Leslie Marin and I met over Instagram towards the tail end of 2015. She had liked one of my Instagram photos (the power of hashtagging!) and I clicked through to her website and was blown away by her beautifully curated online shop. Naturally I reached out to learn more about the shop and was eager to see if there was a physical location to check out. We quickly decided to meet up and learn more about what the other person was doing. Leslie and I met for coffee and I was immediately blown away by her drive and her poise. Bleecker & Spring is Leslie’s side hustle and she somehow finds the time to balance product orders, designing jewelry, gifting bloggers and maintain her website while soaring at her demanding finance job. Learn how Leslie finds balance between her two lives.
1. You my dear, are what my dear friend Katie Corcoran calls "a lady hustler" while working a demanding full time finance job you somehow found the time to create an ecommerce website, design jewelry and create quite the fan base. Can you tell us a bit more what inspired you to create Bleecker & Spring?
Well thank you! I've always had a strong love for fashion and in particular jewelry. I wanted to create a brand that was geared to women like me. Women that have a career and are working so hard to make it on their own. She knows what it takes to make a dollar but still wants to indulge and keep up with trends without breaking the bank. I imagine her with dual screens shopping on Bleecker on one and investing in portfolios on the other!
2. What's holding you back from focusing on Bleecker & Spring full-time? What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I don't think that anything is necessarily holding me back. I'm currently working for one of the top Private Equity firms in the world and know that there is still so much I want to learn from my group. It's a personal goal for me to achieve a certain level of "success" here and be able to say that I did it. Goals Goals Goals!
Can't say that there is one specific challenge but more so smaller bumps in the road everyday. Some days our internet is down (ugh!) so we become IT specialists other days we spend hours pitching Bleecker and receive zero response so we're forced to draw up a new course of action. It all comes with brewing a start up. It humbles you a lot and makes you appreciate your business that much more and pushes you to fight for it.
3. What has been the ultimate "pinch me" moment since launching your brand?
When my website went "live". So much hard work and endless amount of hours were put into this by so many people that I was humbled. It was my dream and to finally see it up and in color was such an incredible moment for me.
4. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Any chance we'll see a brick and mortar location on Bleecker & Spring?
Yes! I want to grow the brand to include home decor which is another passion of mine. Again, keeping the same business frame in mind. Would also love to get into department stores, all part of the 5-10 year plan!
5. Where do you find inspiration in the creation and development of your brand? Do you have any recommendations for people on living a balanced life to others that have a side hustle?
A big inspiration comes from like minded women I surround myself with. I love a woman with drive, ambition, and hustle. She's the Bleecker woman and she's the one I'm constantly designing for. I want my brand to empower women to give them the ability to shop but at the same time not have the guilt that comes with that indulgence. I want her to have sound financial stability first and foremost. Kill it. In whatever you do just be the best that there is. When I was younger my dad said something to me that I will never forget, "I don't care what you become as long as you're the best at it" I apply that to everything.
6. You named your company off of two of my favorite streets in NYC, do you have any favorite restaurants or shops on those streets?