April 23, 2018
A former VP at Net-a-Porter.com, Heather is now the President of Riley, the premium bedding and bath Webstore.
Tell us about your daily routine.
I wake up at about 5.15 am, I get breakfast and a snack together for my kids and then I head off to Orange Theory for an hour. I come back, shower, get dressed and head into the city. I live in New Jersey now so I drive, and it's a pain that it can take over an hour to go less than 12 miles. We just launched Riley, so a lot of my day is working on getting the site where it needs to be and meeting with people, hiring people, and working on the future of the business.
Do early risers get more done?
People always make fun of me, but I feel like if you start late you're already non-productive on your day. I also keep to-do lists with a pen and paper! I love technology more than anything but my lists are very important to me.
How did you get started in eCommerce?
In college I had a degree in MIS with a focus on Computer Science. I wound up at a start-up, and they were moving to the west coast, so they asked me what I wanted to do. I told them I wanted to work at Blue Fly. It was 2004. It was super hot then, and that's how I started in proper eCommerce.
And how did you first discover Magento?
When Riley was conceived...I knew that I wanted more horsepower than just Shopify. I had a friend who was talking to me about the customization options on Magento. When I started talking to the Magento team I was like, ‘Oh this can really work!’ We are actually in the middle of launching another major part of the customisation, it’s a monogram service.
Can customers now put their initials on a Riley bathrobe?
Yes, they can put it on their towel and their robes, and on their pillow shams too if they so choose. Something Digital helped us find a dynamic imaging company called LiquidPixels. We’re going to be using their technology. So in real time you can see what your monogram will look like on the product. We’re aiming for a hard launch in the next few days.
You’ll be on stage at Imagine this week. What are you sharing?
I think I’ll share the journey of Riley. How we came to the conclusion that we wanted to go on to Magento, what were some of the factors that came into play, and why Magento is the best platform based on where we are today, and where we see ourselves in the future. That's what you'll be hearing about.
What’s on the roadmap for Riley?
I'm excited about the products that we plan to launch in the near future, especially in the gifts category. There’s an incredible opportunity that goes hand-in-hand with the monogramming side of the business. If you think about your year and the amount of dollars and energy you put towards gifting others, you'll notice that it's more than you even spend on yourself. And I think that it's an opportunity for Riley.
What’s your NYC restaurant tip?
ABC Kitchen. It's right by Union Square. It's the restaurant to ABC home. It’s amazing. And the last thing you bought online? Sneakers. They’re called On. They’re a direct-to-consumer brand. You literally feel like there’s a spring in your step. And I’m a new runner. I played sports when I was a kid but I had a major knee surgery in high school so I just picked it back up in the summer. Somebody told me about these sneakers and I went and bought them. Their customer service and packaging is awesome and the products are incredible.
They help you get through Orange Theory?
Yes! I try to go every day and I always call it my time. It’s my time to be the best me.