I was in sunny Puerto Rico visiting my family last weekend but no matter where I am these days I always end up finding interesting startup stories.
While there I met with my new friend Sharon Pica for lunch and when I told her what I was up to with The Mogulettes, she shared how she had started a few businesses herself. After studying at F.I.T. and working for years as a buyer here in the states and in P.R., she decided to launch her own line of clothing. The scariest part, she said, was gathering the courage to disclose her plans to her boss, who owned a chain of stores in old San Juan. He was very supportive and allowed her to work part-time while she put together her line. Although she was great at spotting trends and knowing what designs would sell, her weak point was making patterns, so she was able to find a partner that had experience with that. Their first dress was a disaster - the pattern came out wrong and they had to throw away all the fabric. But then orders started coming in and dresses started selling. They found a very good rep and Sears and JC Penney's placed orders. Little by little the company grew. Her old boss became one of her biggest customers. After a couple of years they were making close to one million dollars in annual sales! Soon after that she and her partner parted ways and Sharon went off on her own - that's when the business really took off.
Sharon at home, getting ready for her next business adventure
It was also during that time that she felt drawn to the spiritual side of life, and after attending a few seminars she decided to start a non profit to bring all the wonderful teachers she loved to the island. Her fist event was with Wayne Dyer and 600 people showed up, then thousands came to see Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson and others.
Do you have a 'rah-rah!' moment you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it!!