Boss Lady: Megan Tierney

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Megan Tierney, founder of Louise & Eleanor, a Los Angeles based women’s luxury fashion company. Megan shares with us experiences with her entrepreneurial endeavors, what inspires her creativity and advice to all aspiring entrepreneurs.

Boss Lady: Megan Tierney1. Describe yourself and your career.
I’m a dichotomy of a free sprit and at the same time, very disciplined. I hope to leave people a little happier and encouraged after having spent time together. I’m flawed and make many mistakes. I believe in people, pursuing dreams, loving wholeheartedly and caring deeply. Kindness is the quality I most admire in others and encourage giving back and living a life that is authentic to yourself, whatever that may look like.

My career has been a lot of hard work, fun, heartbreaking at times and a continual learning experience. It took me about 8 years to gain the experience and confidence to start LOUISE & ELEANOR. That’s not to say it’s been easy. In fact, it’s the most challenging business endeavor I’ve attempted thus far but, it’s also felt most inline with who I am and what I love.

2. What is a typical work day like for you?
There is no typical day which keeps things interesting. I travel a lot for work so I’m usually on my laptop, meeting with existing or potential new clients for opportunities, in fabric stores, talking with our manufacturers or working with our team. They are amazing and I feel really lucky to have such an inspiring, dedicated, smart and wonderful team to get to work with.

3. You are a woman of many talents, what is your favorite entrepreneurial endeavor thus far?
I’m very appreciative for my past business endeavors and the opportunities I was given early in my career. They gave me the experience and confidence to be able to do what I’m doing now. While I enjoyed my past business pursuits, I always felt there was something missing. It wasn’t until I started LOUISE & ELEANOR that I experienced the feeling that I’d been internally searching for in my career. Something Steve Jobs said really resonates with me, “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

I remember when I started the company and had some of my loneliest, difficult, tearful and scary times. The difference between LOUISE & ELEANOR compared to anything else I’ve done is, no matter how difficult the day is, it’s just a hurdle to overcome not a stopping point. I am deeply passionate about what we do at LOUISE & ELEANOR and to me, that’s made all the difference.

4. What was your inspiration behind Louise and Eleanor?
I wanted to create a company that made beautiful products, encouraged others to chase dreams and gave back to the community. I saw a need to create unique and one of a kind pieces for affordable prices. Build a community that supports and lifts one another up, a space for others to hopefully feel comfortable, welcomed and empowered. And give back by creating a cycle of women supporting and helping each other.

5. What has been your most successful form of marketing?
For us it’s been a lot of organic growth. It’s really been about creating a community and building relationships with people who support us and in turn, we support and believe in.

Boss Lady: Megan Tierney

6. Tell us a little bit about your latest collection. Is there a story behind it?
There’s a story behind all of our products. Whether it’s where the fabric was sourced for our unique clutches, the names of our bags or styles, they all have a meaning behind them. Through every product we sell, we’re really putting a piece of our hearts out into the world. We hope when our customers carry us, they know there’s a company out there, cheering them on to pursue whatever an extraordinary life means to them.

7. If you could collaborate with one designer, who would it be and why?
My brother, Matthew Tierney. He’s a brilliant and talented artist in New York.  He continually inspires me. As well as being a wonderful person, he pushes me think in new ways and is constantly teaching me something new. I’m lucky to be able to call him for advice, feedback and designs, which I probably do far too often. His studio is one of the most remarkable and captivating places I’ve ever been. For me it’s impossible to go there and not want to do, be and create more. It really speaks to how talented, thoughtful and interesting of a person he is and how passionate he is about the creations he’s putting into the world. Regardless of being my brother, I love and believe in his work. It would be a great honor to get to collaborate with him.

It takes courage to put a piece of yourself out into the world. So, I have a lot of respect for people who are willing to risk judgment and put their work on display.

8. We love that your brand is about empowering women. Could you explain more on how you give back?
Giving back is a core value of LOUISE & ELEANOR. When a customer purchases a LOUISE & ELEANOR bag, THEY are directly giving back. We also try to get more involved by hosting, Fashion Days with LOUISE & ELEANOR. It’s our way of giving back in a more interactive approach with the ladies and charities we partner with. We hold fashion and beauty days by donating clothes, beauty products/tips, style advice, career tips, products from our collection and inner development workshops to the women who participate in these programs.

9. Who is a #Bosslady that inspires you?
There are so many women and people who inspire me. My mom is the woman who’s influenced my life the most. From, art to music, furniture and fashion, she’s shaped so much of who I am and my tastes. She is talented, eccentric, smart, beautiful and has been an incredibly strong role model for me. She’s always reinforced the values of treating everyone you meet the same, with an equal level of respect and kindness. And thank you notes, always send thank you notes.

A #bossperson who greatly inspires me is my dear friend, Cory King. He’s a fascinating person and I continue to learn and be inspired by him. Cory and his then wife, were responsible for bringing Jil Sander to the S. Florida market and opening a Jil Sander boutique at Mayfair in the Grove and on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. They had three Romanoff stores at Mayfair in Coconut Gove and 2 others at the Bal Harbour Shops carrying exclusive European and Japanese designers. They hand picked and curated top designer fashions by attending runway shows in Paris, Milan and Hamburg and carried such labels as; Valentino, Gianfranco Ferre,Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, Matsuda, Issey Mikaye and Comme des Garçons to name a few. They also purchased the Yves Saint Laurent Boutiques in Mayfair and Bal Harbour. Cory’s aesthetic, emphasis on quality and taste are unparalleled. He has and continues to make a great impact in my life.

10. What advice would you give to young aspiring entrepreneurs?
Have the courage to be honest with yourself about what truly interests you and not what’s supposed to interest you. This is your life, your path and your adventure.  That’s not to say it won’t take hard work, happen over night or be easy. With the exception of a rare few, it probably won’t but don’t let that deter you. We get this short amount of time to make the most of our lives so educate yourself, work hard and dive in to whatever makes you excited to get out of bed everyday.

Most importantly, I have yet to meet someone who’s been successful without a helping hand. So, as you’re making your climb, when you look back to see how far you’ve come, remember to reach back and inspire or help another by lending them your hand.

Boss Lady: Megan Tierney

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Boss Lady: Deanna and Daria

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Deanna and Daria, sisters and co-founders of Hubbell Hille shoes.  While both women still maintain full-time jobs, their main goal is to continue to create and grow a comfortable shoe line that fits their preppy style. They share with us their marketing tools, advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and the challenge of balancing it all.

Hubbel Hile

1. Tell us about yourselves and your career.
We grew up in a close-knit family in Colts Neck, NJ and have been in the City for eight (Deanna) and five (Daria) years.  We’re usually back and forth between NY and NJ and spend weekends in the summer at the beach in Spring Lake, NJ.

Deanna: In high school I had a small business making handbags, which prompted me to go to The Fashion Institute of Technology.  I loved living in New York and started a small wardrobe consulting company helping working women with their style; however I quickly realized that my dream was to work in finance.  Coming from an unconventional background, I started my journey by spending two years underwriting financial institutions in insurance and am now working at a private equity firm.  Though I love my day job and the industry that I am in, my creative side, the constant need to be busy and an unrelenting desire to start my own business, prompted me to start Hubbell Hille with my sister.

Daria: I went to college for elementary education and had the full intention of becoming a teacher in New Jersey.  After a few jobs in varying industries, and a jump across the river to New York (much to my surprise), I am now the Office Manager at an all-women financial recruiting company.  Much like my sister, I love my day job, however my love of fashion and the desire to by my own boss one day led me to say “yes” when my sister came out of the bedroom one rainy Thursday night with the grand idea of starting a shoe company.

2. Describe a typical work day balancing a full-time job and your own shoe company.
Deanna/Daria: We typically leave the house around 7/8AM and don’t get home until 7/8PM so aside from orders that have to go out right away, most of the Hubbell Hille work is done on the weekends.  Once a month, we hold board meetings at our kitchen counter to discuss what needs to be changed and if we are meeting goals.  What’s nice about being the owners is that we don’t have to answer to anyone besides ourselves.  We are fully accountable for the pace that Hubbell Hille will grow at and we are not pressuring ourselves to be an overnight success.

3. What was your inspiration behind starting Hubbell Hille?
Deanna: I’ve always had the desire to start my own company and be my own boss.  Given my inherently creative side I knew that if I was going to start a company it would be fashion-oriented because it comes naturally to me.  I always have such a hard time finding shoes that fit well, are comfortable and hold-up to the taxing NYC streets.  My style is generally preppy so I am of course a huge fan of crests (along with Daria) and while we would easily see them on blazers, we didn’t really see them on many shoes.  There were a few here and there over the years, but the smoking slippers we saw were either $60 and not great quality or $450 european-made, but still not durable enough to stand up to city streets.  This lack of what we were looking for in a shoe coupled with my desire to start a company led me to Hubbell HIlle.

Daria: I love that Hubbell Hille allows us to take what motivates and inspires us and channel that into something that is uniquely ours.  We drew inspiration from everything that impacts our daily lives; the desire for a comfortable, stylish shoe, the excitement of starting a business and turning our shared ‘passion for fashion’ into a reality.  It doesn’t hurt either to have your sister as your business partner.

Fun fact: The name Hubbell Hille came from Deanna’s obsession with The Way We Were and one of the main characters played by Robert Redford.

4. Starting a company with your sister must be exciting, how do you delegate who does what in the company?
Deanna: Though I am four years younger, I have a pretty aggressive personality and usually take the lead on things, however I always consult my sister along the way.  She’s very diligent and organized so I know I can count on her to make sure we’re hitting any deadlines.  We have a very ying-yang balance to our personalities so it works.

Daria: It’s great having a business partner that you can share clothes with!  I think it helped foster our personal style.  As the middle child of two very strong personalities, I have always been the most subdued of the three of us.  This carries over to Hubbell Hille and like Deanna said, it works.  She generally takes the lead on most things and I know exactly what I need to do to play my part.  We always consult with one another, especially when it comes to a design decision.  I’m typically very indecisive though, so she usually makes the final call.

Boss Lady: Hubbell Hille

5. What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Deanna: Being that we’re in the early stages of our company, and doing this mostly at night and weekends, social media has been very effective for us.  It’s the quickest, cheapest way to reach a broad audience and start building brand awareness.  We spend most nights reaching out to various bloggers/journalists/stylists across the country to work with them in promoting Hubbell Hille.  Most of them are very receptive and super helpful!

Daria: Good old fashioned word of mouth is always helpful too.  Just having our friends, family and co-workers wear our Hubblers has generated interest in the brand.

6. What advice would you give to other women in the industry that are trying to start their own line?
Deanna:  I’m sure my advice will be more credible when Hubbell Hille has $20m in annual sales, but my advice would be (and I think this applies to many areas of your life) to just do it!  Don’t overthink it or else you will just come up with many reasons of why it’s not possible, not smart, not easy, etc.  We are now in a time, I think, when it has never been easier to start a brand, between the internet and social media, so give it a shot.  Stop thinking and start doing.

Daria: Start small and don’t expect to be an overnight success.  Prior to establishing Hubbell Hille, Deanna became an overnight expert in all things small business related.  She didn’t wait for someone to give her the answers or show her the way, she found it herself!  Don’t let anyone deter you from pursuing your dream, but be smart and do your homework so you know exactly what’s entailed.

7. Where do you hope to see Hubbell Hille in 5+ years?
Deanna/Daria: We would love to see Hubbell Hille surpass $2m in annual sales, have an expanded product line beyond our “Hubbler” style and have pop-up shops in Nantucket, Palm Beach, New York and Spring Lake, NJ (our beach town).  We also would like to see a portion of our annual revenue going towards a charity of our choice (which we’re working on!) as we think it’s very important to give back to the causes you are passionate about.

8. Who is a #bosslady that inspires you?
Deanna: Any woman who proves that you can have it “all”, whatever your definition of all is.  That working, learning, having a family, being engaged with your community, etc. are all possible to balance.  If I had to pick a specific example, the founders at Tuckernuck inspire me.  I came across an interview with one of the Co-Founders years ago and have been following them ever since.  It’s three young women with very impressive backgrounds and they have built an amazing company over the past few years…their vision and marketing is genius!

Daria: Coming from an education background and currently working in an all-female firm, I’ve had the opportunity to work and interact with women from all walks of life.  It’s the everyday woman that inspires me.  The mom, the professional, the young struggling to start their career and the seasoned veterans who just won’t quit.  My current boss is a mother of three who took her experience from a 20+ year career and started her own firm that has continued to thrive.  She is a female powerhouse!

Boss Lady: Hubbell Hille

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The Social Scoop

The Social Scoop

Welcome to The Social Scoop, a series that shares what’s happening in the marketing world each week. Here’s the latest social media marketing news…

Snapchat More Expensive Than Facebook
“At a $33 billion valuation, Snap is worth about 35 times its projected 2017 revenue.”  Snapchat began trading this past week at $24 per share on the New York Stock Exchange. Read more here.

Paris Fashion Week + Technology
New designs for “smart dresses”  launched at Paris Fashion week. The exhibition explores the relationship between humans, fashion and technology. Very cool!

Facebook Dislike Button 
Facebook is making it easier for users to express their malcontent by creating a dislike button. However, it may not be where you think it is.

Spring Break Marketing
From travel research transformation to reshaping travel agencies, check out these 5 ways that social media has transformed tourism marketing.

Keyword Search Help
Check out the 10 best free keyword research tools for building your SEO platform here. 

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Fashion Sense: NYFW Recap

Stunning, brilliant and magical. Three words to describe New York Fashion Week 2017. Featured designers put blood, sweat and tears (maybe literally) into their productions and they could not have been more extravagent. From the launch of Gemy Maalouf’s collection to Vivienne Tam, Vivienne Hu, Leanne Marshall & Nicole Miller, we witnessed true talent first hand and learned of trends arriving in Fall 2017. We have to admit, we can NOT wait!

Vivienne Hu 
This collection captured more of the “Nonchalant Tomboy” trend vibing throughout fashion week. Our favorite looks include a clean, minimalist line and we sure can’t forget about the layers! Lots and lots of layers; pure brilliance.

Vivienne Hu

Image Via

Nicole Miller
The designer channeled her inner NYC grunge for this collection and we loved it! Skulls, leather and chains were frequently seen on the runway with dark eye makeup and a bright red lip. Again, we can’t forget about those layering pieces!

Nicole MillerImage Via 

Vivienne Tam
While Nicole Miller channeled her inner NYC grunge, Vivienne went with a Hong Kong nightlife scene for her inspiration. The vibe of the show was everything, upbeat and fierce with a feministic touch. From bold patterns to bombers and sequence, the collection captured every bit of the urban culture. Check out those prints!

Vivienne Tam

Vivienne Tam

Vivienne Tam

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Gemy Maalouf
This collection screams romance! Gemy mastered the evening gown aesthetic for her fashion week launch party. Structured tailored peices, lace detail and ruffles made up this perfectly elegant group. Did we mention it was at the Bowery Hotel?

Gemy MaaloufGemy MaaloufGemy Maalouf

Leanne Marshall
Leanne Marshall gave her collection the feminist touch with monochromatic looks, varying necklines, soft silk and textured lace. The models sported neutral makeup, updos, red lips and a gorgeous statemenet earring.

Leanne Marshall

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