A Chat With Beth Guastella, giggle’s New President and COO, Part 1
I had the opportunity to chat recently with Beth Guastella, the recently named president and chief operating officer of giggle, an omnichannel specialty retailer of upscale baby products and resources.
Guastella has more than 20 years of leadership experience in retail, merchandising, operations, and P&L management, and has worked for brands such as Calypso St. Barth, Stuart Weitzman, kate spade new york, Montblanc and Hermes. She comes to giggle from Cole Haan, where she was vice president, direct to consumer. In her new role, Guastella is responsible for giggle’s day-to-day operations and oversees the brand’s retail stores, direct channels, merchandising and finance.
In part one of this two-part blog post, we discuss what attracted Guastella to giggle; what specialty retail is; and how giggle’s catalog business works. Check out my blog tomorrow for part two of this interview, in which we discuss giggle’s digital business, its partnership with J.C. Penney, and Beth’s tips for being a successful omnichannel merchant this year and going forward.
Melissa Campanelli: What attracted you to giggle?
Beth Guastella: giggle was interesting to me because of the strength and clarity of the brand. When we think about giggle and its purpose in life, it’s a very strong brand. I think Ali [giggle’s founder and CEO Ali Wing] has done a great job in building that brand equity. From a business and overall brand concept, giggle serves a very unique position in the marketplace and a very specific consumer. As a result, when I look at what giggle is today, I think the business becomes very scalable for the future.
From my perspective, it’s far more difficult and complicated to take a big business and try to build a strong brand around it. Whereas right now, giggle has a lot of strength in its brand. When you have the strengths of the brand, you can then build that business around the brand.