Amazon Marketplace – Day One: Stories of Entrepreneurship | Francesca Demeo, Cambridge Select

As a child, I loved space. I was definitely a nerd. I was always reading whatever
book on space, stars, galaxies that I could. I studied it all through high
school, all through college, PhD, postdoc, every level of academia. My field of research is asteroid science. I study small rocks in space
that fly by close to the earth and try to understand
what they’re made out of. From there, you can understand the history of the solar
system, how it formed, where we all came from. I’m trained in understanding numbers, and data, and analytics, so, data, whether it’s asteroids or shoes, it’s all the same analysis. So, I use that skillset to
improve how we work the business. I’m Francesca DeMeo. I’m a co-founder and the
director of analytics at Cambridge Select. My husband and I were living together, working at our regular jobs. I was an astronomer and he
was a mechanical engineer and he wanted to try something different. We bought all of these books
and put them all online. It was much more successful
than we had been anticipating. We just kept iterating,
getting more books, getting more books, and
then our thought was, well, how do we scale? So, we said, well,
let’s go into new goods, because then you can buy
them in larger quantities. Our first account was in footwear. Since then, we’ve basically
been adding shoes, apparel, accessories, and just, little
by little, adding brands. We started on Amazon in 2011. Every year, it’s been high growth rates and trying to maintain that. It was really scary leaving the field that I had spent all of my
time studying and researching, but once I made that transition and sort of got my feet on the ground, it was like the data’s the
same, I can still do this. It’s a risk, but I think all
entrepreneurship is risk. Good risk.

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