“Are you going to become a victim or will you let it fuel you?” Well, quite.
Kate Hudson has the kind of career that defines the word successful. Not only is she an award-winning actress, author and entrepreneur, she is also the co-founder of Fabletics, a global active-lifestyle brand and community of over 1.2 million members.
But refreshingly, the star has no qualms about admitting that she has faced professional rejection in the past – especially in her career as an actor.
“Rejection is the number one thing you learn as an actor, right off the bat,” she tells stylist.co.uk. “In acting classes and auditions, you hear far more noes than yeses. It’s something that actors are very used to, and hopefully your parents have gotten you ready for a world where you’re going to face a lot of rejection.”
The sting of rejection can be hard to bear, whether you’re working as an internationally acclaimed actor or as the newest intern in a small company. However, the real key to success lies in how you handle those setbacks and rebuffs – and Hudson has the perfect strategy.
“The question is, how do you take [rejection]?” she says. “Are you going to take it personally and become a victim? Or are you going to be fuelled by the noes?
“Noes have always fuelled me. Getting a ‘no’ has made me want to work harder, or take a different approach – or keep going to prove someone wrong.”
Hudson is talking from experience. Fabletics hit some bumps in the road when it was initially founded in 2013, with the brand’s president, Gregg Throgmartin, telling Forbes that the conception “didn’t start out so great”.
“Our first order was for $300,000 in inventory, which we had to trash because of poor quality,” he told the magazine last year. “We had to delay our launch six months in order to make a better quality product.”
Throgmartin described these setbacks as “worth it” because the brand is “fanatical” about quality. However, Hudson’s mettle was tested again in 2015 when a BuzzFeed investigation suggested that JustFab, the company which owns Fabletics, was tricking customers into unwanted subscriptions.
Rather than take on the role of the victim in the face of the allegations, Hudson made sure that clear communication was a priority for the brand. Fabletic’s customer service department was swiftly upgraded and, in just 18 months, the brand was given a top rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Since then, Fabletics has gone from strength to strength. Last year the brand was predicted to make $250 million in sales, after enjoying a phenomenal retail growth of 644% in 2016. Earlier this week it launched its first ever “presence” outside of the US, with Hudson joining forces with her personal trainer and founder of POPfit, Stephanie Burrows, to launch a workout and activewear retail space right here in London.
When asked for her advice on tackling setbacks in your career, Hudson had more practical tips to share.
“There are always obstacles in any business and any career – you don’t have to own a business to have them. Life is filled with obstacles!” she tells stylist.co.uk. “If you’re entrepreneurial and trying to start a business, you have to love it and be passionate about it – it doesn’t have to be the great passion of your life, but it has to matter to you. It has to be authentic to you.
“It might be that you think something can be helpful, or that it has story to tell that’s important. Or maybe you have a hero product that you think needs to get out there. All that stuff matters because then the business will really matter to you, and you’ll put everything behind it to make it successful.”
For Hudson, a huge part of her motivation in launching Fabletics was the community aspect of the brand. Fabletics has almost 800,000 followers on Instagram, and users have shared over 10,000 posts using the #myfabletics hashtag.
“I love the clothes and obviously that’s really fun for us to do,” she says. “But the bigger picture is the community… Seeing these women coming together and supporting each other and setting goals for each other, is why I wanted to get into this business. It’s about having fun talking about the thing that I think is most important – putting our best foot forward.”
Hudson is obviously a great example of following your intuition in business and part of this, she says, is knowing when to forge ahead with a plan – and when to let it go.
“You have to be OK with the noes and keep moving forward, and if you know in your gut that something is going to work, then you have to just keep going,” she says.
“But it’s also good to know when to quit and back off from something. I don’t mean your business in general, but sometimes you have to take a different approach to things. You might think the right way is in the side door but it might be up the fire escape and into the bedroom window.
“That’s how you get into that business. You have to be open to seeing things in a different way.”
Images: Getty, Kimmy Miura