Making DTC Sustainable, Transparent

"In building any business, you’re signing up for the good, the bad and the unexpected. It comes with the territory of entrepreneurship. Each day is its own rollercoaster!"

Rana Taghdisi Argenio (W10) is the Founder of 10 Grove, a brand of luxury Italian bedding that is sustainably crafted in the US.

Rana's family has been in the textile industry in both the US and Iran for five generations. She never thought she'd join the industry and neither did her parents. When Rana graduated from Wharton, she went to work at Goldman Sachs in the Investment Banking division in NYC and London where she focused on consumer retail companies. 

Growing up in a family business she had the opportunity to experience firsthand how hard her parents worked, but also saw how they were directly rewarded by that work. While she enjoyed her time at Goldman Sachs, she had the desire to work on something more tangible and left to start something of her own. 

Rana first joined her family's business - a wholesaler and bespoke manufacturer of luxury textiles that partners with over 500 retailers, interior designers, department stores and hospitality clientele across North America. She spent four years educating herself on every aspect of the industry, gathering the experience and foundation to build a product-first company that could set a new standard for sustainable luxury.

Rana had been watching the growth of DTC brands and realized that that term direct-to-consumer had become massively diluted if not completely misused. Often the supply chain is quite indirect, where nothing is done in house. These e-tailers often use the same low-market quality, third party middlemen and high cost-markups as traditional brands; they just wrap the products up in shiny marketing. 

Rana's goal with 10 Grove was to create a genuine direct-to-consumer bedding company, dedicated to bringing customers the highest quality bedding at the most honest price. Follow 10 Grove's story of the product journey - it's vertically integrated, with an in-house supply chain that is truly transparent. Also, check out the company's commitment to sustainability. 

10 Grove is just one of the companies you'll discover in our WAFFA FEMALE FOUNDERS SHOP - loaded with fashion, beauty, food, beverages, lifestyle products, business services, non-profits and much more - all from our amazing Wharton + Penn Female Founder community. 

Read more about Rana and 10 Grove here.

We love to spotlight the achievements of our amazing community. If you are a funder and would like to share your experiences, insights and advice with the WAFFA community, please click here. If you are a Founder, click here.
Dear WAFFA Community, 

Sometimes we're moving so fast that we forget to slow down and give thanks. So here's our own big thanks to our Founder, Funder and Friends community, now over 5.5k strong, who have consistently helped support one another by sharing insights, intelligence and connections, all to help each other grow and succeed. 

We reached out to the WAFFA community to learn what our members are thankful for this year - some quick answers below, but we'd love to hear more from you at the HelloWAFFA Slack group. (If you aren't already signed in, click here.)
  • Being part of this strong and supportive community that helps and celebrate each other 
  • Being surrounded by incredible creative and bold women who inspire us with their stories and products
  • Women supporting women 
  • Women launching businesses 
  • Women asking for help from the WAFFA community 
  • Our 87+ stores that are listed on our WAFFA Female Founders Shop
  • "In a Sea Change, Women of the Philharmonic Now Outnumber the Men - from NYT 11/22
The all new....
It's a mobile app too! 

When you spend money at a woman-owned business, you are investing in women's economic empowerment, gender equality in business, and the overall growth of the community.

We've developed the WAFFA Female Founders Shop to generate awareness for our amazing Founders and to help drive customers and sales to their businesses.

Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing. The most direct way for you to drive change is with your dollars. So, consider using your power to shift the world by buying from women and minority-owned companies.

Every shopping experience is a choice. Shop female and make a difference.

Visit our Shop and check out the wide array of innovative and appealing products and services, whether you are doing some holiday shopping, or browsing for yourself.

To create this mobile app, we proudly partnered with one of our WAFFA members and Female Founders, Son Ca Vu (WG16).  Son Ca is the Founder of Alta, a tech firm offering a design tool that allows nearly anyone to build a mobile web, IOS and Android app quickly and without code. Read more about Son Ca and Alta here.

Shop the store at this link or simply scan the QR code below.
Are you selling products, services or building a non-profit? If you are a Wharton or Penn alumni and would like to be included in the store, please fill out this quick form and you'll be uploaded and on sale within 24 hours.

On the WAFFA app, customers can discover you and your company, and in just a few quick clicks, we'll deliver them directly to your website, interested and ready to learn more, support your start-up and buy.  And if you'd like to extend a special offer for the WAFFA community - even better!

FOUNDERS IN THE SHOP - We'd also love to tell your story in an upcoming newsletter and across social media channels - so just click here and we'll spotlight you soon. 
Sunday, December 4 - 4pm PT / 7pm ET

Join our bi-monthly zoom get-together - it's a great chance to reconnect, see old friends and meet new ones. We'll first gather together, share news/updates and then circulate into smaller break-out groups so we can meet and mingle. Low-impact and very rewarding. Feedback shows that members really enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people, loved the idea of an informal gathering of women eager to help each other, it "seemed like a friendly, ambitious group" and they "loved meeting woman from other vintages". Sign up now - our last one in 2022 will be December 4th.

WAFFA Breakfast - LIVE in Minneapolis!
Wednesday, December 9th  - 9am CST

Join hosts Caroline Dahloff (WG and WAFFA Co-President) and Vasiliki Papanikolopoulos (P16) to connect, see old friends and meet new ones. We look forward to seeing you at the Hotel Alma, 528 University Avenue in Southeast Minneapolis.
Join the Association of Alumnae for a dynamic conversation about starting companies, taking chances, inclusion in the workforce, and much more!
Virtual Event: Sunday 12/4, 3-4 pm ET
Join the conversation and hear invaluable advice from Lucinda Duncalfe (C'85, W'91), Founder of AboveBoard, which seeks to diversify candidate pipelines and provide open access to board and full-time roles for executives from underrepresented groups, including Black, Latinx/Hispanic, and women.

During Lucinda's 20+ years as an entrepreneur and CEO, she founded and/or led venture capital-backed technology companies including Monetate, Real Food Works,, ClickEquations, TurnTide, and Destiny Software. Lucinda has won many awards, most notably the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was named one of Consulting Magazine's 25 Most Influential Consultants.

Register here and learn more about Lucinda in her WAFFA interview here.
Join the HelloWAFFA Slack community 
The conversations are heating up! Questions being asked and answered, insights being shared, advice/guidance being given. Call-outs for open jobs, internships and more. "You gotta be in it to win it", as they say. Join HelloWAFFA Slack and be part of the discussion here.

WAFFA wants YOU!

If you are passionate about helping Female Founders and Funders succeed, we want you on our team. Just click here - can't wait to meet you!
Copyright © 2022 Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association, All rights reserved.

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