Westchester County's Most Accomplished Women Entrepreneurs
Meet 28 of the county's most successful, move innovative, most respected business women.
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From Doing Voiceovers to Creating an Iconic Fashion Line
Founder, President, and Chief Creative Director, NYC Subway Line
Lynne Lambert was a successful voiceover actress for commercials and video games for more than 25 years. Once she reached 40, however, auditions began to dry up. “People doing the casting and producing were twenty- and thirty-somethings and wanted to hire the same,” says the Chappaqua resident.
In the summer of 1995 while riding the #4 subway, Lambert first had the idea that would become her new vocation. “The circular route subway numbers are compelling and iconic,” she notes. “Like the wallpaper of the City. I remember thinking, ‘Something should be done with this. People would want to wear this imagery.’ˮ
Not able to shake the idea, Lambert went to the NY Transit Museum in Grand Central and the gift shop manager connected her with MTA executives. Within six months and $2,500 spent, she had incorporated NYC Subway Line (NYCSubwayLine.net), had sample T-shirts, and was officially licensed by the MTA (royalties from NYC Subway Line sales go to support the Museum).
Her line uses New York City subway system signs, maps, route letters, and numbers on everything from clothing to backpacks, wallets, messenger bags, cosmetic cases, and handbags.
Profitability didn’t come until 2005. “The first five years of the business, I sunk my life savings—one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars—into it,” she says. “The next five I paid myself back.”
Lambert’s first successful sales were to Macy's Herald Square and The New York Historical Society. “My experience as an actress came in handy calling up potential vendors. I have no fear about rejection; it’s something you have to deal with on auditions.”
In 2006, the company approached a million dollars in sales, aided by Lambert being chosen as one of the winners of the Make Mine a Million Dollar Business contest. In 2007 sales went to $1.2 million. Her apparel has been worn by many performers, including Uma Thurman, Mario Lopez, rapper Fabolous, musician Charles Neville, actor Jerry Ferrara as “Turtle” in Entourage, and actor Jesse Bradford as Cliff Pantone in Bring It On.
“The recession beat us back in two-thousand-eight, and then when our then biggest client, Virgin Megastores, closed in two-thousand-nine, we really took a hit.”
This year sales are once again approaching $1 million. Today, her customers include Modells, Top of the Rock, Apple, and Toys ’ Us, her biggest. Locally, they can be found at Aurora and Squires in Chappaqua and Urban Outfitters in White Plains and Greenwich, CT. Her most popular selling product: Manhattan subway map black T-shirts ($22.99-$29.99).
Lambert’s ideas for the future include street map apparel for Chicago and Los Angeles.
The biggest thrill for Lambert is when she sees someone walking down the street wearing her apparel. “I’ll yell, ‘That’s my shirt! That’s my company!’“
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