Posted on June 06 2021
It's summer and we are so excited that events are starting back up, including weddings. Today we have on Maya Holihan, Founder of EWedded. EWedded is a bridal marketplace - find out more about how and why Maya founded EWedded.
ALLY Shoes: How/why did you start EWedded?
EWedded: I was in bridal retail for over 17 years and 13 of them I owned up to six bridal shops at one time. It was during the consolidation from six shops down to one that a thorough inventory revealed I was sitting on almost $250K worth of dead stock. Having so many stores shed the light on how much gross overproduction of goods there is in the industry and how the wholesale/retail purchasing model burdened the independent retailer in terms of operational efficiency, cash flow and profitability. I created EWedded to help independent retailers and brands establish an e-commerce presence on a larger scale and sell their excess inventory swiftly and responsibly. The services and features our platform provides addresses so many pain points related to inventory management and meets the needs of the bricks-and-mortar retailer without compromising their brand.
ALLY Shoes: How did you get started in the wedding field?
EWedded: I’ve always been a romantic and was fascinated with brides at an early age. I grew up in a destination market that boasted weddings throughout the summer, so I saw lots of beautiful brides as a young girl and teenager. In 2001 I was able to turn my fascination into a career when I moved to NYC to work for Vera Wang. I knew on my very first day on the job that the world of weddings was going to be my lifelong career. I was bitten by the bridal bug.
ALLY Shoes: Who were mentors that encouraged you?
EWedded: The two most prominent mentors for me are my parents. From a very young age they instilled in me that I could do anything I put my mind to. They got me involved in sports at a young age and I played sports through college and captained every team I ever played on. I was fortunate enough to have some incredibly talented and dedicated coaches throughout the years who also challenged me to push beyond the status quo and strive for greatness.
ALLY Shoes: What type of person do you think should be an entrepreneur?
EWedded: Strong, independent, resourceful. Entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted. It takes far more than passion to be an entrepreneur. For me, the characteristics that define an entrepreneur include grit, resilience, humility, they’re innovative yet there’s a flexibility in their thinking. Change doesn’t scare them. They’re risk takers and are willing to stand alone in pursuit of their vision. An entrepreneur is someone who can handle winning and losing, and when they’re down can quickly pick themselves up again and try again. An entrepreneur is selfless and is willing to sacrifice to turn an idea into a successful venture.
ALLY Shoes: What local entrepreneur events, meet ups and accelerators do you recommend that have helped you grow over time?
EWedded: I recently completed a female founder bootcamp with Ad Astra Ventures. I highly recommend this for any early-stage founder. I’m a member of the Female Founder Collective and am part of a handful of other communities for female entrepreneurs like DWEN, Women Founders Network and IFundWomen.
ALLY Shoes: Who is your Ally?
EWedded: I have multiple allies. They include my team members who believe in the mission and relevance of EWedded, and our advisory board who helps guide our growth. But, my husband is by far my greatest ally. Without his support and belief in me and the company EWedded would still be an idea.