Meet the latest in auto-shipment startups aimed exclusively at today’s busy women. Stepping on the scene in August 2011, Hoseanna offers extensive product options for leg wear, health and beauty, femcare, and intimacy. Your choices are delivered to your door every two to three months, and products can be added or deleted through your account.
Founders Katrina Carroll-Foster (in Vancouver, BC Canada) and Tracey Solomon (in New York, NY) share two different coasts, long Skype sessions, the mission to simplify the working woman’s life, and a friendship dating back to ninth grade.
With their shared passion for entrepreneurship Caroll-Foster and Solomon decided in August 2010 to go into business for themselves.
“I didn’t fully appreciate everything Katrina had to bring to the table until we started collaborating about this venture,” explained Soloman. “As soon as we started talking about what we wanted the company to achieve, I knew we had something special.”
Carroll-Foster adds, “A lot of people will warn you against working with friends, few people discuss the benefits, there is a short hand language used, a trust that helps lift each other up, it’s a give and take relationship.”
While Hoseanna is similar to other online businesses — including Walgreens.com, Cvs.com, and Drugstore.com — Carroll-Foster believes there is something missing form those experiences. “Women have to buy certain items every month and it’s a nuisance. We stare down the ‘no fun’ aisle, with endless options and little time. For the same cost why shouldn’t you be able to have these items come to your door with a surprise gift included? Who couldn’t use a little bit of chocolate or something fun to put a smile on your face?”
Solomon added that the customer relationships are at the core of the company’s values. “It’s all about relationships, and that’s the approach we take. We want to tell the customers we get your pain.”
But aren’t panty hose a fading trend in fashion? Surprisingly no. Legwear is a $3 billion dollar industry in the United States with a value of $15 billion dollars worldwide. Panty hose has been a part of a working woman’s uniform since the 1960s, where the work environment was more conservative and a formal dress code was mandatory. Millions today are still required to wear some type of legwear and even Kate Middleton — the Duchess of Cambridge — has been behind a big comeback in nude hose.
When asked the advice they would give their younger selves Solomon said, “Trust your intuition, if something doesn’t feel good, it probably isn’t. You’re sensing something at a deeper level and you need to pay attention. I would also say don’t go for the job just for the money since time is short and you may become resentful. Also, take risks. Don’t look at failure like you normally would. It’s gained experience that is especially important for women. We’re not groomed in the same way as men, when you’re supposed to lead, be a leader, you set the pace, you set the tone, put your foot in the ground and say I’m going to stand up for this.”
Caroll-Foster said,” Never compare yourself to your peers, own your own journey. It’s important to never settle and always look for exciting opportunities. I would also say you’re not defined by your paycheck or job title. I struggled with this in the past, but if I defined myself by being VP of XYZ, and you stripped away the brand, what would be left?”
Hoseanna is offering the chance to save $10.00 when you shop Hoseanna.com. Enter TECHLI10 at checkout, and get $10 off your purchase.
No stranger to startups Caroll-Foster has worked as Director of Sales for tech startup HCareers.com, spent five years with Opus Hotels as Vice President Marketing and Sales, one of Canada’s leading contemporary luxury boutique hotel groups, served as VP of Marketing and Communication with the Rick Hansen Foundation and is active in her community having served on the Board of Dress for Success. She is currently a member of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE).
Solomon’s career started at Accenture where she consulted Fortune 100 companies such as GE Capital, Lucent Technologies and Siemens AG, which resulted in her and a small group of consultants being named on a patent for their work in learning design technology. After Accenture, she went on to hold Senior Director and Managing Director posts at InterbrandHealth (an Omnicom company) where she led brand strategy engagements for several of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Wyeth, Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson.