[quote style=”boxed”]To accomplish anything, all you need is planning, research and the guts to make it happen. I spend a lot of time researching and talking to experts, then I sit with the ideas and put my on slant on the strategy or tactics. Once I know what I want to do, I do it. And I do it fast. Then I test the strategy, see what worked, refine and do it again.[/quote]
After experiencing firsthand some of the incredible challenges and time constraints that professionals in the fashion industry face – rushing to showroom appointments, poring over line sheets, and scouting emerging talent – Mona Bijoor decided to create a private network offering a simple, online solution to the tedium of wholesale fashion buying.
Her passion was to create a network that makes it easier for brands and boutique owners to connect, conduct business, and maximize their potential.
JOOR was born.
Mona Bijoor understands both the brand and boutique perspectives having worked for CHANEL, Elie Tahari, Cynthia Rowley, Mimi Maternity, and Ann Taylor. She received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
What are you working on right now?
JOOR recently completed Series A Financing led by Battery Ventures with participation from some great angel investors. We’re using this capital to continue our international expansion and accelerate the growth of our marketplace. We’re also working on enhancing the capabilities of the site to include product search, recommendations and growing our base of specialty retailers.
What does your typical day look like?
- 6am: Woken up by either my 2-year-old or 5-year-old
- 8:00: Drop off my 5-year-old at school
- 8:30: Meet with JOOR tech team, return phone calls, send emails
- 10-4: Meetings with international fashion brands & boutiques
- 4-6:30: Debrief with the JOOR sales team
- 6:30: Dinner with the kids
- 8:00: Bedtime with kids
- 8-Midnight: Respond to emails and plan for the next day
3 trends that excite you?
1) The Start Up Energy in NYC
New York City is a unique place to launch a venture, and the atmosphere in the city’s business community is electric. We are so excited to be part of it.
2) Adoption of Online Wholesale Commerce
Businesses are waking up to the Internet beyond consumer-facing homepages and starting to realize the potential of sourcing their product online. It’s reinventing and revitalizing B2B.
3) Data Visualization
I am a very visual person. I love work, like Aaron Koblin’s, that transforms raw data into quick, easy to read, and profound visuals.
How do you bring ideas to life?
To accomplish anything, all you need is planning, research and the guts to make it happen. I spend a lot of time researching and talking to experts, then I sit with the ideas and put my on slant on the strategy or tactics. Once I know what I want to do, I do it. And I do it fast. Then I test the strategy, see what worked, refine and do it again.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who hustle, who have no fear about being wrong, and who are constantly trying to outdo themselves.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
Not going with my gut. As an entrepreneur, all you really have is your gut. The newest rule in my playbook is to work with people that give you a good gut feeling. If your perceptual radar goes nuts when you meet someone, then you probably shouldn’t be doing business with that person.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If I weren’t focused on JOOR, then I’d be building a marketplace solely focused on pre-owned luxury goods.
What do you read every day? Why?
Since our business is dedicated to both retailers and brands, every day I read a cross-section of business journals, trade publications and blogs, including the Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, TechCrunch and Business of Fashion.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
The Happiness Project. It’s great for any entrepreneur who is working a 100 miles an hour and needs to rejuvenate from time to time.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
The founders of H. Bloom.
How do you manage the opinions of your investors and advisors?
In business, you get a lot of opinions. Especially from people who don’t have anything to lose if their advice doesn’t pan out.
Never stop asking them (and yourself) “Why?” It’s the fastest way I’ve found to cut to the chase and weigh the merit of a decision.
Would you rather be doing something else than building JOOR?
No way in hell.
You can follow us on Twitter at @JOORAccess
[box size=”small” border=”full”]This interview was brought to you by Rohit Jain who works in business development. You can follow Rohit via his blog and on Twitter. [/box]