Danielle Goldman of Sylth | Virago on a new innovative brand and design
Describe your business in a few words:
Hi! I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Sylth | Virago, an urban-luxe vegan and sustainable forward women’s footwear and accessory brand. We design everything in NYC, and production and material sourcing takes place in the Tuscany region of Italy. I am also a family nurse practitioner in NYC, working oversight at CVS Minute Clinic Covid-19 test site. Finally, and most importantly, I am a wife and mother to 3 children aged 4, 2, and 1 (send help).
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Before nursing school, I jumped around from interning with a PR company in NYC to affiliate marketing jobs and managing fashion showrooms; ultimately, none of these were personally fulfilling aside from being industries that are hard to crack, so I went to nursing school to not only make my mother happy but to ensure I would always have a career despite my desire to work for myself.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No – when I was younger I assumed I would be a stay-at-home mom and I didn’t even consider working in tandem. I think as I got older and realized that I found real problematic work environments across several industries that maybe I needed to create my own seat at the table in order not only to achieve the goals I have in business but also for self-respect in general.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
I don’t know if I had a set marketing strategy – it wasn’t necessarily throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks, but it was multifaceted in that we knew in order to become the brand we hoped for we needed to tap into many avenues to make that happen. Between paid ads, organic traffic, public relations, and celeb placements, physical and online retail presence, and also social media – we started slow and built up by tapping into professional networks, organizations, and people who could advise us on the best way to approach the consumer with our brand. Certainly, every avenue for us was needed.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Probably the creation of the line itself. Pulling together the team, finding a premier factory in Italy and then finding over 15 retail partners worldwide to sell AFTER Covid-19 was quite a tall task but I’m really proud we did it – considering most of us have no connection to the footwear industry.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Sure, I believe in it – but have I mastered it, absolutely not. I still feel guilty when I neglect one of my responsibilities, and I give myself a hard time if I need a break. As an early Entreprenista I am in the mindset of hustle, always, and it’s sometimes hard to break that train of thought despite what my friends, family, co-workers, and inner voice say!
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
Sylth | Virago was named by Footwear News as one of the 14 Footwear Brands to watch this year – which is huge considering all the obstacles we overcame and the fact that we only officially launched in September.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We are currently in the prototype phase with 3 new styles and about 5 more in the design stages. You can definitely expect to see more of our killer heel silhouettes and our signature styles but we also hope to dip our toes (pun intended) into more accessories and maybe even specialty outerwear. Right now we are super focused on selling this line and getting in from of as many eyeballs as well can 🙂
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
Not only is the Entreprenista League a source of pride for me to be a member of such a distinguished group of successful and inspiring women, but it is also a source of comfort. It’s nice to know if I ever needed something I have a network of women who understand what I am going through. Hopefully, as I grow my own business, I hope to be a source of guidance for the next generation of Entreprenistas too.