Women Who Own It
Slick Lizard Designs, LLC
What inspired you to start your business?
A few years back I needed a new case for my iPad. I quickly discovered that cases offering good protection didn’t look very good, and cases that looked good really didn’t offer good protection. Frustrated with the choices in the market, I decided to take matters into my own hands and design a line of tablet cases that bridge the gap between fashion and protection.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges for me as an entrepreneur was overcoming a feeling of isolation. Having previously worked in huge corporate environments it was an adjustment to begin working on my own. I found myself working countless hours at my desk, with little face-to-face interaction with other people. I have been able to overcome this by tapping into different groups of entrepreneurs and inventors on both the local and national level. These entrepreneurs are on similar journey to my own, and are always willing to help solve a problem or recommend a good resource.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Do what you love. Love what you do. Don’t underestimate how much of a roller coaster the entrepreneurial ride will be.
What three traits define you?
What women inspire you?
I find Sara Blakely (Spanx) super inspiring. Lorie Greiner and Barbara Corcoran are a close second and third.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
I have been certified since I started my company and just recently added the Women Owned logo to my packaging. I feel this helps to differentiate me from other items being sold in my category. As a first-time attendee of the upcoming WBENC conference I hope to further leverage this certification.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
My current product line bridges the gap between fashion and technology. My cases aren’t simply protective cases for your electronics – they also can be considered a fashion accessory. As people begin to rely on their mobile devices more and more, they will look for ways to protect and carry them wherever they go, and they want these cases to be an extension of their personal style. In addition to tracking changes in the technology itself – size, form factor, etc., I also need to keep in tune with current fashion trends such as colors, patterns and features.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
Keeping my brand and product offerings fresh and relevant is top of mind every day.
What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?
I think one of the biggest obstacles for younger female entrepreneurs – (just out of school) is not having real/practical experience working for different companies. I am fortunate to have had a very long career in a variety of sales and marketing roles. This experience has helped me tremendously in running my own business. The process of launching a brand or product for a multi-billion dollar company is the same as the process for a small startup – it’s just as a startup you need to work harder to allocate your resources effectively.
What do you love about being a business owner?
The thing I love most about being a business owner is the freedom and flexibility it affords me.
What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?
The hardest part about being a business owner is being able to delegate or offload some of the work that needs to get done. There comes a point where you can’t possible do everything on your own.
How do you define success?
I define success as being able to work in a business that combines two areas that I am passionate about – technology and fashion. Each day I continue to learn and grow, with the ultimate goal of increasing the size and awareness of my brand.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
o When you no longer love what you are doing, and you can’t change the reason why, it is time to move onto something else. What’s the worst that can happen?
What’s your favorite career moment?
The most exciting thing that has happened to me as an entrepreneur was being featured on MSNBC’s Your Business – in an Elevator Pitch segment, and then having the opportunity to sell my product live on HSN.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Who sleeps? LOL.
What’s the best way to start your day?
I start each day by going to the gym for cardio and resistance training. I use this time to clear my head and make a mental list of things I need to accomplish during the work day. It also helps balance the amount of time I spend sitting at my desk during the day.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I have always had a creative streak. As a child I wanted to be an artist.
How do you unwind after a long workday?
I like to end my day with a relaxing dinner, the evening news and a peruse through my social media accounts.
What do you like about your workspace?
I spend most days working from my home office. On most days it’s a bit of a mess. I keep a favorite family photo on my desk and my fuzzy slippers underneath. These are two of my favorite things.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... rise to the occasion.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… follow your heart, not the money trail.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… coffee.
By this time next year, I will be… one year wiser.
The best thing that happened to me last week was… I got to spend some time with friends.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… read fashion/lifestyle magazines – tons and tons of magazines.