I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Aliza Pulver, cofounder of the oh-so-fabulous shopping club Homesav. Aliza is a lawyer by trade, a Mom of one and an incredibly successful entrepreneur during the rest of the time. She and her two partners – one of whom is her equally successful brother – launched Homesav in 2010. A mere one year later it is a growing site with unlimited potential. Read on to see what interesting insight and advice Aliza had to share.
With a background in law, what triggered you wanting to go into business for yourself?
I have had a lifelong enthusiasm for starting businesses. This passion dates back to when I was a kid and started a t-shirt business, and has been growing ever since. My brother and I have started a handful of businesses together. Even while practicing law I maintained a business with my brother which proved to be quite successful; once I saw the potential of running a business for myself and the freedom and fulfillment I got from it, it was hard to go back to something less exciting. I love seeing an idea come to fruition.
What is one of the most challenging and one of the most rewarding things about being an entrepreneur?
I’ll start with the most challenging – I think it’s definitely balancing work, family and a social life. As most of my time is spent working, strategizing and buying fabulous home décor (which is great…who doesn’t love shopping!), my social life has definitely been affected, especially since my off-time is fully and completely dedicated to my husband and daughter.
The most rewarding thing….and there are many… but I will narrow them down to just two.
First, I love finding home décor “gems” and then seeing them for sale on HomeSav. It’s very rewarding to know that our goal of helping people furnish their homes stylishly in an easy and fun way is being met.
Second, my partners and HomeSav team spend many late nights strategizing and planning new programs on HomeSav. These include anything from new site developments that add fun to our user experience, our brand new “HomeSav Designer Picks” program (which we launched this week that features famous designers, like Karl Lohnes, who curate sales events on HomeSav) or our upcoming mobile app. It’s amazing to see our plans come to life and actually know that we’ve created something in the world from nothing that benefit others.
Homesav is playing in the up-and-coming space of flash sale sites. How do you see Homesav distinguishing itself from its key competitors, including One Kings Lane, Gilt and Rue La La?
First, we focus on home décor, gifts and family related products. This makes us unique because it allows us to become the best at what we do in our niche, both from a product curating as well as technical perspective.
Second, we are proud to deliver to people all over Canada and the US as the leading home décor focused flash sale site in Canada. We work with our designers to have them select the best products for our members, and we also offer direct exposure for our designers to our members. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Ultimately, our strong team, deep contacts with home décor brands, designers and our technical know-how sets us apart from our competitors.
Key thing to look for when selecting business partners?
That is a big question. I would say…
1) make sure him or her is vested in a project
2) spend a lot of time with someone before beginning a business with them
3) make sure you have different strengths
4) be able to trust them
5) make sure that she or he is smarter than you!
One piece of advice you have for other women wanting to go into business for themselves?
Do it, do it, do it! It is actually possible. What they say about woman is true – we find a way to manage it all. It’s tough but fun and doable and incredibly important. Women make great business people and there are too few women entrepreneurs at this point.
Your favourite Homesav item(s)?
This is a tough one because I love so many things! A few pieces that stick out for me are the following: