Badassery Magazine March 2018 Issue22 - Page 11

W ife, mother of three and CEO and found- er of multi-million dollar clothing brand, Courtney Brown has always used fash- ion as her creative outlet. For her 10th birthday, she used the mon- ey she received as a gift from her grandmother and bought her first blossom-style dress in all its early-nineties glory, includ- ing the signature hat, at the mall. After the first couple years, she re- alized the business plan she creat- ed was not scalable. They’d grown to 40 stylists around the Wasatch Front. Courtney was adamant that Cents of Style was not a traditional direct sales model, but it was more a “Boutique in Your Home” where the company fronted the cost for the inventory, not the stylists. In 2011, she needed to make a huge decision — to either walk away or to start again complete- ly with a new model. So, she took the year to recalibrate and by the end, Cents of Style was a completely online retail shop. The change in business model didn’t change the underlying mo- tivation for the business. Empow- ering women to lead bold and full lives was still the driving force After adopting her eldest child in 2005, she was looking for some- thing more. “I started looking... for a creative outlet — something I could put my name on and do outside of motherhood, outside of the home, something that I felt like I was contributing really to myself but to the world to a larger degree. And, I think every wom- an looks for that is a sort of way.” After contemplating what her out- let could be for more than a year, she recognized a need in the mar- ket for women to find a trusted friend who you could ask for ac- cessible affordable fashion ad- vice. Courtney created Cents of Style to teach women that when you look good, you feel good and you can go do good in their lives. The birth of Cents of Style was much different than what it is to- day. In fact, they didn’t begin with a ecommerce business model at all. Because she was bootstrap- ping and didn’t have much cash to purchase inventory, Courtney was focused on the fastest and most cost efficient way to get the products in front of the custom- ers, so they began with a direct- sales-trunk-show model where stylists came to the consumer to have parties in their homes. 10