Monday, September 1, 2008

Closet therapy

I had lunch with a good friend the other day. Sommer Meyer and I have been trying to coordinate schedules for the last five months. If it wasn’t me getting sick or her traveling, something always happened. Finally we got a chance to catch up.

One thing about Sommer: she always looks great from head to toe! She is by her own admission a total shoe diva, with literally hundreds of pairs. For a graduate school project she was looking for a way to organize and protect her investment, so she created Closet Fetish (for the divas of the world!), a line of beautiful boxes with cutouts for photos of the shoes inside. A great idea, but how was she going to get the word out?

Well, she just sent her boxes out to all these magazine publishers, and guessed who picked her up first? Oprah magazine! She was chosen as one of Oprah’s favorites, then InStyle magazine featured her, and then the Grammys and a lot more. Sommer has been selling her products not only on her website,, but on the Home Shopping Network as well.

I look to Sommer as a mentor. She’s a successful career woman and entrepreneur. She’s found a way to turn her passion into an amazing business. She’s enjoying herself, traveling, manufacturing, selling and doing great things. She’s still holding on to her day job and doing all she can to make this dream move forward. I so give her credit for her tenacity and work ethic, and there’s no doubt in my mind about where she’s going—straight to the top, with Jimmy Choos on!

As any businessperson knows, there are challenges. It’s always good to talk to somebody who can relate to the ups and downs of running your own business. If they can offer some advice and make you laugh, all the better! Sommer always says Cathy, if it were easy, just think, we wouldn’t have a good story to tell when we get on Oprah!

So lunch was a double treat! Generally I eat at my desk, usually a microwaveable Lean Pocket and leftover chips or instant ramen, which I buy by the case. On this day Sommer and I went to Mariposa and had salads—good but boring. I had to finish off with one of my favorite desserts, Mariposa’s butterscotch pie. It’s creamy, silky, slightly crunchy, just the right balance of flavors and textures, sweet but not too sweet. There are nuts in the crust, which is very important—dessert isn’t quite right if there’s no crunch to it (my opinion!).

After lunch Sommer dragged me downstairs for some quick shoe shopping before we had to run back to work. She calls it market research—I call it being there for my friend!