Introduce yourself! Who are you? My name is Homa and I’m the founder of 10 Wooster — a service that sends women personalized sets of clothing they can borrow and buy. For $95/month our members receive 5 pieces of designer clothing selected for them by a stylist. They wear everything and decide what they want to purchase. They return the rest when they are ready to receive a new set.
Our service is a rent/buy hybrid. Members get to rent 5 pieces of clothing at a time in exchange for a monthly fee, and purchase the pieces they want to keep for 50% to 75% off retail prices.
There are no limits on how long they can keep a set. We just send them a new one when they send back the previous one.
What motivates you most? When someone (usually not in our target demographic) learns about our service and says “why wouldn’t someone just use X service instead?” “Have you heard of X clothing brand for women? Why wouldn’t they just shop there instead?”
These comments are also a reminder of how a lot of people think all women are the same, that we all fit into one bucket and a single brand or service can meet every woman’s expectations. I think the world would be a sad place if we all shopped at the same places and wore the same styles.
I am determined to prove it’s not true. We are half of the population and our needs and preferences are not the same.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel? Yes. My initial reaction was to question myself and fear that maybe I was aiming too high. Then I realized this person has no particular insight about me, just an opinion – an opinion without any substantial evidence or research behind it. What makes his opinion more valuable than the people who believe in me?
What’s the best advice you ever received? A decision is better than no decision. Weigh the pros and cons, and research each option thoroughly before deciding. If there is still no clear winner, it’s better to make a decision rather than sit on it indefinitely.
What would you say to 16 year old you? Don’t be fixated on one particular career goal. Instead, try to learn as much as you can and let your ambitions go in different directions as you grow and learn.
What message do you think every woman should hear? You are never (or rarely) too aggressive. I hear stories from women asserting themselves in the workplace and worrying that they were being “too aggressive” and wondering if they really “crossed the line” with their coworkers, boss, or clients. Then I hear stories about conflicts and arguments in workplaces dominated by men. Stop worrying, most women don’t even come close to what men would consider aggressive (for a man at least).
How do you manage your work-life balance? Work-life separation doesn’t exist for entrepreneurs, so it’s easier for me to treat it as one continuous project and take breaks from work whenever I have the chance. For example, I could be working two weekends in a row, then take a summer Friday if things are slower the next week. I’m more effective when I work with the flow of things rather than set aside a certain number of hours to work every week. I pick up the pace when things are urgent and slow down when there is less to do.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward? I’ve been trying meditation for the past month. So far, so good. I was very skeptical at first, but it has had a positive effect.
Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career? I was set on being a journalist even though in my heart I always wanted to do fashion. After graduating college, I was a business journalist for a few years before I changed careers and joined a consumer research & benchmarking organization. No regrets though, I think journalism is great training for any career. Consumer research and benchmarking also carved the path for starting my own consumer business.
Were you scared to start the process? Yes.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way? Good things take time.
Where do you find inspiration? Artists and musicians. I find the process of creating art and presenting your vision to the world fascinating. I like the confidence of musicians and artists and how they challenge us to think differently.
If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing? I would be a fashion designer or buyer. I most likely would have still gotten the bug to start my own company and ended up at the same place I am now. So, a different route but with the same destination.
Homa is the founder of 10 Wooster — a service that sends women personalized sets of clothing they can borrow and buy.