Inception: Edition 01

Jessica Wilpon Kamel is definitely one of the coolest girls (and friends) I know.   She has this laid back downtown vibe (just this past weekend she was spotted in her new studded Chuck Taylors), and is a pro at juggling being a mommy and businesswoman.  She’s one of the founders of, a members only site that has exclusive collabs with fashion designers, lifestyle brands and artists.  She sat down with me and allowed me to pick her brain about how she started her empire and how it’s become such a success…and shopping addiction!

Jessica Wilpon Kamel_edition01

Name? Jessica Wilpon Kamel

Age? 30

Degrees (and from where)? 

Art History and Painting from Washington University in St. Louis, Masters in Interior Architecture, Pratt Institute.


When/how did you come up with the idea for your business?

I come from a family of self-made businessmen and knew from an early age that I wanted my own company.  I’m an ideas person and I love the process of taking a good idea and turning it into something great without impediments. The inspiration came from wanting to create an online store that would not only sell collaborations, but facilitate them as well. We wanted to provide a platform and a service for the designers and brands we love that wouldn’t be about discounts or flash sales and could be accessed from all over the world.


What was the hardest part about turning your idea into a reality, and how did you get past it? 

Before the site launched, someone told me “get ready for the hard part.” I didn’t realize what he meant until after the site launched.  Now I do! Coming up with the idea is the easy part. The real challenge lies in actually making it happen. A start-up is all consuming. You no longer have weekends, you won’t see your friends, it’s hard to take vacations and you are constantly thinking about the company and every detail that goes with it. The ups and downs are extreme!


What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?

That I can sometimes work from home so I can be around my son. I love just hearing him playing and laughing with our nanny and I actually get a lot done outside the office.


What is your least favorite thing about owning your own business?

You can never turn away from it!


What kind of hours do you work and do you find you still have time for friends and family?  

At this stage in our company it’s hard to do anything else. I carve out time btwn 5:30 and 8:00 to spend with my son and then once he’s in bed I’m back at the computer responding to emails.


What was your most meaningful experience (job or internship) prior to becoming an entrepreneur?

After college I worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. There were about ten interns, mostly international. I made some of my closest friends working there. I loved the lifestyle. I had an awful apt, but waking up and sitting at a cafe drinking a cappuccino before work was heaven. We had to stand for hours on end guarding the rooms, but I didn’t care cause the people watching was amazing.


What advice would you give to people who want to start their own business?

I once heard someone say that entrepreneurs are all deliriously optimistic. I believe it. If you don’t have complete passion, determination and conviction for what you are doing then you won’t have the stamina for a start up.

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