Susan Tynan launched Framebridge, her direct-to-consumer e-commerce business, to provide customers with an option outside of the staid, expensive $4 billion framing industry. Her simple concept–pick a frame on the brand’s website, send in art, have it delivered back to you in three days–has been a runaway hit. That success has kept the CEO and mother of two busy, finding new ways to grow her company–like partnership with Target.
Here the executive reveals her tips and tools for getting the most out of every day.
What’s a product that you are currently in love with?
Peloton is so much fun and a great workout. It’s truly a game-changer for busy people. And they keep getting better and better with their UI enhancements. You can preview the playlists before selecting a ride which makes it even more fun. Also, my Nespresso Machine. I truly wake up happy because I know I am a minute away from a delicious cup of coffee.
What’s your Off Switch?
Exercise. I have my Peloton in my bedroom and I love it so much. It combines music and exercise; two of my favorites for switching gears. I’ve worked out a lot of issues on the bike!
What are five books on your nightstand?
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight: It is one of the most realistic chronicles of start-up life from the closeness of the early team to feeling like you’re always on the brink.
Measure What Matters by John Doerr and Larry Page: I bought dozens of copies of this book for team members at Framebridge, as it’s a really clear overview of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and why they should be embraced.
Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen: I really like Clayton Christensen’s Jobs Theory. Marketing is about deeply understanding what your customers are really trying to accomplish and helping them get there.
Power by Naomi Alderman: An interview candidate recommended it to me and I’m so caught up in the premise. What if young women had more physical strength than young men? How would everything change? I was an English major too so I have to keep up with some literature.
Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz. So many analogies here to what we’re trying to do at Framebridge. I love the heated debate they had over whether or not to introduce skim milk. The nuance of the customer experience is what separates great brands and it requires the team agonize over each detail.
What’s your On Switch?
I listen to music. I always have a Pump Up mix ready. When I see pro sports players with their headphones on, I get it. You have to get in the zone.
What do you do with the time when you have…
A free five minutes? Flip through Instagram or Twitter
A free hour? Exercise
A whole free day? What? I run a start-up and I have two small children. I truly don’t even know how to process a day without extreme responsibility. I guess I would exercise, spend time outside or at a museum with my family, and go out for dinner somewhere new.
What’s your necessary vice?
TV! I am not ashamed to love it. Currently, I’m thoroughly enjoying: Hard Knocks (training Camp with the Cleveland Browns), Handmaid’s Tale, Southern Charm Savannah. I think a glass of wine falls into this category, too.
What do you do when you should be working?
- Clean out my closet! I accomplish something, just not the task at hand.
- Go really deep in the news. Too much of it, but I worked in government so I can’t completely tune out. I feel it’s my duty as an informed citizen to bear witness to whatever is happening.
- Catch up on TV. I love pop culture and like to watch whatever everyone’s watching. It’s fun to have that connection to other people through shared entertainment.
Where do you go to recharge and refresh?
The beach. I love Australia. My husband is from Sydney. It’s impossible not to relax when you are on the other side of the world. You’re forced into asynchronous communication back home–and the beaches are so stunning.
What classic product do you believe nobody’s ever improved on it?
Barbour Jacket. I’ve updated for a narrower fit, but never veer from the classic green. I can’t think of a more enduring item.
Le Creuset pot. I got one for my wedding 12 years ago. This is one classy pot. Add one to your registry!
Rubik’s Cube. My kids are in love with the classic one. No one ever invented as fun of a hand held game for adults and kids alike.
What’s a high-price-tag product that you recently splurged on?
What travel tips do you swear by?
- The SWEAT app by Kayla Itsines. Is it dramatic to say this app changed my life? Kayla is a young, Australian trainer and her 28-minute strength workouts can easily be done on the road. I’ve done her workouts religiously for over a year now.
- Take Amtrak. I travel from D.C. to NYC a lot and the train is amazing. I have three hours to crush through emails and you travel from the heart of the city to the heart of the city.
- City Lists: I have lists of people I should look up when I’m in certain cities. Squeezing in a few extra meetings makes you feel a lot better about your time on the road. Often, the tacked on meetings are as valuable as the one you actually traveled for.
- Glamsquad. If you have a big day, starting with a blowout in your hotel room is efficient. Your hair looks great and you get through some emails during it. Plus, hotel hairdryers are always terrible.
- Business outbound / Fun inbound. My reading material is all business prep on outbound travel. On inbound travel, I allow myself a Netflix show or a magazine. I run a consumer business and get inspiration everywhere, so a little non-work entertainment sometimes leads to the best ideas.
What’s your favorite thing to eat when…
You’re in the middle of work and need a quick burst of energy? Cappuccino, now with oat milk because I don’t miss a trend.
When you need a quick takeout lunch? Sweetgreen or Cava
When you have plenty of time to go out and eat? Anywhere new and a glass of champagne