When Michelle Cordeiro Grant founded LIVELY in 2016, she set out to create lingerie that makes women feel comfortable, stylish, and powerful. She’s since built an expanded clothing brand that not only encourages but empowers women around the world to live confidently — and LIVELY!
Michelle shared with InspireMore how she set up her company for success and continues to do so amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read on for some of her wisdom!
What excites you most about LIVELY’s current messaging?
I never get tired of sharing the message of encouraging women to feel passionate, purposeful, and confident. Every day I get to wake up and empower, remind, and enable the women around me to live life doing what they love. I’m excited about where we’re at right now because we’re able to do that through more and more avenues rather than just bras and undies; LIVELY has expanded into swimwear, loungewear, skincare, and more, so that we’re able to be there every step of the way along the journeys of every member in our community. Showing up for these incredible women in a way that inspires them in every facet of their lives is a really incredible honor for me.
It’s also endlessly exciting to me that we’re able to incorporate our ambassador community into our branding. Our ambassadors are the heart and soul of LIVELY and are truly behind every single decision we make in the company, whether it’s our product offering, our messaging, our marketing etc. so to be able to spotlight them and use these real, inspiring women who embody our core values is something I’m really proud of.
2020 has been full of unexpected moments and has required a lot of pivoting. What choices are you making today to set your brand up for success tomorrow?
One thing I’ve kept in the back of my mind throughout all of the challenges that this year has brought us is to avoid knee-jerk reactions and to think long-term. What I’m most proud of is that I was able to sit down just as the world was flipping on its head and take the time to consider what LIVELY’s greatest asset was: our team. Once that became clear, I knew I had to protect this part of the company at all costs and instead make shifts or compromises elsewhere. There may have been a bit of short-term financial relief if I’d made a different decision, but putting the team above all else is the best decision I could have made for LIVELY in the long run because the team is what makes it all work.
Like most retailers we had to pivot our product offering from what we thought was going to be a huge swimwear season to what ended up being a season all about loungewear, being comfortable, and staying home. This excess inventory aside, we never put a single product on sale during the pivot to protect the equity of the brand. Instead of offering discounts or sales, we continued to incentivize with gifts with purchase and loyalty programs to keep the LIVELY brand intact for years and years to come.
Outside of LIVELY, what causes are you passionate about?
I’m very passionate about education. To me, it is the most powerful tool you can give someone to set them up for success, opportunity and to give people starting out on their career journeys a chance to network and open up doors for themselves. I got to where I am today because of both education and networking, which is why I feel very strongly about giving every community that same opportunity. I love to pay it forward by having as many conversations as I can with people from all walks of life to try to share what I’ve learned and my experiences as well as hopefully opening more doors for others like some amazing people did for me when I was starting out.
The LIVELY brand coined the term “leisurée” a combination of lingerie and activewear for women of all sizes, which feels extra fitting in a year where everyone is staying home. What is your favorite way to be cozy?
My favorite way to be cozy is an early weekend morning shower, after I get my sweat on, with my daily elixir in hand. My go-to cozy outfit is a LIVELY set of joggers paired with our All Day Tee and of course I’d be hanging out with the hubby and kiddos! I’m also a sucker for a good sunset car ride with my husband after a long day of work, it’s the ultimate vibe.
What do you wish every woman knew about LIVELY’s brand mission?
I hope every woman knows that LIVELY’s mission is to be a representation of real, inspiring, authentic women and that we created this brand because I myself didn’t feel like I ever saw myself represented in this category and it was a really disheartening feeling. I set out to create LIVELY in hopes that women would see a reflection of themselves in the brand and ultimately feel comfortable and confident from the minute they put on their bra and undies in the morning, all the way to the end of their daily hustle, whatever that may be.
What is a quote or phrase you live by?
Don’t fear the unknown, fear not trying!
Tell us about something that made you smile in the last week.
My son and I had an at-home dinner date that was to die for! He set up name plates for the two of us which made my heart melt. Quarantine has really taught me just how much the little moments matter!
If you want to get in on the comfy LIVELY action, click here for 15% off your first purchase with exclusive code INSPIRE. Don’t forget to share and be sure to check back for more Inspiring Interviews!
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