Trusting your first instinct is the key to success

Carson Ting | BCBusiness

Meredith Powell. Co-founder, The Next Big Thing

Meredith Powell, 37, has founded three brand management and PR agencies in the fashion industry, helping to get exposure for Swedish and Australian designers from the likes of Vogue magazine, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. Her company Powell and Co. Showroom (since sold) had offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver, where one of her corporate neighbours was Ryan Holmes, then launching a little company called Hootsuite. Today the pair is working together on Powell’s next venture, The Next Big Thing, which aims to help young entrepreneurs reach the next level by providing them workspace in Hootsuite as well as grant funding and mentorships.

My Big Idea

“Trusting your first instinct is the key to success.”

Launching a sales agency for the fashion business in Vancouver—where your clients are Aussies and Swedes—everyone thought it couldn’t be done, that we were crazy. The only people who would give me any money was Gulf & Fraser Credit Union on East Hastings; they gave me a $100,000 line of credit. I told them, “I know what’s going to be popular, I know what’s going to sell”—and enough people believed me that I was able to start. I didn’t have the schooling and I didn’t have the hookups. I would cold-call Vogue and tell them we had some awesome brands and I would send them samples and they used them. Over and over, I would just reach out to people and the thing that was different, that was going to sell, I was able to identify before they knew it themselves. It’s not teachable and you can’t go to school to learn it. You have to trust yourself that you’re right.