Wednesday, January 17, 2018

You Are Doomed If You Don’t Try by Catherine Fossati Healey.

August 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Aspire to Inspire

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” Beverly Sills

I don’t know much about Beverly Sills, but of all the quotes I’ve read about taking risks, Beverly Sills seems most appropriate for today. Through sites like LinkedIn we can commiserate the hard economic times but the fact remains that there are 5 people looking for every available job. For most of us there is little to lose by taking a risk and the biggest risk is in thinking we’ll have a job like we had before.
I met Laine on LinkedIn’s Connect and Collaborate group” in one of the many social networks I hang out on. I mentioned I am a ‘reinvention story’ Laine asked if I’d tell it. I realized that in three years I’d never told the story and maybe it’s time.

A sad parting: Loss of a loved one:
Like so many, my position was eliminated in a restructuring. For all you Dilbert fans, the real reason I was let go was ‘inappropriate body language’. I think I blinked, crossed my arms or maybe even ‘rolled my eyes’. I was also guilty of staying too long. Two years earlier I’d finished what I had set out to do. My last two years in corporate America are described nicely by Seth Godin in his book titled ‘The Dip’.

I regrouped for six months. Then the economy tanked just as I was coming out of my funk and really focusing on my next great career move. I started to experience all the things people talk about on LinkedIn. Jobs I applied for were dropped, people never bothered to reply blah, blah, blah. I went to countless networking events and met hundreds of other unemployed men and women just like me. I realized that the smart ones make money off the unemployed by organizing networking events. Through all this, to keep my sanity I read, studied and learned. I evaluated a number of business ideas and threw out most of them. Since time had always been my rarest commodity I now rode my bike every day, paid my sleep debt in full, and for the first time in years enjoyed just being alive.

My sister and I have joked about selling handbags and shoes for years. I asked myself why not see if you can make a living doing something just because it would be fun? Surprisingly, selling handbags and shoes looked feasible, in fact lucrative if done right. I wanted to create a new brand and started down this path to launch a luxury handbag brand in June 2008, launching Fossati in April 2009. The first year I laid out my strategy and business plan, learned about materials, found a manufacturer and found low cost web solutions.

Life is stranger than fiction:
I read a lot of books including ‘The Secret’. I never believed any of that ‘think it and it will come’ bullshit, but in the last three years I’ve had a number of stranger than fiction experiences which make me wonder. It’s true, I put myself out there tried new things and have been open to new ideas. You could call it luck, but wow have I had some great luck! In my 20 year corporate career the only luck I had was bad luck. It’s hard to believe that this is just good luck. Whether it is dumb luck or quantum physics, I want it to continue.

“You have to live spherically in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way.” Katherine under the Tuscan Sun

I’m a social media junkie. I met my future PR partner on Twitter in early January. Through his celebrity stylist connections my Venice Evening clutch was featured on the Red Carpet at the 2010 Golden Globes, it was carried by Mia-Linh Lofgren, Michael Stuhlbarg’s fiancé. Michael was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy for his role in A Serious Man, against some real heavy weights including:
Matt Damon, The Informant
Daniel Day Lewis, Nine
Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon Levitt, (500) Days of Summer
Pictures from the event are featured in Fossati’s shop

My life has become a magnet for ‘stranger than fiction’ coincidences include: walking into the Henri Bendel’s Somerset Collection in Troy MI and bumping into the director of store operations, who just happened to be in town from NY that day. He helped me get my first trunk show at Henri Bendel’s last October. Or the time I met Faye Dunaway while getting my hair done at Bitonti and, she offered to use my bags in her movie Master Class, one of the rare movie productions in Michigan that is not an apocalypse movie.

Regrets are a waste of time. They’re the past crippling you in the present.
Katherine – Under the Tuscan Sun

Is this all just luck? Or is it happening because I finally let go of my reservations and opened myself up to possibilities? We’re now heading into the holiday season and I’m hoping sales will be good. I have another big opportunity coming up that isn’t ready to be released yet. You’ll have to join Club Fossati to find out more. I know one thing for sure, I may fail but failure was guaranteed if I didn’t try.

Catherine Fossati Healey designed jewelry for a high end jeweler to pay for college. This led to a highly successful 20 year + career as a corporate executive with Chrysler Financials consumer facing initiatives. When Catherine joined the ranks of the downsized in 2007, she found herself at a career crossroads with little prospect of continuing with plan B, and decided to follow her passion revisiting her true creative nature, and in essence traveling back in time. The idea of designing and selling handbags started years before between her and her sister, to be revisited each time they complained about their day jobs. Deciding that the family name was the perfect fit Fossati, the brand was born in April of 2009.

Her father’s family originates from Milan, Italy and to reflect her heritage and evoke the romance and elegance of Italy; Fossati’s first collection is named The Italian Collection with each design being inspired by a different city. With a heartfelt commitment that luxury handbags should stay in style. Catherine uses simple designs expertly executed with meticulous craftsmanship in beautiful materials – what more could you possibly need?

Catherine’s website is equally a joy, and a stylish cavalcade of beautiful imagery. To find out more about Fossati click the link, to get updates via their Twitter account or connect with Catherine on LinkedIn.



6 Responses to “You Are Doomed If You Don’t Try by Catherine Fossati Healey.”
  1. ford lover says:

    I wish I could write like you as Margaret Laurence once said “When I say “work” I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”

  2. Paul Novak says:

    Great story. Love it. I believe a lot of what we recieve is due to how we present ourselves. If you appear to be in a rut, or lost, or allowing self pity to dominate your thoughts, few driven people will be drawn to you. They’ll leave you to your problems and move on in their own more positive direction. I think this is why you are relating to the “‘think it and it will come’” quote. When you make the decision to live your life, accept what happens, and put your best foot forward, it draws people to you like a magnet.

  3. Laine says:

    Absolutely Paul! I’m not sure I’m in with the power of attraction stuff necessarily, but rather the idea that when you act with authority and conviction, believing in your dream and communicating that dream to others – you will begin to move toward the dream and people will find your passion persuasive and intoxicating. The ‘most interesting man in the world’ is, because he thinks he is!

    Whether we believe it is harnessing the power of the universe or the power of the unconscious mind or both – I have more than enough evidence that it works.

    Dream the life and live the Dream!
    “Aspire to Inspire”
    Laine D

  4. Paul Novak says:

    There’s a reason why people say if you want to succeed, surround yourself with successful people. It’s because in many cases it’s as simple as like attracts like. Oh boy, can we get any deeper with the cliche’s?

    I learned about ten years ago how true it is though. I literally cleaned house regarding my social atmosphere, and I don’t mean in an internet “facebook” sort of way either. I mean that I literally cut people off because I realized that although they were negative and bleeding that vibe off onto me, I was responsible for bringing them in in the first place.

    It’s that realization and willingness to do something about it that makes all the difference which is why I am nothing but enouraging when I see others travelling a similar path.

    If they can’t deal with you moving on, it means they are standing still.


  5. What an inspiring story! I know you read mine on My own journey was different. My recovery has been remarkably similar. It just comes down to courage in your beliefs. You clearly have it!

    I’d love to discuss a business idea with you. Something that might be good for both of us!



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