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Shayne Hart officially became an entrepreneur at 19 when he opened his first shop while still in college. An immediate success, this led to his second store that same year.

His mother insists that this entrepreneurial zeal began much earlier with seriously run shops in the garage of their family home. Nancy Har… Read More
Shayne Hart officially became an entrepreneur at 19 when he opened his first shop while still in college. An immediate success, this led to his second store that same year.

His mother insists that this entrepreneurial zeal began much earlier with seriously run shops in the garage of their family home. Nancy Hart says, “Shayne never played store.”

When asked how he landed upon his first ventures in retail, Hart has replied, “As a kid growing up in a small Southern city, stores seemed this impossibly glamorous stage where I could play out my ideas and aesthetics before an audience with the immediate gratification of seeing it work…or not.”

Today, with over 20 years of experience across a broad range of activities, Hart has worked in virtually every area of retail, design, branding, marketing, and strategic development from conceptual start-ups to tactical clean-ups. His leadership and experience have also led to opportunities and projects beyond the world of retail and consumer goods, where he has fluidly applied his diverse skill sets toward a range of interests, industries, and segments.

Hart has worked in critical roles in the formation of independent start-up ventures, as well as held executive creative leadership positions in multi-billion dollar corporations. His interests have also led to the advisement of artists and cultural foundations.

Given this background, Hart’s work is notable for its entrepreneurial passion that ignites around disruptive ideas; the common sense grounding of a sole proprietor; the skills of an old school merchant; and a creative perspective that is always forward looking, market savvy, and steps ahead.

Hart’s early work led to selection and participation in the Neiman Marcus Executive Training Program while still under the leadership of Mr. Stanley Marcus.

He has gone on to advise on over two dozen ventures for a diverse group of brands including Miles Kimball; US Nuvo; the first international network of luxury florists; Stila; Gap, Inc.; Hot Topic; Old Navy; Bath & Body Works; Limited Brands, Inc.; and many others.

In addition to extensive creative direction and product design, Hart’s portfolio also includes publishing ventures with national publishers Chronicle Books, high profile event management, and even a turn at directing and producing a music video.

As well as operating his own boutique consulting and brand development firm, Chemistry (with partner, Kelly Kovack), Hart served as Managing Director of Studio at Fred Segal and Managing Partner of Studio USA, Inc., the creative and product development division.

While at Fred Segal, Hart engineered a comprehensive rebranding and growth initiative, which grew the footprint of the store and increased total business revenue to over $6 million. This led to minority acquisition and a long-term
development agreement with international brand conglomerate, Limited Brands, Inc.

In 2004, the founder and President of Old Navy, Jenny Ming, asked him to join her team in the role of Vice President of Design & Merchandising for Non-Apparel & New Business Ventures. In this position he led expansions into new categories
launching the retailer’s first sub-brands; revitalized its accessories businesses; and introduced programs that included personal care, home fragrance, and even a line of dog merchandise. This position set him at the creative helm of multiple business categories with revenues in excess of $650 million annually.

Following his work with Gap Inc., Limited Brands Chairman, Les Wexner, and Bath & Body Works CEO, Diane Neal, tapped him to become the corporation’s first creative officer. In this expansive role as Senior Vice President/Creative, he led the creative direction of all brands and sub-brands in the company’s portfolio and the holistic integration of all consumer touch points.

At Limited Brands, his role included leadership and strategic direction of all design and creative teams for product design and creation, development, marketing, and in-store experience.

Additionally, he directly advised the CEO and brand Presidents on emerging trends and all matters related to creative strategy. The cumulative revenue of his brand portfolio exceeded $2 billion in annual sales with over 35 million consumer contacts daily.

Hart’s career has been marked not only by its variety but also by his achievements. Many of the brands under his advisement and development have gone onto to successful acquisition and expansion.

For example, EFX in the Washington, DC area began as a new concept and approach to the beauty business. It introduced independent and emerging brands within the context of a modern apothecary. Revenues doubled each year during Hart’s early management of this enterprise. This led to acquisition by venture capital group, Blue Mercury, Inc., which now operates over two dozen stores nationwide based on the original business model.

While at Fred Segal, Hart launched BURN with Robin Coe-Hutshing. This, the first candle collection to exceed the $100 price point, reached $1 million in sales in its first year. Today it is carried at some of the finest stores in the world like Barneys New York, Liberty London, Mecca Australia, Joyce Hong
Kong and others.

As a manager, Hart has led diverse teams and organizations ranging in size from as few as 5 to upwards of 200. In each case, he has improved efficiency; created new processes; and maintained his open door policy of collaboration as a best
practice toward delivering creative work and sound results.

Hart’s clients, projects, and ventures have been featured in the media prominently. This coverage includes WWD, Vogue, The Washington Post, Boutique Hong Kong, Conde Nast Sports for Women, Elle Décor, E Television, MTV, Bravo, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, VH-1, Logo Network, and others.

Hart is the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Twice, he and his teams have received the coveted FiFi award for their product launches. He has also been honored with the Premier 1 Award for his leadership in art & creative direction.

Hart served an original member of the Procter & Gamble Design Board. He is a regular featured speaker on the subjects of emerging trends, the luxury market, creative leadership, design, and boutique retail at conferences and institutions, including the Big Bang Conference, F.I.T. and Men’s Health & The Future.

Today, Hart creates products and experiences and he advises emerging brands; corporations; small companies; venture capitalists; entrepreneurs; foundations and cultural organizations in all areas of design, merchandising, strategy, holistic branding, product development, creative direction, innovation and growth.

Upon returning home to the south full time in 2011, Hart continues his multidisciplinary design, creative and development practice, engaging in a range of projects in a unique union of art and commerce. Read Less
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