If you could ask your younger self to give your current self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid to take risks, put your ideas out there, and test your solution in the market — these are important steps to being able to improve your offering and iterate your product effectively. Another thing no one tells you: Don’t be afraid to move into a crowded market space with many competitors. You can learn from the mistakes of those who came before you, do it better than them, command their market share, and be the last player in the market who really dominates!

Which retailer/brand inspired you the most when you were just starting out, and why?
I believe in circular economy. That the future is going to be powered by platforms like Uber and Airbnb that take underutilized resources and monetize them by putting them back into the supply chain. So I set out to fix a big problem in the textiles industry–$120B worth of unused fabrics just sits in warehouses collecting dust or being burned or sent to landfills. This is a massive liability on the books of major brands and retailers. All while brands and retailers, small to large, struggle to get access to the materials they need, when they need it, where they need it, at the right price. Queen of Raw provides the bridge.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being with my children, Jacob and Jeremy. I want them to have clean air to breathe, clothes that aren’t toxic to wear, a planet to live on, and I know I need to be a key figure in making that change come about. Then they can become the princes of raw and lead us into the next generation! Together we will change the world.

What’s your most treasured possession?
I still carry with me the Fisher Price security bunny from my childhood. She was the first piece of fabric I ever remember touching and it has been with me ever since, providing comfort, happiness, and special memories.

Can you tell us about a particularly pivotal moment in your career? A time you can look back on now and think ‘yes, that was the instant everything changed for me’? And what sort of impact did that have?
In 2018 I found myself on stage with Ashton Kutcher and I had 60 seconds to pitch him my company. Hearing him say “Queen of Raw” after we won the grand prize was a game changer for my business. To have his support has been incredibly valuable, as has that 60 second pitch, and the momentum hasn’t stopped!

By Stephanie Benedetto with Hannah Tovey