IAB Founders Stories | Lively
Michelle Cordeiro Grant
- Identified a pain point for consumers, created a successful solution – her company Lively - and disrupted an entire category in the process, leading to a $105 million acquisition in three years
- Brings insights and expertise from her experiences working and leading at top companies, including Thrillist, Victoria’s Secret, Nautica, and her own brands, Lively and GORGIE
- Draws from the story of leading Lively to becoming an industry powerhouse to share lessons in leading with purpose and creating cultures of innovation and growth
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When entrepreneur and former top brand executive Michelle Cordeiro Grant set out to start her own company, she did so with the mission to create a brand, experience, and community that empowers women. What followed was Lively, the ultra-successful activewear-inspired lingerie brand that she built into an industry leader and disruptor in less than 10 years. Introducing "Leisurée" to the world, Cordeiro Grant identified opportunities to turn the apparel market on its head and redefined approaches for leading an organization to success.
Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Cordeiro Grant, who is the first generation child of parents who immigrated to the U.S. from India, draws from her journey of establishing and growing a business at lightning pace and through unconventional means to share disruptive insights on how anyone looking to grow their organization and set it apart can think differently, act with purpose, and adapt to achieve success. She takes audiences through pivotal moments on the path to leading Lively from concept to empire, revealing strategies for success, including how she gained more than 130,000 brand evangelists overnight before they even knew what her product was, as well as tactics for overcoming the inevitable challenges of navigating an organization to its goals and positioning it for long-term innovation and growth.
Despite the obstacles often faced by diverse entrepreneurs, Cordeiro Grant founded Lively as an online apparel company in 2016 and, as CEO, quickly evolved it from an idea and a mailing list to a powerhouse upstart that was purchased three years later by market leader Wacoal for $105 million. Her experiences working and leading some of the world’s top brands provided the leg-up she needed to hit the ground running when starting Lively. Following her successful exit from Lively, Cordeiro Grant founded GORGIE, the fast-growing energy and wellness drink that is disrupting the market by providing more nutritional and health benefits than traditional energy drinks. Prior to her entrepreneurial pursuits, she was vice president of merchandising at Thrillist Media Group. Before that, she held roles in corporate fashion, including as director/senior merchant at Victoria’s Secret and senior merchandise manager at Nautica. Earlier in her career, she was an associate product manager at May Company and a product assistant at Federated Merchandising Group.
Daring to do something different and succeeding, Cordeiro Grant has shared her incredible story of building game-changing brands with various podcasts and publications, including Forbes, PopSugar, Business Insider, and theSkimm — to name a few. In addition to sharing her story with leading media outlets, she is the host of the No Makeup Needed podcast, where she interviews awe-inspiring women to learn more about what led them to step out of their comfort zones and follow their dreams or try something they’ve never done before.
Having positioned Lively for a future of continued growth, Cordeiro Grant stepped down as CEO and transitioned into an advisory role. Through new entrepreneurial pursuits in wellness and Web3, Cordeiro Grant continues to inspire all people, especially founders from diverse backgrounds, to celebrate their uniqueness and live passionately, purposefully, and confidently.
The Lively Story: Being a Disruptor While Building and Leading a Brand with Purpose. When Michelle Cordeiro Grant, the founder of apparel industry disruptor Lively, identified a problem and pain point in the marketplace and set out to create her own company to solve it, she did so with the unconventional approach of doing everything backwards. With her plan of attack in place, she took an idea to address a need and create a new category in the women’s apparel market and transformed it into a powerhouse brand before selling it for $105 million — all in the span of three years. In this talk, she brings audiences along as she retraces her steps of founding, growing, and leading Lively. Highlighting pivotal moments and challenges along the way, she shares essential lessons for how to build your business backwards in order to capitalize on opportunities, power innovation, adapt in challenging environments, and position organizations in any industry for success.
Pivoting with a Plan: When and How to Change Course. Becoming disillusioned with the politics of corporate life, Michelle Cordeiro Grant made the decision to pivot, step out of her comfort zone, and take on a new challenge. When she decided to start her own business with no prior experience as a founder, she pivoted again. She continued to pivot as her women’s apparel brand, Lively, experienced tremendous growth at an unprecedented pace. Now, she is changing course and becoming a beginner once again as she pursues new ventures in wellness and Web3. In this talk, Cordeiro Grant looks back on the challenges she has faced on the path to achieving her goals to share valuable insights on identifying when to pivot, while providing a step-by-step framework that anyone can apply to map out their own path to achieving their goals.
Business Unusual: Lessons for Building a Successful Business from a Diverse Founder. As a mother, woman of color, and first generation American born to parents who immigrated from India, Michelle Cordeiro Grant’s journey to creating fashion industry-disrupting brand Lively was far from conventional. Despite the obstacles, Cordeiro Grant built Lively into an apparel juggernaut and led the company to a $105 million acquisition in just three years. She draws from her experiences founding and leading a company as a woman of color with the odds stacked against her to share actionable insights and strategies for entrepreneurs looking to spark growth for their businesses. In this talk, she provides insight on the ins and outs of entrepreneurship and proven tactics for building and selling a successful business, including determining whether your idea is a viable product, finding opportunities to differentiate from competing products, securing venture capital funding, and more.
What is Web3 and Why Is it Important to Your Business? As organizations look toward the future, it’s predicted that Web3 and all its capabilities will completely revolutionize our world and way of living. What opportunities does Web3 represent and how can founders, leaders, and their teams capitalize on them? In this talk, entrepreneurial disruptor Michelle Cordeiro Grant leads a gripping discussion on blockchain, NFTs, the metaverse, decentralized autonomous organizations, and all things related to Web3, while pinpointing the possibilities they present for businesses to create innovative experiences for their employees and customers and unlock sustainable growth.
After building a $105 million lingerie startup, this founder is pivoting to energy drinks by tapping her community and male mentors
‘I wanted to go back to building’: Why Lively’s founder pivoted from selling bras to functional beverages
Michelle Cordeiro Grant started bra company Lively with a mailing list but no product. Three years later she sold it for $105 million.
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