Well Made

81 Turning All the Dimmers Up with Kerry Cooper, President of Rothy's

Episode Summary

Rothy's burst into the shoe market with their stylish flats made from recycled plastic water bottles in 2016. Three years later, Kerry Cooper, the President of Rothy's, talks treading new ground with the overseas expansion of their sustainable slip-on.

Episode Notes

Kerry Cooper has 20 years of executive retail expertise. She helped build cornerstone ecommerce platforms for Walmart and she’s lead marketing and operations for ModCloth and Levi’s. Now, as President of Rothy's, she’s stepping into a new challenge of expanding the sustainable shoe startup globally.

Rothy’s makes stylish, close-knit flats from the fibers of recycled plastic bottles. The massive appeal of their shoes goes beyond functionality, their 3D knitting is less wasteful than the cut-and-sew approach. As consumer demand for eco-conscious footwear skyrocket, Rothy’s is strategically separating themselves from the sustainable shoe pack by expanding to China where their locally owned factory churns out their slip-on by the minute.

On this episode, Kerry talks about how sustainability is sewn into Rothy’s (13:50). She shares her polarizing views on raising capital and learning from investment mishaps (15:10). She talks about building products and teams at companies of all sizes — from 60 employees to 1.5 million. (18:50). Kerry shares what she loved about leading teams at Walmart.com (22:21): the value of servant leadership (27:30) and institutionalizing correction of errors. (29:11). Lastly, she talks about how Rothy’s is finding its footing in the Chinese market (32:00) by learning how to best market to overseas customers and leaning into the digital ecosystem of WeChat, Tmall, and KOL influencers (35:21).

Also mentioned on the show:

Link and images can be found on the Lumi Blog.