Star Power: Stylist Gretchen Monahan Builds Her Brand

Celebrity stylist Gretchen Monahan has three television gigs, three Grettacole salons, two G Spa day spas and a lot more going on.

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“She is magnetic and I’m not sure she ever sleeps,” said Rawson. “She has a huge passion for life.”

Market sources estimated that Monahan has sold about $1 million worth of shoes during her QVC appearances. Brown Shoe doesn’t break out the volume of individual brands. Sales are projected to double next year, she said, continuing distribution through QVC and shoe e-tailers such as Zappos and Piperlime.

Although nothing is signed, Monahan almost certainly will produce a clothing line. It’s been a longtime dream, though it has taken years for her to decide when and with what focus.

“The minute you get any little spark on TV, everyone wants to do something with you,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of things crumble. You can’t just throw a label on it and think it’s going to sell.…I’m not going to extend my brand in a destructive way.”

In 2005, months away from launch and against the advice of her development team, she scrapped her skin care line and commissioned one formulated without parabens, a preservative that has become a red flag for many consumers.

That meant a loss of more than $100,000 — “a big lesson,” she recalled.

“I haven’t been the kind with family or connections to set up my opportunities. I know those people now, but it wasn’t my path. I had to work really hard for this. I still do. Nothing comes easy, but when it does, the experience is deep and rich.”


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