"Today story isn't just about a clothing brand that's had a huge influence on fashion and the business of fashion. It's actually a story about overcoming fears and deep personal insecurities because back in the early eighties. Eileen Fisher was extremely introverted and even terrified at the idea of speaking to buyers and customers about her clothes how she overcame that. It's a pretty cool story it I ran in two thousand seventeen and I hope you enjoy it. I was so freaked out the first day, I literally couldn't speak. I just did their people would ask me questions. Like how much does it cost? What's the style number, and I like froze and other people in my booth would help me out say, you know, oh, why don't you come back tomorrow show? I was like a deer in headlights. From NPR how I built this of show about innovators, entrepreneurs idealists and the stories behind the movements. They built. I'm guy rise. And on the show today. How an introverted interior designer got over her stage fright to launch. I lean Fisher a multi-million dollar clothing company for women. So if you know a little bit about the clothing industry, the giants especially for women's apparel are brands like Chanel and verse satchi and Prada, and of course, h Namen Zara. So given that I lean Fisher does about three hundred million dollars a year in revenue it's comparatively small, but in women's fashion, the brand is also incredibly influential and not just for the designs. But how Eileen Fisher started her company to be precise with just three hundred and fifty dollars. She never took a dime from outside investors. And she still owns about sixty percent of her company her employee's own the rest now if you've seen the close you'll know that they're pretty spare and minimalist low key. But also elegant which is sort of how you might describe. I lean Fisher. It's funny because lately I've been kind of calling myself shy extrovert. I think I don't know that I'm wired so much that way. I just think that something I was kind of shut down when I was young, you know, the classroom. I remember there were like sixty kids in my Catholic school classroom, and it was just always safer to to hide and to be small and not speak owing grew up in a middle class family in does Plaines Illinois in the nineteen fifties and sixties she had five sisters and a brother her dad worked as an accountant for a local company in her mom's spent her days at home doing laundry and cleaning and making dinner for all nine of them. I think, but I mostly remember as my mother, you know, her kind of unhappiness, I think it was hard raising seven children. I think she felt it was her job to do all the hard work. And my dad felt you know, his job is to go to work and make the money in her come home and be taken care of after that. So she would pretty much. Kind of we call it ranting and raving all and then my dad would come home and just before my dad would come home. She would get dressed and get the meal ready and sometimes even put on lipstick, and I just remember. I was about sixteen and my mother had a breakdown, and my father said that the next day he was driving to work, and he had to pull over on the side of the road. And he broke down crying realizing that he had thought only a few days before that these were the happiest days of his life. But there were happy. You know, there were a lot of happy moments. Yeah. We played the kids played, you know, we had the neighborhood suburbs and bicycles and we'd play kick the can at night and the good humor truck came down the street, and we got ice cream things like that. So you know, it was pretty much. Your typical suburban experience. I think I lean what after college at the university of Illinois in the late nineteen sixties without any real idea of what she wanted to do. She started out as a math major, but eventually she decided on interior design. I just love fabric and color and playing with the shapes and back to my mom for second. I had sewed with my mother when I was younger. So that was some my happy memories. With my mother. I used to have these pictures in my mind close I wanted to wear we would go shopping and I loved being the fabric store that was one of my favorite places to be in her early twenty. I lean moved to New York with a friend, but with no real plan. Now, this was nineteen seventy two when you could actually find an apartment in Manhattan for a hundred bucks a month. So to pay rent, I lean started doing some freelance graphic design gigs, and eventually she got a job working with a Japanese graphic designer named ROY you she Mora. Yeah. I was in assistant. So I started just doing whatever needed to be done and we designed logos. And we designed packages things for banks. And then we did stuff for Japanese clients, Kirin beer and things like that. And after a short while we were like working together. And you know, we ended up getting into a relationship which was like, no, no. And were you traveling were you did you go to Japan? Right. Right. So this is exactly where the clothing idea"