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20 WOMEN TO WATCH
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Tiffany Montgomery

By Tamirra StewartPublished: March 01, 2010

Founder and CEO, Shop-Eat-Surf.com
Irvine
shop-eat-surf.com

Age: 41
City of residence: Irvine
Family: Husband, Andrew Horan; son Liam, 6
First job: My first job was working in my dad’s office, an executive search firm. I did filing and ran errands.
Who or what inspires you: I’m inspired by the people I write about in the action-sports industry. It’s filled with people who follow their passions and build million-dollar companies. Some have no formal education and didn’t go to college, but they have carved a place for themselves in this niche and built big global companies.
Advice to other women in business: I’m a novice in this business – there’s a learning curve. Otherwise, I would say to follow your instincts. Do what’s right for you and others.
What you do to unwind: I spend time with family. We ride bikes on the beach. Also, I volunteer in my son’s classroom and like to eat out a lot.



« Tiffany Montgomery had a hunch about the action-sports industry. Despite a 10-year career in journalism, she took a leap, opted out of the first voluntary buyout at the newspaper where she worked as a reporter, and launched Shop-Eat-Surf.com, a news Web site created exclusively for sports-action industry executives. But it all started with surfing.
    
“The surfing business had an extreme lack of news,” she says, “and there was a need.”
    
As with athletes themselves, it takes time to build a base and create success.
    
“I kind of got hit over the head with this,” she says. “There was no income.”
    
But Montgomery had hit the nail on the head. The business of surfing was, in fact, thirsty for industry news. And so were businesses involved in sports apparel, sunglasses, shoes and skateboarding, to name a few. Never underestimate word-of-mouth in an industry with a need, says Montgomery.
    
Now action-sports heavyweights like Malakye, Reef and Skull Candy rely on Montgomery’s news site for daily information and updates. She recently launched a paid subscription service in which executives can receive news that’s more exclusive.
    
And in December, Montgomery held her first Executive Roundtable, which included an interview with Pacific Sunwear CEO Gary Schoenfeld before a live audience of 150 action-sports industry execs.
    
“I started this as an experiment,” Montgomery says. “I used to think I was just going to write about this one industry. Now the businesses are global.”



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