Stephanie Benedetto, CEO and Co-Founder of Queen of Raw

For this week’s edition of FinanciElle “Statements” I had the opportunity to interview Stephanie Benedetto, CEO and Co Founder of Queen of Raw.

Queen of Raw is an online marketplace where designers can connect with global suppliers to source excess stock of innovative raw materials, to prevent excess textile stock from ending up in landfills.

From the Queen of Raw Website:

“IT’S TIME TO GO RAW!

The best economies are circular.

They find underutilized resources and put them back into the chain of supply and demand.

Nowhere is this re-circulation more urgent and necessary than the textile industry.

Today more than $120 billion worth of unused fabric sits in warehouses around the world. Awaiting its end of being burned or buried.

It is a liability for the factories and mills who overproduce it and for the brands and retailers who over-purchase it.

Neither of which has had a way to recapture its value…until now.

Queen of Raw brings raw material back to life.

Factories, brands, and retailers post their unused fabric on Queen of Raw and start selling in minutes.

Designers find the fabric they are looking for, regardless of their location, and buy it with the click of a button straight from the suppliers.

And if those designers don’t end up using all that fabric?

They sell it back on Queen of Raw, keeping unused resources out of landfills and injecting them back into the economy.

Full circle.

My family has been in the fabric business for over 100 years. And I’m positioning us for the next 100.

Join us in this movement. For people. For planet. For profit. #goraw.” “

Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?

Stephanie:

Building a business model is crucial for anyone building a business.  It is the very lifeblood of that business. The biggest challenge for me has been in getting comfortable with the fact that the numbers are never exact, never 100% right.  Rather, the model serves as a blueprint for the customer’s journey, how to generate revenue, and when to start thinking about opportunities like fundraising (i.e. before you run out of money!).

Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?

Stephanie:

Learn Excel & QuickBooks!  You will have to work with these tools every day so having a basic understanding of how they operate is critical to your success.

Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?

Stephanie:

Growing and nurturing strategic partnerships!  These relationships can propel your business forward if you know how to use them well and design case studies with numbers to your advantage!

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