Hayley Barna

Maria Haggerty is CEO and one of the original founders of Dotcom Distribution, a premier provider of B2C and B2B fulfillment and distribution services. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business with a concentration in Accounting. Maria plays an integral role in developing and defining all aspects of the business, including sales and marketing, operations, finance and IT. As CEO, she is responsible for providing strategic leadership, establishing long range goals, and developing strategies for the senior leadership team. Maria has developed the systemic and procedural infrastructure necessary to provide timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Board, senior executives and clients in performing their responsibilities while achieving favorable results. She works closely with the leadership team to enhance, develop, and enforce procedures that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the corporation. During her tenure at the Dotcom, Maria has developed an environment of continual improvement by supporting the Senior Leadership Team and their department managers on continuous process, space labor, automation, and financial best practices. Prior to founding Dotcom, Maria was a CPA at Arthur Andersen and was later the CFO of GoodTimes Home Video where she helped grow the company’s distribution business. When Maria is not in the office, she enjoys traveling around the world and practicing her photography skills.

Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.

In part two of this interview, Birchbox Co-Founder Hayley Barna shares her thoughts on expanding to other retail channels and how Birchbox leverages user-generated content to grow its business.

A banner for the hair salon that once occupied these quarters still hangs outside an abandoned West Broadway storefront in Manhattan. Inside, the 4,500-square-foot duplex space is utterly empty, with no hint of what — if anything — will fill it next. Two young, stylish women emerge from a car-service S.U.V. on a chilly Monday afternoon and open the locked door. They are Katia Beauchamp, 31, and Hayley Barna, 30, founders of the fast-growing online beauty subscription company Birchbox — and now, the latest in a string of successful internet entrepreneurs to try to open an actual store. 

Of-the-month gift clubs have been popular for years, but it took two Harvard Business School entrepreneurs to one, make the concept cool and two, completely disrupt the online beauty industry in the process. After brainstorming over how to connect the world of e-commerce with the very personal realm of beauty shopping, classmates Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna came up with Birchbox. The duo launched the $10 monthly subscription service of personalized makeup products in September 2010, and debuted a men's version in April 2012.

According to a recent article in Inc., women fill just 8 percent of the leadership roles in technology startup companies. That's a small number. However, what's fascinating to me is that the women who do fill C-suite roles in technology tend to gravitate toward e-commerce. From Fab.com's COO Beth Ferreira to the women who founded Birchbox (Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp) to Gilt's CEO Michelle Peluso, more and more women are rising to top leadership positions in e-commerce. Coincidence? I don't think so.

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