Sherry Roberts is one of our internationally-renowned speakers at FTE
American by birth but European in spirit, Sherry Roberts is the visionary behind The Longest Stay and a women with an interesting backstory that inspires many.
A pioneering combination of engaging editorial, eclectic products and the ability to purchase online, The Longest Stay is the UK’s first online click and buy interiors magazine and store which has plans to evolve its brand to boutique hotel chain allowing consumers to buy everything they see in the hotels.
Sherry’s career began at the age of 15 years old where she got a job at Blue Cross Blue Shield and went to work in an office every day after school. Her ambitions continued throughout university where she turned her dorm room into a travel agency at the age of 19. Her first corporate job started at age 22 where she landed a job at AT&T in San Francisco after riding the elevators in the building until someone hired her. Two years following AT&T she moved to Germany and extended her career with AT&T to Mannesmann Arcor the German Telecom, Bertelsmann Media Group, and onto Symbian in the UK for 15 years.
During those years Sherry transformed the technology sector by launching the first Internet by Call product for the Germany market, the first Free SMS service in the UK market and by taking a mobile operating system to Vodafone, allowing mass market consumers to benefit from a Smartphone. All three technology initiatives created massive change in Europe in which Sherry was at the heart of it.
After a successful technology career and a MBA from J.L Kellogg Northwestern and WHU degree. Sherry moved to Rome to be with her husband and decided to be an entrepreneur full time. After evaluating the hotel sector as a possibility for her new business she was given a scholarship to the prestigious Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne as an Entrepreneur in Resident where The Longest Stay was born. Her hotel idea soon turned into retailing products found in hotels and in home décor magazines on the global internet.
She hunted the world for luxury, guided along the way by creative personalities and top designers from Versace to David Collins. Having spent many years in Italy, the hub of international design, meeting with numerous design manufactures, Sherry identified the need for an online store that would connect designers, makers and buyers. It has now become a go-to interiors sourcebook for eclectic design and rated top interiors website by The FT How to Spend it. This led Sherry to launch the B2B side of the business which sources for interior designers and architects around the world. She also styles high profiled client’s homes such as the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia and has produced her own product range of luxury bins.
With The Longest Stay, Sherry will continue to source truly unique objects from some of the most prominent international designers and craftsmen. By creating a direct link for shoppers, whilst offering inside stories and background anecdotes of each brand and their talented designer, The Longest Stay is set to become the destination for discerning shoppers and design lovers . But as Sherry says, this brand will evolve from retail, to its own product line, to property and she sees clearly The Longest Stay hotels arriving as part of her overall vision where consumers can buy everything they see in the hotels.
It is Sherry as a leader and person that stands out above the crowd. Sherry was selected to present at The United Nations as a role model and presented a speech for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for the passing of the Resolution for Women and Girls in Science in February 2016. Sherry’s life story is worth a film, after having suffered from ME, learning disabilities, and a tragic death of her husband in her 40s she inspires many with her determination to succeed. She has traveled and worked in over 50 countries, speaks three languages and has excelled in her academics. Her company The Longest Stay is set to be the new Net A Porter for Home and a global hotel brand.