Since opening the Miami branch of her family’s business, the intimate apparel brand Annette International, in 2008, Sharon Singer successfully expanded the brand’s distribution in the U.S. to retailers such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, the Home Shopping Network, and JCPenney.
Singer loved her work at Annette International — and still does — but in 2011, the Colombian-born entrepreneur followed her passion for her heritage and opened Flechada.com with her husband, James Stephenson. Flechada.com focuses on giving Latin American designers a platform to sell their products, and customers a chance to discover these talented artisans.
We had the chance to catch up with Sharon to chat about her business, her definition of success, and more. Read her full Q&A 4Her interview below!
Did you ever imagine yourself achieving what you have?
I always knew that with hard work and determination one could go far. My skills have sharpened through time and have led me to accomplish many things. However, there is much more to do and I have some personal goals I had set in recent years, so I will continue to work hard to achieve them.
What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about your industry or business and why?
I underestimate people. There are many types of people out there and the older and more experienced you get, the more prepared you are to deal with human behavior. The rest, like competition, product, prices, etc. is part of a natural evolution of any business where we all have to be dynamic enough to effectively respond.
What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?
You can’t control sales, but you can expenses.
What do you love most about what you do and why?
At Flechada.com I really love that I am able to connect with many Hispanic and Latino brands, entrepreneurs and customers who share the same roots and passion for their culture. I love to give hope to those designers and artisans, which without Flechada.com were unable to reach markets like this one. We want to move from hope to results as we understand the process. Meanwhile, we continue to be focused and determined to make an impact.
In Annette International, I love the fact that I can help develop products based on a demographic I have studied and understood.
If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently and why?
I’m too practical to answer this one. I believe that there is a process for everything. In learning, in teaching, in feeling, in reacting.
When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?
With my husband and kids. I also like cooking and entertaining friends and family.
How do you define success?
Success is enjoying life with the people you love the most while doing what fulfills you.
If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business, what would it be?
Always believe in you. If you have a solid idea, go for it. Be structured and determined. I can assure you that the road will be rocky but there might be a tremendous reward at the end. If you fail, you have learned. If you don’t, you have learned, too. Enjoy the ride!