Entrepreneur, angel investor, podcast host, mom of two and permanently glass half-full, we are thrilled to share the story of Michelle Cordeiro Grant, the woman that was able to build the bra empire LIVELY by following her gut and doing everything against the grain. In her own words…
“The odds of a startup business making it to 5 years are 50%, so I knew if I had a fighting chance of being an outlier, I had to do something drastically different.”
Working for the largest corporations in the lingerie industry was invaluable to Michelle’s entrepreneurial career and ability to bring LIVELY to the world. However, it was the intersection of her professional and personal experience that made her realize that building a successful and effective business that is both timeless and timely was no longer synonymous with success if women's needs and sense of belonging were not taken into consideration.
Particularly after I got married, I realized that my husband loved me for all of my flaws, and I wondered where the brand was that did the same? There was a big need for a brand that embraced human uniqueness at its core, and whose product conformed to our bodies rather than the other way around. Not only that, but the mindset with our product was not to impress anyone else, but to empower women to feel passion, purpose and confidence in their everyday hustles.
At LIVELY each product is tailored and fashioned to every woman’s own uniqueness and needs. No style over comfort here, no men dictating the trends, it's all about real womanhood! And they even came up with a word for this, leisurée, which describes how the brand’s products seamlessly blends ultimate athleisure and functionality with high-style.
BUILDING COMMUNITY & CONNECTIVITY
LIVELY was created not only as a brand, but as an experience and community for women to feel seen and empowered. Michelle let the community shape the brand’s identity and its products since before they even launched and they still keep sustaining and carving out LIVELY’s future after all these years. All their marketing and content for example is only from real ambassadors. Talk about company culture and women supporting women!
LIVELY’s community is made up of 160,000 incredible women with wild hearts and boss brains (they literally helped us come up with that tagline by the way :)), from all over the country. They’re passionate, crave connection, and are doing some incredible things in their communities from starting their own side hustles to sharing their passions like music or wellness with the world.
And this is not all! The wheels have been turning for Michelle ever since as she continues to inspire and connect with other women not only through LIVELY, but also by hosting the No Make Up Needed podcast, or by writing on the latest revolutions in the tech world such as Web3, NFTs and more on her MCG Blog. But above all, Michelle defines herself as an angel investor and mother of two, it these two that shape and seem to give purpose and meaning to everything she embarks on or creates.
“I’m a deeply optimistic and curious person who loves to live in beta in my personal and professional worlds, and thrive on always running towards the things that scare me, never away.”
Michelle’s story, like many other women before her, started by following her own parents’ expectations of her, which commanded her to become a lawyer, but did not reflect her true passion, that is fashion. It’s there that Michelle flourished and prospered into the woman that she is today. And that’s why her mission has always been about supporting and empowering all women as she found in them her true calling.
A month ago, after celebrating LIVELY’S 6-year anniversary, Michelle announced that she is stepping down as CEO, but will remain as founder till 2023 and will for sure continue to inspire us with her positive life-affirming mission as well as her women-led innovations…
NEU WOMEN QUESTIONNAIRE
Neu mantra: Progress over perfection
Neu self-care/healthy practice: Legs up on the wall at night! (thanks Melissa Wood :)
Neu female voice: Gloria Steinmen
Neu inspiring book or news article: Going There by Katie Couric
Neu spot to reconnect with: The beach
Neu decompress routine: Detox tea and a book
Neu travel destination: Croatia
Neu everyday look: A good pair of jeans, bodysuit, kimono, and gold jewelry
MICHELLE IS WEARING
You heard it here first: Soft suiting is having a moment. Gone are the days when the suit was just for the man about town. Now, suits are bringing back their curves with feminine shapes, delicate fabrics, and a whole color palette of wonderful shades. In linen or silky TENCEL™, we’re wearing a soft suit everywhere we go, and so should you.
The dappled sun, the shade of unique colonial architecture, the sticky sweet smell of cañoncitos hawked by street vendors, and the cool taste of Argentinian wine. This fall, we’re launching our neu-est collection in the fabulous Buenos Aires, where the streets are filled with infinitely stylish porteños enjoying the most incredible atmosphere in Latin America.