Boss Lady: Deanna and Daria

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Deanna and Daria, sisters and co-founders of Hubbell Hille shoes.  While both women still maintain full-time jobs, their main goal is to continue to create and grow a comfortable shoe line that fits their preppy style. They share with us their marketing tools, advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and the challenge of balancing it all.

Hubbel Hile

1. Tell us about yourselves and your career.
We grew up in a close-knit family in Colts Neck, NJ and have been in the City for eight (Deanna) and five (Daria) years.  We’re usually back and forth between NY and NJ and spend weekends in the summer at the beach in Spring Lake, NJ.

Deanna: In high school I had a small business making handbags, which prompted me to go to The Fashion Institute of Technology.  I loved living in New York and started a small wardrobe consulting company helping working women with their style; however I quickly realized that my dream was to work in finance.  Coming from an unconventional background, I started my journey by spending two years underwriting financial institutions in insurance and am now working at a private equity firm.  Though I love my day job and the industry that I am in, my creative side, the constant need to be busy and an unrelenting desire to start my own business, prompted me to start Hubbell Hille with my sister.

Daria: I went to college for elementary education and had the full intention of becoming a teacher in New Jersey.  After a few jobs in varying industries, and a jump across the river to New York (much to my surprise), I am now the Office Manager at an all-women financial recruiting company.  Much like my sister, I love my day job, however my love of fashion and the desire to by my own boss one day led me to say “yes” when my sister came out of the bedroom one rainy Thursday night with the grand idea of starting a shoe company.

2. Describe a typical work day balancing a full-time job and your own shoe company.
Deanna/Daria: We typically leave the house around 7/8AM and don’t get home until 7/8PM so aside from orders that have to go out right away, most of the Hubbell Hille work is done on the weekends.  Once a month, we hold board meetings at our kitchen counter to discuss what needs to be changed and if we are meeting goals.  What’s nice about being the owners is that we don’t have to answer to anyone besides ourselves.  We are fully accountable for the pace that Hubbell Hille will grow at and we are not pressuring ourselves to be an overnight success.

3. What was your inspiration behind starting Hubbell Hille?
Deanna: I’ve always had the desire to start my own company and be my own boss.  Given my inherently creative side I knew that if I was going to start a company it would be fashion-oriented because it comes naturally to me.  I always have such a hard time finding shoes that fit well, are comfortable and hold-up to the taxing NYC streets.  My style is generally preppy so I am of course a huge fan of crests (along with Daria) and while we would easily see them on blazers, we didn’t really see them on many shoes.  There were a few here and there over the years, but the smoking slippers we saw were either $60 and not great quality or $450 european-made, but still not durable enough to stand up to city streets.  This lack of what we were looking for in a shoe coupled with my desire to start a company led me to Hubbell HIlle.

Daria: I love that Hubbell Hille allows us to take what motivates and inspires us and channel that into something that is uniquely ours.  We drew inspiration from everything that impacts our daily lives; the desire for a comfortable, stylish shoe, the excitement of starting a business and turning our shared ‘passion for fashion’ into a reality.  It doesn’t hurt either to have your sister as your business partner.

Fun fact: The name Hubbell Hille came from Deanna’s obsession with The Way We Were and one of the main characters played by Robert Redford.

4. Starting a company with your sister must be exciting, how do you delegate who does what in the company?
Deanna: Though I am four years younger, I have a pretty aggressive personality and usually take the lead on things, however I always consult my sister along the way.  She’s very diligent and organized so I know I can count on her to make sure we’re hitting any deadlines.  We have a very ying-yang balance to our personalities so it works.

Daria: It’s great having a business partner that you can share clothes with!  I think it helped foster our personal style.  As the middle child of two very strong personalities, I have always been the most subdued of the three of us.  This carries over to Hubbell Hille and like Deanna said, it works.  She generally takes the lead on most things and I know exactly what I need to do to play my part.  We always consult with one another, especially when it comes to a design decision.  I’m typically very indecisive though, so she usually makes the final call.

Boss Lady: Hubbell Hille

5. What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Deanna: Being that we’re in the early stages of our company, and doing this mostly at night and weekends, social media has been very effective for us.  It’s the quickest, cheapest way to reach a broad audience and start building brand awareness.  We spend most nights reaching out to various bloggers/journalists/stylists across the country to work with them in promoting Hubbell Hille.  Most of them are very receptive and super helpful!

Daria: Good old fashioned word of mouth is always helpful too.  Just having our friends, family and co-workers wear our Hubblers has generated interest in the brand.

6. What advice would you give to other women in the industry that are trying to start their own line?
Deanna:  I’m sure my advice will be more credible when Hubbell Hille has $20m in annual sales, but my advice would be (and I think this applies to many areas of your life) to just do it!  Don’t overthink it or else you will just come up with many reasons of why it’s not possible, not smart, not easy, etc.  We are now in a time, I think, when it has never been easier to start a brand, between the internet and social media, so give it a shot.  Stop thinking and start doing.

Daria: Start small and don’t expect to be an overnight success.  Prior to establishing Hubbell Hille, Deanna became an overnight expert in all things small business related.  She didn’t wait for someone to give her the answers or show her the way, she found it herself!  Don’t let anyone deter you from pursuing your dream, but be smart and do your homework so you know exactly what’s entailed.

7. Where do you hope to see Hubbell Hille in 5+ years?
Deanna/Daria: We would love to see Hubbell Hille surpass $2m in annual sales, have an expanded product line beyond our “Hubbler” style and have pop-up shops in Nantucket, Palm Beach, New York and Spring Lake, NJ (our beach town).  We also would like to see a portion of our annual revenue going towards a charity of our choice (which we’re working on!) as we think it’s very important to give back to the causes you are passionate about.

8. Who is a #bosslady that inspires you?
Deanna: Any woman who proves that you can have it “all”, whatever your definition of all is.  That working, learning, having a family, being engaged with your community, etc. are all possible to balance.  If I had to pick a specific example, the founders at Tuckernuck inspire me.  I came across an interview with one of the Co-Founders years ago and have been following them ever since.  It’s three young women with very impressive backgrounds and they have built an amazing company over the past few years…their vision and marketing is genius!

Daria: Coming from an education background and currently working in an all-female firm, I’ve had the opportunity to work and interact with women from all walks of life.  It’s the everyday woman that inspires me.  The mom, the professional, the young struggling to start their career and the seasoned veterans who just won’t quit.  My current boss is a mother of three who took her experience from a 20+ year career and started her own firm that has continued to thrive.  She is a female powerhouse!

Boss Lady: Hubbell Hille

More on Hubbell Hille:
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International Women’s Day

“After a hugely successful women’s march, this International Women’s Day is more important than ever! The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. That’s way too long! We need to keep the momentum going and #BeBoldForAChange. Visit internationalwomensday.com to find out more!”
Lauren Golt, owner and founder of Social Stylate

We have had the pleasure of interviewing countless inspiring women in business over the years. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we gathered some of our favorite quotes from past Boss Ladies, dating all the way back to our first interview in 2013, as they share advice, insight, and inspiration for women in business.

Social Stylate

“Just put something out there and get started. No amount of research can fully prepare you for what it’s like to run a business — you learn by figuring out the problems and creating solutions as you go along.”
-Lisa Butler

“Be ready to put in a ton of hours for your passion, listen to your heart and continue with persistence. Create for you and practice, practice, practice. The best form of learning for me was to just experiment without fear. Go ahead and make mistakes and never be afraid to grow and learn new tecniques.”
-Leigh Viner

“Whatever endeavor you choose to set out on, make sure it’s something that really resonates with you and that you truly, 100% love. Because if you love it, chances are you will dedicate a lot of time and focus on it, which is necessary for any entrepreneur to be successful.”
-Beeta Hashempour

“Get organized, make a plan and don’t look back!”
-Dabney Lee Woglom

“Being an employee will be a short lived experience as long as you keep that inner fire going towards doing what you truly love. ​Believe that the universe is willing to embrace and support what you desire as long as you are willing to do your part.”
-Stephanie Surtida

“Know that you are going to have to do the small stuff that makes you sweat before you become that awesome entrepreneur on Ted Talks.”
-Lauren Secchi

“Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to learn new things. Love what you do. Take the leap.”
-Evelyn Henson

“Women—especially in this field, need to have confidence in themselves and their abilities. I think women are still afraid to voice their opinions or ideas, and that needs to stop!”
-Danielle Bouchat Friedman

“You have to start somewhere. Starting small is okay! But just START! Dive in headfirst. Lose yourself a little. Dare yourself, and start believing in your own potential.”
-Eileen Hearn

“You need to be able to roll with the tide. You throw twenty ideas out there and if one sticks it’s a success.”
-Maureen Petrosky

 

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Blo Wilmington: A New Name In Greenville

There is a new blow dry bar in town! Blo Wilmington has officially opened it’s Greenville location and we had the pleasure of stopping in for a quick pamper sesh. Needless to say, we will be back! Blo Wilmington (Image Via)
Blo Wilmington

As a client, you are greeted with warm smiles and hellos from a friendly, professional team of stylists and we can’t forget about the champagne! Their main goal is to make you feel beautiful and fabulous from start to finish. Whether you are coming from the gym, taking a break from shopping, or glamming up for a black tie event, there are a variety of styles for your perfect blow out!

Blo Wilmington

“A blow-out is terrific for special occasions, but has also become a regular part of many of our clients’ weekly routines, since our styles can last anywhere from 3-5 days”, says owner Kerry Welsh (pictured below). “When you come to Blo, not only will you leave looking and feeling fabulous, but with champagne, good music, and a clean, modern environment – we provide much needed “me time”. And with appointments available as early as 7am (and walk-ins starting at 9am), many clients have found styling on the way to the office or after an early workout to be a perfect way to save time in an otherwise hectic day.”

Blo Wilmington (Image Via)

3801 Kennett Pike, Suite E-123, Greenville, Delaware

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Fashion Sense: NYFW Recap

Stunning, brilliant and magical. Three words to describe New York Fashion Week 2017. Featured designers put blood, sweat and tears (maybe literally) into their productions and they could not have been more extravagent. From the launch of Gemy Maalouf’s collection to Vivienne Tam, Vivienne Hu, Leanne Marshall & Nicole Miller, we witnessed true talent first hand and learned of trends arriving in Fall 2017. We have to admit, we can NOT wait!

Vivienne Hu 
This collection captured more of the “Nonchalant Tomboy” trend vibing throughout fashion week. Our favorite looks include a clean, minimalist line and we sure can’t forget about the layers! Lots and lots of layers; pure brilliance.

Vivienne Hu

Image Via

Nicole Miller
The designer channeled her inner NYC grunge for this collection and we loved it! Skulls, leather and chains were frequently seen on the runway with dark eye makeup and a bright red lip. Again, we can’t forget about those layering pieces!

Nicole MillerImage Via 

Vivienne Tam
While Nicole Miller channeled her inner NYC grunge, Vivienne went with a Hong Kong nightlife scene for her inspiration. The vibe of the show was everything, upbeat and fierce with a feministic touch. From bold patterns to bombers and sequence, the collection captured every bit of the urban culture. Check out those prints!

Vivienne Tam

Vivienne Tam

Vivienne Tam

Images Via

Gemy Maalouf
This collection screams romance! Gemy mastered the evening gown aesthetic for her fashion week launch party. Structured tailored peices, lace detail and ruffles made up this perfectly elegant group. Did we mention it was at the Bowery Hotel?

Gemy MaaloufGemy MaaloufGemy Maalouf

Leanne Marshall
Leanne Marshall gave her collection the feminist touch with monochromatic looks, varying necklines, soft silk and textured lace. The models sported neutral makeup, updos, red lips and a gorgeous statemenet earring.

Leanne Marshall

Image Va 

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