‘Find your authentic spirit’
‘I’m still in draft mode’
‘Deal with It’
These are just a few sayings that can be found on Linda Weber’s ‘You Don’t Say’ t-shirts.
This year, Weber started her own business and she’s in the business of creating witty, pithy, and inspirational sayings on t-shirts.
“This is my second start-up business. I left a Fortune 500 company and wanted to do something completely different,” said Weber. “The idea was born one evening when my husband put on a t-shirt to go to sleep in that had a saying on it he could never wear outside the home – it had been a “gag” gift. At that point, I realized that there were lots of sayings that COULD be worn in public, and why not target these sayings to people who will wear t-shirts their entire lives—30 to 65 year-old adults.”
Weber sums up her business best on her Web site:
“You Don't Say, LLC (www.YouDontSayStore.com) is an online apparel and accessories store focused on t-shirts emblazoned with witty and inspirational sayings. You Don't Say product lines include: adults, youth/girls, and green/eco-friendly. Soon, You Don’t’ Say, LLC will also offer infants/toddlers items, pet shirts, maternity t-shirts, and sleepwear. Sayings categories range from yoga and fitness to parenting and relationships. Each You Don't Say product lets customers Express Themselves Without Saying a Word ™.”
A strong desire to do something different, learn a new industry, and run her own show with the values important to her: respect, fairness, and fun are what guided Weber to take a leap into this new venture.
“Learning a new industry, bringing in the right partners, and marketing were my biggest challenges,” said Weber. “Developing and implementing a strong marketing strategy is the hardest task to do well. We still haven’t gotten it all figured out.”
No stranger to change—Weber led a nomadic childhood and adulthood living in eight different states. Now she resides in Berkeley Heights, NJ—her ninth “home.” So, adapting, adjusting, and balancing are traits Weber has been honing for many years. Now, she gets to apply it to her professional life.
“Balancing it all comes from lots of energy (and coffee)!” said Weber. “I think it’s also genetic—my folks are both involved in many things and still show a great level of energy. I have an amazing husband, great kids who do the dishes, laundry, mow the lawn, and get good grades—so I don’t have to spend my time bugging them—and a willingness to ignore the dust bunnies in the corners. Although, I did just re-hire my cleaning lady!”
Weber also credits her business partners in her success.
“I could never do it all myself! The secret – and not so much a secret – is bringing in smart people who can do certain functions better than I can: finance, design, sales, technology,” said Weber. “All of my partners have a piece of the company – which vests over time, so that for their sweat equity they earn a larger piece of the company – and they are then more invested in its success.”
Weber’s rewards come from seeing people wear and love ‘You Don’t Say’ t-shirts. Especially, she says, when they buy more.
Weber also loves being a strong female role model for her boys—showing them that not only can they do anything they want in life, but so can the girls they know. She’s very proud to be considered an entrepreneur.
Although, ‘You Don’t Say’ is a new business, Weber already has plans to expand her business.
“We recently moved from just online sales via our Web site to distribution through a national retailer,” said Weber. “We also work with other businesses to sell our merchandise through their Web sites, and do some custom work for Web sites to sell their own designs.”
‘You Don’t Say’ is well on its way to success. As, their t-shirts say, ‘Live in the moment’ and ‘Enjoy the unexpected.” That’s what Linda Weber is doing and look where it’s taking her.
1. What have you accepted in your life that took time?
Weber: “Getting rid of the guilt: it’s OK if I watch “All My Children.”
2. What do you appreciate the most in your life?
Weber: “My family—my kids, my husband, and, increasingly, my parents.”
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life?
Weber: “Raising great kids – without a doubt. Although, I’m not certain how much is nature and how much is nurture. I like to think my husband and I had a little bit to do with how they are turning out.”
4. What is your not-so-perfect way?
Weber: “When I get frustrated with a work dilemma – or bored by it – I play Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. It seems like such a waste of time, so definitely falls in the “imperfect” category!”
5. How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…”?
Weber: “This may sound stupid, but I actually love my ankles. It seems that no matter how much I weigh (and I’ve got about 40 pounds to shed right now), I still have pretty good ankles!!”
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