We’re excited to have two entrepreneurs on the latest episode of Alternative Styles. One Kings Lane founder Susan Feldman gets in the groove with a brand new lifestyle brand that keeps women of a certain age updated and Melissa Birge swapped being CFO at Kayak.com to being the head of a chic and stylish maternity site startup. These wonder women and female entrepreneurs prove that a “second life” career change can be invigorating and done on their own terms.
Susan shows no signs of slowing down and why should she? She’s got it going on! An ivy league education, a successful career in the apparel industry and then a move to LA which sparked her entrepreneurial spirit. When Susan moved from New York City to Los Angeles she became obsessed with decorating her new home. With the flash sale model of business becoming big at that time she dove into the market with a site offering all kinds of home decor options. That idea became a huge hit. After selling One Kings Lane a few years ago, Susan could have retired; instead, she started her second venture.
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Here’s what Susan says about her new venture:
In The Groove is the go-to place for women of a certain age for what you need to know, and maybe didn’t even know you needed to know (until we came along) to stay in the groove.
And listen, we get it. You’re busy, so we’re keeping it simple and all in one place– everything from must-have fashion to the app that will seriously change your life.
In The Groove offers a post-graduate degree in what to know, to do, to see–but without the exams, and the all-nighters.
In The Groove was born because all around me, women somewhere in the vicinity of their 50th year, were describing that somewhere in the middle of a mostly joyful life they began to experience feelings of invisibility. The idea that you could go from a decade of feeling like a “world beater” to a decade where your stock was speedily approaching an expiration date was sticking in my craw.
In the spirit of not getting mad, but rather getting even, I decided to help my sisters in a call to arms to stay “In The Groove.”
Aging up isn’t so scary when you’ve got friends “In The Groove” to laugh it off with.
Our second, “second life” entreprenuer is Melissa Birge.
When Melissa Birge was pregnant she found herself frustrated with maternity clothes from the frumpiness, fit and price tag. She left her position as a CFO for Kayak and decided to start Mia Tango, an online maternity boutique that features a curated set of maternity clothing that customers can buy new or used, and then trade back in for credits to buy new styles. She’s gone from the boardroom to heading up a company and brand from the comfort of a home office.
She believes pregnant women and new moms should look as beautiful as they feel (and feel as beautiful as they look).
The idea for Mia Tango came early in 2012. Melissa was eight months pregnant with twins, and she found herself left with no choice but to wear house slippers to an important meeting because her feet were so swollen. She said she’s accustomed to being the only woman in the boardroom – but to be the only woman, and to be in house slippers?! That experience left her determined to transform maternity.
There is so much wrong with the entire experience of getting dressed during pregnancy – and that truth extends to motherhood as well. It’s hard to figure out what to buy and where to start. We shop in stores that have only a few items, or we spend hours searching online and then often settle for a product that’s not quite what we want. We compromise at every turn. We want to look stylish and be comfortable, but we feel guilty for spending money on things we think we’ll only wear for a short time.
So, what do we do? We cram ourselves into our pre-pregnancy clothes until they are literally bursting at the seams.
Then, we buy boring basics and wear them into the ground. We buy lower quality pieces than we normally would because we’re unfamiliar with the designers in the space and aren’t sure where to take a chance. We wear sweatpants and baggy t-shirts. We borrow clothes from friends even though our styles are different. We feel like a lesser version of ourselves. And when it’s all said and done? We want to burn our maternity clothes.
So, she created Mia Tango to address the guilt, be a guide, and offer advice. She created an online maternity boutique that features the best boutique designers from around the world for pregnancy and motherhood – all in one place.
Let’s be friends! Follow me on social media: @alisondeyette
Style Expert Alison Deyette is a TV + digital host and Los Angeles stylist who was recently named one of the top stylists in Los Angeles by Variety, WWD, Angeleno, and Modern Luxury magazines. As a stylist and fashion director, Alison has styled and directed photo shoots all over the world with models, celebrities and real women for a variety of magazines, including Mode, Good Housekeeping, People Style Watch, Woman’s Day, Ocean Drive, Real Beauty, and Fitness. And she’s styled Oprah’s Weight Watchers commercials. She appears regularly on Good Morning America, TODAY, Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood Live, Wendy Williams, The Real, and The View and is the Style Expert for KTLA’s Morning News. She’s conducted countless celebrity interviews including Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain, Scarlett Johansson and Salma Hayek for TV and in print. Plus, she recently styled Oprah’s Weight Watchers commercials. And she’s hosted several web series that collectively have more than 100 million views.
When teamed up with her bestie Jesse Brune, they share fun tips from fashion to food to DIY and décor in their Super Easy videos on their Super Easy YouTube channel. You can tune into more happening with Jesse and Alison on their lifestyle blog and listen to their Alternative Styles podcast on Apple podcasts or wherever you consume podcasts featuring interviews with fascinating women and good news.