What were you doing your senior year?
Let’s talk about media, college, and the entrepreneur. When you hear college, media, and startup, you probably think of Facebook. Well, today’s special guest is also a Harvard startup alum who shook up the world of college media catering specifically to female students. She was in her senior year at Harvard when she co-founded and launched HerCampus.com
Stephanie Kaplan Lewis is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus. Her Campus is the #1 New Media brand for female college students, and a 360-degree college marketing agency. Her Campus reaches over 35 million users monthly across the Her Campus media network, and Her Campus marketing clients include H&M, Ikea, Vera Bradley, and many, many more.
Join us for a fantastic discussion on calculated risks, first-time challenges, and startup success! Stay tuned to learn more about Stephanie’s journey, the Her Campus community, and going from being a full-time student to a full-time CEO.
In This Episode
- Stephanie’s Story and Her Campus
- Launching a Startup
- Backup Plans and Calculated Risks
- Working Relationships
Quotes in This Episode
“I think there’s always a question of whether entrepreneurs are kind of risk-averse or risk loving or somewhere in the middle. And for us, no question that pursuing our own business was more risky than going a very traditional path.” —Stephanie Kaplan Lewis
“I think there are a lot of benefits to being a young first-time entrepreneur, but there are also just so many gaps that you have in terms of pure knowledge and skills and it’s really helpful to have mentors and advisors that you can lean on to help fill in those holes.” —Stephanie Kaplan Lewis
“I think vacation is a relative term when it’s your own business. So, we’re never truly unplugged.” —Stephanie Kaplan Lewis
“We were college students coming out of a liberal arts undergraduate, and we had never worked full time in the real world. And, we’ve completely bootstrapped the company, as well. So, we’ve opted not to raise money, and we’ve funded it entirely through our revenues, and we’ve been profitable since we launched.” —Stephanie Kaplan Lewis
“I really never growing up saw myself as someone in business, let alone as an entrepreneur. I always thought I was going to be a writer or an editor or a journalist when I grew up. So it’s been really interesting to see I guess the evolution of what I’m interested in and what I find fulfilling and meaningful to do in my work day to day.” —Stephanie Kaplan Lewis
“ And I think there’s a big misconception out there that you’re going to have this overnight success, and you’re going to go from nothing to this huge company so fast. And then you’re going to sell your business for tons of money or whatever it may be. But really, it’s a really long road. It’s really hard work. It’s sprinkled with some really fun, exciting times, no question. But most of the time you are just slogging through for what feels like an endless stretch of time.” —Stephanie Kaplan Lewis