Interview With GLAMprenuer: Megan Grassell

Megan-Grassell

Meet GLAMprenuer Megan Grassell founder of Yellowberry- a company offering bras, underwear, lounge and athletic-inspired apparel exclusively for girls with an extra boost of confidence to encourage them to dream big and know they have the support to do anything in the world. In 2014, Megan was selected as one of TIME Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens and included on Huffington Post’s list of 14 Most FEARLESS Teens. Let’s find out what makes her a GLAM Girl That ROCKS!

MGGR:
For those who are not familiar with your story; please tell us why you were motivated to start Yellowberry?

GLAM Girl:
I started the company after taking my younger sister shopping to buy her first bras. I was appalled at what was available for her and girls her age. Everything seemed so overly sexualized with padding, push-up features and underwires. I remember thinking that girls needed another option, rather than just bras with marketing reading “where this and grow two cups sizes.” After that shopping trip, I decided, if no one else was going to make age-appropriate bras for girls, than I would find a way do it myself.

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MGGR:
Does your little sister assist you with the business being that she was the inspiration?

GLAM Girl:
She does, yes. I don’t think she quite understands how important her role is, but frankly Yellowberry wouldn’t exist without her! Her role has evolved for sure; she was my original fit model, and now she’s a part of the development process and helps with final sign-off on many of our products. I trust her judgement and listen to her feedback. She offers great insight, and gives very honest opinions which are invaluable.

MGGR:
What challenges have you encountered as a young female launching a start up company? How did you overcome these challenges?

GLAM Girl:
When I first started Yellowberry I was 17. I remember meeting with adults that I had reached out to for help or advice who practically laughed me out of their offices. I was not taken seriously, and did not have any support. No one saw what I saw in Yellowberry, which was the opportunity to change an entire industry for girls. When you tell someone that, at the age of 17, the response generally is a lot of pats on the back and empty words of encouragement. It took me following through and persevering each step of the way to prove myself and my idea.

MGGR:
What were some of your challenges of not being in the design field with handling prototyping, sourcing fabrics, sketching, and production?

GLAM Girl:
I’ve had to learn everything from the ground up. There was no guideline, no rulebook, and no step-by-step process to follow. I had to figure out simple things like the materials that go into making a bra, the importance of copy that has to go onto the website and packaging. I learned about fabric sourcing and its content. Every day I learned something new that I didn’t even know I didn’t know. And that still happens! I think that is much of the excitement of a start-up.

MGGR:
You now have an office space for Yellowberry. Walk me through your day?

GLAM Girl:
Each day is very different! When I am in Jackson Hole, we are at the office around 7 or 7:30 am, coffee in hand. I don’t usually take a break for lunch because I feel like it just gets in the way! We can be working on product development, marketing, social media, sourcing, distribution, content development, and everything in between. After work, usually around 6 or 7 I like to go for a run. I recently signed up for a half marathon this fall and am really enjoying running! I never thought I would say that, but it’s such an amazing stress reliever— it’s a new discovery! After that, dinner and then usually finishing up more work from the day! For me, so much of what I do doesn’t feel like work, so I enjoy doing as much of it each day as I can!

When I am in New York, not much changes except the fact that I am in the middle of Manhattan taking the subway and running around the city versus enjoying the open space of Wyoming. Both are wonderful, and I feel so lucky that I am able to experience both places.

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MGGR:
I believe it is extremely important to push your kids at an early age. I read somewhere that your parents expected a lot from you and your siblings at a young age. How did that help you in developing & starting a business?

GLAM Girl:
Yes – my parents were tough! And still very much are. They are also extremely caring, loving, and wonderful, but they are not hand-holders. They expected nothing less than A’s in school growing up, my goals for ski racing were very clear in terms of the rankings I was to achieve, and I can remember them always telling us, “You can be anything you want to be – a lawyer, a baker, a doctor, a shoemaker, a mechanic – we don’t care, do what you absolutely love. But, you have to be the best.” Talk about pressure! But their point was to instill a work ethic and drive in us to strive to be the best we possibly could be, and never stop improving and evolving. Although that is perhaps a little intense to hear at a very young age, I am glad they pushed me the ways they did. It has helped me become the person I am today.

MGGR:
I understand you quit ski racing to run Yellowberry full-time. How did you juggle school with launching your business?

GLAM Girl:
It was very difficult. I was a very competitive ski racer for almost 12 years before I started Yellowberry. I quit racing because there was not enough time to go to school, study, apply to college and pursue my new idea. That was a very difficult decision for me.. and one that I still think about all of the time. But, it was also one of the first big decisions I had to make that was going to change my life in some way. Even though it was hard, I am proud of myself for making my own decision and am happy I decided to go after Yellowberry.

MGGR:
How do you feel about sacrifices you’ve made for Yellowbery? Any regrets?

GLAM Girl:
It’s hard! I am 20, and I am not doing the things that most 20-year-olds do. On some level, I sometimes feel like I should be in college with people my own age going to class and having fun on the weekends. But, I absolutely LOVE my work each day. It is challenging, it pushes me, and it is more fulfilling than anything else I’ve ever done. I do not have any regrets 🙂

MGGR:
What advice would you give other GLAMprenuers out there trying to run a business and maintain good grades?

GLAM Girl:
Personally, I think that both are attainable, but to a certain extent. I valued having good grades, so when I piled Yellowberry on top of that, it just meant that other things were no longer a priority. I have a small group of close friends, but would not consider myself a social butterfly! By that I am saying that when I was still in high school, I would go to school and then go to ski practice (until I stopped my senior year), do my homework and then work on Yellowberry. My weekends were typically split between Yellowberry and skiing and hanging out with my family. I made the decision to just not do much else, because I needed the time to develop this concept. I’m glad I decided to do that, but it was a sacrifice for sure.

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YELLOWberry-teens

MGGR:
You were on the Barbie Advisory Council. How did that opportunity arise? What was your role?

GLAM Girl:
It was a fantastic opportunity! I was on the Barbie Global Advisory Council to help Barbie launch their line of Barbies in all shapes and sizes. It was mind-blowing, inspiring, surprising and I could not be more grateful to have been a part of such a monumental change for the brand.

MGGR:
What makes you a GLAM Girl That ROCKS?!

GLAM Girl:
I had an idea, a really big idea that scared me and I went for it. I didn’t quite know how to bring it to fruition, but I took it step by step and now am very proud of how far I’ve come!

STAY CONNECTED

To see more Yellowberry products, visit their website www.yellowberrycompany.com or follow them on social media:

Facebook: Yellowberry

Instagram: @yellowberry

Twitter: @yellowberryco 

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