Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Kaplan Lewis.
Stephanie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My co-founders (Windsor and Annie) and I founded the company when we were undergrads at Harvard, after realizing there was no media outlet that spoke to college women and no national platform for aspiring college journalists to get the clips and experience they needed to land top media jobs and internships. We entered and won Harvard’s business plan competition, launched the company in September 2009, and have been building it for the past 8+ years ever since. We now have chapters at 350+ colleges worldwide and reach over 20 million monthly users, plus run annual events including Her Conference and College Fashion Week, run a 3,000+ member influencer network, published a best-selling book The Her Campus Guide to College Life, and more. We work with major brands to run integrated college marketing programs for them that span digital, social, influencer, on-campus, experiential, and market research. Over the years we’ve won Mass Challenge, been named to Inc.’s 30 Under 30, Forbes 30 Under 30, Businessweek’s 25 Under 25, The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Top Small Business of the Year, and more. The company has been completely bootstrapped and profitable since launch.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We started our company with no money, no experience, and no business education. Each of those presented its own challenges, but in other ways have also been the keys to our success.
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Her Campus Media story. Tell us more about the business.
Her Campus is the #1 media brand for college women and 360-degree college marketing firm. We are more plugged in with college women than anyone else, reaching this demographic across digital, social, influencer, on-campus, and experiential platforms, and leveraging this reach to run award-winning college marketing programs for the likes of IKEA, L’Oréal, H&M, and many more leading brands.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe that in many ways “you make your own luck”. You must put in the work and put yourself in the right situations to then enable fortuitous things to arise.
- Website: hercampus.com; hercampusmedia.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/hercampus
- Facebook: facebook.com/hercampus
- Twitter: twitter.com/hercampus
Her Campus Media