Nell Diamond '15 and Katherine Kapnick '19 Return to SOM to Share Their Founding Experience
Nell Diamond ‘15 and Katherine Kapnick ‘19 first met during their Global Network International Experience in Brazil, where they quickly learned that they shared an interest in luxury brands, and the future of the industry. Nell, who attended Yale SOM with the goal of launching a new venture, dedicated part of her second year to building out Hill House Home.
On November 27, Nell returned to campus to guest lecture in Startup Founders Practicum, the same class she was sitting in just three years ago. She was joined by Katherine, a Silver Scholar at SOM, who has returned to Yale this semester after spending the past four years working in private equity and with Nell as co-Founder and COO at Hill House Home. The two founders spoke openly about the highs and lows they’ve experienced since officially launching Hill House Home in January 2016.
Hill House Home is a digitally native lifestyle brand for the home. The company’s first product line included high quality, design-driven, customizable linens, sold direct-to-consumer online at accessible prices. The company has since expanded into other product lines, including towels and sleep accessories, with the ultimate goal of providing premium products for the entire home at a reasonable price point. The target customer is professional, millennial women across the US who are outfitting their homes for the first time.
Katherine and Nell spent time discussing their branding and marketing strategies. The company pairs old world design with new world technology. Hill House Home has managed to grow its footprint with only a nominal investment in marketing by leveraging the power of storytelling via Instagram and the company’s website. The team’s goal is to build and engage a community of loyal customers who will turn to Hill House Home for all of their home goods needs. The company’s first brick-and-mortar location in the West Village in New York City was designed to be experiential and has provided the brand with the opportunity to build its community through events, collaborations and store activations.
Hill House Home’s sense of community can be experienced whether or not a customer ever steps foot in its flagship store. The company’s Instagram is a fun and inclusive venue for current and future customers to share their input on upcoming products and see what’s new with the brand. A particularly unique component is Hill House Home’s weekly podcast, One Quick Thing, where Nell speaks with successful working women about the specific issues they’ve faced at work and at home. Hill House Home’s central mission is to ensure that customers feel empowered and listened to, with the idea that those customers will reward the company with their loyalty down the line.
In addition to Hill House Home’s goals of providing high quality goods at lower costs and helping customers find health and happiness within their homes, the team also strives to maintain authentic, open dialogue with customers as they continue to grow as a company. As Nell sees it, “this millennial customer is looking for brands that share her values, and that will grow alongside her in the long run.” Hill House Home is fulfilling that need by creating a community for its customers and providing various ways for them to stay engaged.
Website: Hill House Home