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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$10,000 and a Dream
Co-Founder and CEO, Two’s Company, Inc.
In 1968, Bobbie Gottlieb and her husband, Robert, started Two’s Company in their New Rochelle home with just $10,000, ostensibly as a part-time job to fund their three sons’ college educations. “As with most good efforts, it was not part time,” Gottlieb says. “And we were encouraged by our early success.”
With good reason: today, the company’s home décor, giftware, and fashion accessories are sold worldwide; the firm has grown to include 200 employees; and it has showrooms in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, High Point (North Carolina), Atlanta, Dallas, and New York, with its corporate headquarters in Elmsford.
“Even in this bad economy, we’re optimistic, ready to fast-forward,” Gottlieb says. “Sometimes, it just takes a little thing, like a new picture frame or a scarf, to give someone a lift.” She attributes her company’s success even in down markets to all those little things—the company’s products start at $10 and go up to $1,000. As a private company, sales figures are not disclosed, but Gottlieb implies that sales volume is ahead of last year. “Some of our salespeople have found 2011 to be their best year yet.”
She is so optimistic that the company just opened its first “concept store” on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut. “We want to better understand the consumer, so we can go back to our retailers with the information they need to be more successful.” The 1,500-square-foot store will offer a mix of fashion accessories and home items.
The future didn’t always look this rosy. “When my husband died in 1978, the banks suggested I simply give it up. As a business woman in the ’70s, they didn’t know what to make of me. Every decision had to be right; there was no room for error. Now, we have the means to explore options, develop the lines that work, get rid of ones that don’t.” The company brings out about 1,000 new products each year, dropping about half of the line.
Her advice to would-be entrepreneurs? “Have a plan and a team in place to execute it. Business is hard. You have to love what you do and be prepared to reinvent yourself every season to be right on trend. Each day counts and you must have the commitment and passion to stick with it.”
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