When software developer and woman entrepreneur Orit Hashay dreamed up the idea of Brayola.com, a genius website that helps women find their perfect bra through feedback from other women, she was also pregnant with her first child. Hashay found a balance between working on her start-up and preparing for impending motherhood. “Obeying doctor’s orders for rest, I would code on a sofa in our offices with my husband delivering my meals,” she said in a recent interview. Her hard work paid off; she launched the site just before her son, Daniel, arrived.
Orit took time out of her busy schedule to fill MyCity4Her in on the best business advice she’s received, what she’d do differently now and more. Read her full thought-provoking interview below!
Did you ever imagine yourself achieving what you have?
All part of a journey- it’s more about getting there and of course I am very happy with the results, but I haven’t achieved everything that I set out to do. I set a lot of targets that I have yet to reach, but I can honestly say I am extremely happy with the process.
What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about your industry or business and why?
I went into this business very prepared- I had done various amounts of market and product research so had a really knowledgeable idea for what was ahead, but I knew one of my biggest challenges was going to be getting information from other women. So many people had told me no one wants to share this personal information [so] you will find it difficult to get data. So with this in mind from the very beginning, I knew I would have to come up with something creative enough, that would allow women to want to share this personal information. As soon as we launched Brayola, we had an influx of women telling us not only their size, but what problems they had, why it was so difficult to find a bra and very intimate details. So, the reaction we got for Brayola was totally opposite to what I had prepared myself for. I totally underestimated women sharing personal bra info!
What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?
For me, it comes from various sources. I have a background of working with VC’s and watching businesses grow from strength to strength. I have honestly learnt from them vicariously taking in as much information for future ideas. Secondly, I get such value from the internet, I love watching/listening to different podcasts of various large companies. Hearing or watching the CEO’s discuss different case studies where they present what they did right, or wrong are invaluable lessons to be leaned. These are the key players in the high tech industry which it is important to learn from them.
Finally being in Tel Aviv we have some very successful entrepreneurs here, who I am great friends with, so naturally I will always take their advice when it comes to gaining more knowledge or perspective.
What do you love most about what you do and why?
I love the feeling of living the dream. Having a dream and watching it come true will always be something that I love. I’ve always wanted to be able to solve a pain, and for Brayola its open enough to help woman around the world. The feeling that people love what you have created- how could you not love that
What if you knew then what you know now – would you do differently and why?
Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything. You learn from your mistakes and without them you cannot grow and develop. If you cannot just skip over the grey areas, the areas you are not confident with or go wrong. If anything, these are the parts that are going to be so influential. No matter, how many times somebody tells you the right way of doing something, it’s only going to become the right way, once you have experienced it for yourself.
When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?
Having a 5 month old baby, now dominates every non-working hour but I love motherhood so spending time with Daniel is the highlight of my day. Before little Daniel, I was a huge fan of jogging and biking
How do you define success?
Success varies for each person and subject. For example an entrepreneur who after 1 year sells his company to a huge market leader for 14 million dollars. For the investors who invested,2 million into the company it is not a success as after 1 year it is sold for 1billions dollars, however for the entrepreneur, he is very happy.
For me 2 years before, when I was working at Carmel, I was only interested in the impact business had on people, but as time has gone by, I have wanted to solve the problem. So for me, success is when the volume and value are equal. I can essentially make money, and solve a problem and make women happy. That will be success for me.
If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business – what would it be?
After giving birth, if there is one thing I have realised (even more) is that women underestimate their own strength. Women don’t realise how much they have to give. One of the many differences between men and women, is that women are very rational thinkers (which is not a bad quality) but men , just act (act now and think later). Sometimes if you want to do something you just have to take a chance and do it. Most of the time it’s not perfect, but you can learn and develop from faults you find along your path. So my advice to anyone, male or female, is just do it!