#21: Violet Gross, Founder of Tulerie

Tulerie is a new app changing the way we think about our closets, reinventing the experience of sharing clothes by modernizing the tools to do so and expanding options beyond the inner circles of our friends.

What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business?

Trust - Without doubt number one. We are asking people to trust us with a lot of their belongings. Being able to trust everyone in our community and letting them know that they can trust us to protect their things means everything to us. It's because of the level of trust we want that we FaceTime every person who is interested in joining the Tulerie community.

Communication - Our company feels like a family, and so does our community. I am a strong believer that communication is the biggest contributor to that. We speak openly and honestly with our audience. We tell them what's happening with us, so they feel comfortable sharing what's happening with them. Everyone has SOMETHING going on in their lives that may steer them off track for some time. Maybe they shipped an item late, returned it late or didn't respond to a user, while these are all things that we ask our users to be really cautious about, shit happens. But the more we know you, the more we can sympathize with everything going on in your life. And this sounds crazy because we're talking about clothes here, but the way our community interacts - we get personal!

Environment - We need to spend more time looking at how we live our lives. We are increasingly becoming a more and more wasteful world and the damage it's doing to our planet is truly terrifying. Most fish contain particles of plastic from the polyester clothes we wear. Generally speaking, fast fashion fabrics are all synthetic, therefore they simply sit in landfills and oceans and take up enormous amounts of valuable space. Clothing is made so cheaply that someone along the production line has to be suffering. Continuing on how cheap retailers have made fashion, consumers don't think twice about wearing something once and throwing it away. The churn rate has risen exponentially over the last 10 years alone. We are running out of resources and people are oblivious. It's so so scary.

Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?

I hate to call a shuttered startup a fail, but I guess it is. I launched a business straight out of business school that my partners and me were very passionate about, the problem of the business came to not knowing my partners well enough, which is what I contribute to the company's failure. Because the company began as a class project, we never really got to choose who our partners would be. We gravitated toward a shared interested, started building, and from there decided we wanted to actually bring it to market. The problem was, we weren't aligned on strategy or commitment levels. Where one of the partners wanted to spend more on sales, another thought marketing was more important, while the third thought it was all about development. But what it really came down to was the risk each of us was willing to take. I was the only one of us three who was able to take on the business full time. I am wholeheartedly sympathetic and understanding of their decision, but neither were able to work with me full time, therefore we didn't have the resources we needed to dedicate the proper time commitment.

Before launching Tulerie, I knew the work ethic of my business partner. I knew her drive, commitment and also her skill set. We compliment one another so well in the differences that we offer. We are both driven, goal oriented and most importantly willing the take the risk.

The first go about was upsetting because of how much time and effort we had put into the company, but it taught me the insane importance of proper communication. And of finding the right partner to work with. You need the right building blocks in order to success. A partner is the first block that goes up. And how you treat that relationship is the cement that keeps it together.

What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

Collaborations! We are so excited for the partnership that we are making. Some of them are local with very specific needs being solved. Others are nationwide ways to continue to inform people of the importance of this rental movement. With everything we have coming, we are excited to continue to support and showcase other women who inspire us, who deserve to be highlighted.