5Q: FOUNDER LAUREN CECCHI NEW YORK, A q&a between WOMEN WHO'VE STARTED THEIR OWN BUSINESS

I met theeeee Lauren Cecchi , founder of Lauren Cecchi New York under very unique circumstances. We were both recruited to introduce our brands in a SoHo holiday pop-up. For me the pop-up was a bust but I met Lauren and we shared ideas, experiences and became fast friends. To date we have swapped ideas, shared contacts, celebrated each others successes and been there to vent. 

Lauren Cecchi is a bossbabe on fire. She is powerful, intentional, brutally honest and one of the smartest ladies I know. It's my pleasure to introduce you to Lauren Cecchi.  I take my Lauren Cecchi red ostrich wallet everywhere I go. It's a chic , must have! 

1. Looking back on your first job: What skill did you use that you still use today?

 My first internship was at Bloomingdale’s as a Visual Stylist. I think a little piece of your past always follows you, especially when it involves fashion. A lot of the skills I learned there have stayed with me. For example, when we would dress mannequins I was taught that the more you add to a single display the more you sell. So I ended up adding belts, shoes, bracelets, hats, bags, and whatever else could fit and still appear cohesive.

 This way, when a shopper saw the ensemble they might find an accessory they were looking for even if they weren’t necessarily shopping for a dress. The customer sees the piece on the mannequin – looking amazing with an assortment of other pieces – and they are immediately reminded of what they are looking for. Suddenly, they know where to find it and can instantly pair it with numerous other options. In short, I learned that it is always best to show someone “too much” instead of “too little” because you never really know what they will gravitate towards.

2. Was there a defining moment that made you start your business?

In my heart I always knew I would be a designer someday. But, the defining moment that made me start doing this was one day during lunch with my brother. He asked me why I wasn’t doing this already. I shot back with a bunch of excuses and then realized that all of those excuses were just words. They were like lingering statements of defeat with no real reason behind them. I suddenly realized I had no real cause to be afraid of taking chances. There would be no “right time” to wait around for. I started designing my first bag right there at the table and the rest is history.

3. What was the first step you took to launch your brand?

My first step was getting my website domain ready and doing the paperwork to become a legal business. Once I had my Tax ID I could buy leather wholesale, so that was a huge part of getting my business off the ground and the start to this crazy adventure!

4. What is the greatest lesson learned in your first year in business?

“Don’t take yourself too seriously; it is only handbags. Nobody is going to die over a late season.”

5. What is your best piece of advice for your fellow Female Founder?

My advice is this: believe in your own abilities. I know that sounds cliché, but if we don’t believe in ourselves enough then who will? We cannot compare ourselves to others; that just slowly tears down all the amazing things we do. Sometimes we just need to take a step back and look at the big picture – the long road we have walked – and say, “That was one hell of a ride,” or “I deserve this.” Remember, you didn’t get where you are by doing nothing. You must have worked hard and you should be proud of yourself. Try to think of this once a day, because self-hate is one of the quickest ways to never achieve your goals.