Episode 53
May 11, 2021

Creating Moments

with Louisa Serene Schneider, Founder and CEO of Rowan

About this episode

Louisa Serene Schneider is the Founder and CEO of Rowan. Founded in 2019, Rowan believes that your piercing is a milestone that deserves to be celebrated. Performed by licensed nurses and using hypoallergenic earrings made from premium materials, Rowan offers top quality, ear piercing services both at your home and in retail stores such as Target. In this episode, Louisa shares with us her entrepreneurial journey from growing up in North Carolina, to starting her own yoga clothing brand, to working in investment banking, to being inspired by the bankruptcy of Claires, which sparked the idea for Rowan. She talks with us about how she came up with the name Rowan, her tips for hiring a great team, and how she raised over 12 million dollars.

This episode is sponsored by

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • How growing up in a family of doctors led to a real appreciation for nurses and doctors throughout her life
  • What made her want to leave the small town in which she grew up and be in New York or LA, travel to Europe, and be a part of the world in some meaningful way
  • How the desire to do things better has always been present throughout Louisa’s life
  • Why she started a yoga clothing company after college and why she went into finance after that, instead of continuing to build her first company
  • What her time in the finance world was like and what companies she got to see and work with and observe and learn from and why that shaped her even more to pursue a better way for consumers
  • What happened with Claire’s that sparked the idea and created the curiosity for Louisa to innovate in a space that needed change and needed a better way and how her research, coupled with encouragement from her husband and a good friend got her started on the path to creating Rowan
  • Where the idea for the name, Rowan, came from and why it fits so well with the brand’s mission and passion for this seminal moment of ear piercing
  • What great advice she has on hiring and how she strives to create a healthy and positive team culture throughout the company
  • Why she has found fundraising to be so beneficial, not just from the obvious raising of funds involved, but also for the clarity of goals and buy in from the team that it requires in order for it to be successful
  • How Louisa led her team to take the challenge of COVID and turn it into a huge opportunity to expand into hundreds of Target stores and why that is a huge win for Rowan
  • What kind of routine helps her stay patient, focused, and able to handle the demands of being a mother and a CEO

To Find Out More:



“This is a seminal moment. This is a really important moment. It was an opportunity to have a moment with a friend or a parent or even with yourself. And don't we want to have great moments and remember them if we can? Because ultimately in life, that's what we look back on.”

“I think that is for us one of the really exciting things about building this business is that we're creating this moment and then we want to be a brand that remains true to that customer for the rest of her or his life.”

“I wanted to bring something that was accessible, but that was better and that was safer. And I also really liked the idea of creating a new work opportunity for nurses.”

“I think as a CEO, my most important job is to make sure that we are taking care of. So what does that mean? First of all, that we have access to growth capital and great support from an ideas standpoint, et cetera, but that I'm building a really good team.

“When you have employees and partners and teammates that feel ownership over what they're doing, there's a sense of joy and pride when things work, but a sense of accountability when they don't.”

“It's important to listen to understand and not to respond in interviews. So I really do try to ask a lot of questions and then I really do try to listen.”

“What is inefficient is after the multiple interviews done by different folks on the team to still have outstanding questions. It should be that you circle back and say, "Had an hour with this person, but here are the three things that I was left wondering about. Please make sure to ask them.’"

“The fundraising experience requires you to get your house in order. And it is not possible to do it alone well. You need your team involved because they need to buy into the projections that you are building out and talking about.”

“Your network is infinitely larger if you have great investors who also have large networks who are very interested in your success, not only because they know you and like you, but because they've actually invested in your business.”

“It is really helpful if you can get someone to give you really good feedback. And to not let it weigh down, but to try to learn from it.” 

“You have to keep a piece of you because you're constantly giving so much of yourself.” 

“Whatever system you have in place is absolutely perfect to yield the outcome that it's yielding. So if you're not getting the right answer, then something about the process that you have in place needs to change.”

Read the transcript

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