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Katherine Heigl’s New Role As Entrepreneur

katherine-heigl’s-new-role-as-entrepreneur
Katherine Heigl’s New Role As Entrepreneur

Katherine Heigl has had many memorable roles, from her Emmy Award winning portrayal of Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy to cult favorite leading ladies in the cinematic romcoms Knocked Up and 27 Dresses. 

Now, Katherine is taking on a new role as founder of New Lane Road Mercantile, a project that merges her lifelong passion for animal advocacy and conscious consumerism.

While browsing social media, Katherine saw an ad for creating a business on Shopify and decided to build an online store. “I was on my iPad on a couch in my living room,” Katherine says. “I took a full Saturday to do it.”

More than a year later, Katherine has curated products from more than 50 artisans that produce everything from homegoods to skin care items. Proceeds from sales support other small businesses, as well as the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, an animal advocacy organization started by Katherine and her mother, Nancy Heigl.

In the latest episode of Shopify Masters, Katherine shares how she has built the shopping experience of her dreams with New Lane Road Mercantile.

   

Testing and evolving the business

Beyond acting, Katherine enjoys expressing her creativity through visual arts—and her art was the seed for her entrepreneurial journey.

Katherine was already creating paintings, drawings, and digital art when the idea for a business struck. “I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could sell some of these designs on a t-shirt or a hat and help raise funds for the foundation,” she says.

Katherine then experimented with Shopify and print-on-demand apps to create a store that allowed her to sell her designs printed on merch. Even though this version of the business was easy to build, it wasn’t the business she wanted to keep running.

Katherine Heigl standing on a gravel road.
Curating a collection of conscious created goods, Katherine Heigl launched New Lane Road Mercantile. New Lane Road Mercantile

Realizing she was spending more time keeping up with creating designs, Katherine pivoted to a business that would become New Lane Road Mercantile. “I switched to being a supplier for other vendors because I love to curate … all the beautiful things online that I might love to have in my home,” she says.

Working with partners that align with brand values

The main reason Katherine took the road to entrepreneurship is to support the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, which Katherine has run and funded with her mom since 2008. To supplement donations, Katherine intended to use 100% of the proceeds from her new business. “It’s kind of like consumerism that cares, consumerism with purpose,” she says.

New Lane Road Mercantile's animal planters.
Having a purposeful pillar within New Lane Road Mercantile’s business model has also helped Katherine to look for artisans who are also giving back with their business. New Lane Road Mercantile

This pillar of purpose translates to Katherine’s curation strategy for New Lane Road Mercantile. “I wanted to work with vendors who also were giving back in some way, either socially or environmentally conscious,” she says.

Curating products—and moments

Once Katherine had her list of artisans and business owners she wanted to work with, she took a different approach to curation. Instead of just selecting products she liked, she was building special moments for her customers. “I wanted to take that concept [of moments] with my own spin on it and create an online shopping experience,” she says.

New Lane Road Mercantile's Nature's Valley Sustainable Throw.
Katherine isn’t just curating products, she’s creating “moments” for her customers with the items she carries at New Lane Road Mercantile. New Lane Road Mercantile

Whether it’s creating a cozy reading moment by the fire or a reflective journaling session, New Lane Road Mercantile is working with artisans to sell a lifestyle while inspiring conscious and thoughtful consumerism.

In her second act, Katherine has used her influence as a Hollywood powerhouse to do good. Her inspiring journey to a new, unknown career demonstrates that entrepreneurship truly is a space for everyone.

To hear more on Katherine’s business journey, check out the full interview on Shopify Masters.

This article originally appeared on Shopify and is available here for further discovery.
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