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An Entrepreneur's Tale: Starting an Online Business

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2011

The e-commerce website One Kings Lane has become a go-to digital destination for discerning shoppers seeking designer home decor for a discount. Offering stylish household items at up to 70 percent off retail price during specially curated 72-hour sales windows, the innovative online shop has attracted more than 1 million members -- and counting.

Here, chief merchandising officer Susan Feldman and chief strategy officer Alison Pincus discuss how they turned their idea into a successful online business.

What's Good for the Consumer Is Good for the Brand
Customers are drawn to One Kings Lane for the amazing deals, while top home decor brands are drawn to the site as a way to quickly move their merchandise. Closing each sale after only 72 hours gives a "thrill of the chase" element to shopping on the site: "It's like one big game," explains Susan. And since all the transactions happen after the sale ends, One Kings Lane does not incur any inventory costs.

First to Market Wins
Eager to get out ahead of any potential competition, Susan and Ali worked around the clock to get One Kings Lane up and running online within mere months. They began by making a comprehensive roadmap, outlining all necessary next steps, and were pitching the site to top home decor brands within two months of their first meeting.

Simple Is Always Better
When it comes to web design, Susan and Ali emphasize the importance of simplicity and advise against adding unnecessary bells and whistles. People move at rapid speeds online, and confusing websites are not likely to get a second viewing.

For more information or to purchase items featured on the show, visit

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