Meet today’s Woman in Business Feature Story Dr. Shaula Yemini, Co-Founder/Head Of Product Bloomers Intimates and Former CEO of SMARTs Technology Company, an angel investor and mentor to start ups
Tell us about your business
We make high-waisted, full coverage lace panties for fashion-forward women who refuse to sacrifice comfort for style.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being a business owner means finding a need in the market and filling it by bringing a product or service to life. I came from IBM Research where my advice was sought after and praised, but I was frustrated that it never made it into a product. So, my first entrepreneurial act, building a software company, was born of a desire to build and market an actual product. In this second act, I was frustrated that I couldn’t find panties that were both feminine and comfortable, so I decided to make it myself. To do this, I partnered with my daughter Noa Arias, an experienced luxury brands marketing executive. Together, we launched Bloomers Intimates, a line of sexy and comfortable lace panties bridging the gap between boring granny panties and fashionable modern panties.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My brother had built a successful technology company years before me so he was definitely a big influence on me. I also had great female role models during my childhood in Israel, where the Prime Minister was a woman, and there were successful women in government and industry. This gave me the inspiration and confidence to venture out as a woman in technology and later as an entrepreneur.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Prior to launching Bloomers Intimates with my daughter, I’d say it was building a successful software company whose product was used by the world’s largest companies. It had a great run and a great exit.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Ask for advice, but then make up your own mind – the consensus is rarely the best decision.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
In both my technology career and now my fashion career, getting the product into the right hands early on has been very effective so we have been working with influencers both as models and to help promote the business. We have also focused heavily on SEO, my daughter’s area of expertise, in order to spread awareness of our brand.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
There are ups and there are downs, but if you give up, the downs will win.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe (and include links if available).
The best resources are human resources, who know more about your product than you do, and aren’t afraid to argue with you. That is where my daughter Noa is such a great asset for Bloomers.
In terms of apps and technology to help further the business, we have had success with HARO (a free PR tool), Trend.io (a tool for sourcing influencers), Soona (fast casual + affordable photography) and Later (which helps us plan out our social media feed).
Do you have any new projects coming up?
Bloomers Intimates is my new, exciting venture. We’ve recently launched new colors and sizes, which means our line is now available in four colors and sizes XS to 2XL.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Photography, cooking, and baking bread.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Establish Bloomers Intimates as the premiere line of sophisticated high-rise panties for women of all ages, shapes and sizes.
You want to write a book on …inching my way from professor to entrepreneur
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Bloomers Intimates really is a passion project for me that I have the luxury of sharing with my brilliant daughter Noa. After years as a technology entrepreneur, Bloomers allows me to tap into my more feminine side and work in the world of fashion, which has always been of great interest to me. It has also proven to me and the rest of the world that there’s always time to reinvent ourselves… or start our second act, as I like to call it.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?