In episode 431 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Anna Harman, co-founder and CEO, and Lisa Bubbers, co-founder and chief brand officer, of Studs, a new ear piercing experience that enables consumers to express themselves through "earscaping." Listen in as Harman and Bubbers provide an overview of the company (0:55), their inspiration for launching the business (2:00), and how they work as a team as co-founders (3:45).
In addition, Harman and Bubbers discuss how Studs is helping to reimagine the ear piercing industry (4:50), offer insights into the merchandise and services available in it stores (7:00), identify the company's target demographic (8:20), and share how the company's unique brand identity has helped to create a loyal customer community (9:40). Harman also discusses why the Studs studio stores are integral to its business model (12:25) and the company's in-house apprenticeship program (14:15). Lastly, they discuss future growth opportunities for Studs (15:05).
With nearly a decade of extensive experience in operations, retail, finance and consumer companies known for operational excellence, Anna Harman launched Studs with her co-founder, Lisa Bubbers, in November 2019. After noticing a gap in the piercing and retail market, they created Studs to offer a modern ear piercing and jewelry retail experience that prioritizes safety, encourages bold self-expression, and offers a trend-driven jewelry assortment — all at an accessible price point.
Harman began her career as an attorney after graduating from Boston University Law School. After four years at Bridgewater Associates, she moved to New York City to join Fitz, an in-home service that organizes your closet and edits your wardrobe. Fitz was later sold to Tradesy. From there, she became a director at Store No. Eight, a standalone incubation arm within Walmart, where she focused on developing ideas and technologies that would inform the future of retail. Most recently, Harman served as the interim chief customer officer at Jetblack, a text message-based personal shopping service.
Lisa Bubbers, Studs' co-founder and chief brand officer, has over a decade of experience in creating compelling brands with strong product-market fit with a focus on brand creative and organic brand marketing. In her role as CBO, she is responsible for the brand’s positioning, narrative, content, image, design and experience.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Bubbers worked at Jonathan Adler managing business development, licensing and collaborations, and from there joined Homepolish, a startup that democratized interior design services, as employee six. There she led marketing efforts, focusing on brand identity and voice, and growing its customer base. After five years, Bubbers left Homepolish as its vice president of marketing to become a marketing and brand consultant responsible for strategy, creation, transformation and growth marketing across multiple consumer brands.