I hope your International Women’s Day was filled with joy and empowerment. I spent part of my day interviewing a very inspiring lady. She is a TV host at HSN and entrepreneur, Colleen Lopez. Colleen owns a jewelry and apparel collection, which I am now thinking about getting my hands on. She shares such a positive message and is the sweetest.
Lately I’ve speaking with several HSN members and they are truly inspiring. HSN is definitely an organization that knows how to pick their people or develop them.
I love how involved they are with the community. Helping others succeed is at the core of my heart. So every opportunity related to HSN that pops up, I always jump with joy.
HSN, QVC and some of their top women-led brands are teaming up with global nonprofit Nest to donate a minimum of $325,000 for female entrepreneurship and empowerment in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. HSN and QVC have fostered the growth of some of today’s most successful brands, many of which were founded by women. Throughout the month, HSN brands like Lysse, Minnetonka, Nurse Jamie and Perlier will join together to support Nest.
They are inviting women everywhere to share on social media how they dream, dare and do, using #dreamdaredo. Share it! I will.
1. How did you start at HSN?
I have been at HSN for 24 years now and the evolution has been incredible. I worked for QVC before when they purchased our network in Minnesota (CVN). Funny how things work! I was a consumer reporter and by luck the president of HSN reached out to me. The rest is history and a remarkable career.
2. Besides creating a company, how important is personal branding and how are they intertwined?
Personal branding is critical and paramount to everyone’s brand. I had dreamed about having my own jewelry collection in the past. HSN definitely made it happen. 15 years ago we were getting many requests from viewers for me to create my own jewelry collection. HSN asked me “how do you feel about starting your own brand?” Viewers were interested in the things I wore and loved.
I enjoy creating things I love. I had to learn and did learn early on to understand how to make “her” feel good through my collection. I did ask myself “Why me?” I just made a connection with my audience. I now understand this women and I am grateful that I know. Now there is Facebook that tells you all these details.
3. As a business owner what challenges do you face?
Now there is so much competition. Customers can be overwhelmed. Currently I have two roles – two hats. I love my job at HSN so much! My job at Colleen Lopez Collection is a whole different range. Having a business and creating a product is so different from hosting a TV show. It makes me a much better host. I understand the person standing next to me and it’s my job to tell their story and help our customer understand the product as well. I now understand how our guests feel out there when selling their products.
4. What habits helped make you successful? How do you define success?
I always had a good work ethic. I’m part of a large family, I’m one of six children. We all had to work at a young age. At 14 I worked at the State Fair in Minnesota. With that money we bought our school clothes. I loved it there.
When it comes to success. I’ve never been motivated to make money. I like a balance. My family is the core of who I am and I’ve managed that well throughout the years. I would say being able to balance work and not let work overshadow my time with my family is success.
5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Character and how you treat people. Every successful person you meet in business, you want to have drinks with them afterwards. That’s a great quality.
- Trust your gut. As a business owner, you have to become the decision maker. I knew that starting out and I didn’t speak up at times when I needed to. I thought “they are older than me, so they should know what they are doing.” There was a moment when I realized I should’ve followed my gut and said spoken up.
- If you are in business only to make money then you don’t have a strong motivation. I do things to make people feel good and empowered.
6. Do you mentor?
Yes, working at HSN we have several opportunities to mentor. I love speaking with the younger generation and sharing
my knowledge. Competition is now very rigorous. It excites me to see where our industry is headed.
We all need people that support us.
7. Do you think women feel intimidated in business?
In my personal experience, yes I felt intimated at the beginning. I’m not afraid of asking questions and I will put myself out there. That’s how I learned. I surrounded myself with people who knew more than I did. For example, I surrounded myself with vendors and manufacturers and asked them many questions.
We feel intimated because we don’t know everything. We just have to know those people who have those answers. That’s it!
8. Are you an adventurous type of person? What’s the most exciting experience in your entrepreneurial journey?
I love to travel and meet new people. My most memorable moment was my first time attending New York Fashion Week. It was so exhilarating. On top of that, I met with my own vendors and fashion house while in New York. I was floating on air!
9.What makes you feel out of your comfortable zone? What are your ways to handle these situations?
I rarely feel out of my comfort zone because I work on live TV. You are thrown out there without notes or teleprompter. I look back and I have worked with Jennifer Lopez and Diana Ross.
When Jennifer Lopez visited us for her segment, I got nervous and she was nervous too. It was her first time selling on air, her hands were shaking. I said to myself if I’m nervous, she will be nervous too. Nervous and excitement are the same sensation. I just tell myself I’m excited.
10. How do you define work life balance? What’s your take on that?
Family is first for me and I plan my date nights and now grandma times. I schedule everything and cherish my vacations. I make sure my family is taken care of because I could get very, very busy quickly.