We recently hosted a conversation between Claire Lee, Head of Early Stage at Silicon Valley Bank, Liz Curtis, CEO & Founder at Table + Teaspoon, and CJ Legare, Lean Startup Co. Chief of Staff, about the realities facing female entrepreneurs today.
In Claire, Liz, and CJ’s conversation, they discuss:
- Why Liz decided to start Table + Teaspoon, a “Rent the Runway, but for table settings.”
- What Claire calls the “Single Digit Club” and what we can do to change it.
- The importance that mentors have played in both Liz and Claire’s career.
And much, much more…
Liz Curtis didn’t always intend to be an entrepreneur, least of all in the world of entertaining. In fact, she was studying to become a lawyer when she started Table + Teaspoon — a blog that featured decorating ideas, entertaining tips and recipes. The blog was initially just a creative outlet for Liz as she pursued her career as a corporate litigator, but eventually, it became a much bigger idea that she launched into a business.
In 2013, while she was still practicing law, Liz decided she wanted to build something “rather than tearing things apart,” the latter of which she felt she was doing as a lawyer. Liz pivoted on her career and started interviewing with startups to do something — anything — to hop aboard their rocket ship. But after verbally agreeing to join a startup about to launch their new app, she “realized that she’d rather build her own rocket ship.”
So in 2013, she left law behind and started looking at what tech-enabled solutions were needed in the entertaining space, a huge market lacking any innovation and thus ripe for disruption. After getting her hands dirty and exploring a little bit of everything in the industry — catering, interior design, flowers, weddings — she landed on her current business model which she describes as “Rent the Runway, but for table settings.” The bootstrapped idea launched as a prototype in the Fall of 2016, went nationwide in 2017, and late last year she started raising her seed money, which, according to Liz, “is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life, including taking the California bar exam.”
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