RENEE GREENSTEIN // Founder of Women in Control®
I honestly love hearing the stories of founders and those that were able to rise into the QVC world. I interviewed the very powerful FEM Renee Greenstein and she shared how she did it.
I hope it inspires you to go after your dreams and push your vision to bigger heights. - Violette
Tell us a bit about your brand and how you got started?
I got started as a fit model. When I went to working with pattern-makers and designers, they drape the clothes on you and you tell them if you can move in it, if you can bend, if the inseam of the crotch area is great, and what have you. I would get clothes and they didn’t fit the way I told them they should fit. So I said okay I want to look good, I want clothes that are easy. One of the mentors that I adore to this day is Donna Karan with the five easy pieces. I never wanted to check luggage, I always traveled ever since I was a little girl and I wanted to make effortless clothes that would look good and feel good. I also noticed that mother nature is starting to *noise* at the rear and I said we’re going to do anti-gravity aka uplifting.
Your first time on QVC held a challenge for you that must have been stressful, can you share a bit about that challenge and how you surpassed through it to create something greater?
My first time on QVC, well I went to an on-air class and they had their lawyers and their legal team telling you everything you couldn’t do, and I’m sitting there like “are you serious?!” So I finally raised my hand and I said “Could you tell me what I can do” because I’m very visual and verbal and everything and you know I’m not exactly the proper person. I had to find a way of saying things and getting across - which in the beginning wasn’t great because people who knew me would go like who is she, and then one day I got comfortable and said I’m just going to be me and people started applauded and saying there’s the Renee I know. I got out there and that’s when I started dancing and rolling clothes up and telling you, hey you could do this and don’t let anything stop you and who the hell needs an iron and etc.
How did you start working with QVC? What was that like?
I went to run a company and a young lady that was working there, who is now one of my business partners, was working and had sold one item to QVC. I then knew someone that had gone to QVC as a manager and they weren’t doing apparel that much but I said okay we’re going to go and sell them, but I said we’re not going to wait for them to come to the showroom, we’re going to go there. We went there and then we had a manufacturer and everything and one thing just lead to another. It was very creative because I got to meet a lot of people and show them what I could do.
What are a few action steps you would like to share with FEMS that are looking at launching an apparel line?
Make sure you’re willing to go without eating or sleeping. I think a lot of people look for a backer and they think it's going to be easy. If you don’t believe in yourself to go out there and literally say I’m going to go without certain things, and I did. My husband said to me, I’m going to give you 6 months, otherwise you have to go out and get another job. I believed what I wanted to do was the right thing to do. I sacrificed financially, I sacrificed my time socially and put in all the research, reading, listening to TV shows. I would watch people walking down the street, I would go into stores and just look at people walking around and saying how could I improve what she looks like, what she wears and everything. But it’s a lot of work.
What would you say to that FEM that doesn’t believe in herself?
Get over it little girl. If you don’t believe in yourself, you're not going to get anywhere. You know I don’t want to come across the wrong way, but I think ladies out there with this whole Me Too movement and everything, have proven that we’re powerful. Yes, it’s a “man’s” world, but you need to look at yourself in the mirror, and know it’s not about what you look like, it’s about who you are inside. Find that inner person, because there’s something beautiful about everybody, and I’m not just saying it, because believe me, I have a lot of insecurities. I have learned to overcome them, because I know I am powerful. Listen, I am a Black Jewish woman, and I live in a world that when I walk in a room you know I’m there, I can’t hide. Take it from one who knows, believe in yourself.
Do you have a personal mantra?
“This is going to be the best day of my life, and no one is going to stop me. My father always said to me, if you wake up and you don’t find your name in the obituary, then it’s a great day. Get out there because it’s a great effing day.”
What’s next for you and your brand?
I’m evolving my brand a lot, we’re going to be starting to do other things besides just clothing. I’ve been doing research on some new fabrications and accessories. I’m very excited to be relaunching my jewelry collection, which includes my Life is Half Full pendent, which was inspired by everything that I went through in 1989 when I lost my first husband.
How can FEMS connect with you?
Facebook: @reneegreensteinqvc / Wardrobe Warrior FB Group
Instagram: @womenwithcontrol @reneegreensteinqvc