Linda Lightman did what many parents have done in a similar situation 15 years ago. “It was Christmas, I had two little kids, and they wanted to sell their video games.” When she took the games to resellers who buy them, she was shocked by the prices her games would receive. “They were offering my kids $5 per game,” she said, and then her son made a suggestion that would change the rest of her life. “Let’s put them on eBay,” he suggested, where they were able to receive $30 to $40 for each game, or close to the value for what the game was originally purchased.
“I was kind of hooked by the process,” Linda said, and shortly after, she was building the foundation for a company that now employs more than 110 people and grosses above $25 million annually. “I decided I would start putting my clothing online … I hung up the clothes and took pictures and they started to sell,” she says, and admits to being hooked. “Every part of the process I loved. I wore all the hats, answered questions, shipped items, took pictures,” and a success story was born.
Today, Linda’s Stuff boasts such notable clients as Daymond John of FUBU and “Shark Tank” fame, singer, choreographer, and reality show personality Paula Abdul, and more. But perhaps the company’s best asset is its ability to sell high-end items for affordable prices.
“Hermes, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Prada, Gucci” are some of the most popular brands on Linda’s Stuff, but it offers more. “Just because we are selling high-end brands doesn’t mean we don’t offer contemporary brands,” which Linda says often says inspires buyers to say “’wow, this is a really good value!’ whether high-end or contemporary.”
When did the breakthrough, or the ‘Aha! Moment,’ as Linda described it, happen? “Probably three years in. My husband said you ‘have a great business. I am going to quit my job and we are going to build this business,’” and for quite some time, the business “occupied every inch of my house.” But as the business grew, it overwhelmed their house, and other spaces as well. “We first moved to a 5,000 square foot office, then to 12,000 square feet, then 25,000, then 58,000, and we are now expanding to 72,000 square feet and employ over 110 people.”
One of the things that stops people from buying high-end goods at great prices is the thought that it could be a fake. That isn’t the case with Linda’s Stuff. “We authenticate everything. We work very hard to do that and we were the first, we pioneered that. People trust us.” Linda’s Stuff ships within a day as well, so you are sure to get your items quickly.
Still looking for a last-minute Christmas gift? It could be on Linda’s Stuff, and here are some tips that she offers for finding a great gift. “Know what you want to buy, look for the best price, and look for free shipping,” she says. Advice I will make sure to remember as well.
Lightman also offered advice to future entrepreneurs. “Take baby steps, be passionate about what you are doing,” she said, and advised against investors, instead encouraging hard work. We built up this business with sweat equity and we used our own equity.” That equity has turned into 3,000 items a day being sold from Linda’s Stuff. Shop for last-minute holiday items at http://www.shoplindasstuff.com/