Product Design, Fundraising, Marketing and Team Building with Danielle Rushton and Ellery Linder of Wherewithal
From a serendipitous lunch meeting three years ago to a new company where the doors opened April 21st, Danielle Rushton and Ellery Linder are ready for the next level.
Danielle Rushton and Ellery Linder were comfortable in their positions at HSN, Danielle on the social media marketing team and Ellery the brand manager for kitchen and food.
And one day, the two met for a catch-up meeting in their corporate cafeteria, where Danielle expressed to Ellery her idea for a new bra—an essential item for women that is often uncomfortable and ill-fitted.
Danielle had taken to her sewing machine one day and created something comfortable, supportive and completely new. She told Ellery she was ready to head to New York City to start prototyping.
“But I was not ready to leave HSN,” Danielle said. “I wasn't ready to start this company.”
But at that lunch, Ellery got goosebumps. Having had a breast reduction to alleviate back-pain that most bras couldn’t relieve, she knew the struggle that many women go through when it comes to finding the right size and fit for the indispensable garment.
“Going through an experience like that, I certainly found that I had a lot more confidence in my body and how I perceived myself,” Ellery said. “But, I thought all my sizing problems would be magically solved, and that was not the case. I was shocked that while I had gone through something like that, the problem of fit really still persisted.”
That lunch turned out to be life-changing, as Danielle and Ellery are now co-founders and co-CEOs of Wherewithall, a bra company on a mission to create undergarments that fit every body and make wearers feel comfortable and confident.
But the journey to the perfect product has been anything but perfect. As two female founders working in a feminine market, they told us it has been a challenge to raise capital from usually male investors.
“It's like a double whammy of how difficult it is for somebody who doesn't resonate with this product to really want to believe in it or understand it,” Danielle said.
Danielle says that, looking at the data, female founders typically receive 70 cents to a male founder's dollar. Though that inequity is unacceptable, the two say they’re not going to let it stop them.
“That shouldn't be the way of the world,” Ellery said, “but we're not going to let that be our weakness. We are just like, ‘Alright, challenge accepted.’”
And in the future, Danielle said that she hopes to take everything she’s learned and help other female founders succeed in their journey.
“It helps drive forward what we're doing and keeps everything in check and in perspective, because if we're facing these challenges, other people are facing much worse challenges,” Danielle said. “That's always been part of my DNA, to want to give back and be blessed to be a blessing to others.”
But first, it’s time to see what challenges await as they launch their own company - and from what we can tell in our interview with them - they’re more than ready.
The blog content should not be construed as legal advice.