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An investor's perspective on hospitality & fashion. Subscribe to the weekly journal at www.thestanzamedia.com

As of January 29, interviews will be available in written format and sent to Insider newsletter subscribers only. Upgrade your subscription at https://thestanza.beehiiv.com/upgrade
21 Episodes
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Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter discussing fashion & hospitality from an investor's perspective. Today's guest is David Litwak, co-founder of Maxwell Social. I'm excited to share the founding story of Maxwell because they're one of the very few emerging members clubs that are bold enough to take a contrarian approach to the business model. They have an open kitchen instead of a restaurant, they're not open during the weekday daytime, they don't have reciprocal clubs, and they ask their members to contribute to the community. The way Maxwell is structured is to re-align business incentives with the interests of the members, and to create an environment that facilitates deep relationships between members. It's completely different from the traditional "aspirational exclusivity" we've seen across most of the popular members club brands without sacrificing sophistication and style. David isn't afraid to share his opinions and if you want a behind the scenes view on the members club business, you'll enjoy this episode. Thanks for tuning in. Interview Highlights Gated restaurants with a community tagline Naming the club after 1920's socialite Elsa Maxwell as part of their core brand Why Maxwell is opting out of providing amenities such as a restaurant, gym, co-working space, etc. Programming that facilitates deep relationships & community contribution How they sourced their location in Tribeca & maximizing the real estate Raising capital as a new members club operator Attributes of a Maxwell member David's hot takes on why certain clubs have become cultural institutions The vision for Maxwell's future More about Maxwell Social Connect with Maxwell on IG: @maxwellsocial Connect with David on LinkedIn here.
Subscribe to ⁠The Stanza⁠, a newsletter at the intersection of investing, hospitality, & fashion. Today's guest is Annabel Schwartz, founder of hospitality consultancy House of Talana. Annabel was the former west coast memberships manager at Soho House and most recently the director of member relations & culture at San Vicente Bungalows. We did a deep dive on all the fun topics within hospitality - curating and designing a members club, the consumer psychology of exclusivity, the meaning of great hospitality, and trend predictions on the future of the industry. Annabel has so much unique experience and insight into the business from a behind the scenes angle and I know you're all going to love this episode. On another note - this interview is the final guest episode of the season. The podcast will come back later this year, but for now definitely be sure to subscribe to the newsletter and follow along on Instagram and TikTok (@thestanzamedia). Thanks for tuning in and enjoy the show.   Episode Highlights Annabel's background at Soho House and SVB Structuring of an effective membership program Why exclusivity is an essential component Paying for access vs earning access Privacy in LA vs spontaneity in NYC 3 trend predictions for hospitality Advice for members clubs operators   Thank you to Peoplevine for sponsoring this episode. Peoplevine is the CRM loved by the best members clubs in the industry. Check out which clubs use Peoplevine and book your free demo here.
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter at the intersection of investing, hospitality, & fashion. Today's guest is Jordan Gilman, founder of Peoplevine. This episode is for all the hospitality operators who subscribe to The Stanza. Peoplevine is the hospitality CRM used by San Vicente Bungalows, Zero Bond, ZZ's, Casa Cipriani, Faena, and many more brands you already know and love. I've partnered with Peoplevine over the last 3 months and I wanted to have Jordan on the podcast to chat about his experience pitching to luxury hospitality brands, why their CRM is loved by the best operators, and how a great CRM is needed to deliver a consistently great guest experience. Thank you to the team at Peoplevine for being early supporters of The Stanza newsletter and podcast. Episode highlights: Pitching to high end hospitality clients Building a network of luxury hospitality operators Expanding into the UK market How Peoplevine designed its CRM based on their personal guest experience Executing an effective loyalty program Views on private dining clubs such as ZZ's Jordan's thoughts on the future of members clubs Read about how your favorite clubs use Peoplevine: https://www.peoplevine.com/clients Follow The Stanza on IG / TikTok: @thestanzamedia
Subscribe to ⁠The Stanza⁠, a newsletter at the intersection of investing, hospitality, & fashion. Today's guest is Bianca Rangecroft, founder of Whering. Whering is a digital wardrobe and styling app that allows you to catalogue your clothes, create outfits, and get styling suggestions. As of today, the app has 1.5M users. Think of it as the modern app version of Cher's wardrobe from Clueless. Prior to Whering, Bianca worked at Goldman Sachs in asset management.   We chatted about fundraising as a first time founder, how she financially supported her transition from Goldman to entrepreneurship, and her view on the future of sustainable fashion. I appreciated Bianca's honesty throughout the conversation and I know any early stage entrepreneur will benefit from this interview. Episode highlights: How Bianca's experience at GS prepared her for Whering Funding start up and living costs in the early days Bianca's key fundraising insights Growing Whering's user base How she built a tech company as a non technical founder Vision for Whering and the future of circular fashion   *Apologies in advance for the slight background noise! Download Whering: https://whering.co.uk/ Connect with Bianca on IG: @biancarangecroft or LinkedIn Follow The Stanza on IG / TikTok: @thestanzamedia
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter at the intersection of investing, hospitality, & fashion. Today's guest is Alek Koenig, founder and CEO of Settle. Settle is a cash flow management platform for CPG start ups. Brands you love, like Ghia, Soft Services, Ceremonia, Lalo, Italic, and Starface, are users of Settle, and it's easy to see why. From streamlining your AP, managing bills and vendor payments, to getting working capital loans with transparent terms, Settle provides solutions to problems specific to CPG brands, all within a modern and simple interface.   Settle is also backed by institutional venture investors such as Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital. And even if this episode isn't a typical consumer brand founder story, I asked Alek to come on as a guest to share insights from transitioning from the corporate world to entrepreneurship, fundraising advice, and managing a company in uncertain times.   I've also partnered with Settle to give you guys $250 in transaction fee credits if you use the code (THESTANZA) to sign up for free - that means transaction-fee payments for you. Click here Settle's Working Capital calculator so you can see how much financing power your business is eligible for. Episode highlights The consumerization of business software Transitioning from corporate to entrepreneurship Preparing financially for that transition Managing a company in times of economic uncertainty Fundraising from institutional investors How to understand your customers' pain points Advice for networking with investors as an introvert *Thank you Settle for partnering with The Stanza*
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter at the intersection of investing, hospitality & fashion. This episode is sponsored by Peoplevine - the best hospitality CRM software. Check out why Peoplevine is used and loved by the best private members clubs and book your free demo here. "Everything he touches turns to gold" - this is what a brutally honest friend said to me about today's guest, Raphael Farasat. Raphael is the founder of award-winning Truffl Agency and co-founder of Last Crumb Cookies, the viral luxury cookie brand. He's worked with the likes of Tesla, LinkedIn, and Heineken, and as the creative director behind really cool upcoming consumer brands such as Better Bagel, Barcode Drinks, Boba Ice Cream, Jean Dousset, and more. We chatted about the power of metaphor when it comes to building a world for a brand, his creative process, and taking a contrarian approach when it comes to marketing and storytelling. Every founder building a consumer facing business - whether that's a cpg brand, hospitality group, or marketplace - can benefit from this interview. Episode highlights Raphael's creative process A networking strategy that brings aligned opportunities Applying the scarcity model from streetwear to cookies How to create a contrarian brand that people love Metaphors and consumer psychology How to create a membership program that fosters customer loyalty Connect with Raphael on IG: @raph_ More on Truffl Agency: https://truffl.com/ Try Last Crumb cookies: https://lastcrumb.com/
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in hospitality & fashion sent every Friday Welcome to The Stanza (thestanzamedia.com) Today's guest is Layla-Joy Williams, founder of IYLIA wines. Layla-Joy is an American entrepreneur living in Spain, where she produces IYLIA to distribute in the US. Prior to IYLIA, Layla-Joy was a womens shoe designer for Stuart Weitzman and Michael Kors in NYC, and has a background in technical product design. We chatted about her experience working in NYC fashion for over two decades, entrepreneurship as an American living in Europe, and how her design career prepped her for the wine business.   A personal side note from me: I've mentioned IYLIA's moscatel wine on the gift guide this year because it's such a beautiful and crisp wine. I also wanted to compliment Layla-Joy on her rose wine. It's probably the best rose I've ever tried (and I'm not exaggerating). It smells fruity and it just goes down very easily. It's the perfect aperitivo wine and I just think it's so cool to hear Layla-Joy's story especially as another American living in Europe. Enjoy the episode. Episode Highlights: Layla-Joy's experience working as a fashion designer in NYC Why Layla-Joy decided to focus on womens shoe design Pivoting from shoes to wine during the pandemic Starting a business as an American in Spain How Layla-Joy's technical experience as a shoe designer prepared her the wine business Perspective as a female entrepreneur Sales tips for early stage founders Advice for brand builders Check out Iylia Wine: https://iylia.com Connect with Layla-Joy on IG: @laylajoy Follow The Stanza on IG/TikTok: @thestanzamedia
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries: Welcome to The Stanza (thestanzamedia.com) Thank you to Peoplevine for sponsoring this episode. Peoplevine is the best CRM for hospitality businesses. All the best private members clubs use Peoplevine - click to see why and book your free demo: The Guest & Member Experience CRM for Hospitality Brands (peoplevine.com) Today's guest is Brandon Snower, founder of Le Alfre, a menswear brand based in NYC. You may recognize his brand story from his viral TikTok, in which he shares how he went from investment banking to starting a brand during the pandemic. We chatted about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, how he managed having $3,000 in his bank account at one point, how he's positioning Le Alfre in a sea of new fashion brands, and getting great press for Le Alfre. He's made incredible progress in the 2 and a half years he's been working on Le Alfre, not only from a sales perspective, but he's also secured investment from the former head of Richemont Group N. America. Well done!   This interview really highlights an attitude I think is essential for all entrepreneurs, and that is resourcefulness. Some people may even call it "scrappiness". My view is that it's the willingness to find solutions instead of feeling defeated when you come across obstacles. We touch on that in the episode, but I wanted to mention that it's a trait I've noticed in all successful people.   Episode highlights Transitioning from investment banking to entrepreneurship How to network effectively Le Alfre's branding philosophy Creating a members club for Le Alfré customers Having your founder story go viral on TikTok Strategies for securing great press Taking the right risks Advice for entrepreneurs Connect with Brandon on IG: @Brandon.Snower Le Alfre on IG: @le.alfre Follow The Stanza on IG/TikTok: @thestanzamedia
Subscribe to The Stanza, a weekly journal for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries: https://www.thestanzamedia.com Today's guest is Julia Baldet, an investor at BC Partners, a large cap European private equity fund. Prior to BC Partners, Julia was an investor at Manzanita Capital, where she was the sole associate working on the $1B sale of Byredo to Puig in 2022. While at Manzanita Capital, Julia also managed some of their other investments, such as Diptyque, Space NK, and Susanne Kaufmann. In addition to investing at the institutional level, Julia is an angel investor in Konvi, The Edit LDN, and Kimai. We chatted about how she created the career she desired, her insights from investing in consumer brands, and her advice for those wanting to break into consumer PE. *Huge thanks to BC Partners' compliance team for giving us the green light to do this interview! Episode Highlights: How Julia carved her career path into luxury consumer investing Byredo: deal process & dyamics Why Puig was the right buyer of Byredo Julia's insider perspective of the luxury beauty business What makes a $billion beauty brand prime for acquisition? What type of capital partner beauty & fashion entrepreneurs should seek How Julia sources angel investment opportunities Julia's investment criteria (company & founding team) Advice for aspiring luxury consumer investors Connect with Julia on LinkedIn Check out her essay for the blog Data Driven Investor Follow The Stanza on IG/TikTok: @thestanzamedia
Subscribe to The Stanza, a weekly journal for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries https://www.thestanzamedia.com *Check out which of your favorite hospitality brands use Peoplevine, the best CRM tool for the best private members clubs, luxury hotels, and restaurants. You can also book a free demo for your hospitality business: https://www.peoplevine.com Today's guest is Lexy Copithorne, who is a creative director and brand strategist with experience across luxury real estate, hospitality, and fashion. I've never met anyone like Lexy - she has a unique intellectual approach to her creative work and in this episode we talk all about her process when creating physical and digital environments for brands. Some of her experience includes: branding for luxury real estate developer JDS in New York, the Beverly Estate, also known as the Godfather House, Casalena, the LA Mediterranean restaurant, and is also a co-founder of Pruzan, a technical athletic wear company based between LA and London. Also for some history here - before the lockdown Lexy and I were planning to launch a tequila brand but unfortunately the pandemic happened and our plans didn’t work out. But I got to witness how her creative mind works, and when I started this podcast, I just knew I had to have her on as a guest. If you're obsessed with brand as it pertains to the digital and physical world, you're going to love this episode. Episode Highlights How to create a strong customer journey from physical to online How to create a physical/digital ecosystem with strong brand identity Marketing physical spaces (luxury real estate & hospitality) Visual storytelling principles & process Building a luxury athleisure brand How Pruzan's run club creates community and fosters brand loyalty Brand building for hospitality Connect with Lexy: Copithorne & Company - Copithorne & Company (lexycopithorne.com) Check out Pruzan: Pruzan Official Website (pruzanrunning.com) The Copper Building (Developed by JDS): Home - The Copper The Beverly Estate: The Beverly Estate *This episode is sponsored by Peoplevine
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries: https://www.thestanzamedia.com Today's guests are Jade Beguelin and Sabrina Sade, the co-founders of 4AM skin, a NYC based skincare brand. Sabrina left med school and Jade quit her wall street career to pursue building 4AM skin and they've been absolutely crushing it as a young brand. Something I really admire about Jade and Sabrina is their willingness to roll up their sleeves, be resourceful, and get things done. We chatted about being public founders on social media, having products go viral and selling out on Tiktok, and thoughts about building a brand and community that cares about what you're selling. If you're building in the DTC space, you're going to learn a lot from this episode. Enjoy!   The Stanza listeners get 15% off 4AM Skin with code STANZA15 on https://4amskin.com   Episode Highlights: Approach to building an audience online Brand /founder alignment on social media Going viral on TikTok & selling out on TikTok shop Lessons learned from selling vs branding How to create a community that cares about you & your brand Thoughts on raising money from VC investors How to be resourceful as a bootstrapped founder Starting a business with a friend    Connect with Jade: @jadebeguelin on TikTok/IG Connect with Sabrina: @sabsade on TikTok/IG @4AMskin on TikTok/IG   Follow The Stanza on TikTok/IG: @thestanzamedia
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries. Sent every Friday: https://thestanza.beehiiv.com/subscribe Use Gamma AI to create your next presentation, document, or website. https://try.gamma.app/thestanzapodcast Hayley Mack founded Cent LDN while being furloughed during the pandemic, and since then has done partnerships with Elton John and Selfridges, StockX, Nando's, Adidas, Lush Beauty, and so forth. She's been featured in Hypebae, High Snobiety, Forbes, etc - all within three short years. Hayley shares insights into positioning her candle brand for success as well as advice for those building unique brands. Episode Highlights: Early success through brand positioning and high profile partnerships How to use your network to get the right visibility Advice for positioning your brand for great PR Creating an audience-driven brand vs founder-led brand Crossing over into other industries Advice for brand builders Cent LDN: https://centldn.com or @cent.ldn Connect with Hayley: @hayleymackkk Cent LDN in Vogue: https://www.voguebusiness.com/companies/are-candles-the-new-luxury-collectibles Cent LDN in Hypebae: https://hypebae.com/2023/3/cent-ldn-hayley-mack-candles-international-womens-day-interview Follow The Stanza on IG / TikTok: @thestanzamedia
Subscribe to The Stanza, a weekly journal for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries https://www.thestanzamedia.com *Check out which of your favorite hospitality brands use Peoplevine, the best CRM tool for the best private members clubs, luxury hotels, and restaurants. You can also book a free demo for your hospitality business: https://www.peoplevine.com Today's guest is Anna DeGuzman, who is truly one of a kind. She's a magician who's performed on America's Got Talent recently, in front of celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara, but also in front of millions of people watching around the world. Even though she's an accomplished magician at such a young age, she's genuinely a warm person and I loved learning about how she's built a non traditional career on her own terms and how she manages to perform in front of such a large audience. If you're a performer of any kind, or aspiring to be, you're going to love this episode. Episode Highlights: How Anna became a magician Being a public person Handling online criticism Pursuing the non-traditional route Dealing with career uncertainty and inconsistent traction Mindset when performing for celebrities & on big stages Connect with Anna on IG (@annadeguzman) or TikTok (@annadeguz) Follow The Stanza on IG or TikTok (@thestanzamedia) *This episode is sponsored by Peoplevine
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries: https://www.thestanzamedia.com Today's guest is Nika Diamond Krendel, who founded Paradise Row, a London-based leather goods brand. Paradise Row has been featured in in Vogue, the Financial Times, Harper's Bazaar, and more, and she's also done a collaboration with Soho Home's flagship store on King's Road. In addition to her consumer facing business, Nika also has a B2B business where she produces bespoke products for some of the UK's most prestigious projects, such as Knightsbridge Gardens and Estelle Manor. I chatted with Nika to learn how she built her brand from scratch - quite literally as she talks about how she didn't have any connections in the interior design world prior to starting her brand. She shares a lot of really great insights in the episode for any brand founder listening, and I hope you'll enjoy this episode. Episode Highlights: Transitioning from the corporate world to leather goods Paradise Row's production process Building a B2B business alongside D2C How Nika landed a collaboration with Soho Home Interiors How to get great press & visibility for your brand Advice for entrepreneurs just starting out
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries https://www.thestanzamedia.com Today's guest is yours truly. It's time to check in with a solo episode answering some of your questions submitted via instagram. Episode highlights: Dealing with unforeseen challenges & pivots Creating a brand as a founder on social media Why I'm grateful for my finance experience Realizations after leaving the corporate world Thoughts on SKKY Partners Regrets in career Follow The Stanza on TikTok & IG: @thestanzamedia
Subscribe to The Stanza, a newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries. Sent every Friday: https://thestanza.beehiiv.com For those creating pitch decks or presentations, use Gamma for your next one and track who's viewing your deck and which slides they're spending the most time on ;) https://try.gamma.app/thestanzapodcast Episode Highlights Transitioning from corporate to entrepreneurship Buying the first rental property Innovating in the mid-term rental sector The residential membership model Entrepreneurship & delayed gratification Dealing with negative people Starting an interiors design business Check out Guesthouse here: https://www.guest-house.co Connect with Gabriela on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabriela-chapa/ Follow The Stanza on TikTok & IG: @thestanzamedia
Today's guest is real estate developer & hospitality entrepreneur Max Rodman. Max cut his teeth at Round Hill Capital, an institutional real estate private equity fund based in London, where he also invested in prop tech venture deals. Max is currently a founder of Breezy Capital based out of Lisbon and is developing Fabrica, an aparthotel project in the up and coming Setubal region. Thank you to Gamma AI for sponsoring this episode. Gamma is simply the best tool for creating decks with ease. Try it for free: https://try.gamma.app/thestanzapodcast Episode Highlights: Developing a hospitality project in Portugal Insights from fundraising as a real estate developer Raising for individual deals vs. raising a fund Transitioning from institutional finance to entrepreneurship Advice for making that jump Subscribe to The Stanza, a weekly newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries: https://www.thestanzamedia.com More on Breezy Capital: https://breezy-capital.com Connect with Max: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maxrodman/ Follow The Stanza on TikTok and IG (@thestanzamedia)
Today's guest is Zach Bell, the founder of Myplace, a home sharing platform that connects people within 2 degrees of each other. Zach founded Myplace based on the principles of sharing-based exchange and has built an impressive global community over the past 4 years.   Thank you to Gamma AI for sponsoring this episode. Gamma is simply the best tool for creating decks. Try it here: https://try.gamma.app/thestanzapodcast   Episode highlights: Enabling people to live a multi-location lifestyle The future of mobility and travel Sharing-based vs profit-based exchange Thoughts on monetization Building a product based on trust Advice for entrepreneurs building communities Join Myplace and see which friends are sharing their homes: MyPlace -- Host & Stay With Friends Subscribe to The Stanza, a weekly newsletter for investors & entrepreneurs in the creative industries: www.thestanzamedia.com Connect with me on TikTok or IG (@thestanzamedia)
Subscribe to The Stanza's weekly digest, sent every Friday (it's free). Today's guest is Chloe Makhani, founder of LA's chicest new Mediterranean hotspot, Casalena. If you live in LA, you may have been to Stanley Social or Members in Hollywood, also founded by Chloe. This episode is a look into opening a restaurant, curating a hospitality brand, and investing in LA restaurant real estate. If you've ever been curious about what it takes to run a restaurant, you'll love this episode.   Episode Highlights How Chloe's institutional experience at Starwood prepared her for hospitality entrepreneurship Creating a dining experience inspired by European resort culture Curating a restaurant brand The hardest part of opening a restaurant Selecting an executive chef & designing the menu Working with siblings Managing a portfolio of hospitality real estate in LA Advice for other entrepreneurs Book a table at Casalena here The Stanza on Instagram and TikTok
Subscribe to The Stanza's weekly digest, sent every Friday: www.thestanzamedia.com Find Mezcal Xaman: www.mezcalxaman.com Connect with Mezcal Xaman on IG: @mezcal.xaman Episode highlights: Navigating challenges unique to producing & selling mezcal Bringing Mezcal Xaman to European markets Competing against large brands Hosting exclusive "mini-festivals" to market the brand Building relationships with bartenders to grow brand awareness Advice for new alcohol entrepreneurs Connect with me on IG/TikTok @thestanzamedia
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