We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Dostal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think that taking the step to start your own business is incredibly risky. That said, there are degrees to riskiness. We have always been on the lower level of risk mostly because we started Further after we had started our family. We had bills to pay and mouths to feed so the idea of “risking it all” was not possible, for us. We could not invest every penny we had or “roll the dice” to see if a big launch was worth it. We have grown slowly, by design and for us, this has worked well. We bring products to market when we know the desire is there, we do most everything in-house and we run very lean. This might not work for everyone. There is something fun about wanting to hire an amazing packaging designer, build-out an incredible office and warehouse and so much more – right off the bat! But we remain more concerned with actual success than perceived success. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
All I ever wanted was to work at Vogue Magazine. As a 9 year old I told my Mom that when I was older I was going to move to New York City and work at Vogue. (At that point I had never been to NYC but I just knew it’s where I was meant to be.) After college I went to New York for two weeks and I interviewed all over (via “want ads” in the NY Times) and on the last day I was offered a job at a small ad agency as an Assistant Media Planner. I started two weeks later and at that job I met lifelong friends, learned incredible skills, learned the art of networking and I even met my husband and Further Co-Founder, Marshall. Still wanting to land at Vogue I knew I needed to add some luxury experience, and some publishing experience, to my resume so I started to hustle. First I worked as the Media Planner for Bvlgari where I put together their US Advertising plans and became knowledgeable about the luxury market. From there I moved to publishing and spent time at Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Town & Country in quick succession moving my way up to a Promotion Manager. It took a few years but I eventually got a call from a friend that she had heard there was an open spot at Vogue and did I want her to put in a good word for me. I got the job and at age 25 – almost 26 – I started at Vogue. I look back on my time there with great appreciation – we worked long hours, traveled a ton, created tight event budgets that we executed with style, created roi for our advertisers while giving the readers amazing events: concerts, fashion shows, shopping events, product launches and so much more. And I worked alongside some of the smartest and hardest-working women I’ve ever known, who are friends to this day. My origin story is full of privilege and I fully recognize that – everything seemed to fall into place somewhat magically and I seemingly just fell into the jobs. But, I won’t discount that my hustle and focus and drive played a part, too. Those qualities have served me well in my “Second Act” as an entrepreneur. The ability to problem solve quickly, network and make connections, turning rejection into resilience, setting goals and taking steps to achieve them – all of these skills that I learned along the way play a HUGE part in starting and running a small business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This list is Pandemic-friendly…not what I would normally suggest but given that things are not normal, here’s what I would tell a friend who was coming now. Have brunch al fresco at Nicole’s in South Pasadena, a wonderful French bistro with homemade everything! From there, head over to The Huntington Gardens for hours of walking the gorgeous grounds. Bring a book and find a spot to enjoy the peace and quiet. Grab lunch at Wax Paper in Frogtown and then walk over to one of the pocket parks along the LA River to enjoy the best sandwich in the city. After lunch, walk along the river to Spoke Bicycle Cafe for an iced tea…or a beer. Breakfast at The Trails in Griffith Park, followed by a good long hike in the Hollywood Hills. Farmers Markets are not cancelled! I love the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market, the Atwater Village Farmers’ Market and the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market – this would be a great one to visit then check out the Santa Monica Pier. Mexican Food is a must when visiting LA! Our favorite take-out is My Taco in Highland Park. Best Veggie Burrito in the city!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We had an amazing mentor come to us early on – Michael Braverman. He had grown up watching his Father start and build a business. And when we connected he shared how he saw himself in our son, Wyatt. A little boy watching his parents hustle to make something happen! Eventually Michael took over his family business and built it to the point where it was sold. He was full of business advice and encouragement, but he also was sure to keep us mindful of spending time with our son and not working so hard on future success that we miss out on the good stuff in the present. Michael passed away a few years ago and we miss him every day.
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