Welcome to Inspired By a new section of our blog, where we will be posting interviews with women who inspire us. Issue No. 1 is an interview with Laura Maurer, Co-founder of Flora Nuit - a pop-up lingerie shop that comes to your home. We've already partnered with Flora Nuit on one pop-up shop and it was a great success - looking forward to the next one!
Laura Maurer pictured left with her partner Melissa Silvetti
1. Tell us about yourself and your background.
I grew up in California and moved to New Jersey when I was 15. I was an art history major at Washington & Lee University in Virginia. A few months after graduating, I moved to Buenos Aires, sort of on a whim, and ended up staying for a year.
Once I moved back to the US, I answered a Craigslist posting for a job at a lingerie company. I’d had no experience in the industry, but I ended up really loving it and actually meeting my future co-founder, Melissa Silvetti. We started Flora Nuit at the end of 2013.
2. What inspired you to start your own Lingerie Pop-Up business and what keeps you going?
Melissa and I were having coffee one day and we started talking about how amazed we were by the number of women who dislike shopping for lingerie. Since it’s such an integral part of our wardrobes, we figured that the experience of shopping for lingerie should be a treat, not something that women dread. We decided to experiment with the at-home party concept because we felt that it made for a much more comfortable shopping experience. After we launched, we got great feedback from customers who loved shopping in such an intimate environment and who ended up buying things they never would have considered trying on in a store.
Our model also allows us to work with small designers (like you!) who have awesome products, but are just getting started and may not be big enough to work with department stores or large boutiques. We're able to help them get exposure while also introducing our customers to new brands we really believe in, so there’s definitely a sense of discovery when you attend a Flora Nuit party.
3. What are some of the primary challenges/obstacles that you face as the Co-Founder of Flora Nuit?
Working with a really tight budget is a big one. There are so many things you want to do when you’re starting out, but you just can’t afford it, so you become really scrappy. Another is to stay focused and excited even when working on the aspects of the business you don’t love so much (read: accounting, taxes, etc.).
4. If you could restart your career, what would you change? Or would you keep it exactly the same?
Not a tremendous amount, but I wish I had pushed myself further outside my comfort zone when I was younger and not been so afraid of rejection or failure.
5. How do you approach work life and personal life balance?
It can be tricky since my schedule varies a lot. It’s rare that I go a day without doing any work at all, but I definitely make time to spend doing things I really enjoy. I just make sure to schedule them in advance so I can be as focused as possible trying to finish everything around those times.
6. Tell us one tip that you would give a young woman who is trying to advance in her career?
Network! Get to know, and ask advice from, as many people as possible. Be honest about what you’re trying to achieve and don’t be afraid to approach people who seem “out of your league" career wise. They were starting out once, too, and are generally happy to help if you're clear and concise with your ask. Also, try to form as many partnerships that are beneficial to both parties as possible and learn to confidently share what it is you bring to the table.
We hope Laura has also inspired you! If you'd like to get in touch with her about having a pop up in your home, you may contact her here.