The Story

It’s not uncommon for shoppers to walk out of Mary Going’s store feeling on top of the world. Mary runs Saint Harridan, a company that makes custom suits for the gender non-conforming. With her store, Mary has created a space that caters to the needs of butch women and trans men—something that doesn’t happen very often. Her fans are enthusiastic and dedicated, her products are selling out… and she can barely pay her rent.

Saint Harridan is struggling to raise enough money to cover basic costs. Mary knows the demand for her product is there, but it isn’t translating into dollars. Her runway is getting shorter and shorter, but she’s hoping that by turning to her community, she can buy time and make a comeback.

 

The Facts

Matthew Boll mixed the episode.

Our theme song was written and performed by Mark Phillips.

The special ad music, Microliters, was written and performed by Build Buildings.

Additional music by Matthew Boll, John Kimbrough, Ameri, Golden Gram and the band Hot Moms Dot Gov.

Our logo was designed by Elias Stein.

 

Our Sponsors

Hiscox Business Insurance
Hiscox offers customized liability insurance to small business owners starting as low as $22.50/month. Get a fast, free online quote now and buy.

Ford Motor Company

Mailchimp

Audible

 

Show transcript

LISA: From Gimlet, you’re listening to Startup. I’m Lisa Chow.

 

You put a launch date on a company as if that’s when it all started. But for some founders, it’s hard to pin down when their business’s story really began. A company’s life is more like a series of moments that stick in your mind like photographs: The day you met your co-founder, the first time you told someone you’d started a business, the moment you were eating cheap Chinese food on a friend’s couch and inspiration struck.


And we thought, what if we tried to tell a business story this way. We’re going to do something we’ve never done on the show before. We’re going to tell this story as a series of scenes. Each scene captures a moment in the founder’s life, and together, these scenes help explain how the business got to where it is now.  

 

About three years ago, a woman named Mary Going started a clothing company in Oakland, California, targeting a very underserved market.

 

And people start businesses for all sorts of reasons but the origins of Mary’s business go way back—all the way back to when Mary was a kid growing up in South Carolina.

 

Just as a quick warning, there’s some swearing in this episode.

 

Producer Luke Malone has the story.

 

 

LUKE: Mauldin, South Carolina, August 28, 1972. The first day of school.

 

Mary Going was, by her own description, a rugged six-year old. Digging for worms, playing in the red clay in the creek. She said she felt like Joe Cartwright from Bonanza. And that’s how she wanted to look, too: strong, with a swagger, and a big, chunky belt slung around her little waist.  

 

Mary said her mom didn’t have a problem with it at home. But at school, well, that was a different story.

 

MARY: I have this very vivid memory of the first day of first grade when I had dressed in a cowboy outfit. You know, my mother wouldn’t actually let me have a cowboy outfit but I had a pair of pants and a shirt that I had adopted as my cowboy outfit. And, I was wearing that and I went to her and told her, you know, I’m ready. And when she saw me she was like, you can not wear that to school, and I’m like, but it’s the first day. Like, I have to show them who I am. This is so important to me. You know, being first day of first grade you’re, like, establishing this is who I am. And I wanted to establish, like, I’m a cowboy and my mom was like no way. Now, I am a kid who follows the rules, I never got in trouble, but on this day I fought her tooth and nail. I screamed and cried and by the time we got to the school and I was dressed in this gross, yellow, frilly dress, I was screaming, hanging on to the edge of the doorway begging her not to make me wear that to school. Not to make me go into that classroom and let people see me in that dress.

 

And I remember sitting in that classroom knowing that people could see me, not worrying that they saw me crying, but worrying that they saw me in this stupid dress.

 

 

LUKE: Oakland, California, July 26, 2008. The wedding.

 

Mary and her wife Martha Rynberg got married after an epic, five-year engagement. They didn’t want to wait that long. But, for Mary, there was always this thing standing in the way.

 

MARY: I didn’t know what I would wear to our wedding and so I kept putting it off.

And I know that sounds silly but it’s the truth. I kept putting it off because I couldn’t figure out what I was going to wear.

 

LUKE: For most of Mary’s adult life, there was really only one thing she felt comfortable wearing.

 

Here’s Martha.

 

MARTHA: So Mary had this uniform that she would wear every day. She had a couple pair of khaki pants, a dozen blue t-shirts, and then she had this dark brown Northface zip-up. And that combination, just you can’t go wrong. And, you can wear it if you work at a non-profit, you can wear it if you work at a tech startup, you can wear it at the grocery store, you can wear at your parent/teacher conference, yeah I mean there is nothing you can’t wear that to—except your own wedding. So, when it came down to it Mary saying, you know, I’m gonna wear my khakis and my north face, I was like not if you’re going to marry me you’re not. Like, you’re gonna dress up.

 

LUKE: But dress up in what exactly? Women’s suits weren’t Mary’s thing. And she couldn’t find a men’s suit that would fit her body. They were too big, or tight in some places, and loose in others. And, most of the time, the store clerks didn’t know how to handle a woman in the men’s department.

 

It was Martha’s idea that Mary go and get a custom suit made, but Mary was reluctant. It was going to cost $1,800, which was more than their rent.

 

MARY: I didn’t want to spend the money. A custom suit just felt like, no way, no way. But she kind of insisted that I go talk to a tailor and so when I did it was actually the best shopping experience I had ever had up to that point. The guy was amazing, you know? They treated me, not like they were tolerating me, not like it was okay with them that I was buying a suit but rather, like I was absolutely normal, like there was nothing out of the ordinary about my being there. And I finally put that thing on I was like “Wow!” In this outfit that actually fits me, that fits my aesthetic as well, I look amazing. I’m ready for my wedding now.

 

-music-

 

MARY: You know, the day of our wedding when I got to get married, I wasn’t distracted by hating my clothes, or feeling like I looked weird or bad or short or swallowed whole, which is what I usually felt like I looked like. I got to be me.

 

And I also thought, I have to do this for other people, like I have to do this for other people. I can’t keep this to myself, it’s too good. And, so I wanted to start a company that allowed this to happen for people.

 

 

LUKE: Mountain View, California. October 30, 2015. The Pitch.

 

MARY: My name is Mary Going and I am the founder of Saint Harridan, and we make men’s clothes for women. Why? Because there’s the men’s department and there’s the women’s department and nothing in between… except eight billion dollars.

 

LUKE: Mary strides back and forth across the stage. She’s wearing a blue plaid suit, pale blue shirt, and broad, floral tie. Her hair is short and greying, with a hint of pompadour.

 

She’s speaking to an audience of 400 investors. Mary was in one of those startup programs where you spend a couple months preparing your pitch, getting coaching, and it all leads up to demo day, where you try to convince a room full of rich people to give you money.

 

That figure she mentioned, eight billion dollars, it’s how big she thinks the market could be. Mary makes her case.

 

MARY: Saint Harridan is capturing this market. We started with a Kickstarter campaign. 150% of goal. And then we worked with Brooks Brothers and created a men’s suit to fit women’s bodies. I look awesome, right? So, we took this suit on the road. Pop-up tour, 15 different cities. $360,000.

 

LUKE: Mary says that during the pop-up, people waited on line for hours to be fitted. Long lines of butch women in bookstores, LGBT centers, and basements that smelled like Subway sandwiches. Some even cried when they tried on her clothes, amazed that they fit them.

 

Women from across the county and as far as Malaysia wrote in to Mary, excited, saying that they had lived for so long not being able to dress how they wanted, and were so grateful that someone was finally making clothes for them.

 

And the response made Mary’s nichey idea of a clothing company for butch women and trans guys start to feel really big. She tells the investors, that people want more than just suits.

 

MARY: Our customers said can you make all our clothes? Can you make pants and shirts and sweaters and underwear and overcoats? And we say yes. Because this is our scalable market opportunity. So, if you want a piece of eight billion dollars, suit up and come talk to me.

 

LUKE: Oakland, California, February 6, 2016. The Fitting.

 

MARY: Oh, my god, every time we release a product we sell the hell out of it.

 

LILA: I know, it’s so exciting.

 

MARY: It’s so exciting. And so, I’m very, very pleased with how all of this is going.

 

LIKE: Mary’s running through fabric swatches with her ProductionDdirector, Lila Fox.

 

After the pop-up tour, Mary ended up raising $150,000. With that money, Mary and Martha started selling suits and accessories online.

 

They were working with the VP from Brooks Brothers. And every week, they were sending orders out to Houston, Gainesville, Sydney, Sao Paulo.

 

Then, last fall, Mary decided to open a store in downtown Oakland. She wanted to give her customers the full experience, a place where they could be fitted for a suit in person.

 

The Saint Harridan store is large and airy—with pale floorboards, and super high ceilings.

A couple walks in—Sarah Crowder and her fiancee Elizabeth Jacobson. They flew here from Seattle, just to get Sarah fitted for her wedding suit.

 

The store clerk, a woman named Brooklyn, takes out a tape measure.

 

BROOKLYN: Alright, so we’ll do a couple of measurements. We’ll start with chest, neck, we’ll do sleeve and then we’ll do your seat as well. How tall are you?

 

SARAH: Five three and a half.

 

LUKE: So, Sarah’s not tall. She’s broad and solid, and likes to wear her clothes loose. Like Mary, she doesn’t want women’s suits with their cinched waists, and, stitching that accentuates cleavage.

 

But her fiancee, Elizabeth, says this makes their shopping options … kind of limited.

 

ELIZABETH: We looked at kind of the place she’s always looked before and has even, we’ve gone together to get suits for other occasions.

 

LUKE: And where is that?

 

ELIZABETH: Men’s warehouse, typically. I mean, you’ve run into a couple of really good salespeople who do their best to make it comfortable but it’s still so out of the norm, right? And it’s sort of like get it done, get out of there.

 

SARAH: And I even had one really good tailor, but you can only do so much with what you have to work with, right? You’ve got a framework that you can only change so much.

 

LUKE: The store clerk Brooklyn pulls out a variety of jackets for Sarah to try on. Saint Harridan suits are modeled off male patterns, and are designed to hide breasts and hips. Sarah settles on a long fit in dark grey charcoal. She slips it on and walks over to the mirror.

 

SARAH: I think it’s the first time that I’ve worn something that actually fits me.

 

LUKEL Sarah looks back at Elizabeth. She’s smiling, a little teary. She walks and the suit moves with her. Nothing is bunching or catching. She looks really good.

 

Another customer walks into the store, to pick up her finished wedding suit.

 

She tries it on one last time and comes back out with a big smile and her hands raised in the air, like a gymnast dismounting after a successful bar routine.

 

CUSTOMER 1: All right, let’s get married! I’m ready.

 

CUSTOMER 2: She was ready on our first date!

 

 

LUKE: Mauldin, South Carolina, April 6, 1967. The adoption.

 

DOT: That was my first Mother’s Day and was I proud to be a mother.

 

LUKE: Dot Burton points at a picture of her and her daughter that hangs next to the TV. Dot is Mary’s mom, the one who wrestled her into the yellow dress 44 years ago.

 

Dot is 79 now. She has Parkinson’s, so her speech is a little hard to understand. She’s wearing corduroy overalls. Neat and smart, like she’s heading to church, which she does every Sunday.

 

Dot has piles of books and papers all around her—and little towers of photo albums. She flips through a thick, heavy brown one, and stops at a photo of her wedding day.

 

In it, she has long hair, right down to her waist.

 

DOT: The day they called me and told me that I had a little girl if I wanted it, I was getting my hair cut so I wouldn’t have to worry with my hair and take care of my baby.

 

LUKE: The adoption agency had tried calling the house and tracked her down at the beauty parlor. Dot was actually in the chair in the middle of the cut when they gave her the good news.

 

DOT: They called me at the beauty parlor, and says you have a little girl, do you want her? I said, Do I want her? Yes!

 

LUKE: The next day, Dot drove the 100 miles south to Columbia to meet her three-month-old daughter. She brought Mary home that afternoon.

 

Dot was 33—old for a new mom in that time and place. Her husband was a drinker, and abusive.  And five years after Mary’s arrival, he was gone. Dot was a single mom after that. She supported Mary and her little sister Laura, adopted three years later, on her nurse’s salary.

 

But looking through the photo album, you don’t see how rough it was. They look happy.

 

DOT: There they are at Christmas.

 

LUKE: What are those dolls?

 

DOT: Raggedy Ann and Andy.

 

LUKE: Mary and her sister Laura are standing by the fireplace, clutching homemade Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. They called Mary Sissy back then. And guess who scored Andy?

 

DOT: Sissy wanted Andy and Laura wanted Raggedy Ann.. There they are. That was an Easter outfit. Little bonnets. That’s what all the babies wore back then. She was quite a little girl.

 

 

LUKE: Oakland, California, February 5, 2016. The check

 

MARY: Hey!

 

TELLER: Welcome to Wells Fargo, how are you?

 

MARY: I’m good. Can I please cash this?

 

LUKE: We’re at the bank a couple of blocks down from the store. Mary’s talking to the bank teller, who’s sitting behind the glass.

 

MARY: So, I want $2,000 to go into the personal account and then the rest to go in

the business and I actually have all this to go in the business as well.

 

TELLER: Mary, I checked the funds for this customer’s account and there’s not enough for us to cash it.

 

MARY: Dang, she has the same problem I do.

 

LUKE: Mary, what just happened?

 

MARY: The customer doesn’t have enough money in her account to cash the check. So, it’s basically—her check is bouncing.

 

LUKE: This is a bigger deal than it might sound. The reason Mary, a CEO, is here cashing the check in the first place is that she’s drastically low on funds herself.  

 

MARY: And it just so happens that my rent check is going to bounce.

 

LUKE: It is like a normal thing recently where you need to, like, cash a check urgently to make sure your rent check doesn’t bounce?

 

MARY: Yeah, I mean, Saint Harridan hasn’t been paying us for a while.

 

LUKE: Business has been rocky. The sales have been good, but they’re not enough to cover expenses. It’s not cheap to produce suits and clothes at this small scale, and Mary hasn’t been able to break even. She’s stopped taking a salary, she’s maxed out her personal credit cards, and she and Martha have been struggling to make the rent on their apartment.

 

But Mary’s not surprised her client bounced the check today. This happens a lot.

MARY: For sure. People come to our store all the time, and to buy a suit, Luke, which is a very expensive item. They’re like, “Can you put some of it on this card and some of it on this card?” And very often their card is declined at the register and they have to call and transfer funds and stuff.

 

LUKE: Mary’s sympathetic. She knows that the people she’s selling to don’t always have a lot of money. She points out that women earn less, and speaks from experience when she says that the job market can be tough for butch women. And it’s even worse for trans guys. They’re outsiders. And outsiders aren’t usually rich.

 

-music-

 

LUKE: Mauldin, South Carolina, January 19, 1985. The fight.

 

Mary’s 18, and she’s living at home. Her mom, Dot, is still expecting her to become a southern belle—a husband, dresses, big hair, big smile. Which, if you knew Mary, you’d know was never going to happen. But on this night, she decided her mom needed to know that too. And, so, when Dot got home from work, Mary was in the living room. And she wasn’t alone.

 

MARY: I actually took Jan with me and, you know, in retrospect, like, that was kind of a chicken move but I was, like, 18 years old.

 

LUKE: Jan was Mary’s first girlfriend. She’s two years older than Mary. Which felt pretty cool. They met at the Chinese restaurant where Mary worked. Jan’s tall, and back then, with her shag haircut, she had this Joan Jett vibe about her. Jan remembers how it all went down.

 

JAN: She talked to her mother, she said, um, if I remember correctly, she said, “Mom, Jan and I are together, we’re a couple, and I’m gay.”

 

MARY: I said, “Mom”—or momma, I would never call her mom—“Momma, Jan and I are more than friends.” And she must have known at some level that that was the case because she didn’t say, “What are you talking about?” She said, “Try on this jacket. I got you this jacket. It’s Member’s Only. Try on this jacket.” And I’m like, “Mom, are you listening?” She’s like, “Try on this jacket.” It was this, this bizarre, like, this can not be happening moment for her, where she was like, try on this friggin’ Member’s Only jacket, you know?

 

JAN: After a little bit of back and forth she looked at me and she said, “Could you leave and let me speak with my daughter?” And I said, “I promised Mary that I wouldn’t leave her side unless she wanted me to.” And I looked at Mary and Mary said, “It’s okay, just step outside for a minute.” And as I started to go outside her mother ran to the kitchen, behind me, and got a gun.

 

 

LUKE: That’s right, a gun.

 

LISA: Coming up, We’ll find out what happened next. That’s right after these words from our sponsors.

 

-ad break-

 

LISA: Welcome back to StartUp, I’m Lisa Chow. When we left off, Mary had just come out to her mom. Producer Luke Malone tells the rest of the story.

 

LUKE: Okay, a second ago, Mary’s mom had gone into the kitchen and grabbed a gun.

 

LUKE: Do you think the gun was loaded?

 

MARY: Um, yeah it was loaded. It was sitting there because that’s the protection that we had for the house, you know, so yeah it was loaded. She went and got the gun. Actually, it was a shotgun, but a long gun, you know? And told me she would kill me before she would let me live my life like this.

 

JAN: And she grabbed Mary, the gun, like Mary with the gun, and the door and was trying to lock me out of the door. And I thought that I was all of a sudden in this alternate reality where someone’s holding a gun and holding her hostage, and I just, being younger, stupider, whatever you want to call it, ripped the door open, grabbed Mary by the arm, pulled her out. And not even thinking, the first words out of my mouth were: “Leave her alone you stupid bitch.” (laughs)Which I’m sure endeared me to her greatly. But she was about to point the gun at me when Mary stood between us and she said, “Don’t.”

 

MARY: I finally got away and I ran, and we got in the car, drove off. I mean I was crying, you know. Like breathing crying, where you can’t breathe and cry. It was horrible, it was horrible. It was horrible.

 

DOT: I have never had hate in my heart for anybody in my life until that very night. That time. It was terrible. I cried until I didn’t have any tears to cry. Because I always wanted my little Sissy to be a prim and proper little lady.

 

LUKE: Mary and her mom have never spoken about that night. Dot has regrets about it, though. And there are a few things she would do differently given the chance.  

 

DOT: I wouldn’t have said I’d rather see her dead. Or I wouldn’t have said I could kill you.

 

LUKE: Does this make you upset to talk about?

 

DOT: Mmm hmm. I was just hurt and almost ashamed because back then they kept everything like that in the closet? You don’t, you don’t talk about it.

 

LUKE: Dot drove around every night for the next two months, looking for Mary. But after that night, Mary was done. She moved in with Jan and was never coming back home.

 

LUKE: What was it like to not have her there after that?

 

DOT: Very, very lonely.

 

LUKE: Augusta, Maine. April 23rd, 1998. The Meet Cute.

 

After Mary left home, she got work as a phlebotomist, then a bartender and a lifeguard. She went to college, bounced around the country and eventually ended up in Maine, where she fell in love with Martha. It all started with a bunch of bumper stickers. Mary was at the Shop & Save one night and saw a car that had a Harley Davidson sticker, a Smith College sticker, and a rainbow flag on the back.

 

MARY: And I was walking through the parking lot and were these three bumper

stickers on this car, and I had… I’m not from New England so I didn’t have a

really strong sense of Smith, I thought it was like “Barbara Bush,” pearl wearing,

very conservative, Republican kind of women who are wealthy. And so the combination of that with the Harley Davidson sticker was all by itself pretty interesting. And then on top of that, the rainbow flag, and I was like “I have to know this person.” And you have to know that like 2,000 people live in this city where we were, so you know there’s not that many interesting people. I want to know this one for sure. And so I left her the note on her car because I just kind of had to.

 

MARTHA: When I came out there was a postcard on my windshield, and it read: “Interesting combination of bumper stickers, could they all be yours? Curiosity is powerful.” And then she left a work number and a home number.

 

I drove home and unloaded my groceries and was talking to my cat and was, like, kind of just totally tickled by this, by this message on my car. And I decided to call. You know, I wanted to know one more thing about this person. You know, did they work at Jordan meat­packing plant, or what? And so I called, and sure enough a person answered and said “Mary Going.”

 

MARY: So, I got the call I always answered the phone with my name and then she hung up on me.

 

MARTHA: I hung up, because that’s not what I was expecting. I was expecting an answering service, or you know, it was after six o’clock, I called a work number, I assumed I would get a voice mail.

 

And then my phone rang. I answered the phone and the voice said this number just called me, and I had this moment of, it was like a split­ screen in my mind. Like I knew that I could hang up and it would be over, it would be done. Or, I could step toward the other side of the screen which was totally unclear to me, but obviously interesting. And so I said “Oh, hi! I’m the Blue Saab from the Shop­ & ­Save parking lot.” And she said, “Oh, hi!”

 

LUKE: Mary and Martha started dating. It was Martha’s first relationship with a woman. They moved in together, and bought a new cat. Then they moved across the country to California, made new friends, got new jobs, adopted their two kids and got married.

 

For Mary, it’s a life far removed from the one expected of her growing up in South Carolina.

 

Dot was at Mary and Martha’s wedding. And there’s this picture from that day. Dot made it her Facebook photo. In it, Mary and her mom are hugging and smiling—Dot, in a yellow lace, dress, and Mary, in her tailored wedding suit. They now talk on the phone at least once a week.

 

Dot brags to her friends, telling them what a successful business woman Mary is. And Mary feels like, for the first time in her life, her mom is proud of her.

 

-music-

 

Oakland, California, March 21st, 2016. The runway.

 

Saint Harridan has been on precarious footing for a while. There are moments when lots of orders are coming in, and Mary’s putting money in the bank. But then, one small thing goes wrong, it costs a bunch of money to fix, and they’re back on the brink.

 

Last week, Mary discovered one of those things. Some of her employees had been putting the wrong code in the ordering system.

 

MARY: And it’s a system that I’ve had in place for a while now, and so many people don’t follow it. It’s like this succession of people who don’t follow my fucking system, you know. I went through every order and found four of these mistakes.  

 

LUKE: That’s two suits that were delayed and two that were the wrong size and had to be sent back. When this happens, Mary eats the costs, and it’s possible that customers won’t get their suits in time for their weddings. And a mistake like this—four suits—it may seem small, but it can completely devour Mary’s profit margin. Which is a problem when making payroll is already a struggle.

 

And these mistakes have been happening a lot recently. It’s a bit of a catch-22—Mary wants to spend more time in the store, making sure these mistakes don’t happen, but she also has to go out and raise money. She needs a cushion, so these mistakes aren’t so potentially devastating.

 

MARY: If you have enough of a runway you can make mistakes and correct them and have a learning curve and learn, right, that’s what a runway is for. So, yeah I do worry that our learning curve is going to be higher than or longer than our runway of cash. It’s just a question of, like, what am I supposed to be spending my time on every day? And I took a big step back to raise money. Maybe I should have taken a more mini-step back.

 

LUKE: Factoring in their current sales, Saint Harridan is burning about $10,000 a month. With $20,000 in the business account, that’s two months until they have zero in the bank. Two months until they have to close down. The racks of dress shirts, the suits, the silk ties and pocket squares, the haven of a store that’s just for butch women and trans men—gone.

 

And it’s making Mary doubt herself.

 

MARY: A person who is in my position always has to look and say what can we fix, what can we fix, like, that’s how I think. And if I have read all the books, and I have fixed all the processes—whatever, you know, the long list is. At this point, we are into our 4th year, we’ve done three whole years we are into number four I feel like we’ve plateaued and I am the one who is standing there. So, what can I fix is my mantra and it seems like it’s me.

 

LUKE: Washington, D.C., May 16th, 2016. The JOBS Act.

 

Mary has a plan.

 

She hasn’t had much luck with most VCs. But she has had friends and customers ask if they can invest a couple of thousand in the company. Because of SEC regulations, these people haven’t been able to put in any money. They’re not accredited investors. But this week, the rules were relaxed and all those people who want to invest in Mary’s company, can.

 

It’s called equity crowdfunding. It’s not a straight shoot, and Mary has a bunch of hoops she needs to jump through. But she figures she might have more luck raising money from a lot of people who believe in her mission versus convincing a handful of straight investor guys that a clothing company tailored towards butch women and trans men is a strong bet.

 

MARY: All the wealth in our country is concentrated really in white straight men. And I’m obviously making an overgeneralization there but it is at the aggregate true. And they invest in people they understand and they understand themselves better than anybody else so they invest in people who look like them act like them, be like them, smell like them. Then, you know, black women don’t get invested in, black men don’t get invested in, white women, especially not people who are gender non-conforming. I feel like I haven’t asked the right people yet.

 

LUKE: It’s going to take a couple of months for it all to shake loose, but Mary’s optimistic. She’s hired a bunch of new employees—a social media manager, marketing and PR people. She’s throwing everything she can at it. Mary believes this is the opportunity she needs to turn the business around.

 

And if it’s not, well, she has her answer.

MARY: If the Securities and Exchange laws are set up in such a way that we really can ask our people do you want this business to continue, and they answer no, I think that’s a pretty good no. That’s a pretty good indicator that it isn’t going to fly.

 

LUKE: Mary has spent much of her life trying to be comfortable in her own skin. And a lot of that has had to do with what she wears. She’s figured out what works for her, and she wants to give that to other people.

 

She told me she looks at Saint Harridan as a sort of sculpture. It’s not something that emerges fully formed. It’s constructed, one piece at a time.

 

All Mary wants is to keep building what she started. Because, even with the doubts and the ups and downs, she’s learned that she feels most comfortable when she’s running her company.

 

It fits her better than anything else.

 

-music-

 

LISA: Luke Malone is a producer for our show.

 

Coming up, we’ll have scenes from the next episode of StartUp, after these words from our sponsors.

 

 

-ad break-

 

 

LISA: In next week’s episode, when you’re making big decisions about your struggling startup, sometimes the conversations go a little sideways.  

 

JASON: There’s one of those psychology things, where like, if you say the same thing over and over again you just start believing it. So like, Kim Jong-un will say, or like be told he’s the greatest human being in all the world. And like, It’s so ridiculous but if you hear it enough your brain starts believing it?  I don’t know, have you heard this?

 

VINCENT: I have heard this.

 

JASON: Anyway, I don’t know how to respond to that.

 

LISA: From Kim Jong-un to Elon Musk—a pair of founders looks for guidance and records what happens as they decide what’s next for their company. That’s coming up next week.  

 

Today’s episode of StartUp was produced by Kaitlin Roberts. It was edited by Alex Blumberg, Peter Clowney, Molly Messick, Bruce Wallace, and me.

 

Production assistance from Simone Polanen.

 

Mark Phillips wrote and performed our theme song. Build Buildings wrote and performed our special ad music. Additional music by Matthew Boll, John Kimbroug, Ameri, Golden Gram and the band Hot Moms Dot Gov.

 

Matthew Boll mixed the episode.

 

To subscribe to the podcast, go to iTunes, or check out the gimlet media website: gimletprod.staging.wpengine.com. You can follow us on twitter @podcaststartup. Thanks for listening.We’ll see you next week.

 

 

We do our best to make sure these transcripts are accurate. If you would like to quote from an episode of StartUp, please check the transcript with the corresponding audio.


View full transcript

Subscribe

Subscribe to the show feed here

You can also subscribe to the show newsletter

This week's @uncivilshow is a powerhouse of an episode. Like an intellectual revival meeting. Feat. @nhannahjones, @Al_Letson, and non-tweeter, Christy Coleman https://t.co/8JwUf49QCZ