Joan Rivers Design Empire Is No Joke

Joan Rivers Design Empire Is No Joke

Could you have said “no” to working with the world famous, very funny, very talented, smart business woman Joan Rivers? Neither could David Dangle. That’s how a three-time Emmy Award winning designer became Joan Rivers’ right-hand man for her QVC collection.

New Beginnings

Before starting her home shopping empire, Rivers had just lost her husband and her job. Ready for a reinvention, she left California for New York to start a new daytime talk show. At the same time, the opportunity to work with QVC, which is a unit of Liberty Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: QVCA, QVCB), arose.

A Budding Partnership

Dangle recalls, “QVC wanted to put Joan on air in a fully fleshed out jewelry line.” Rivers chose a bee pin as the first item in her new line. The pin was a facsimile of a pin that her husband, Edgar had given her, at a time when the industry collectively felt that Rivers had reached her peak. Low and behold, she became a superstar.

The Moment of Truth

Rivers and Dangle worked feverishly to produce a large quantity of jewelry products and quickly got them on the air at QVC. The line instantly became a resounding success. At that time, there were just four employees and the business was operating out of Rivers’ dressing room at CBS (CBS). With the demand outpacing the supply, Dangle was forced to create a more organized and forward thinking environment. “After our initial launch at QVC, our biggest challenge was wrapping a business around the success and putting structures in place to expand and grow the business,” Dangle explains.

Putting the Product First

Plus Rivers and Dangle were committed to creating quality products. They did not want to rely on Rivers’ name to be the only selling point. As Dangle says, “It can’t be any other than the best.”

The Takeaway

After Rivers’ passing in 2014, Dangle is staying true to her spirit, “The vision that Joan had, the vision that she instilled, the idea of always being fresh, always reinventing – I think of that every day.”

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