Building Oz provides strategy, branding and operations consulting to a diverse client base of consumer products companies. Realizing the true potential of a business or market opportunity requires applying the strategies and best practices appropriate for each unique situation and business. Building Oz is about finding the yellow brick road and realizing your potential.
ABOUT THE NAME
What does Oz have to do with business? In L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, the wizard isn’t magical or even particularly powerful. Oscar Diggs is nothing more than a circus magician and inventor who uses imagination and creativity to bring order to the leaderless land of Oz. In the story, the wizard manages to bring out the best in the characters by showing them that their dreams are possible. In the end the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion each end up leading groups within the land of Oz thanks to their brains, heart and courage.
Charlie is an entrepreneurial executive with a proven track record driving innovative product, marketing and business strategies to capitalize on emerging trends and market opportunities. He is an enthusiastic leader with a passion for developing and inspiring teams to create iconic brands, exceptional customer experiences and high performing cultures.
Charlie started his career in the Dot-Com boom of the late 90’s as a co-founder of a Venture Capital backed Internet startup dedicated to helping companies realize the promise of e-commerce for complex products that previously required a highly trained field sales-force.
After six years leading B2B and B2C software development, sales and marketing teams, he pursued his passion for craft food and beverage by launching a Specialty Tea business with retail, wholesale, ecommerce and franchise operations across North America.
Starbucks recruited Charlie in 2011 to lead retail operations for the company’s $1.4 billion Tazo tea brand. He participated in the rebranding and re-launch of Tazo into Starbucks retail, foodservice, consumer packaged goods and e-commerce channels and opened an award-winning flagship retail concept store in Seattle, WA. Encouraged by the success of the Tazo brand, Starbucks acquired Teavana for $620 million in 2013 and Charlie led retail innovation and international franchise operations for the brand until starting Building Oz in January of 2015.
Lara is an innovative business leader with deep expertise in, and passion for, specialty food and beverage. She has the vision to identify opportunities, strategize, plan, and implement change in environments from early-stage startups through multi-national brands like Starbucks and Amazon. She is a mentor and trusted advisor who has a passion for inspiring others and helping them to achieve their goals. She has a reputation for delivering business results, building and leading high performing teams, and driving efficiency through process improvement.
Lara believes that business success requires focus on creating meaningful customer experiences to make life easier as well as to delight, and that loyalty begins with first meeting and then grows by exceeding expectations.
Lara is an avid traveler and student of culture and language. She is an outdoors enthusiast and self-proclaimed foodie. She is active in her community and currently serves on two non-profit Boards serving youth: Community for Youth and UW Friends of Education Opportunity Program.
Lara holds an MBA from University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and has held leadership positions at Expedia, Starbucks and Amazon.