Jennifer Hyman on Taking Risks for Something You Believe In

This episode is sponsored by FreshBooks.

Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway, will admit they’re not curing cancer at their fashion technology company, but they are disrupting one of the last places in our homes that hasn’t evolved—our closet. But disruption isn’t easy, and Hyman has many long hours, hard work, disappointments and triumphs to prove it.  Hyman opens up to’s Shelby Skrhak about closing the gap in female entrepreneurship, finding the confidence to speak up and whether female camaraderie is a myth.

This interview appears on the SUCCESS Talks Collection, available in the December 2017 edition of SUCCESS magazine.

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  • Clothing is more than a form of self-expression; there’s psychology behind why we seek clothing as an accessory. “We derive confidence as women from what we wear,” Hyman says. “Clothing enables people to self-express and that’s why variety, when it comes to our wardrobe, has become more and more important over time.”

  • “I’ve always felt the connection between clothing and confidence, which is why I probably was such a shopaholic,” Hyman says.

  • A few years into building Rent the Runway, Hyman and her co-founder realized we were the only women at nearly every entrepreneurial conference they went to. When they learned only four percent of venture capital dollars are going to women, they immediately saw the disconnect. “You can’t build a billion-dollar company if you haven’t raised hundreds of millions of dollars.”

  • On Project Entrepreneur: “To get from $1 million to $100 million, you need a network and support,” Hyman says. “You need advice about your product roadmap, your technology and your marketing plan. That’s what we could really offer to the next generation of female entrepreneurs.”

Favorite quote from this episode:

“Every single day entrepreneurship has highs and lows and you need to feel like you have a community around you. That is insanely important – to have a community of people around you lifting you up and who really know you. “

—Jennifer Hyman

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SUCCESS Talks, the popular audio program included every month in SUCCESS magazine, is now available as a weekly podcast. We feature fascinating interviews with prominent business, creative and thought leaders such as Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss and Barbara Corcoran, and include key takeaways designed to help you put information into action.

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Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.

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