Thursday, January 4, 2007

Why am I doing this?

So here’s why I’m embarking on this journey, summed up in a letter to prospective investors that I wrote to introduce my business plan:

Dear Prospective Investor,

First, I want to thank you for picking up this business plan and being interested in learning more about Julep.

The idea for Julep really came together after an inspiring "girls weekend" with my two dearest friends from graduate school. Throughout that weekend (during which we watched both the BBC and the Keira Knightly versions of "Pride and Prejudice"), I felt like I had the space to be a "me" that I don't have much time to be when I am at home, busy being a mother, wife, and business leader. I was energized by how all three of us, now in our mid-thirties, had finally become so much more comfortable in our own skins. I felt like I was connecting all sorts of dots that I couldn't even see without them. If you're a woman (or a highly empathetic man), you know how it is with amazing girlfriends. In short, I felt engaged, and I loved it.

Karma, and our love of sandals, led us to a day spa for pedis that weekend. Unfortunately, none of the nine spas we called had seating where we could all be together, so we had to settle for split appointments. Someday, I'd like to look back on this moment and say, "the rest was history."

In the following pages, you'll read about how Julep will transform commoditized, functional nail services into an engaging social ritual that will give women the space to reconnect with their friends and themselves. But I want you to know that, at its core, Julep is about nurturing and sharing the spirit of engagement that I rediscovered that weekend.

Julep will succeed only if we build the kind of company that demands honesty, rigor, and dedication to personal and professional growth from each and every employee. By building this demanding and rewarding working community, I believe that we will provide a level of service that is yet to be experienced. I will use all of my experience as a leader at Starbucks, a strategist at The Boston Consulting Group, a rigorous thinker at the Yale Law School, and a daughter of immigrant small business owners to make Julep all that it should be.

Julep will achieve strong financial results. But even more importantly, Julep will become an enduring company that you will be proud to be part of.

So thank you, thank you, Ali and Renata (my dear friends from the Pride and Prejudice weekend). Thank you Carrie, Christine, Sandy, Liz, and all the members of my fabulous bookgroup, especially Julie, Michelle, and Rachael. I hope this endeavor will help carry forward and share more broadly all the strength, wisdom, generosity and humor each of you brings to the world.

And, again, thank you dear prospective investor. I hope you will enjoy imagining and creating this world with me. Here's to friends and community.