After graduating from Harvard College and Georgetown University respectively, Co-Founders of Solemates Becca Brown and Monica Ferguson met on their first day of analyst training at Goldman Sachs. After graduating from Columbia Business School in 2007, they decided to take a chance on an idea and go into business for themselves. Now, the dynamic duo will bring their product to ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’, the entrepreneurial reality series airing Friday, October 14th, 9PM EST.
What do you do best?
I’m a great executor of ideas. When I have a vision for something that I want done, I have a great ability to see it through to fruition.
On a personal & professional level, I have an almost dangerously good memory to retain facts about the people that I’ve met. I have a mental rolodex that surpasses the ability of any social network platform to connect people, places, and things. It can be a curse to my friends and family (that I have such a good memory), but I’ve found it very helpful in all aspect of my life.
What makes you the best?
When I have a goal in mind, I like to consider how I am going to achieve that goal. I like to visualize the success but also consider the path to getting there. In order to do this, I like to break it down into small, manageable steps. Each step represents a small milestone on the path to a greater goal. Having small steps in place creates a pragmatic approach that frames what could be an unwieldy process into something more manageable.
In creating a mental roadmap, one becomes acutely aware that the path will not always go straight; but hurdles, twists, turns and roadblocks will emerge. But if the goal is clear, and the key milestones are understood, arriving to the destination is always doable.
What are your aspirations?
Personal Goals: To live a full, happy, and meaningful life.
Business Goals: I want to continue to grow our business and create a brand with staying power that can exist long after I’m at the helm. I want to continue to create or be a part of interesting businesses.
Launching our brand, inventing a product, having an idea and seeing it on the shelves of my favorite stores and on the heels of great celebrities; that has been the greatest success to date. It’s been so much fun and such a great learning experience to create something from nothing.
Most Challenging Moment?
The most trying time in my life were the days and weeks that followed 9/11. I was working downtown, just out of college at the time and the impact of the attacks were hard to reconcile to my 22 year old brain. They are hard to reconcile 15 years later. Trying to cope with the reality, manage the sorrow I saw friends and family enduring, handle my own fears about returning to work, etc. It was the most trying time for most New Yorkers, I would imagine.
Make it simple, but significant. (Don Draper, Mad Men)
Favorite People/Role Models?
I had two tremendous role models when I was in my first job out of college. One was a happily married mother of two who had worked at our bank for 25+ years and the other was a Harvard MBA, just a few years my senior, who had twice beat cancer. Both of them taught me different, crucial life lessons; (1) Tenacity pays off (2) Be clear about what you want, work hard, and you will attain it (3) Nothing is more important than your health (4) No people are more important than your family and close friends.
Both of them faced premature deaths 56 & 37, respectively, and both had more impact on me in the few years we spent together than they could possibly imagine.
I was born and raised in Connecticut, went to college in Washington, DC and have lived in NYC for most of my adult life, and I feel at home in all of those places (and love them all), but Southern California is to me, some kind of paradise. I’ve been lucky to travel the world somewhat extensively, but I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. If I had to venture out of the states, I would say Italy, Scotland or the Maldives (each for very unique reasons).
Given the amount of time we spend together, and my absolute dependence on its health, performance, and speed, I would say that my favorite object is my iphone.
My favorite piece of jewelry is a gold charm bracelet of my mother’s. The charms are a mix of gold coins & gold medals from a 1920’s Olympic swimmer who was a family friend. It’s a conversation piece because of its size and beauty, but it also feels great to be wearing a bit of history. The athlete was a driven, hardworking, and focused man, who ultimately became a champion. Who wouldn’t want a reminder of that sort of drive!?
There are two things I could not live without: Working out and reading. Both of them are forms of escapism to me; and restore a sense of calm and balance. I read compulsively; fiction mostly. The best book I’ve read this year & perhaps in several years is Amor Towles’, “A Gentleman in Moscow.”
My workouts tend to be Soul Cycle classes, which I credit for almost every aspect of my health & well-being.