I stay motivated by… moments of gratitude and remembering why I started.
Three adjectives that describe me are… bold, empathetic, adaptable
If I could have dinner with one person it would be… Warren Buffet- I admire his humility and his incredible work ethic.
The most exciting innovation to me is… Robotics of any kind. I used to work in robotics back in 2012 and we’ve come leaps in bounds in innovation.
What is The Lieu?
We offer high end and inclusive styling—grooming products for women in the workplace. You can think of us as micro Sephora, in your office environment. We also create on-site beauty experiences, as an added perk. Our mission is to empower and support women in the workplace.
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
I started this company because I was sick and tired of lugging all my beauty products and tools with me all over the city, just to freshen up between meetings and events. I have an active lifestyle, as many women do, living in New York City. Unfortunately, we’ve had to “hack” our way to freshening up by using pack-muling our things or mooching off Sephora and other beauty counters… which takes a lot of time and energy. So I thought why don't I bring “Sephora” to women where they are — the office.
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? Is having your own business something you always wanted?
My dad is an entrepreneur and my grandpa was in an inventor. I’m pretty sure it’s in my DNA. Yes, I’ve always wanted to start a business. The key is finding something that you are passionate about, that takes time and you can’t rush the process.
What were you doing before this? How did it prepare you for the entrepreneurial life?
I’ve lived many lives… I’m a trained Mechanical Engineer with a Robotics concentration. I also have my private pilots license and used to work on oil rigs in Alaska. My most recent endeavor was an airport app, called Ment. I spent almost 3 years working on that startup before I shut it down to start The Lieu.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for female founders? How can we overcome it?
Perfection. This is something we deal with, more than men. I have to constantly remind myself that perfection is the enemy of progress. It fills us up with fear, I break that by just moving through it. Send that email, ask for that raise, apply for that job… just do it, even if it doesn’t come natural, with time it will.
How do you generate new ideas to stay relevant on the market? Is it important to innovate in your space?
In order to stay relevant, staying current on your market it KEY. I have Google alerts set up, it cuts down my research time and keeps me up to date.
You should always keep innovating but it’s easy to get caught up on ideas. Stay focused on your mission, that innovative idea might be a year down the road.
What are your short/long term goals?
Short term: Grow The Lieu in New York. Build a badass team, empower and support women.
Long term: World Domination… Jk but seriously. I want to build a brand that becomes a household name. Create more companies, fund unrepresented founders, run for President?!
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Wow, this a loaded question for me because I’ve given up A LOT. I used to make 6 figures as a 25 year old. I’m 29 now and I live on less than I should. I’ve literally invested every dime I have, savings and all. I know that I’m going to 20x it all in the end. You start re-prioritizing your life and whose in it.
How far are you willing to go to succeed?
I’m willing to go veeeeeeeeeeeeeery far. I’m already successful but I have billionaire minded goals.
Was it difficult get capital/investors? Has anyone underestimated you as a female entrepreneur? If yes, how did you handle it?
Yes! I’ve been underestimated, harassed, demeaned… you name it, it’s happened to me. I’m surprisingly thankful for those situations — it’s a clear indicator that I should NOT be working with those people. Develop tough skin and don’t take it personally, most of the time it has nothing to do with you and more to do with them. YOU GOT THIS!
If you were a book, which one would it be and why?
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
If you employ people: What do you think about company culture? What are some of your tips on being a good leader?
Company culture is VERY IMPORTANT. You as the founder are the company culture. Establish your company values early and hire people on those pillars.
To be a good leader you need to respect everyone. You pick up the slack where you see it, even if that means taking out the garbage. Humility is a trait every good leader should have.
Who is the one super successful person you look up to? Why them? Can you share their quote/ideology that inspires you the most?
Arianna Huffington - her grace, work ethic, positivity and humility inspires me greatly.
“Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.” – Arianna Huffington
“Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time than we fall down.” – Arianna Huffington
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
I disagree HEAVILY with the “hustle” culture, around entrepreneurship. I think it’s developed a lot of negativity in the minds of young entrepreneurs and it’s not sustainable. We can’t work 24/7, it’s not healthy mentally or physically and you will burn out fast. Now with that being said, there will be weeks of all-nighters but that must come with balance. Don’t think you have to fit into this “entrepreneur” mold the world has created. Find out what works for you and follow your intuition.
What are some pros and cons of having (OR not having) entrepreneurial parents?
Pro - You learn entrepreneurial skills and critical thinking from a young age. You see the ups and downs of running a business.
Con - Financial instability can shake up the family.
What is your biggest dream? Why? Describe your biggest vision for your business.
I’m living my biggest dream. The moment I became an entrepreneur I knew my life would drastically change. I’m going to be a world change-maker, influential on a massive scale, builder of many companies, investor, fund philanthropic organizations.
The Lieu will be house-hold name. We will be a staple of convenience in urban life. We will completely change the morning routine, lunch break routine and empower people to develop new and healthier social habits & behaviors (especially in women). We’ll impact the lives of millions because we will take down the social and physical barriers that once existed in everyday urban life.