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Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Elizabeth Cutler, SoulCycle

Cathie Black, Hearst

Edward Nardoza, WWD E-I-C

Alex Ljung, Soundcloud

Patrick Doyle, Dominos CEO

David Pecker, American Media

Nobu

Linda Sawyer, Deutsch Inc

Charlotte Ronson

Alex Wilcox, Jetsuite

Matthew Hiltzik

Jaimes Leggett, MC Saatchi

Achilli Matteo Egomnia Founder/CEO
Ansel Dominque Dominique Ansel Bakery Owner
Antebi Marcus JuicePress Founder
Avino Mariella Palazzo Avino Owner/CEO
Barker John Barker/DZP Founder/President
Bassett Jennifer Jennifer Bassett Events Owner
Bastianich Lidia Felidia, Eataly, Del Posto Owner
Belfort Jordan Straight Line Systems Founder
Berman Sarah The Berman Group Founder/President
Black Cathie Hearst Magazines Former Chairman
Blumenstein Penny JDC President

Borries/Stefano Philippe/Justin Refinery29 CEO/Founders
Bowen Arabella Fodors Editor-in0-Chief

Bragman Howard 15 Minutes PR Founder/Chairman
Brodsky Howard David Barton CEO
Burke David David Burke Group Owner
Carter Will Burner App/AhHoc Labs Co-Founder
Cassidy Sean DKC President
Chapur Rafael Hard Rock Inclusive Resorts COO
Chevanne Antione Groupe Floriat CEO
Chong Alexandra LuLu Founder/CEO
Church Jeff SUJA Juice Founder
Cuomo Cristina Modern Luxury EIC
Cutler Elizabeth SoulCyle Co-Founder
Dadich Scott WIRED EIC
Darabi Soraya Zady Co-Founder
Davis Peter Scene Magazine EIC
Desseigne Dominque Groupe Lucien Barriere CEO
Doyle Patrick Domino's President/CEO
Ducasse Alain Alain Duccase Restaurants Owner
Dufresne David Bandzoogle CEO
Evans Annie Beautified App Co-Founder
Feeley Tom Sole Hotels Owner
Ferdman Michael Firstborn Founder
Foster Stuart Luxury Brands, Hilton VP of Marketing
Freid Brandon Sanctuary Hotel President
Georges Elie Hotel San Regis President/Owner
Gillis Neil Round Hill Music President
Godfrey Jay Jay Godfrey Founder
Goldstein Tara Brookfield VP of Marketing
Gomes Philma Cape Grace Hotel DOSM
Guest Cornelia Cornelia Guest Cookies Owner
Harrison Phil Perkins+Will CEO
Hendry Ricky Isaora Founder
Hiltzik Matthew Hiltzik Strategies President/CEO
Hofstetter Sarah 360i CEO
Hostettler Daniel Ocean House Management President
Humm Daniel Eleven Madison Park Owner
Huvane Stephen Slate PR Partner
Ivan Sir Peaceman Foundation Founder
Jackson Lisa LJ Cross Jewelry Founder/CEO

James Paul Starwood Luxury Collection Global Leader
Javian Michelle Harboring Hearts CEO/Co-Founder
Kaplow Liz Kaplow Communications Founder/CEO
Karan Donna DKNY Founder
Karlitz Herb Karlitz & Company Founder
Katz Allen NY Distilling Company Fonder
Kenner Nick Just Salad Founder
Kepmner Michael MWW Founder/President
Kessler Richard The Kessler Collection Chairman/CEO
Kliegerman Stephen Halstead President
Kolodny Shawn VIP Room Managing Director
Kunkel John 50 Eggs, Yardbird CEO/Founder
Labrecque Paul Paul Labrecque Owner
LaForce James LaForce + Stevens Founder/CEO
Le Calvez Didier Le Bristol Paris CEO
Lee Stacy Brazilian Court Hotel DOSM
Leggett Jaimes M&C Saatchi Australia CEO
Lekach David Dream Water Founder/CEO
Leyland Chelsea Chelsea Leyland Owner/Producer
Ljunberg Jenny C/O Hotels, Maidstone Owner
Ljung Alex SoundCloud Founder
Lo Anita Annisa Owner
Maccioni Mario Maccioni Group Partner
Malin/Goetz Matthew/Andrew Malin + Goetz Founders
Mamone Tony Livingly Media Founder/CEO
Martin Amy Jo Digital Royalty CEO/Founder
Matsuhisa Nobu Nobu Restaurants Owner
Mazar Mike Tenthwave Partner
Morimoto Iron Chef Morimoto Owner
Moscot Zack MOSCOT Creative Director
Murphy Sean Jetsetter EIC
Murphy Rhona The Daily Beast CEO
Musolino Sheila Ronald McDonald Chairty VP/COO
Nardoza Edward WWD EIC
Novogrod Nancy Travel + Leisure EIC
Olay Pablo PaddilaCRT VP
Osher Shaun CORE Founder/CEO

Pauli Dimitri Sant Ambroeus Owner
Pechar Edward McCormick/360 Vodka Chairman
Pecker David American Media Chairman/CEO
Perkins Lynn UrbanSitter Founder/CEO

Preysman Michael Everlane Founder/CEO

Rabin David Skylark, Lambs Club Owner
Reckford Jonathan Habitat for Humanity CEO
Rondeau Chris Planet Fitness CEO

Ronson Charlotte Charlotte Ronson Owner
Rotten Lilian Swissotel VP
Rousseau Linda Singita Group DOSM
Russell Charles Stribling & Associates DOSM

Sawyer Linda Deutsch CEO
Schoenberg Bruce Oasis Spa Owner
Senbahar Izak The Mark Hotel Owner
Siegel Alan Siegelvision CEO
Silvstedt Victoria Very Victoria Silvstedt Owner
Spencer Miles Mojiva/TrustCloud Founder
Spindel Janice Serious Matchmaking Owner
Steinberg Leonard Urban Compass President
Steinberg Richard Warburg Realty Managing Director
Tahlin Jonas Absolut Elyx CEO
Tanaka Patrice PaddilaCRT Founder
Tarkoff Rob Lithium Tech CEO
Tetrick Joshua Hampton Creek CEO/Founder
Thomson Amy ATM Artists President
Torossian Ron 5W PR Founder/President
Van der Meer Antonia Coastal Living EIC
Verschleiser Eli American Jewish Congress Treasurer
Vongerichten Jean-Georges Jean Georges Restaurants Owner
Wagner James Emory University President
Wales Jimmy Wikipedia Founder
Westergren Tim Pandora Founder
White Alex Next Big Sound Co-Founder
Wiedlin Andy BuzzFeed CRO
Wilcox Alex JetSuite CEO
Winter Alexandre Placemeter CEO/Founder
Wolffer Marc Wolffer Estate Vineyard Owner
Wunderman Lester Wunderman Chairman/Founder
Zecher Linda Houghton Mifflin Harcourt President/CEO

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Wednesday
Mar112015

Marissa Gibbons: Co-founder & CEO of Riley & Grey

In her role, Marissa leads business development, marketing and creative strategy for the brand. Before launching Riley & Grey, Marissa received her MBA from Harvard Business School and served as a consultant for start-ups including Sonicbids, Fathom and GenArt. Riley & Grey is a luxury, fashion-forward wedding website company that Marissa founded with her husband after the frustrations they experienced while planning their own wedding years ago. They bring a fresh perspective to the wedding industry, offering luxury, limited edition wedding websites for the fashion-forward couple.

How did you get into the tech industry?

I got bitten by the startup bug while getting my MBA at Harvard and I’ve been in the space ever since. For me, the ability to quickly build and test things in tech makes it the most fun place to be entrepreneurial.

Tell us about Riley & Grey. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

We started the company because we felt for such a big, fragmented industry, everything in the wedding space seemed to look the same. There was one pretty narrow aesthetic that seemed to permeate everything. When I planned my wedding in 2011 there just didn’t seem to be much out there for me or someone who might lean even a little on the edgier side of things. I usually describe it as a little less Martha, a little more Vogue. Not that Martha doesn’t do some very lovely things. It just wasn’t our aesthetic and we wanted our wedding to really reflect who we were in our every day lives. We didn’t want to adopt a whole new style just because that’s what the wedding industry offered. Two years later (2013), I looked around and nothing had changed! And it was especially painful/obvious when you looked at wedding websites. The same 3 templates were still getting used at every wedding I went to and the UX was very web 1.0. We knew we could make that experience so much more beautiful, useful, and enjoyable for couples and their guests. So we built Riley & Grey.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Riley & Grey's success?

We love partnerships. For us it’s all about finding like-minded brands who are or want to be talking to design-minded couples too. Since we’re taking a bit of a unique perspective on weddings, there aren’t a ton of matches, so when we find a brand like The Black Tux, for example, we love to get as involved as possible and cross promote each other.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

I think luckily for us, our whole brand perspective is a trend. Couples increasingly want a weddings that matches who they are separate from the fact that they happen to be engaged. Wedding dresses from non-bridal designers, for example, are definitely becoming more common.

Life Motto?

Make much of miracles. It’s from a Walt Whitman poem that we read at our wedding and to me, it’s about gratitude. Gratitude changes everything - it really is like this gift from the universe that always works.

Riley & Greys Motto?

Do you. Break the wedding rules or follow them - whatever feels authentic.

Your greatest success as founder/CEO of Riley & Grey? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

I feel the greatest success when I get “where have you been all my life?!?” feedback from couples that have been searching high and low for a brand that “gets” them. With a design and customer focused product it can be really tempting to get bogged down in “pixel perfection” and want to make every little adjustment for every individual customer, but that’s just not realistic as the business grows - keeping processes scalable is a constant challenge.

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Eliminate unnecessary stress. I think there’s this myth in the entrepreneurial community that you have to be willing to jump off the cliff from day one and “starve” for your idea. I think that’s ridiculous and just adds unnecessary stress to an already stressful process. People with ideas always think they have to quit their day job to make real progress. There’s a lot of “hurry up and wait” in the early days of building and testing an MVP - you have more time than you think, even with a full-time job. Worrying about paying your rent is just going to stifle creativity and in most cases is just not necessary in the very beginning.

How do you motivate your employees?

Setting really clear goals/hypotheses to test and then making sure everything we do is tied to those goals. I think when people know why they’re doing something and that their deliverables are not just subject to management’s every whim, it’s much easier to get them to participate in the vision and get excited. 

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Haagan Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream and full, earthy red wine (like actual dirt in my glass earthy)

What literature is on your bed stand?

I have a newish baby so pleasure reading is kinda on pause right now :) but the last great book I read was Wild. Very worthy of the hype.

Role model - business and personal?

I don’t really have anyone specific but in general I’m just very attracted to authenticity. I like to surround myself with people that keep it real with others, but more importantly with themselves (which is often the harder of the two). And as Amy Poehler so brilliantly put it, “I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.”

Current passion?

Everything about 7 month old daughter Grey. Cliche but true.

Favorite travel destination?

The Viceroy Anguilla. Salt water and sand are my lifeblood and that place just nails it on every front.

What's next for Riley & Grey?

More partnerships! Look out for some cool fashion collabs and paper complements for.

https://www.rileygrey.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rileyandgrey

https://twitter.com/rileyandgrey

https://instagram.com/rileyandgrey/