Interviews

Valeria Campello of Cosabella Tells Us Her Secret to Success

In 1983, Italian native Valeria Campello had just moved to Miami with her husband, whom at the time was an engineer working with a local glass company. Campello, a trained lawyer, admits she had no intentions of being “your typical housewife.” Although being in a foreign country with two young children she still felt the need to keep herself busy with some sort of hobby. Her side job—which started as a distribution company that imported apparel from Italy—grew to a bit more of a full-time gig, which eventually led to the creation of one of the most successful worldwide lingerie companies that exist today: Cosabella. Campello let’s us in on her secret to success; chats about the importance of social marketing; and dishes on her favorite coworker—who happens to be her husband.

Why did you get into the lingerie business?

It was by complete chance. I started by importing products from my hometown, Capri, and trying to sell them door-to-door. I started off with apparel and eventually grew into lingerie only.

Did you ever imagine this amount of success?

I would have never imagined. I had just graduated from university [law school] and had to move to Miami for my husband’s job. But I was open to other opportunities, and I took advantage of the doors that opened for me.

What’s the secret to creating a successful brand?

First, you must have passion for what you do because it’s the only thing that will help you endure the hard times. Second, you need a partner or someone in your life that can complement your strengths. I was never a natural sales person. My husband was able to complement my strengths, which are more on the creative side.

What are your thoughts on social marketing tools?

Nowadays, you cannot survived without embracing them. Before, you couldn’t survive without receiving information from newspapers and magazines. Today, it’s about Twitter and Facebook. It’s how people are getting their information.

How does Cosabella utilize these tools?

We do a lot of contests, promotional events on our retail site, and give away coupons. We also partner with influential bloggers and giveaway free products on their sites.

Your husband left his job as an engineer four years after you started Cosabella. What it is the hardest part about working with your husband?

Well, you have to make sure you have two completely different roles because it’s difficult of one of you is considered the boss. It’s also hard as an entrepreneur to not bring home work with you. But on the upside, my husband understands my work where as other couples cannot relate when it comes to careers.

What are the pros and cons to owning your own business?

Con: You end up working 24/7.

Pro: You have the freedom to create your own dream.

If you could offer one piece of advice to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would it be?

You must be strong on your vision, but you also must be open to changing that original idea if the opportunity presents itself.

If you could have anyone wear your brand, who would I be?

Cameron Diaz

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

Blumarine and Missoni—they’re a family business like us.

What’s the best business advice anyone has ever told you?

My grandmother told me early on “If you feel it is right, then do it.”

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