ReCharge COO, Chathri Ali, spoke with Hubble Contacts Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jesse Horowitz about his recently released book Selling Naked, a revolutionary approach to launching your direct-to-consumer brand online.
In his book, Jesse shows entrepreneurs and enterprise companies alike precisely how to conceive, launch, and grow an ecommerce brand by using paid marketing social media channels. We also asked Jesse:
- His two biggest pieces of advice for growing and scaling a DTC business
- What the perfect DTC team looks like
- Which country would he launch a DTC brand today
- How he thinks about advertising
Now here’s the interview. Enjoy!
You can read a transcript of the interview below.
Chathri Ali: Hi everybody. My name is Chathri Ali, COO at ReCharge. Over the last four years, we have powered some of the largest subscription brands in commerce. Today, we’re joined by one of the most recognizable subscription brands, Hubble Contacts. We’re excited to have their co-founder Jesse Horowitz join us. Welcome Jesse.
Jesse Horowitz: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Chathri Ali: So let’s start with the book and then we can kind of do a rewind to the history of you and Hubble and how you got to the point where you’re writing a book. So where’d the nugget come from? Where did it all start for writing everything from your head down into a book?
Jesse Horowitz: Sure. I don’t know. I’m always getting busy with too many things, just antsy. So I started, I was chatting with a friend of a friend who’s an agent, maybe late 2017, early 2018, and the question was basically … The way it works, it’s like anything else. There’s a sales process that you put together. First you get an agent, then you put together a proposal, then you bring the proposal to the publisher and see if somebody wants to buy it or not.
So it’s mostly like a question, did the agent want to market me with representing a direct-to-consumer book, something he wants to do. So he was excited about the idea, found a collaborator to work with on the proposal. We brought it to Crown within Penguin Random House. They bid, and this was like mid 2018 and then it just takes forever. So from 2018 through, I don’t know, sometime in 2019 we were working on the draft and then finally came out.
Chathri Ali: And so here we are. So who’s the intended audience for the book?
Jesse Horowitz: Anybody who is curious about direct-to-consumer brands and sort of the whole ecosystem of direct ecommerce. So that could be, a lot of it is people looking to start a business themselves, people supporting those businesses, marketing agencies, SaaS providers, other vendors, people within sort of consumer goods and common companies who are just trying to understand the space better, or consumers who are just buying stuff off Facebook and Instagram and curious what’s going on.
Chathri Ali: I mean, from the time that you started the concept of the book to the time it was published, there’s been so much change in the world of commerce. I see you laughing, and for myself, I’m even going through a rewind of all the merchants that we’ve chatted with and met up with at our conferences and our in-office visits that we’ve done with the merchants that we have at ReCharge, and it makes me think about how so much has changed.
So if you do do a rewind back to 2015, 2016, when you guys were just getting started, first, what’s the biggest aspect of commerce that’s changed for a brand thinking about going DTC, would you say?
Jesse Horowitz: I think the biggest thing that’s changed is the financing environment and financing expectations and KPI expectations, both good and bad. We raised and launched in a super frothy environment for this stuff. We raised our first money in 2016. It was when Harry’s was raising at 800 million post. Dollar Shave Club, two months after we raised our first dollars, was bought by Unilever for a billion dollars. And I think people have this idea that they were just going to regularly be sort of billion dollar plus transactions in the space, and so investors were just ploughing cash.
I think not all for bad, the sort of venture equity financing in this space has cooled since then, obviously. And I think what’s interesting is sort of how … But there’s probably more, probably as I just know the space better now, because I was on the investment side before this. So ecommerce was relatively new to me, which tells me something about 2016. I know lots of great brands that are getting built today. It’s just, it’s different.
The expectation is that you’re going to be profitable much faster, which I actually think has generally been a good thing for the brands, because I think one of the takeaways from sort of the froth in 2014 through 2017 or so, was that just because you’re burning more money doesn’t mean the terminal business ends up bigger, and so everybody adjusted accordingly. And I think also folks have gotten a lot smarter about in broader thinking in terms of what financing means.
Financing can mean sort of traditional seed rounds, and most brands at scale will have sort of traditional equity investments at some point, but it can also mean alternative financing from partners like Clearbanc or Assembled Brands. It can mean, how much capital you can get extended by Rex. It can mean what terms you’re negotiating with your suppliers, both payment terms, but then also increasingly I see sort of tighter partnerships with suppliers where they’re taking equity in exchange for working capital or in exchange for lower COGS. And it can also mean, what financing is your customer providing you, through more transactions happening on sort of an order and advanced model. So I think-
Chathri Ali: I was going to ask, thinking about that, one, how should a DTC brand think about margins in today’s environment, given that the expectations are so different to your point about investment changing, that means an investor expectations have changed as well. So if you were starting a DTC brand right now, how would you start to think about margins and profitability?
Jesse Horowitz: Well, I think one of the things people have gotten a lot smarter about over time is… At the start, folks just sort of looked at this the same as they would two very different analogies, but I think people would analogize it to software or they would analogize it to on-the-shelf retail. And either case pointed to the same answer, which was that the thing that really mattered was percentage gross margin on COGS and the two things that missed was that missed the impact of shipping and it missed the need for enough margin dollars from a customer lifetime to be competitive in primarily the Facebook and Instagram options.
So I think you’ve seen a shift where, it’s hard to get … The transaction just has to be enormous for you to have a business that’s working at 10% or 20% margins and throw off enough dollars for the math to work. So it doesn’t happen, but I think generally when people talk about margins, you hear a lot more a discussion about margin dollars versus margin percentage. And I think that’s much healthier because it’s margin dollars that pay for everything, not a $3 transaction that has 80% gross margin on whatever that has very low COGS.
Chathri Ali: Got you. So in terms of a brand that is launching and they’re starting to think about what channels they should invest those dollars in. You talked a lot about Facebook and Instagram from a few years back and yes, the fact that the cost of acquisition is a lot higher today, if you were putting your money anywhere. And in fact, beyond Hubble, you launched a sister brand, which is ContactsCart. Have you changed any of your growth strategies for ContactsCart?
Jesse Horowitz: So I think two things. I think … Lots of feels on this one. One, you got to start with Facebook and Instagram because very few brands scale successfully without a successful Facebook and Instagram strategy. So you might as well figure out first either as an ecommerce merchant, you generally have to scale through Facebook and Instagram, or you have to scale through Amazon and those are very different playbooks. But if you’re going direct, you’re going to scale through Facebook and Instagram, so you have to find a page strategy that works there, because you need one at some point and so might as well not punch, and you might as well figure out whether you have one or not. I think … Shoot, I forgot, and then what was the second part of the question?
Chathri Ali: So for ContactsCart, have you changed anything about the way that you’ve approached your growth strategy?
Jesse Horowitz: Oh, no I think … Oh, that’s what I was going to say. I hear over and over again, CPAs have gotten so much higher, I mean, have gone up so much. I pushed back on that. I think, if you actually look at the CPMs, CPMs have continued to climb on Facebook and Instagram, but on a percentage basis, much smaller because the denominator’s much bigger. So if you think about when Dollar Shave Club launched, the CPMs truly were like $2 to $3 on conversion optimized spend, and maybe that climbed up from $2 to $3, to like $10 over the time that they were independent, so a four or five X increase.
In the time that Hubble’s been around, maybe CPMs went from $11 or $12, to $16 or $17 or something. It’s always hard to say, because it depends what traffic you’re bidding on, but all of which is to say, things have gotten a little bit more expensive, but maybe a factor of 50% versus a factor of five. And I think a lot of the time when you hear brands talk about acquisition, getting so much more expensive, what they’re really saying is that they’re trying to push for more acquisition volume each month and the month prior.
I think one of the hardest things, but most important things about being a good performance marketer is being realistic and hearing the feedback. When you’re shoving the extra dollars into the ad platforms and it’s not generating customers, that’s not CPAs climbing, that’s, you’re acquiring the customers you can. And either you can be happy with that in the scale of business that supports, or you can think about what other goods and services you can offer your customer to hopefully choose conversion rate further and be able to spend more, but those are your choices. Your choices aren’t to just keep shoving coins in, and hope the machine works differently.
Chathri Ali: So are you seeing higher AOVs from the ContactsCart business inherently because it’s the actual brand name, that people are buying into? So, how are the higher AOVs affecting the business on that side versus what you’re doing on the Hubble side, if at all?
Jesse Horowitz: I’d say, which is nice, LTVs have shook up pretty similarly between the two, and so we’re generally … We just want to solve people’s vision problem, meet the consumer’s vision needs. And it’s nice to be in a position where we’re pretty largely indifferent about how we’re doing it, and what’s best for that customer.
Chathri Ali: Got it. So yeah, they’re two very different customers, right, in terms of who buys from Hubble … What would you say the persona is? Have you and the team figured the difference between them?
Jesse Horowitz: I think this is one of the things, and I’d be very curious because I’ll never know. In terms of when people think about what data platforms like Facebook and Instagram have, and the first instinct is demographic data and they certainly have tons of that. I have always suspected that the behavioral data is much more valuable than the demographic data.
Contact lenses are primarily … The core customer is women 25 to 45. When you hit your mid 40s, you generally start needing multifocal correction as well. People don’t like those products as much, and so people tend to exit the category. It’s always had something of the female skew, and so that’s who the customer is. It doesn’t matter … Certainly to an extent there’s deep insights to drive there, I’m not clever enough to drive them.
If you think about what data Facebook has, I’d be really curious about it in where, I imagine a lot of their performance comes from it’s just the sheer amount of transactions that they’re tracking. The fact that everybody has the Facebook pixel on their Shopify, or whatever platform, on their store and that they can then build up a file for each Facebook user of who buys and who doesn’t buy, that’s always seemed like the really interesting thing to me. Because if you think about, if I can know one thing about a consumer who I’m going to advertise to, the biggest thing you’d want to know is, do they buy because of ads on that platform.
Chathri Ali: Got it. So in terms of going back to the book and tactical advice for our merchants, whether they’re big or small. I think they very much look to Hubble as a prime example of how to grow and using you guys as a model for DTC. So based on that, what’s the two biggest pieces of advice that you can offer our listeners?
Jesse Horowitz: Sure. The good thing is I think this advice is becoming less contrarian and more just sort of conventional wisdom, and it would be true in every other business setting. But I think there was a period in direct commerce, partly because of the amount of funding going in, where people sort of got away from core business economics and thought that sort of spending generously on buckets, whether it’s brand or experience in different forms or X-Y-Z, was really going to drive value for their consumer.
I think at the end of the day, Facebook and Instagram are pretty simple channels. Most of the product that’s selling, you have to provide the consumer value and it’s tough because the ads are expensive, so you generally can’t do the budget version of the low cost product. So that’s why I think you see so much of the budget or the value version of a premium product.
Think about a brand like Away. Away is a value version of a premium suitcase. Doing the value version of a cheap suitcase, you need to be on Amazon to do that because you can’t afford to pay for ads for that, you just need SEO. So I think you see a lot of that and I think in turns at, “Okay, if that’s sort of the business you’re in, how do you make the math on that work?” Again cliched, but you got to have the savings, you got to be tight within your organization and pass the savings onto the customers.
Lean teams, very heads down on what pockets of your marketing budget are generating a return or not, discipline about cutting parts of your marketing budget that aren’t generating you return, because that’s what ultimately provides the value to the consumer. You think about who your consumer is. Your consumer is somebody who is using ad supported social media a lot. They are deriving value from those services, and those services are ad supported and not subscription supported. So advertisers need to pay for the cost of the service and those consumers want good value in their feed as they’re browsing, and those are the products and businesses that they’ll engage with.
Chathri Ali: You brought up a point about staying lean as a team and you are connected to so many of the DTC founders, not only in New York, but across the country, and we share a few of those same contacts. And seeing, how each of these different brands have grown their teams, some are quite bloated if you will, and some are lean to your point-
Jesse Horowitz: Your word.
Chathri Ali: What was that?
Jesse Horowitz: I said, your word. [laughs]
Chathri Ali: [laughs] So, what does the perfect DTC team look like? What does the make up of that team look like?
Jesse Horowitz: Look, I’ve always had a lot of respect… I’ve been doing this whole thing for four years, I have a lot of respect for Moiz Ali, over at Native, you know had a great exit to Proctor. I think a happy outcome on both sides. I think he had a nine person team. I think a lot of the good outcomes that you’re seeing are small head count, because I think there was this thought at the start that these businesses were going to be loaded up. And this was sort of the Dollar Shave Club pitch to Unilever, that these businesses were going to be loaded up with tons of proprietary tech, and you build things, but the things you build are generally pretty category specific, and it’s in the needs of servicing your customer.
Then on the ad tech side, all the ad tech really sits with Facebook and Google for the most part. So generally, the best thing for you to do as an operator is accept that, whether that’s the world you’d like to be living in or not, and I don’t mean because anybody’s doing anything sinister. I just mean, everybody always wants leverage in the situation. They have an ad tech advantage, leverage their tech, and don’t sort of load up your G&A to try to build a ton of stuff of your own, because they’re better resourced and you’re better off sort of swimming with the current and passing the savings, the lower cost that generates, onto your consumer.
Chathri Ali: So speaking of building and building things that are custom. We know of a few DTC brands that have just a data analytics team in itself of seven people. Where they’re a larger team because they’ve grown the categories that they sell online. So to be fair, a team of 60 people overall probably including fulfillment, and then they have seven people just on data analytics and performance marketing. So a digital team, a digital team of just seven. So to hear nine, to me seems a little bit low for a brand like that. So, how much would you keep in house? And how much would you let’s say a hand over to an agency?
Jesse Horowitz: I think agencies can be great, especially when you can have multiple relationships and then you have some healthy competition going. And we drive a lot of our spend, we drive pretty much all of our spend through agency partners and are very happy with those relationships. I think it’s tough, without speaking to any specific business, analytics are really … understanding the numbers in your business is critical and that’s what we’re here to do.
So I don’t want to diminish that as a responsibility, but I do get skeptical when I hear about large data analytics teams, because you just think high level math Google has whatever, five bajillion sessions per day, and so there’s lots of slicing and dicing that they can do for micro optimizations because they have so many sessions that they can be running, infinity A/B tests at any time, and the session volume is there.
As a direct-to-consumer brand, it’s sort of funny, which is, you’re definitely data-driven in everything you do. But it’s also the limiting factor session count, not analytics’ bandwidth, figure direct-to-consumer brands are talking about 1000, to at the very high end, maybe a million sessions per day, roughly that range. So you just can’t be running that many tests at a time, and given that if the constraining factors how many tests you can have live and how many things there are to measure, it’s just hard to make the problem better by putting more people on it, because whatever, one or two people should be able to watch several experiments at the same time.
Chathri Ali: And then what about on the dev side of an ecommerce experience? We’ve talked to a few merchants who have said to us that they’re AB testing their product detail page every two weeks, where they’re constantly just optimizing that experience and figuring out. If the button is 30% bigger, what does that do for conversions? If you know, the PDP goes straight to checkout versus the card, it leads to X percent more in conversion. So they’re constantly iterating and they have a digital team along with the dev team to make that possible. What are your thoughts on not just the performance marketing side of things, but optimization and conversion optimization?
Jesse Horowitz: Yeah, we’re always running tests. I do worry about key hacking on that. I mean, on our end as well, which is, if you’re running whatever, if you’re running 20 tests a month, you’re going to get 95% significance, once a month, even if it’s all random. So, I do worry about us fooling ourselves, but I also feel the worst thing that happens then is hopefully you’re sending stuff live that’s at parity with what you had before, and hopefully it’s okay. But yeah, we have the team of three engineers. It’s very helpful to have capabilities and resources on that side, but again, there’s so much leverage we get out of you guys.
There’s so much leverage, we get out of Shopify and Stripe and Facebook and Roku, and I think, leaning as hard as you can on third party tools, build as little as you need to yourself, and it’s interesting. I mean, I do know eight figure direct brands that have zero engineers or have an engineer as a consultant that are doing just fine without sort of dedicated full time in house resources. So, I think it’s great that the tools have got it, that the third party tools have gotten to a point, where that’s even plausible, let alone actually happening.
Chathri Ali: Yeah, it’s interesting. Like I said, we see the full gamut, which is in house versus even hiring a dev agency to work on a brand on retainer basis because again, it’s constant work to keep things optimized.
So what about international? We know that there’s several regions that Hubble is now in. How do you think about international growth either for a Hubble or the ContactsCart brand, and has that overall been what you would call a success?
Jesse Horowitz: Yeah, I think B+ success. It varies market by market. I think the thing that’s good is … There’s some compliance stuff that taking on additional markets makes you responsible for, but the real constraint in our mind was how many separate inventory bases we needed to maintain. And the thing that’s nice about it, we’re live in US, Canada, and then the EU and UK. The thing that’s nice about Europe is we have our inventory, we have our warehouse in the Netherlands, 3PL in the Netherlands, you can fulfill pretty much all of Europe out of the Netherlands, and so, it’s a good place to run lots of tests.
There’s other markets. We’ve generally heard Australia is a good ecommerce market. We haven’t gone there because we don’t want to have … It’s a small market and we don’t want to have to build a separate inventory base just to support a market like that. So I think that’s been the biggest constraint on our end.
Chathri Ali: Why Netherlands? That’s so interesting. Why would that be such a good fulfillment spot?
Jesse Horowitz: If you think about it, it’s actually pretty centrally located because all of Europe sort of fans out around it. You have UK available, Spain a little less convenient, but there France, Germany. So there’s a lot of fulfillment in the Netherlands. I think the two are one in the same. It’s centrally located, and because of that, there’s a lot of fulfillment in the Netherlands.
Chathri Ali: Got it. And are you seeing the same strategies again, in terms of growth strategies? Is it a rinse and repeat as you launch a new country or…?
Jesse Horowitz: I’d say in terms of messaging and creative and that kind of thing, largely yes, but CPAs and LTVs will vary a lot market by market. So you can’t just kind of have one model for your whole business. You have to track each of those separately to figure out sort of where you can get market by market.
Chathri Ali: And if you were a DTC brand right now and you had to pick one country, obviously it’s going to depend on what vertical, right? So let’s-
Jesse Horowitz: Canada. I mean definitely Canada, because you can do it out of the same warehouse. You don’t even need … If your warehouse is East coast or West coast, or you have inventory split between both, you can do Canada. You can be testing Canada fast.
Chathri Ali: So beyond Canada, how about that, beyond North America? Because that’s a easy-
Jesse Horowitz: I really think the decision is just Canada or Europe. Past Canada, I think the decision, the rational decisions, just like Europe or not, you can spin up, you need some additional … There’s some additional translation headaches and CX headaches and those kinds of things.
So it’s not like we launched it all at once, but I think the way we thought about the question and I still think this was probably the right way to think about it is just, do I want to test Europe or not? Because once I’m moving inventory over there, unless you have a product where you can test into Europe from your US inventory base, once you’re having to move inventory, it’s like, “Okay, do I want to take, take this on or not?” Because there’s so much work in capital tied up in that second inventory base that it’s sort of silly to go to that trouble and then just do one market or something.
Chathri Ali: So how do you manage? I’ve gotten a lot of questions in terms of, it’s pretty straightforward when you’re in North America. Then when you get to multiple international markets, things get a little hairy on the inventory side. So are you using a specific ERP to manage all that? Or what have you done to optimize that?
Jesse Horowitz: No, we’re a pretty simple business on the inventory side. Now we’re using Skubana, but for a long time we had no ERP and we were doing just fine. Mostly just, I think just passing Excel docs back and forth with our fulfillment partners.
Chathri Ali: Got it. Curious on your opinion of current events. So, I’m not sure if you saw the announcement about Walmart now having a marketplace that’s powered by a Shopify merchant to power it through the CMS on the Shopify side. What do you think about that?
Jesse Horowitz: I thought it was really interesting. I also think, taking a step back, most partnerships amount to nothing, and so it’s a partnership that probably won’t amount to much. That said, in theory, it’s really interesting. Walmart, I was looking at it, Walmart’s probably about 10% the size of Amazon ecommerce and maybe 50% the size of sort of Shopify GMV, maybe a little smaller than that. So it’s some increment, I think it depends … And already, if you’re a Shopify merchant, you can list separately on Walmart, and I think a lot of folks do.
I think it depends on exactly what the integration looks like, which I’m very curious about, because to me, what Shopify really is … the way I’ve always thought about what Shopify really is, is Shopify’s a convenient solution to have one place to intercept traffic from Facebook, Google and Direct. And the big hole that they filled, and that other similar solutions fill, is that neither Amazon or Walmart was willing to allow merchants to place pixels on product pages.
And I’m not saying this was the wrong call on there, Facebook is a $650 billion company and Shopify is a $100 billion dollar company, so I could imagine why Amazon would be more threatened by Facebook than Shopify. But if Amazon had decided that, whatever, 10 years ago that they were going to optimize traffic, conversion optimized traffic to deliver to Amazon product pages from Facebook and Google, I think you would have just had a somewhat larger Amazon ecosystem with tighter data relationships with Facebook and Google. And I don’t think you’d have this wave of independent merchants at all. And so-
Chathri Ali: What about the brand experience? So if you’re Billie razors, for example, you were able to control the message on your brand.
Jesse Horowitz: Yeah, but I mean again, that’s an Amazon decision. I think the two go hand in hand, which is once you’re asking merchants to drive traffic to you, and you see this with Alibaba. Which is, Alibaba has a bunch of different shopping experiences and some of their shopping experiences are pretty rich and allow a lot of customization by the merchant in terms of what the consumer is seeing.
If for some percentage of the sales, Amazon were allowing you to drive the traffic, I mean, they allow you to, but you can’t track it, so you can’t really … If you were driving lots of traffic to your Amazon page, that would mean, A, Amazon has to give you more customization capabilities on delivery. They probably have to strike different economic terms on those users because you have to pay Facebook and Amazon then.
So they decided they didn’t want to do that. They didn’t want that data going back to Facebook from Amazon on Amazon transactions, on any percentage of Amazon transactions. So the thing that I’m curious about here is, how much of this is Walmart? Is Walmart viewing itself as a new top of funnel demand source, where honestly, it’s like decent, but not huge? And how much of this is Walmart?
And again, this depends on the specifics of what’s on the table. Walmart doesn’t want to integrate with Facebook directly, but Facebook is integrated with Shopify. If Shopify is then integrated with Walmart, how much of this is Walmart saying, “We’re obviously a distant second to Amazon on the ecommerce front. We’re starting to be open to tighter integrations with Facebook and Google as ad platforms, because if that helps us catch up to Amazon some.” And to the extent that whatever the final implementation or iterations on that implementation facilitate that that gets to be very interesting then.
Chathri Ali: Talk to me about mobile first commerce. So we have a few of our merchants and also in the personal care space who have up to 80% of their traffic coming from mobile and thus-
Jesse Horowitz: Oh, all of us.
Chathri Ali: Okay, so what have you done in order to optimize either on the advertising side for mobile or from the subscriber experience for mobile?
Jesse Horowitz: Sure. I mean, I think this is the most important and I’m guilty of this at times too, but it’s like, whenever you’re looking at mock ups or a preview of a site deployment, we all work on desks, whatever. A lot of us work on laptops and live on mobile and it’s very easy to get lazy, and since the laptop is your work environment, that’s where you check out the preview.
A lot of the time when you have mess ups on deployments, that’s why, because you’re working on your laptop, so it’s natural to look at the preview on your laptop but all your traffic’s on mobile. 90% of Facebook is mobile, and Facebook and Instagram are the primary top of the funnel traffic source for these brands, so a lot of the traffic coming our way is mobile.
Chathri Ali: And taking a step further, you’ve seen a lot of optimization for just speed on the checkout. So what are your thoughts on certain tools that just make it, X many seconds quicker? Do you think that that’s meaningful as a co-founder? Or do you feel that that’s not really going to change conversion at all? Curious about your answer.
Jesse Horowitz: I think it’s very easy as an operator, one of these businesses to get unrealistic about what the consumer’s experience with you is, which is, you like to believe that you’re developing this really deep relationship with your consumer. But I think that’s like romanticizing the experience from their end a bit. Think about your typical user, somebody they’re flipping through Instagram, they see an ad, they click on the ad, they poke around the page. They probably don’t buy then, but they remember that experience and they probably come back and buy it at some later date or point in time.
You are something for them to do while they’re going through their Instagram feed, and that is the role you fill in their life, and that’s fine. And that’s where A, you want to give them good value for money and B, you want to be low friction because there’s a very obvious thing they can do instead, which is go back to their Instagram feed. And so A, you’re not going to get that much time with them, and B, if it’s annoying to poke around your site, they’re going to go back to the Instagram feed.
Chathri Ali: So I’m curious, for yourself, what’s the last thing you bought off of an Instagram ad?
Jesse Horowitz: Okay. So now we’re getting to real confession time. I don’t have an Instagram account. [laughs]
Chathri Ali: What? [laughs]
Jesse Horowitz: I just created a Twitter account, which was my first … I have a Facebook account from high school but I just spend so much time in the ads manager backend that it feels weird to be doing front end stuff too. It’s like hanging out at the office or something. So generally, not that much time on social media.
Chathri Ali: Okay. So I had to take a step further. What do you subscribe to?
Jesse Horowitz: What do I subscribe to…
Chathri Ali: Not Netflix.
Jesse Horowitz: Not Netflix. We’ve done a bunch of the meal kit ones. We did Epicure for a while. The Epicure was for pure food. My husband has another one that was meal kits. What else? We had a T-shirt subscription. I can’t remember what it was called, but I really liked the shirts, and we had that for a couple of years until we had plenty of basic t-shirts. Those are probably … And a couple of personal care, like a skincare subscriptions, we have coming to the house.
Chathri Ali: What brand, what do you need to see brand doesn’t exist today that you would subscribe to?
Jesse Horowitz: That’s a good question. I don’t know. I mean, look, I’m a big reader, so if there was actually a well-matched book of the month club kind of thing, that would be fun because it’s a meaningful time investment to find new books to read. So if somebody sent me a book a week or something, that’d be great.
Chathri Ali: And I have to keep this current. So once travel resumes, where will you go first, in your first trip via an airplane?
Jesse Horowitz: I don’t know. I don’t love traveling. I was traveling a lot. The last two or three years before this, it was probably a flight trip, two or three times a month, twice a month or something. I’m in the odd minority of like, I’ve not minded being grounded and have been pretty happy in New York. I’m sure we’ll go somewhere, but I’m much more excited for restaurants to reopen, then to be able to get back into plane.
Chathri Ali: Then what’s the one restaurant in New York City that you cannot wait to get a table at?
Jesse Horowitz: Probably, we’re on the West side, a few blocks, there’s a Greek place called Ousia, two blocks South of us that I keep thinking is well set up for this because the tables were pretty spread out anyway. And I would like a bartender to make me a drink and to have that drink, and that would be a reasonable place to do it.
Chathri Ali: You’re so easy to please Jesse. Is that all it takes?
Jesse Horowitz: Easy like Sunday morning.
Chathri Ali: Well, this has been great. I really wanted to say thank you for joining us. Congrats on the book. And for those of you who haven’t read, Selling Naked, get a copy. And obviously you’re on Amazon, speaking of Amazon. Is there anywhere else they can buy the book?
Jesse Horowitz: We’re on Amazon. It’s on Barnes and Noble. If you want to buy through an independent book seller, if you go to the Random House site, they have a partner which will point you to independent bookstores. So where books are sold.
Chathri Ali: Amazing. Well, congrats again, and have a great day ahead.
Jesse Horowitz: Thank you.