselves because “it makes it more fun.” She continues to say that they should assess the boundaries of their current beliefs and consider how they can uphold their ideals while expanding and safeguarding their brand.
"Being able to walk through the door, be your own brand, and redefine it daily is an incredible blessing for the woman who possesses the gift of amenity." – Kathy Ireland