From working for Obama in the White House to raising $37 million from investors for her startup, Susan Tynan is a force to be reckoned with. Tynan is now the CEO of internet framing start-up Framebridge and has just landed deals with Target and Crate & Barrel.
Courage and Determination
Are you an entrepreneur who is looking for advice? Tynan will tell you, “Ignore the well-meaning naysayers who tell you your idea can’t be done.”
According to Business Insider, since she founded her company in 2014, Tynan has raised nearly $37 million from investors, which is now worth a whopping $58 million. But, her journey hasn’t been easy. She’s had to show a lot of guts and courage to get where she is today.
Tynan’s story starts after she scored her “dream job” in 2009, working at the White House for the Obama Administration. Previous to this, she was a Harvard MBA working at a start-up called Revolution Health – a direct competitor to WebMD which sold for $300 million.
However, after Revolution Health was sold, Tynan found herself at a crossroads. She was living in D.C at the time, and Obama had just been elected – so she decided to get a job working for the government.
Never one to take no for an answer, Tynan sent her resume to “like 10,000 people”. Luckily, her persistence paid off, and the guy who hired her said, “My wife came to me with your resume. Everyone came to me with your resume.”
Working Around the Clock
But her new schedule working for Obama was taking its toll, and Tynan was working tirelessly day and night.
“I remember one time, my parents were in town and we went to dinner and I was hiding out in the bathroom on my Blackberry, working,” she says.
In the meantime, several of her old colleagues from Revolution had just founded a brand-new start-up. You’ve probably heard of it – LivingSocial, the online deals marketplace. “It was growing so fast and was so exciting. I was watching them truly with envy, and one day they called,” she explains.
The Start-Up Experience
With less than two years under her belt at the White House, she left to join the hectic world of LivingSocial. Compared to the slow grind of her government job, start-up culture was a whirlwind paced at the speed of light. She started work on a Monday and launched a new product the following Friday.
But it was while she was working at LivingSocial that her idea for Framebridge was born.
Tynan had tried to get some mementos framed but was shocked at how much it costs. So, she searched the web to find a cheaper price, but no company could offer her what she needed. Instead, she saw the opportunity as a gap in the market and took a leap of faith.
At first, investors weren’t taking note, so it took Tynan to quit her job to be taken seriously. “That was scary. A really big leap,” she says. A huge gamble, as she had two young children at the time.
The Challenge of Running a Business
Now armed with a ton of investment capital, Tynan launched Framebridge – but the ship almost sunk before it even set sail.
After a highly successful Father’s Day campaign, Tynan had more customers than she could handle, and not enough staff to complete each of the orders in time.
Instead of a one-week turnaround, her first ever customers were forced to wait weeks.
“We’re not going to go down like this,” she says. And, using her own determination, she hired more framers to meet the demand – often working a 7-day week. Tynan also penned a genuine letter to her customers, and it obviously worked as the company stays afloat to this day.
In fact, it’s more than simply afloat – Framebridge now has more than 200 employees, which will expand to 400 over the Christmas period. Additionally, Tynan has just built her first U.S factory in the state of Kentucky.
She has just secured deals with retail giants Target and Crate & Barrel, too. So, you can expect to see much more of this determined and successful entrepreneur.
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