It’s Female Founder Friday, and I am delighted to introduce you to the woman entrepreneur who founded SelbyNYC. Kathryn Selby spent almost a decade in the corporate gifting industry, and has created products for everyone from Apple and Starbucks to Bank of America and Salesforce. She found her courage to forge her own path and founded SelbyNYC in 2016 to help companies make long and lasting connections to their customers, team members and prospects through gifting. Her company is unique to the industry because not only can she create custom products, she works with leading brands in the retail space to make lasting co-branded relationships through corporate gifting. SelbyNYC is constantly working to find unique solutions to the gifting woes through extensive product offerings and creative branding techniques.
So, if you’re interested in using the knowledge from your current career to create your own company, or are realizing that you have a limited amount of time to fulfill your dreams… don’t miss Kathryn’s honest answers and advice below!
What inspired you to create your company?
I had been in start up world for about 5 years and you could say I got the itch! Ever since I worked at S’well Bottle I have always had the dream to start my own company but I never had the guts to do it. Over a year ago I lost my father when he was 64. At that moment I realized if I live as long as my father did I have 34 years left and if I live as long as my mom did I have 19 years left. This was a wake-up call to me to do what you want and to live your best life. I wish I could say I quit my job that day, but it took about 6 months and then a not so gentle shove 🙂 for me to realize that I could do this and be successful. I am a little under a year in and I can say with 100% certainly that I have never felt like what I do is work, I love it…even the stress, it is highly motivating.
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
The biggest obstacle was me, not starting earlier. If I was physic, I would say that my biggest failure will be not trusting others because of the fear they will fail. So I try to work on this part of me everyday, letting go and knowing that people will fail and make mistakes, we are human. I can only try to make sure that we do not make the same misstep twice.
Growing my corporate gifting business to work with more companies and add new brands to our platform everyday! I am also product obsessed, I own pretty much every new thing that hits the market (outdoor voices, allbirds, away, S’well…you get the picture) So I am working on creating my own product to launch Spring 2018!
What is a life or business hack that you recommend to help other women entrepreneurs?
Wake up early and enjoy the silence. I wake up every morning at 5:00 am to get my 3ish hours of peace & quiet. This is when I am able to get my most creative work done (and sometimes my accounting) always with a cup of coffee and some trail mix!
If you had a theme song what would it be?
This so depends on my mood or day of the week however, I am a huge SoulCycle fan. SoulCycle allows me to unplug and truly disconnect so I crave what is typically the second to last song, no words just you focusing on you. Some fav’s this month… “Don’t You Cry For Me,“ by Cobi and “The Other.” by Lauv!
Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders.
Take the risk. I would give this advice to anyone! Taking the risk is going to be the hardest part, but if you really love and believe in what you are doing then it should never feel like “work” in the traditional sense of the word!