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Mandy Nagel has done a lot of things.

And maybe that’s why we love her at The Distiller, because she’s got the only resume that rivals ours for sheer meandering goodness. She worked at Apple in Cupertino. For a while she flipped houses with her father. There were years at advertising agencies doing design work for huge brands. But these days Mandy Nagel is using her talents and experience to make a real difference in the world as the owner of I Thought Of You.

I Thought Of You is a web-based business that sources jewelry, clothing, and other wares from artisans in the developing world, and makes them available online to a worldwide audience. What you might previously only have found on a table in a hawker stall in Indonesia, you can now buy online at And most importantly, Mandy’s business doesn’t just buy items and sell them at a huge retained markup. She develops long term relationships with the artisans, and uses the platform she’s built to change lives and communities.

Mandy Nagel – I Thought Of You – Links & Info

Mandy is not afraid to fail.

One of our favorite moments in our conversation with Mandy when she said about failure: “…even if I failed, maybe people would have laughed at me but, I’m not in second grade and that’s okay!” That clear-eyed determination and self-awareness permeate everything Mandy does. And her willingness to get it wrong on occasion is key to the kind of flexibility that’s needed when you’re creating something truly new, and figuring it out along the way

And that inventiveness, and flexibility, is key to the success of I Thought Of You. Mandy talked about entrepreneur friends who told her, “In a year your business won’t look anything like it does now.” She said that’s been truer than she could have guessed, and that the willingness to follow the business as it grows, to learn and grow with it, has been key. Great lessons for anyone who is looking to start something new, or just make a change to something they haven’t done before.

The Distiller with “I Thought of You” founder Mandy Nagel at Japp’s.

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