Monday, October 15, 2012

Fashion Entrepreneur: Net-a-Porter Natalie Massenet

If you've never heard of Massenet, then you may have heard of the luxury fashion site Net-a-Porter that was sold in 2010 for 350 million pounds, netting Massenet 50 million pounds for her share. Massenet is the founder of the elite fashion shopping site.

Daughter of a US journalist and English model, wife of an investment banker and just 34 years old when she leapt into the world of online retailing back in the early dotcom days of 2000. Graduate of U.C.L.A and former fashion editor.

Net-a-Porter has been designed as such that the value of sales and the location can be viewed immediately by staff. Online shopping sales spikes on rainy days, during lunch times, after 9pm and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays because new stocks are released on those three days. During the early years of operations, she talks of "desperate hand wringing, tears and pleading with brands".
 Massenet says, "You'd go all the way through a pitch and say: 'And then you can click and buy it from pictures and it's delivered anywhere in the world.' And they'd listen and they'd nod and then afterwards they'd say: 'Just tell me one more thing: where is your store?' "

Massenet is a proponent of positive thoughts and how it can influence your life, "the power of your thoughts can influence how events turn out. I’m a positive person—when bad things happen, I can see the silver lining. As a result I think I’m very lucky, even though I probably have as much bad luck as anyone else, and that translates into seeing opportunity."

Unlike other businesses that struggled through the financial crisis starting in 2008, Net-a-Porter experienced meteoric growth. From 2008, they increased their staff head count from 600 to 2000 and turnover increased by over 60%.

Despite the troubles that Massenet encountered in the beginning, together with her partner Quinn, they believed in their idea and their concepts. What they have now with Net-a-Porter is a leading, luxury shopping portel with editorials from famous names in the publishing field such as Lucy Yeoman, previously editor of Harpers Bazaar.

1. SMH Money

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