In this month honoring Women’s History and International Women’s Day, we are thrilled to be highlighting Juliet Horton, Founder of Everly, a service revolutionizing the wedding industry. Juliet is a woman with incredible ambition and a crystal clear vision of where she is going with her business and the impact she is looking to make on her industry.
Juliet and I both went to Loyola Marymount University and were actually in the same sorority (Pi Phi shout out). We recently reconnected through social media and our ventures into the entrepreneurial world. I have so enjoyed hearing the story of her career and what has led her to taking on the wedding industry with her company, Everly.
Everly is ‘wedding planning reinvented’ with the goal of saving couples hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on wedding planning. In our conversations, I was so impressed with Juliet’s confidence in taking on a huge industry that is so ready for disruption. She truly is a women who leads.
Get to know more about Juliet below!
Did you have any bosses or mentors that taught you or modeled what it was to be a great leader?
The best leaders I have worked with have practiced what they preached and looked to set a strong example by their actions, not just their words. I always appreciate when someone leading a team or with a high ranking title is willing to roll up their sleeves and still do the work, not just see themselves as the task master.
Which females in business do you feel really paved the way for women today?
Sallie Krawcheck. I started my career in financial services and at the time Sallie Krawcheck was the CFO of Citi, where I worked. My manager told me he thought I’d be the next Sallie Krawcheck and I took it to heart. She has since left Wall St for the tech world (as have I) and she is running a company she founded focused on women gaining power in the investing world. I have followed her career for inspiration and motivation for paving the way for the next generation like she did.
What is the best advice you received on how to run a business?
Get out of the building. The startup world is filled with product obsessed founders who love to build. You may think you know what your customers need but you will not be able to validate that until you get out into the world and talk to people – customers, potential customers, investors, etc. This is especially true in the startup space but applies to any industry or profession – doctors talking to their patients, politicians talking to their constituents, academics talking to their students. Solicit feedback form as many people as you can and be willing to learn from it.
How do you keep your team(s) engaged and motivated?
Celebrate every win. When I started my business, I thought that the only thing that mattered was new customers and money in the bank. That matters a lot but it is not the only metric worth tracking and celebrating. Enjoy the wins along the way like press coverage, customer reviews and referrals. Milestones will keep you and your team motivated.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned leading your team/company?
Just start. You are never going to be entirely qualified or prepared and trying to get everything perfect before you jump into a leadership role or a new project will prevent you from ever starting. Know what you are good at, hire other people to manage tasks you are qualified for and learn what you need to learn along the way. I have no technical background but have great software developers on my team; if I had tried to learn to code before I started my business, I’d still be preparing.
When did you start looking at yourself as a leader or realize you could lead?
I always wanted to do big things and I don’t think I ever really thought about whether I was qualified to be a leader or not. This is a skill you learn and continue to learn throughout your career – it’s not like anyone has it or they don’t. If you want to start leading a few people, a team or a company, convince yourself you are capable of doing big things. If you believe it other people will too.
We believe in the importance of personal branding because it allows leaders to extend their influence from offline to online—why is your personal brand important to you?
My personal brand is important to me because it is my way of bringing a fresh perspective to the wedding industry. Much of the narrative in the wedding industry encourages couples to overspend, both in terms of time and money (and stress). My business and personal brand is all about giving a voice to couples who feel alienated by the current industry and think they are the crazy ones. It is immensely rewarding hearing from our customers that our brand and messaging resonate with them and that they can have a great wedding without taking it all too seriously.
What advice can you give women who want to step into leadership roles, but are intimidated by the challenge?
I think a good motto is “be scared and do it anyway”. In order for your career – and life – to move forward you should always be a little out of your comfort zone. It is absolutely okay to be intimidated by a big new challenge, but don’t let that intimidation turn into an excuse to stop.