Natalie Grunberg brings her marketing, sales and years of teaching experience to her position at Panty by Post. Her passion for business has made her a fast expert in her field. She draws on her past careers for her big ideas and project management skills. She is known for her vigorous work ethic and works tirelessly to manage, run and develop this growing business.
What are you working on right now?
I am always at work, not only are my hours long but my mind (and iphone) is always on. This morning I took a call at 5 in the morning from a customer on the east coast. That’s just how it works when you own your own business. My business plan is to focus on this winning model and then build on it by offering other items in addition to pretty panties.
What does your typical day look like?
For me the days are atypical, which is how I like it. While I appreciate the comfort of routine, one of the perks of running your own business is you can go to a noon yoga class, or meet with girlfriends for tea mid afternoon. This also means I work most nights until 11PM, this is also typical. I love my business, so working is a labour of love and I truly love to work. If I’m not working to my max, it’s very hard for me to go to bed feeling satisfied. I know people love to think about freedom 55 or the 4 day work week, but to me I’m happy to work work work. Bring it on! I want freedom now and that includes working.
3 trends that excite you?
The subscription trend is my baby, I’d like to think I started it (wink). I’m always reading about fashion trends, mainly French ones, as the French are light years ahead of us. I’m super into all my layers, colours and silk dresses. I’m also addicted to my ipad and I have a beautiful library of books that I schlep around with me on that thing. It’s a very handy trend for people like me, I love to be occupied.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Sweat! No really. I think sharing and coming up with new ideas is a very important skill to practice. I feel like when I’m inspired and coming up with new business ideas, my current business grows richer. I have begun to trust that when I have a business problem, the solution will come to me when the space is there. I often just ponder the issue, then go for a walk. Back to your question, not all ideas need to come to life but they bring your existing ideas that work to life. Not all ideas deserve life but they can still be useful. If the idea is good, I bring it to life by reaching out to all my awesome contacts. I really value my relationships. Meeting for tea with an inspiring person may seem to have little to do with business, but it turns out that’s incorrect. Relationships with interesting people feed me.
What inspires you?
I love beautiful spaces and light! I’m very inspired when I’m in France, I’m also very relaxed there. I have three animals, so maybe that’s also why I’m so rested there, no animals to care for!!! I’m inspired by France, by a good glass of Rose and Indian food and I’m addicted to yoga. A good meal, a stretch and a stroll along la plage, now we’re talking.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
Mistakes are so important, just as long as you can afford it. We seem to feel really negative about mistakes in our culture but profound learning and growing happens when we make mistakes. I’m pro-mistakes. My mistake recently was to advertise in print when my company is online. That was a mistake.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Someone needs to import the new Philip Stark photo booths from France to North America. This is such a good idea!!!
What do you read every day, and why?
I love the blog Girls’ Guide to Paris and Coco and Kelly, I read The Globe and Mail online and I also go to bed with a good book (right now I’m reading Anne Patchet’s Book of Wonder).
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
My favorite book is Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Safron-Foer, but that’s fiction and doesn’t really help with business. I don’t read business-type books much, but Seth Godin inspired me when I started up, plus I watch TED talks when I need a boost. I’m very close to starting a 30 day set of challenges, which is inspired by a TED talk I just watched. Being close to starting is good, right? You know, set the neuropath.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
Without a gcal I’d be lost! Of course I love my iphone, it’s another appendage really.
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
@dailycandysweet for deals
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
The CEO of Anthropologie.com would be super interesting to me. I love to read about people who are saying something different. I’m a bit tired of the top 10 lists.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.
I’m embarrassed to say it, but Adam Sandler’s new movie with Jennifer Anniston made me laugh out loud. I’m not proud of that though. The movie Date Night made me screech in my seat. Seriously, my date moved away from me. I was pretty much a hyena.
How do you scale up a successful online business?
You build up solid relationships with the right people all over the world, starting in Russia (that’s what I’ve done) and then you localized your site for every nation on the planet! Yahoo!
Are love relationships an issue when you work so much?
Sometimes I wonder this, since I’m not yet married. Of course being a woman in business presents unique challenges. It’s important to find a life partner that sees you as a talented working woman and is interested in your business. It’s best if they too own their own business, then they understand the mania necessary to be successful. It’s also nice if they appreciate take out Chinese food, which is great because it’s too hard to work long hours and be a 1950s housewife.
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