About the interviewee:
Anna Zornosa – Founder and CEO, Ruby Ribbon, Inc.
Anna is a successful entrepreneur who has been a founding member of companies including PointCast, Inc (1996), Women.com (Initial Public Offering: 2008) and the Cobalt Group (purchased by ADP Corp, 2010.) Her leadership roles in large corporations included Yahoo!, where she was a Vice President from 2003 to 2005, and the newspaper giant Knight Ridder, where she was Chief Marketing Officer for its Digital Division. She founded Ruby Ribbon in 2011 with two core observations: that technology trends in apparel would allow the fashion and shapewear categories to merge, and that social commerce would provide a service-rich way to sell the unique items while creating thousands of lucrative jobs for women. She serves as an Advisor to several startups including: Glam.com, Trulioo.com, Motista, Inc, and Chloe & Isabel. She has both a Masters and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
Tell me about your company:
Ruby Ribbon is a social commerce apparel company, supported by a nationwide network of independent personal stylists. With cutting edge fabrics and forward thinking designs, the company has produced a unique line of fashionable wardrobe basics, sold exclusively through in-home parties. Stylists, armed with mobile applications and other trending technologies, are able to build their own independent businesses while drawing inspiration from Ruby Ribbon’s core beliefs: entrepreneurship, friendship and camaraderie.
The company was founded in 2011. We have 16 full time employees and are based in Burlingame, CA, with a small office in NYC.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
We sell our products to women between the ages of 30 – 60 years across America. Our saleswomen, called Independent Stylists, are a small but growing group of entrepreneurs across America that sell our collections to the end consumer. As the Stylist sells, she earns a percentage of her monthly sales, which can be as high as 40%. She is also motivated to share the Ruby Ribbon business opportunity with like-minded women. Our Stylists are a diverse group of entrepreneurial women – from full time professionals looking to generate a second income stream to new moms who want to work part-time—and everything in between. The beauty of our business is that the Stylist can create a flexible job tailored to her own life.
What comes to mind when you think of “breaking the mold” in Business?
The very first initiative I took when I founded the company was to create a set of core company values, with my team, to serve as our compass in how we do business. We hire people who share these same values as well as promote these values to every independent Stylist that joins Ruby Ribbon. It is these values, that I and the team hold so dear, that bind us as women, as friends, as business partners and unite us as a nationwide community of committed, driven, heart-felt women.
What are the best practices for being innovative and on the cutting edge?
I run my business differently than most CEOs – I ensure that everyone in the company is working collaboratively. I lead a unique and highly effective goal-ing process that facilitates cross-functional work. I initiate the process by developing high-level business objectives that everyone in the business can rally around. Each of my functional leads will then develop detailed actionable tactics to meet these objectives. Goal-ing allows all of us to work together as a unified team and ensures we prioritize what we want to achieve in a short period of time.