over50feeling40: Robin Sheldon: An Over 50 Success Story
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Mar 12, 2013

Robin Sheldon: An Over 50 Success Story

When I went through my personal “wake up” moment, nearly ten years ago, I realized I had put Pam on the shelf for a long, long time.  This is exactly the type of woman Robin Sheldon wants to reach out to with her fabulous company Soft Surroundings.
Robin Sheldon, President and Founder of Soft Surroundings
As President and Founder, Robin’s company motto is “my time. my place. my self.”  She is one of the many over 50 women who are running some of our country’s most successful retail businesses…and her success is centered on her understanding of women and our need to take care of ourselves.    
Recently, I asked this very busy lady to answer just a few questions for the over50feeling40 audience.  Here are her answers:

1.         Please give us just a brief history of how you ended up with Soft Surroundings.     Just prior to moving to St. Louis, I was the Vice President of Merchandising for Coldwater Creek in Sandpoint, Idaho. I founded Soft Surroundings in 1998.  We mailed our first catalog in July of 1999.  There seemed to be an opportunity to reach out to women who were continuously putting all their energy into caring for their families and friends, but not taking time to be good to themselves.  Research made it clear that the advertising world had forgotten about this woman and that she was not being marketed to any longer. We took advantage of that deficit and Soft Surroundings today is the result of our endeavors.

2.         Why do you believe Soft Surroundings is unique to the marketplace and describe your target audience?   Our target audience is really the women of the Baby Boomer generation, but we attract a younger demographic as well.  We are unique to the market place through our merchandise, which is primarily designed by internally and by our approach which makes women of any age understand we are here to do more for her than just sell her things.  We are dedicated to finding ways to encourage women to put themselves first and that they deserve to look fabulous, be comfortable and surround themselves with beautiful things.

3.         What advice do you have for women over 50 who desire to re-enter the marketplace…maybe after all children have grown and gone, or they desire to do something different with the second half?  First and foremost, I would say to be careful – especially with your own money.  If you want to start a business, do the homework, understand your market and know who your customer is.  Make sure that whatever you do, you can do it better than anyone else.  Have a passion for the work or it won’t succeed.  Use “other people’s money” whenever possible.

4.         Please tell us two valuable lessons you have learned as an over 50 businesswoman.   Do what you love!  Life’s too short not to.  Listen more than you speak – really hear people.
Make Up Bag Makeover Contest
 5.         Please tell us a couple of things you do for yourself every day which helps you experience joy.  My early mornings with my coffee, my husband and our dogs sets me up for happiness every day.

6.       What do you love about Soft Surroundings this spring? The fabrics.  They are so soft and flattering and provide such a wonderful sense of being comforted while making us look so terrific!

Robin is truly an inspiration to all of us.  I will be bringing you a special segment from Soft Surroundings soon, so, please look for it. 


Your "living-like-you-feel-40" tip of the day:  Do something today just for you...no matter how small it is...treat yourself to a little reward!


  1. Do what you love! Life’s too short not to. Brilliant.
    Thank you dear Pam.

  2. Great interview, Pam. Robin sounds very centered, and her company has some very nice pieces, and cool shoes. xoxoxo

  3. I don't think I've read another blog that researches and informs about fashion more thoroughly! I'm so impressed by the research...you're doing a lovely (and authoritative) job. Visited your "Mission" page...Hooray! Very cool. Lynaea @ EverydayBloom.com


Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!