Veronica Beard Founders Open Up About Brand Expansion, Consumer Loyalty and What Sets Them Apart (2022)

Jamie Chung, Jenna Bush Hager and Padma Lakshmi were among the celebrities in the audience as models Martha Hunt and Hilary Rhoda hit the catwalk for Veronica Beard’s runway debut last week.

The advanced contemporary brand — led by sisters-in-law who are both aptly named Veronica Beard — presented its first fashion show, which played up versatile classics from dickey jackets to tailored jeans during New York Fashion Week.

This season, Veronica Beard also expanded its footwear collection under a new partnership with Caleres, which debuted for spring ’20.

“We have long admired the remarkable women behind the brand,” Jay Schmidt, president of Caleres’ brand portfolio, said of the business partners who launched their label in 2010. “We’ll be leveraging all the capabilities in sourcing, speed fulfillment and most important, fit, to build a powerful footwear collection that we are all proud of.”

As the brand expands deeper into footwear, it’s also marking 10 years. During a tumultuous time in retail, the company has emerged as a winner in the high contemporary space, so much so that investors have reportedly been swarming. Veronica Beard executives, though, denied that the company is considering a sale.

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Here, the designers discuss their authentic consumer connection, steady expansion and what the future holds for footwear.

Veronica Beard Founders Open Up About Brand Expansion, Consumer Loyalty and What Sets Them Apart (1)

The footwear market is getting more and more crowded. How will you win?
Veronica Swanson Beard: “We’ve slowly been building the uniform which is the crux of Veronica Beard. We started with the top half, the jackets, then jeans, and footwear is sort of the end of that. We both love shoes so much, we are big shoe consumers. We felt that we had a lot to say in the market and wanted to be a brand that was a resource for all shoes — not just being known for evening shoes or being a boot brand or a sneaker brand. We saw a big opportunity. The fall line will probably be three times bigger [than previous collections].”

Why was Caleres the right partner to fuel expansion?
Veronica Miele Beard: “This partnership enables us to try a lot of shoes that we wouldn’t have been able to before because they have enormous capability. We can experiment and try different lasts. We have a specific way we design and collaborate — and Caleres has adopted the way that we do it. We learned from each other. They know what sells. Veronica and I speak about reality and what it’s like walking in these shoes and where we’re going in these shoes. We’ve given them other things to think about. It’s been a fabulous experience.”

VSB: “We are like-minded companies and our values align. It’s been a collaborative partnership, and they need us as much as we need them. Our first season is spring, which is delivering [now]. And by the time fall ships, we will have gotten into the groove. Fall for us, we love, because there’s so much to work with.”

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How will the design aesthetic stand out?
VSB: “We are doing a lot of great elevated utilitarian boots. You’ll see different heel heights, and [styling] that dresses up your boots in interesting ways.”

VMB: “They are the kind of shoes that can get you from morning to night.”

Veronica Beard Founders Open Up About Brand Expansion, Consumer Loyalty and What Sets Them Apart (2)

How would you describe the past decade in business?
VSB: “It’s been so much fun and such a learning opportunity. In the last 10 years, the industry has changed so much. We’ve been nimble and able to shift gears. That’s been a great thing to look back on. Where retail has been challenged and category expansion has been challenged, we’ve been growing. That’s a testament to speaking to our customer and going after this white space in the market.”

Why do you think your consumer has connected so strongly to the Veronica Beard brand and remained loyal over the past 10 years?
VSB: “We design for reality. Every step of our design process is looking at our lifestyle, her lifestyle and what she needs. If we are designing in fall, [we ask[ what is she actually doing in September and October, what are the pieces she’s going to want, what are the trends that are going on? Women designing for women is a bit of an advantage just knowing how to walk in her shoes every day. Being connected to our customer has been our success. We get out there so much and meet them and talk about what the daily play is and design after that. It’s not about art; it’s about reality.”

VMB: “We started this [because] we wanted to make clothes that didn’t really exist in our closet. Or we had our favorites and thought, ‘We can make this better.’ Our clothes are so thoughtfully made; we pine over them. We are road testing them. We are in every fitting. We have a checklist that we go through on each piece, and if it passes then it’s going to be a winner.”

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You have nine stores. What is the key to being successful in brick-and-mortar retail today?
VSB: “We’ve been successful with our approach because it’s been the most amazing source of information on our customer. When you’re online, you get customer feedback or questions or complaints. At the wholesale level, you learn about your customer through sales reports or comments from your buyers. When you have your own stores, you’re getting a continual loop of what’s working and what’s not. Also, the customer is really absorbing the brand and understanding what our interiors look like, what candles we burn, what music we’re into. It’s a much more sensory experience that seeps into the customer. If she likes it, then she connects to it on another level.”

VMB: “We’ve taken a stance in the market which has been [about] inclusivity — for all women, all ages, all sizes. We’ve also been so particular and strategic on where we open stores and where we are carried. It’s always been organically grown and about supply and demand.”

Where does e-commerce fit?
VSB: “E-commerce is a huge focus for us. That said, our wholesale business is outpacing our direct business because of the demand. We wouldn’t be where we are today with our direct business if we didn’t have our wholesale business. That was just the most incredible marketing and eyeballs we could have ever had.”

Have you faced any challenges in the industry as female entrepreneurs?
VSB: “I don’t think it’s because we are women. Starting a business is really hard. It’s hard to break in.”

VMB: “And you can’t get a business loan no matter who you are. Or we couldn’t back in 2010. It was like pulling teeth.”

What are some of the other obstacles you’ve faced through the years?
VSB: “Being on trend, having integrity and authenticity in our brand, and designing what [we] want every season — that’s the hardest part. But having a clear vision and executing it is what sets brands apart.”

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VMB: “You have to stay true to who you are. As soon as you try to do something else that’s not literally from your gut, that’s where it goes wrong for a lot of companies. You have to evolve with the customer, with the trends and with the times. Don’t think for [the customer]. Let them tell you what they want.”

What has been the greatest business lesson you’ve learned?
VMB: “Don’t build a stadium before you have the fans. Have the demand, have the research and build one brick at a time. We’ve built this thing one store at time, one category at a time.”

Veronica Beard Founders Open Up About Brand Expansion, Consumer Loyalty and What Sets Them Apart (3)

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FAQs

What is Veronica Beard known for? ›

Veronica Swanson Beard is an American entrepreneur and fashion designer who co-founded Veronica Beard, a contemporary fashion company, with her sister-in law Veronica Miele Beard. Swanson Beard launched the brand in 2009 and has continued to run it with Miele Beard as the company scaled. Naples, Florida, U.S.

Is Veronica Beard a luxury brand? ›

One of The Best Luxury Brands for Boss Women: Veronica Beard

It's instantly polished with an effortlessly feminine and even whimsical quality. Selections from the Veronica Beard fall 2019 collection.

When was Veronica Beard founded? ›

Miele Beard and her sister-in-law founded their eponymous company in 2010, and made their New York Fashion Week debut in September 2012 with its Spring/Summer 2013 collection. In 2012, the label was available in 62 stories, including Saks Fifth Avenue.

Where is Veronica Beard manufactured? ›

"We still make a lot in the US, but we moved soft goods to China," Miele Beard explains. While their knitwear was always produced elsewhere, they've since started doing silk abroad as well.

The brand expanded its footwear collection under a new partnership with Caleres, which debuted for spring ’20.

The advanced contemporary brand — led by sisters-in-law who are both aptly named Veronica Beard — presented its first fashion show, which played up versatile classics from dickey jackets to tailored jeans during New York Fashion Week.. This season, Veronica Beard also expanded its footwear collection under a new partnership with Caleres , which debuted for spring ’20.. “We have long admired the remarkable women behind the brand,” Jay Schmidt, president of Caleres’ brand portfolio , said of the business partners who launched their label in 2010.. How will you win?Veronica Swanson Beard: “We’ve slowly been building the uniform which is the crux of Veronica Beard.. We felt that we had a lot to say in the market and wanted to be a brand that was a resource for all shoes — not just being known for evening shoes or being a boot brand or a sneaker brand.. Why was Caleres the right partner to fuel expansion?Veronica Miele Beard: “This partnership enables us to try a lot of shoes that we wouldn’t have been able to before because they have enormous capability.. Why do you think your consumer has connected so strongly to the Veronica Beard brand and remained loyal over the past 10 years?VSB: “We design for reality.. What is the key to being successful in brick-and-mortar retail today?VSB: “We’ve been successful with our approach because it’s been the most amazing source of information on our customer.. What are some of the other obstacles you’ve faced through the years?VSB: “Being on trend, having integrity and authenticity in our brand, and designing what [we] want every season — that’s the hardest part.. What has been the greatest business lesson you’ve learned?VMB: “Don’t build a stadium before you have the fans.. We’ve built this thing one store at time, one category at a time.”

The brand expanded its footwear collection under a new partnership with Caleres, which debuted for spring ’20.

The advanced contemporary brand — led by sisters-in-law who are both aptly named Veronica Beard — presented its first fashion show, which played up versatile classics from dickey jackets to tailored jeans during New York Fashion Week.. This season, Veronica Beard also expanded its footwear collection under a new partnership with Caleres , which debuted for spring ’20.. “We have long admired the remarkable women behind the brand,” Jay Schmidt, president of Caleres’ brand portfolio , said of the business partners who launched their label in 2010.. How will you win?Veronica Swanson Beard: “We’ve slowly been building the uniform which is the crux of Veronica Beard.. We felt that we had a lot to say in the market and wanted to be a brand that was a resource for all shoes — not just being known for evening shoes or being a boot brand or a sneaker brand.. Why was Caleres the right partner to fuel expansion?Lorpen Sokker X3RPFW Running Precision Fit: “This partnership enables us to try a lot of shoes that we wouldn’t have been able to before because they have enormous capability.. Veronica and I speak about reality and what it’s like walking in these shoes and where we’re going in these shoes.. Why do you think your consumer has connected so strongly to the Veronica Beard brand and remained loyal over the past 10 years?VSB: “We design for reality.. What is the key to being successful in brick-and-mortar retail today?VSB: “We’ve been successful with our approach because it’s been the most amazing source of information on our customer.. What are some of the other obstacles you’ve faced through the years?VSB: “Being on trend, having integrity and authenticity in our brand, and designing what [we] want every season — that’s the hardest part.. What has been the greatest business lesson you’ve learned?VMB: “Don’t build a stadium before you have the fans.. We’ve built this thing one store at time, one category at a time.”

The co-founders of the women’s fashion brand Veronica Beard talk about leadership, empowering women, and how they design for the “cool, classic and chic” women who wear their clothes.

The Wonder Women of Veronica Beard. On screen: Veronica looks at her phone.. On screen: On Veronica's table, a laptop displays the Chase Connect dashboard.. Co-founded by sisters-in-law Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard, their eponymous label has grown from a design startup to a coveted brand worn by the likes of Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle and Gwyneth Paltrow.. While Veronica Beard’s success owes to the Veronicas’ keen business acumen and deep understanding of their customer, the beating heart of the brand remains a celebration of busy women.. To learn more about their remarkable growth amid a fast-changing retail apparel industry, we spoke with the Veronica Beard founders about the challenges they’ve faced while growing their business, the lessons they’ve learned in leadership and management, and their dedication to supporting women through philanthropic endeavors.. Veronica Swanson Beard: Veronica comes from a finance background and I came from the fashion world, and we’ve both always had a love for the fashion industry.. VMB: It’s very exciting to see celebrities wearing Veronica Beard; but truly, there’s nothing more exciting to either one of us than being in a cab in New York City and seeing a random person in Veronica Beard.. When Veronica and I started the business, we put our own money in and had to back this business with our homes because banks weren’t giving loans.

What are the best luxury brands for work clothes? Here's the rundown on one of the best luxury brands for boss women: Veronica Beard.

What are the best luxury brands for work clothes?. Our ace correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has the rundown on one of the best luxury brands for boss women : Veronica Beard.. One of the best luxury brands for work clothes: Veronica Beard.. One of the best luxury brands for work clothes: Veronica Beard.. We frequently find ourselves reaching for Veronica Beard’s blazer and dickie layered over one of her feminine, ruched dresses or impeccable and flattering trousers .. The brand was born out of conversations between two sisters-in law, Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard.. enter the Veronica Beard dickey jacket In 2010, the solution they initially came up with, and which continues to be their best selling item, is the Dickey Jacket.. for women, by women: VB Gives Back However, despite the high-profile names , the Veronicas are passionate about the beating heart of the brand.. Veronica Beard Dickeys How does a dickey work exactly?. Veronica Beard Jackets Jackets are the MVPs of Veronica Beard.. A selection of Veronica Beard dresses, fall-winter 2019-20.

Ample Hills co-founders Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna | Alex Staniloff/Eater “It definitely feels like the real loss of a family member”

In an interview with Eater after the sale was finalized, Smith talked through the outcome of the bankruptcy sale, why he and Cuscuna left the company soon after, and how they are gearing up to start another ice cream-related business in the future.. But with the pandemic, I think it was just too hard for people to see a quick pass to getting people back into the shops at an order of magnitude that was enough to value the company over a million dollars.. So, no, we very much hoped to continue on with the company when we started the sale process.. There’s just, you know, there’s people that you can work with and there’s people that you can’t work with.. At the end of the day, there’s nothing proprietary about the brand that we created, right?. We care about ice cream.. I think this is about going back to our roots and, and doing something real mom-and-pop, something that we own and control and can create and share with people.

The "Mad Men" era of the 1960s was a Cambrian explosion of brands -- from cigarettes to soap -- that have come to define modern marketing.

Nevertheless, the companies that were category leader in the early days often still are today.. In the 1950s, consumer packaged goods companies like Procter and Gamble, General Foods and Unilever developed the discipline of brand management, or marketing as we know it today, when they noticed the quality levels of products being offered by competitors around them improve.. This marked the start of almost 50 years of marketing where "winning" was determined by understanding the consumer better than your competitors and the getting the total "brand mix" right.. Private or "own" label as its sometimes called market share in the UK is over 50% in some key core food and household product categories.. Continental Europe has followed closely, with private label shares in many supermarket categories averaging between 20 and 30 across the store.. Now, a decade into the 21st century, the market looks very different to just 20 years ago.

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