Advice for Budding Entrepreneurs from Carole Browe Segal

In talking with Carole Browe Segal for her profile, it was apparent why she has been so successful.

She’s smart and she trusts her instincts.

And she’s generous. Here’s her advice for women who are thinking about starting their own business:

  • Pursue your dream – If you don’t believe in it, you won’t be able to sell it.
  • Get creative with finance – Bank loans were unavailable to them when they were in their early 20s and had the idea for Crate & Barrel, so they returned a lot of wedding gifts and borrowed money from their families.
  • Work in small ways – When they first had the idea for importing modern, European designed housewares, they didn’t start by signing lease, they started at the Swedish Trade Commision and the Danish Trade Commission. They did their homework.
  • Timing counts – In 1979, when she founded Foodstuffs, America was about to launch into a food revolution. Carole was ready. She had studied at food and hospitality and was poised to provide prepared food and ingredients that were better than anything else locally available.
  • You need a support network – Carole and Gordon were working 60+ hours a week when they launched Crate & Barrel. “We survived on tuna noodle casserole that my mom made,” she says. “ We were both very skinny.”