Heather Thomson is trusted in Hollywood. She was the creative director for House of Deréon, the fashion line of Tina and Beyoncé Knowls. Puffy (Sean Combs) and Jennifer Lopez have each hired Heather to develop their lines. And now Heather is a celebrity herself on Real Housewives of New York. So what are Heather's success secrets in business?
Create a solution through passion, ambition, and drive.
I have been a designer for the past 20 years. After having children five years ago, I lost confidence in my body and needed a little help while I lost the weight. I thought that “help” would be shapewear, but when I visited the department store section, I was horrified with my options. At that moment, I combined my passion as a designer with my drive and ambition as a woman to create an everyday solution to make women look and feel their best: Yummie by Heather Thomson. I never allowed myself to feel intimidated by the competitors that stood in my way and plowed forward with a product that continues to give women the confidence they deserve in every moment of their day.
WILLSPACE New York
Between work, filming Real Housewives and my family, I’ve found recently that I have little time for myself. So what I’m working on right now is me! I’ve dedicated 3 hours a week to WillSpace NYC, a place that counts on my showing up as much as I count on them. It’s a partnership but I have to care about my body and health more than they do. To be around until a ripe old age, I want to be a healthy and a strong example for my children. My mother was an example of what you “can do”, and I want to be an example of that too.
Turn Intimidation into Power.
My time working with Puffy (Sean Combs) was likely one of the most influential experiences in my career. He showed me what I was made of by challenging me from every angle. There was an unparalleled expectation from Puff – he had passion, drive and a work ethic that left little to no life / work balance. While working there I always would say, "It's only work, if there is someplace else you would rather be.” I stepped up, played hard and had success to show for it. I turned my intimidation into power and we hit a home run with Sean John. In its first four years, we were the most dynamic with huge growth. Puff taught me everything I know in terms of marketing, I am forever grateful for my years there.
It’s only a mistake if you make it twice.
This is my favorite lesson learned. "It’s only a mistake if you make it twice; the first time, it’s a lesson." My favorite part of aging is that you get wiser with each step you take, and your values and point of view strengthen. You hone in on your skills, your assets and your weaknesses. I wouldn’t give one mistake back and this is a tool that has stayed with me throughout my career.
Stay Grounded and Focused.
I’ve never not worked from the time I was 13 years old, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. When I feel this way, I go to my yummiest place, and that’s my husband and our children. It helps me focus everything again, it gives meaning – you know why you’re doing what you’re doing.