Louisa Serene Schneider is the Founder and CEO of Rowan. Founded in 2019, Rowan believes that your piercing is a milestone that deserves to be celebrated. Performed by licensed nurses and using hypoallergenic earrings made from premium materials, Rowan offers top quality, ear piercing services both at your home and in retail stores such as Target. In this episode, Louisa shares with us her entrepreneurial journey from growing up in North Carolina, to starting her own yoga clothing brand, to working in investment banking, to being inspired by the bankruptcy of Claires, which sparked the idea for Rowan. She talks with us about how she came up with the name Rowan, her tips for hiring a great team, and how she raised over 12 million dollars.
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“This is a seminal moment. This is a really important moment. It was an opportunity to have a moment with a friend or a parent or even with yourself. And don't we want to have great moments and remember them if we can? Because ultimately in life, that's what we look back on.”
“I think that is for us one of the really exciting things about building this business is that we're creating this moment and then we want to be a brand that remains true to that customer for the rest of her or his life.”
“I wanted to bring something that was accessible, but that was better and that was safer. And I also really liked the idea of creating a new work opportunity for nurses.”
“I think as a CEO, my most important job is to make sure that we are taking care of. So what does that mean? First of all, that we have access to growth capital and great support from an ideas standpoint, et cetera, but that I'm building a really good team.
“When you have employees and partners and teammates that feel ownership over what they're doing, there's a sense of joy and pride when things work, but a sense of accountability when they don't.”
“It's important to listen to understand and not to respond in interviews. So I really do try to ask a lot of questions and then I really do try to listen.”
“What is inefficient is after the multiple interviews done by different folks on the team to still have outstanding questions. It should be that you circle back and say, "Had an hour with this person, but here are the three things that I was left wondering about. Please make sure to ask them.’"
“The fundraising experience requires you to get your house in order. And it is not possible to do it alone well. You need your team involved because they need to buy into the projections that you are building out and talking about.”
“Your network is infinitely larger if you have great investors who also have large networks who are very interested in your success, not only because they know you and like you, but because they've actually invested in your business.”
“It is really helpful if you can get someone to give you really good feedback. And to not let it weigh down, but to try to learn from it.”
“You have to keep a piece of you because you're constantly giving so much of yourself.”
“Whatever system you have in place is absolutely perfect to yield the outcome that it's yielding. So if you're not getting the right answer, then something about the process that you have in place needs to change.”