In episode 39, Rachel Thebault and Neda Talebian Funk, the co-founders of Woodley + Lowe, talk about how they keep it cute, comfortable, and socially conscious for their inclusive and sustainable Gen Z fashion brand.
Neda Talebian Funk comes from a background in start-ups, fitness and retail companies. She began her career as an equity research analyst for Bear Stearns, covering the retail industry with a focus on teen apparel retailers. She then transitioned into direct roles at several retail companies until she decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge and start her own business.
In 2011, she co-founded FITiST, the first one-stop membership and bookings platform for boutique fitness, which led to the creation of FITiST Labs, a strategic and brand consultancy where she also served as an advisor to lifestyle and e-commerce businesses such as Lively and Jetblack. Today, as cofounder of Woodley + Lowe, Neda oversees marketing, technology and Partnerships. Neda currently resides in New York City with her husband and three sons.
Armed with a built-in focus group (three daughters, ages 16, 12, and 8), Rachel Thebault co-Founded Woodley + Lowe in 2019, where she oversees design & production and visual marketing for the business. Prior to founding Woodley + Lowe, she honed her entrepreneurial operating experience through the retail bakery she founded and ran for 12 years—Tribeca Treats. Beloved city-wide, Tribeca Treats served tens of thousands of clients, including a roster of celebrities and major corporations. While running the bakery, Rachel also authored a cookbook, which was published by Random House in 2008. Prior to that, Rachel jump started her career in finance, spending seven years in investment banking covering high growth retail & restaurant companies. Rachel resides in New York City with her family.
Rachel and Neda met through a mutual friend in 2019, and the two discovered a niche in the market that remained untapped. Neda and Rachel recognized a void in the Gen-Z market, a lack in reliable sizing, and knew it was hard for brands to find a middle ground between teen and adult wardrobe. When they realized no one was targeting Gen Z directly despite the market growing into their spending power, they created Woodley + Lowe.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- What gap Rachel and Neda saw in the teen girl apparel market that sparked the idea for Woodley + Lowe
- How Rachel and Neda’s previous entrepreneurial experiences helped them in starting their apparel brand.
- The importance of knowing your customer
- Woodley + Lowe’s innovative approach to sizing
- The brand pillars that Woodley + Lowe is based on and how those values are lived out
- Why Rachel and Neda think community is so important for Woodley + Lowe
- Why marketing and brand awareness are their biggest challenge
- How their mission and values help Rachel and Neda stay focused on what is important and help them make decisions
- Tips for marketing a brand where the end customer isn’t always the one making the purchase
- Why Woodley + Lowe is about more than just the clothes
People and resources mentioned in this episode:
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