Unit Two
Born to Sell
By Maria Bartiromo Kathy Ireland’s metamorphosis from supermodel to supermogul started with a pair of socks. It was1993, and the beauty best known for showing off string bikinis in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues had just been asked to flaunt foot warmers. Pregnant with her first child, Ireland contemplated her future and concluded that if it was going to involve socks, she would rather sell them than show them off. “Modeling was a wonderful experience, but I wanted to build something that wasn’t fleeting,” says Ireland, now
  43. “I knew my days there were numbered, and I wanted to move on to something else. Socks would be a great place to start.” They were. Kathy Ireland Worldwide, now a $
  1.4 billion lifestyle design company, recently sold its 100 millionth pair of socks. But achieving this level of success took determination and hard work, and Ireland has never been afraid to face a challenge. When she was 1, she applied for a paper route in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California. “My dad showed me the newspaper ad, which said, ‘Are you the boy for the job?’ I wrote to the editor, ‘I am not the boy for the job, but I am the girl for the job.’” She started delivering papers on New Year’s Day, when they were bulging with post-holiday ad circulars and sales supplements. “I was a scrawny kid. As I approached this one customer, he started yelling, ‘This is a boy’s job! What are you doing here?’” Although discouraged, Ireland soon bounced back. “I needed to prove him wrong.” And she did: “For three years in a row, I was nominated carrier of the year.” That drive stood her in good stead through her turn as supermodel and, later, as she was launching her business. Ireland and the team that managed her modeling career had long held the idea of leveraging her looks into something more lasting. “I felt that if women embraced our socks, we would be onto something, and it would be a good foundation for our brand,” Ireland says. “At first, people said, ‘You can’t build a brand based on socks.’ But just because it has never been done doesn’t mean that it can’t be done.” To turn the idea into reality took money ? and that was something Ireland was short of. She had tried earlier business ventures, but they had failed, making her a credit risk. Furthermore, she had to convince bankers that she was more than just a pretty face. “The modeling made people aware of me, but it made it more challenging for them to take my ideas seriously.”
1
Eventually, a member of her team provided a personal loan of $50,0
  00. The experience taught Ireland a valuable lesson: “I’m always encouraging women, ‘Build your relationship with bankers.’” With the seed money, Ireland found a manufacturing partner, conducted family-based focus groups and researched and personally tested the product with her friends and family. Her husband, an emergency room physician, wore the socks to see how well they would stand up during his long hours on duty. He and Ireland donned them during backpacking trips to evaluate the products’ blister propensity. The verdict: “These are great socks.” Ireland loaded up her bag with samples and hit the road. To save money, she booked red-eye flights and slept on planes and in airports. “I banged on a lot of doors and had a lot of doors slammed in my face,” says Ireland. “In a sense, modeling was a really good education for a business career because in the world of modeling, you are constantly facing rejection, and that continues in business.” The first year, the company made $80,000 in retail sales, primarily to sporting goods stores. “We were ecstatic,” Ireland says, “but we were still in the red. It’s expensive to start your own business, and you never have overnight success. It builds and it grows.” The big growth spurt started when Kmart came calling. After seeing the socks practically walk out of the store, Kmart offered Ireland her own clothing line. The brand soon expanded from apparel to accessories, then to home furnishings. It now also includes kitchen and garden products, lamps and lighting extras ? and jewelry, in partnership with Elizabeth Taylor’s House of Taylor Jewelry. Today, Kathy Ireland products are sold in 19 countries and the company numbers 37 employees, many of them from the same dedicated team that Ireland started with in her modeling days. “I never had a family business, but today we have a business family.” Ireland is no figurehead, though; not only is she the chief executive but, as chief designer, she also ensure that every product and every piece of advice offered on the firm’s website exemplifies the company’s mission of finding solutions for families, especially busy moms.” But the desire to start her own company, coupled with the kind of loyalty she had in her longstanding team members, wasn’t enough to jump-start the business. “The aha moment, the moment when I knew we had something, was when our mission statement crystallized,” says Ireland. She had just become a mom, and once she saw her little guy, Eric, face to face, it all started to gel. Things she had taken for granted ? taking a shower, going to a store ? no longer fit so easily into her day. The vision of finding solutions for busy moms really hit home. From then on, the business took fight. Says Ireland, “I always knew I wanted to be a mom. Being able to be a mom of service to other moms ? that’s my passion.”
2
Vocabulary
metamorphosis [ ] n. (fml) a process in which something changes completely into something very different; transformation 变形 mogul [ ] n. a businessman or businesswoman who has great power and influence in a particular industry 显要人物;有权势的人 bikinis [ ] n. a piece of clothing in two separate parts that women wear for swimming (三角裤与胸罩分开 的)比基尼泳装 flaunt [ ] v. to show your money, success, beauty etc so that other people notice it - used to show disapproval 挥动, 夸耀, 炫耀, 飘扬 foot warmers. n. devices used to warm feet 暖脚装置 pregnant [ ] adj. if a woman or female animal is pregnant, she has an unborn baby growing inside her body 怀孕的 contemplate [ ] v. to think about something that you might do in the future 预期 involve [ ] vt. to cause (someone or oneself) to become connected or concerned 潜心于 fleeting [ ] adj. [usually before noun] lasting for only a short time 飞逝的;短暂的 bulge [
]
3
v.
to stick out in a rounded shape, especially because something is very full or too tight bulge with 凸出, 膨胀
circular [ ] n. a printed advertisement, notice etc that is sent to lots of people at the same time and sales supplements. 函件 nominate [ ] v. to officially suggest someone or something for an important position, duty, or prize 提名 carrier [ ] n. a company that moves goods or passengers from one place to another 邮递员 drive [ ] n. a planned effort by a group for a particular purpose 动力 leverage [ ] v to spread or use 应用 embrace [ ] vt. (fml) to eagerly accept a new idea, opinion, religion etc 信奉 venture [ ] n. a new business activity that involves taking risks 投机, 风险 convince [ ] vt. to make someone feel certain that something is true 使确信, 使信服 seed money n. also seed capital, the money you have available to start a new business [经]种子基金 don [ ] vt. (literary) to put on a hat, coat etc. 穿上 backpacking
4
n.
the activity of travelling for pleasure, usually without very much money, and carrying a backpack 旅行
slam [ ] v. to shut loudly and with force 砰地关上 retail sale 零售 primarily [ adv. mainly 主要地 sporting goods 体育用品 ecstatic [ ] adj. feeling extremely happy and excited 狂喜的, 心醉神迷的, 入迷的 spurt [ ] n. a short sudden increase of activity, effort, speed, or emotion 突然迸发 apparel [ ] n. ( fml) clothes 衣服, 装饰 accessory [ ] n. [usually plural] something such as a bag, belt, or jewellery that you wear or carry because it is attractive 小配件 furnishings [ ] n. [plural] the furniture and other things, such as curtains, in a room 家具,设备, 服饰用品, 穿戴用品,室内陈设品 extra [ ] n. something which is added to a basic product or service that improves it and often costs more 上等产品 dedicated ]
5
[ adj.
] someone who is dedicated works very hard at what they do because they care a lot about it 专注的, 献身的
figurehead [ ] n. someone who seems to be the leader of a country or organization but who has no real power 有名无实的领袖 exemplify [ ] vt. to be a very typical example of something 作为...例子 mission [ ] n. [C] duty 使命 longstanding [ ] adj. lasting for a long time(已持续)长时间的,为时甚久的 jump-start [ ] v. to help a process or activity to start or become more successful 起动, 发动 aha [ ] int. used to show that you understand or realize something 啊哈 crystallize [ ] v. if an idea, plan etc crystallizes or is crystallized, it becomes very clear in your mind 明确 gel [ ] v. if a thought, plan etc gels, it becomes clearer or more definite 成冻胶 hit [ ] vt. if a fact hits you, you suddenly realize its importance and feel surprised or shocked 使意识到
Phrases and expressions
6
bounce back v.to become successful or confident again after having difficulties [俗] (遭受挫折后)很快恢复 be in the red v. (infml.) to own money to the bank 亏损 in a row prep. continuously 连续地 in a sense prep. in one way 从某种意义上说 stand sb in good stead v. to be very useful to someone when needed 对某人有用, 给某人以好处 onto something prep. (infml) to have discovered or produced something new and interesting 发现或生产新的有 趣的东西 hit the road v. to start a journey 出发;启程 take the red eye plane v. (AmE) (infml)to take a journey in a plane that continues all night 乘红眼飞机 slam the door in sb's face v. to close a door hard when someone is trying to come in 拒绝某人进入 in partnership with prep. doing business with 与…合伙 be coupled with v. to join one thing or set of things with another 外加 fit into v. to find time or place for sb. or sth.适合 hit home v. to impress deeply 深深打入
Notes
Maria Bartiromo
7
The host and managing editor of the syndicated program The Wall Street Journal Report as well as host of CNBC’s Closing Bell Sports Illustrated It is the most famous American comprehensive sports magazine. Each week the pages of it contain the most compelling and sought-after images in sport. 体育画报 Elizabeth Taylor Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (born 27 February 19
  32) is a two-time Academy Award-winning English American actress. House of Taylor Jewelry House of Taylor Jewelry, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based international jewelry company whose principal shareholders include Elizabeth Taylor, Kathy Ireland and members of the Abramov family. House of Taylor Jewelry serves fine jewelry retailers worldwide with diverse jewelry creations marketed under the prestigious House of Taylor Jewelry brand. The company markets fine jewelry products under its Elizabeth, House of Taylor, and Kathy Ireland Jewelry brands. Kathy Ireland Worldwide Kathy Ireland Worldwide (KIWW) is the design and marketing firm founded in 1993 by CEO and Chief Designer, Kathy Ireland. The primary mission of KIWW is “…finding solutions for families, especially busy moms.” Forbes Magazine reports that KIWW is a “design empire which grosses over one billion dollars annually in retail sales.” KIWW products include flooring, rugs, home furniture, office and entertainment furniture, lighting, decorative accessories, window coverings, bedding, mattresses, candles, apparel, jewelry, blankets, hand painted porcelain, fire resistant products and top of bed fashions.
Questions for discussion

  1. Why did Kathy say that she had never had “a family business” but now she had “a business family”?
  2. Does Kathy see a difference between modeling and what she is now engaging? What’s the difference?
  3. Does modeling have an effect on her new business?
  4. What in Kathy’s point of view is important to start a new business?
  5. What is Kathy now most concerned about?
  6. Why does the author say that Kathy is born to sell?
Vocabulary exercises
I. Fill in the blanks with the words chosen from the box. Change the form where necessary. nominate dedicate exemplify gel convince spurt flaunt jump-start bulge
8
leverage slam metamorphosis
extras
fleeting
embrace ecstatic

  1.
  2.
  3.
  4.
  5.
It took me some time to undergo the from teacher to lecturer. The rich their wealth while the poor starved on the streets. For one moment, Paula allowed herself to forget her troubles. He fell heavily to the floor, his eyes wide with fear. She has been as Best Actress for her part in the film 'Forever Together'. Nobody should make the use of public funds to private investment. Most West European countries have the concept of high-speed rail networks with enthusiasm. Baker had to jurors that his client had been nowhere near the scene of the murder. The champion received an welcome from the thousands who lined the streets

  6.
  7.

  8.

  9.

  10. In a sudden of anger,
 

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