Make or Break

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‘Life is the sum of all your choices’ Albert Camus

One single decision can make a business or bring it to its knees. Journalist Owen Bennett-Jones dives into the world of high stakes decision-making as he speaks to the business leaders who risked it all to win.

Make or Break – Episode 1

Aiming High and Low – Liz Lange

WHO: In 1997, fashion writer turned entrepreneur, Liz Lange, created the world’s first fashion forward maternity brand. Until that point, the fashion world hadn’t offered much to expectant mothers. In fact, retailers repeatedly told Lange that women were disinterested in their appearance during pregnancy. But Lange knew better. She went on to establish three wildly successful boutique stores and a cult celebrity following, including the likes of Cindy Crawford, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Roberts.

DECISION: In 2002, Target Corp proposed a lucrative licensing deal with Lange to design inexpensive maternity clothes. Her advisors warned against partnering with the budget-friendly retailer on the grounds that she would lose her cachet and it would damage her high end platform. However Lange decided that women of all budgets deserve to be as empowered as the celebrities she dressed and went ahead with the partnership. Sales rose in all three boutiques and today, Liz Lange Maternity has the largest maternity apparel market share in the US.

Make or Break is a Radio Wolfgang production for Auddy, with support from The Open University.

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