12 Questions with Susan Petersen

Written by: Vanessa Aparicio



Time to read 3 min

We asked our Founder, Susan Petersen questions about the growth of Freshly Picked, her favorite memories, and what she has learned over the years!

What’s the origin story of Freshly Picked?

I had gotten a bag of scrap leather in a leaf bag at a yardsale. (It was $1). I didn’t even know what I was going to make with it. I decided to make Gus a pair of moccs. I put them on my Etsy store and they sold out. (And I didn’t save any of that money).

So when I ran out of moccs, I went to the leather store and picked out all my leathers, like you would at a fabric store. I went up to the counter and asked for a yard of this, half a yard of this, etc. The lady told me that’s not how it works - you had to buy a hide of leather. I asked how much a hide of leather was and the lady who worked there told me it was $200.

I was like, “$200?! I don’t know anyone that has $200!” So I left without any leather.

At the time, my brother owned a window installation business. I begged him to give me his old windows for a month - just a month! All of my naptime for the next month, I spent banging out the window. I took them to the scrap yard and made $200. And that time - I kept it.

What else was on the Etsy store at the time?

Quilts and really ugly baby dresses - it was a horrible Etsy store.

How do you feel when you see someone in public wearing Freshly Picked?

It’s alway cool. My favorite thing is to see if they know who I am, it’s fun to see their reaction. I love to go up to them and say, “I love your bag.” I alway get one of two answers: “Thanks, it’s the best!” OR “Thanks - oh….OHHH!”

Why did you start Freshly Picked?

To provide for my family. It’s so great to see our employees provide for their families, and all the female leadership we have in the company.

What’s one thing you’ve learned since starting the company?

To document everything like you would for your first born - something to have to see how far you’ve come. Document and share the process. People want to buy from a brand they feel invested in.

What’s one thing that’s unique to being a woman in business?

The positive and negative are really the same thing. In some scenarios, you’re highly underestimated and overlooked and people are shocked that you can do stuff. The positive part about that is you can run really far and fast without anyone knowing what you’re doing. You use that to grow a really cool business.

What do you love about your employees?

My heart melts when I see my employees start their own families and to see their kids in our products. It’s nice to know that FP gets to be a part of a short time of their kids’ lives.

What is your favorite FP memory?

The Shark Tank Party - when the episode aired, we had a party celebrating with my friends and family who were supporters of the company. It was special.

Could you do it today? (Start the company)

Yes, for sure - but it’s very different. Love it or hate it, Kim (Kardashian) has made social brands a thing. You probably need a lot more money now though.

What’s something you still want to accomplish?

I would never retire. I will work until the day I die. I want to be 90. I love working.

What were you allowed to do when you were 12?

I could start wearing make-up at 12. 100% I had blue mascara and was very into dark lip liner with a light lip color.

What’s your favorite bag?

The Milano Collection - I can’t wait for you guys to get it!