037: Sarah Shaw, Celebrity Marketing Power

Sarah Shaw works with entrepreneurs to help get their products into the hands of celebrities, in the media, and out into the public.

Sarah is connected to Ever Better through a previous podcast guest, the amazing Connie Inukai, who is working with Sarah to market her Tip n’ Split, a device created for use in restaurants. Connie is a retired professor turned inventor who is thoroughly embracing her second act! Thanks to Sarah, the Tip n’ Split is now owned by  Madonna, Betty White, and Lynda Carter and will soon be featured in 2016 holiday gift guides.

Sarah began her career as a costume supervisor in Hollywood, before stepping out of her comfort zone and becoming a designer for the stars. She built a multi-million dollar business designing and selling handbags that have been owned by Liv Tyler, Julia Roberts, and Kristin Davis. But after the events of 9-11 she lost it all. Her investors pulled out and she lost the company, including the right to use her own name on future products. But Sarah never gave up. She says “When in doubt, take the next step.”

Sarah’s next step was to design and patent a closet organizer for handbags.  Running the company out of her garage, she sold over $500,000 in the first two years. She then founded Sarah Shaw Consulting to work with entrepreneurs to help position and sell their products. Sarah and her team help with product development, store placements, public relations, celebrity endorsements, and building sales. She specializes in getting her client’s products to some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Betty White, Allison Janney, Lynda Carter, and Madonna.

Listen to the podcast to hear Sarah discuss:

  • Creating her first handbag and overcoming her fear of showing it in public
  • The events that transpired when Sarah carried her handbag for the first time
  • A chance encounter with a department store buyer, giving her the courage to continue on her journey of starting her own business
  • The friend who gave her the kick in pants that she needed to get started
  • Making handbags at her dining room table
  • Growing her company over that million dollar mark
  • Having bags in over 1,200 boutiques and most department stores, including Saks, Neiman’s, and Barneys
  • The main reasons people are afraid to share their product ideas:
    • Fear of someone stealing or copying the design
    • Fear of rejection
  • Getting her bags into the hands of celebrities
  • Liv Tyler shown in Style Magazine and Kristin Davis in US Weekly with one of her handbags
  • Handbag placements in movies, Legally Blonde and America’s Sweethearts, and with Julia Roberts in Ocean’s Eleven
  • Making a comeback after losing her company and the rights to her name
  • The support and encouragement she received from her father to continue with her career
  • Carrying on family tradition as a 4th generation entrepreneur
  • Her grandfather was a Factor who lent secured money in exchange for a fee, a practice commonly to the fashion industry
  • Both her grandmothers working in the fashion industry with celebrity clients
  • Creating and patenting a closet organizer for handbags
  • Teaching others to create and market products
  • Being open to learning from others all the time including coaches, mentors, assistants, web designers, graphics designer, and everyone on your team
  • Working with inventor, Connie Inukai, the fourth Ever Better podcast guest. You can listen to her here!
  • Studying the marketing practices of large companies and emulating what they do well, in your own voice
  • Working with a diverse group of other clients, such as:
  • Launching an affiliate program to help market Sarah Shaw Consulting’s DIY programs

Quotes from Sarah:

“When in doubt, take the next step!”

“I want to teach my children that when you get money you need to spread it around, whether it’s donating a portion to a charity, or sharing it through a celebration.”

“When you don’t know how to do something, you can choose to stay stuck and stay where you are, or you can choose to take that next little step, even it that step is only a millimeter.”

“I’d love to encourage everyone that if they have a dream they should follow it.”

“Sometimes meeting somebody and asking how to get started, or how something works, or what the first step is, can really change your life and make it a life that you really love.”

Contact Sarah:
Facebook group: Ask Sarah Shaw