Susan FeldmanOne Kings LaneLos Angeles, CAPhoto & Story by Lauri LevenfeldMakeup & Hair by Glamsquad
1. What were you like as a child? Who are you today?
2. Describe your life’s work.
3. Where did you hone your master hunter/gatherer skills? How has your eye translated to the ultimate dream job?
I actually think that being a hunter/gather is in my DNA. I have always gravitated to art and beautiful things. My dad was a retailer and as they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Starting in high school I started working at a department store and continue all the way through college. When I graduated I chose retailing as a profession. I spent the majority of my career in the fashion apparel industry. As time went on I grew more and more interested in the home space. When I couldn’t find what I wanted online I created One Kings Lane. Our job was to find and bring the most interesting product to the site for our customers. After we were up and running, I thought wouldn’t it be fun to also travel the world and bring back unique products. As they say, be careful what you wish for. Over the course of a few years I did just that …I went shopping wherever I thought there was interesting product that I could bring back to our customers at One Kings Lane. I went to India, Morocco, Italy, Belgium, France, England, Mexico, China, Turkey, and Peru. Definitely the best job ever.
4. Travel is essential to your inspiration. What else have you gained from your journeys?
5. Describe a day in the life for you.
6. How do you define love?
Love is tough to define. Love is something that makes you feel great …most of the time. It is shared emotions. It is a feeling that allows you to go places and do things that you might not otherwise. It is a feeling that overcomes you so that you are willing to take risks and do things for those you love. What I do know is when you find love take a moment and appreciate it. It is a something special and something to cherish.
7. You are a mother to three kids. How has this translated to mentoring your team or other women in your world?
8. What makes a successful partnership? How did you find yours?
What has worked so well for Ali and me is that we complement each other in so many ways. This made such a difference especially when we were starting One Kings Lane. If Ali was working on something I knew it was being taken care of and I could focus on another task.
I also believe that being a good listener definitely adds to a more productive partnership. It is so important to hear what your partner is saying and feeling. I have found often that when Ali and I weren’t aligned that discussing it led ultimately to a better solution. This also means making sure that you air your grievances. Holding back doesn’t do any good. It is way better to discuss what is bothering you, figure out how to resolve it, and move on.
Lastly, but definitely very important, is keeping your sense of humor. This really can’t be underestimated. If you can’t laugh, then what is the point of all of it?
Ali and I found each other in a very modern way. We were introduced by Lisa Stone, co-founder of BlogHer.com via email. I had shared my idea to do One Kings Lane with Lisa and she asked how can I help? I told her I was looking for a business partner with digital marketing experience. She said she thought she knew of someone and would make an introduction. Six weeks from that first email Ali and I formed our LLC and we were off and running.
It was a huge leap of faith but it worked. I have been very fortunate. I have had 2 amazing blind dates the resulted in fantastic partners… my husband Bob, and Ali Pincus.
9. What was your biggest curveball? Your biggest surprise?
Biggest surprise – When One Kings Lane launched I was totally surprised at how fast it took off. It was the height of the recession and we didn’t even know if anyone would show up. Well, lots of people showed up, and we were off and running. We never looked back.
10. You are a big proponent of women, what charities or organizations do you align with/ support?