Lori Harris, Mary Jane’s Shoes

Name:  Lori Harris

Hometown: St Louis, MO

Current Residence (City, State): Park City, UT

Education:  BS in Finance & Marketing – Lehigh University 1991.  BA in Culinary Arts – California Culinary Academy 1996.  Semester in Spain – Syracuse University 1990.

Professional Background (brief, please):  15 years of business management consulting in telecommunications, restaurants, insurance, consumer goods, and software.  4 years of owning/operating retail stores.

What you wanted to be when you grew up:  dancer or singer – I wasn’t good at either

What you are:  Retail owner – Mary Jane’s and Chester’s Blacksmith Shop

Brief Summary of your Start Up:
Mary Jane’s is a contemporary women’s boutique focusing on affordable clothing, shoes and accessories for every woman.  Chester’s is a skate, surf & snow fashion lifestyle store for girls and guys.  The two stores provide shopping for the whole family.

Company Website?  www.maryjanesshoes.com and www.chestersblacksmith.com 

What inspired you?
I started Mary Jane’s because a friend said “this town doesn’t need a wine bar – it needs a shoe store”.  That begat Mary Jane’s and the rest is history…

How long have you been in business?
Mary Jane’s just celebrated 4 years.  Chester’s is almost at 2 years.

How did you fund it?  Self debt (credit cards and loans).

Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)?
I have had many over the years and I have been one for several women entering the retail business.

Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups?
Yes I am the president of the Park City Women’s Business Network.  I am also on the Board of Directors for the Park City Chamber of Commerce and for the Historic Main Street Business Alliance.  I have also participated in an incubator for Ladies Who Launch and am an ongoing member.

Current Business Challenge?
Expanding to store #2 for Mary Jane’s and determining do I franchise or bootstrap the growth.

What are you doing about it?
Funding store #2 – location TBD.  Searching right now for the right location.  Working with several franchise “experts” to determine if that is the right way to go.

Favorite motivational quote:
I believe that if you are walking the right path it really does come to you and it doesn’t feel hard (even though it might be hard it doesn’t feel hard, it just feels right).

2 Brothers in MO and MI.  Lots of friends that I consider my family.  And Clyde, The Pug, age 10.

If so, how do you balance family and business?
I always try to make time for my friends and for being social.  I also try to do at least one thing nice for myself each week.

Favorite book?
Wuthering Heights – I am a sucker for romance especially if it is doomed.

What do you do to relax?
Massages, dinner with friends, and singing out loud badly in the car.

What do you want to change most about your world?
Take my business to the next level and have a Love life!

What are you most proud of?
Continuing to grow sales in both of my stores over the last few years.

What advice would you like to offer other Startup Princesses?
BE persistent, be diligent, and if it seems right it is right.

Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)?
Karma and other women!

If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use?
Diamonds are a girls best friend.

Would you be interested in being a Fairy Godmother to another woman entrepreneur?
Of course

What business subjects would you feel comfortable mentoring in?
Starting a business, retail, merchandising, idea generation

Would you be interested in going to lunch with other women entrepreneurs for a “networking tea party”?
Yes definitely – who doesn’t love tea, coffee or wine when the time is right.

Would you be willing to be a facilitator of such an event?
I already am a princess I might as well act like one.

Become A Startup Princess

Startup Princess is an international network committed to empowering Women Entrepreneurs by offering resources for women in business to support, mentor, collaborate, learn from, and inspire one another. In 2006, after struggling to raise funding for an initial startup business venture, Kelly King Anderson recognized an important market niche existed for reliable resources educating women desiring to start and grow successful businesses, thus Startup Princess was developed.

Successful women entrepreneurs understand that for every business venture, they are in charge of creating, organizing, developing, managing, and assuming all the risks associated with their enterprise. That can seem quite intimidating but as other women business owners will tell you, it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it! Success is within your grasp and Startup Princess is here to help.

First, join as a member of Startup Princess and start building a solid foundation. Membership entitles you to a listing in the Startup Princess Online Directory where we list women owned businesses. You’ll also access exclusive content like articles, videos, and audio straight from your email inbox. Coupled with feature interviews, discounts on events, networking connections, and press opportunities, your Startup Princess membership will give any woman entrepreneur a great start for her business!

Then, take advantage of Touchpoint, our annual business conference for women entrepreneurs. Practical planning meets sky-high inspiration at this high-impact event for women business owners to network and develop their approach to business with wisdom and creative direction from other women entrepreneurs across the country.

Need a little help taking your business to the next step? Wish you had a fairy godmother like Cinderella offering you a helping hand? Now you can! Startup Princess is the home of Fairy Godmother Consulting, volunteer mentors sharing tips and insights to bless the lives of other women entrepreneurs.

Startup Princess can offer many benefits to women in business from future women business owners to successful women entrepreneurs. Please call or fill out our contact form with questions, concerns, or general interest and let us help you by giving you full access to everything Startup Princess has to offer!