Dreaming of a New Career? Here’s How to Take that Leap.

Why a designer at the top of her game decided to start her own handbag line.

By Tatiana Boncompagni

Ariane Gold was at the top of her game. She’d worked for some of the biggest names in fashion, including Ralph Lauren, where she spent 15 years as a designer. After a round of lay-offs Gold calls “a blessing” she thought she would get another job in the industry, but after going on a few interviews, she realized that none of those potential opportunities were truly exciting her.
“One day in December of 2015, while doing a Soul Cycle class, I came up with my idea for goldno.8,” says Gold about her line of lightweight, quilted fabric handbags that also happen to be reversible and totally gym-appropriate. (The goldno.8 backpack in black + chrome is our new top pick for a gym bag.) “There was no looking back.  I stopped interviewing and have been 100% committed to building this brand ever since,” she says.
Striking out on your own or making a mid-career switch can be a harrowing process — as is any major life change. You’re leaving behind the security of the known for the uncertainty of the unknown. But there’s also a thrill to venturing into getting rid of your safety net and following your true interests and passions. We talked to Gold about how she gathered the courage to take that big, bold leap into the unknown and start goldno.8. (BTW: The reversible black and chrome backpack is our new pick for must-have gym bag.)

What ultimately pushed you into starting your business? What’s your advice for women who want to make a mid-career change or strike out on their own? 

To be honest, the idea of going back to working for someone else scared me more than the idea of building my own brand.  Working for yourself is definitely not for everyone.  If you do decide to take the leap, you must be passionate.  You need to live it, breath it, and you need to be tough enough to take the hits.  Most important, make sure your loved ones support you in your endeavor.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you along the way? 

Both my mother and father are entrepreneurs, and I know that it’s from the two of them that I get my entrepreneurial spirit.  I spent my childhood going to my mother’s factory in Toronto and being fascinated by everything that there was to see and do.  I’m not sure where I heard this quote, but it has always stuck with me.  “You have to spend money to make money.”  That is so true.  You need to spend wisely, but know that sometimes you need to bite the bullet and invest deeply in certain areas of the business.

How do you deal with self-doubt? 

I am the first to admit that I don’t know everything. Certain things, I have to learn as I go.  However, if there is one thing that I learned from all of my years at Ralph Lauren, it is that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.  If there is an area that you are not an expert in, then hire an expert for that area. As for self doubt, of course I have my moments. But it is also those moments that motivate me to work harder and stretch myself further; because failure is not an option!

Your bags are both functional and stylish. Which one is your favorite and what do you pack in it when you go workout? 

My go-to bag for the gym is The Carryall.  It truly does fit everything!   Depending on what I am doing, I throw in my workout gear, sneakers, water bottle, dry shampoo, Dry Bar curling iron and makeup.  And I don’t go anywhere without my lap top, so it is also always in my carryall!

How do you stay healthy? 

I have always been a runner, and I try to run in Central Park or Riverside Park a couple of times a week.  I also love SLT.  It is the most intense workout that I have ever experienced!  Truly, you work every inch of your body from your eyelashes to your toes!  I try to make it to SLT a couple of times a week, and I like to throw in a Soul Cycle class here and there to mix things up!  As far as eating, I try to eat clean.  I do my best to eat food in it’s most whole form.  I eat very little wheat products and sugar, however, I also think that it’s o.k. to treat yourself in moderation.

Make the most of this relationship.