Leslie Clay Nowlin knew from a young age that she wanted to be her own boss and have her own business. She entered into the hospitality industry thinking that she would eventually open her own restaurant, but being in that field for just over seven years gave her experiences that helped her realize that was not her dream.
She transitioned to sales and worked for Meltwater, a company that helps businesses drive growth and build brands through online media intelligence and social media marketing, for five years. She hit a point where she knew there was nowhere else for her to grow and she was craving working for herself and owning something of her own.
So…she set out to figure out what she could do – seeking out advice from mentors at Score and doing a lot of research on her own. She had been a long time customer at fab’rik, loved the concept of the store and valued the relationships that she had created with the stylists. Since she wanted a business that she genuinely enjoyed and could have fun with, she decided to explore what it would mean to open her own fab’rik in the Denver, Colorado area.
Fast forward and Leslie now owns and operates a fab’rik in Littleton, CO with her husband as her business partner. Her Chapter Be story examines what it means to desire being your own boss and how you can create that for yourself. Leslie did not have an extensive background in retail – but that didn’t stop her from opening a retail store, which is an amazing example that we can use our already existing skill set and don’t have to be an expert in everything before starting!
Listen below to learn more about Leslie’s Chapter Be story and how she made it all happen…
PODCAST POINTS TO REFERENCE
[02:30] Everyone should have some hospitality experience – it makes you a better employee at anything you do!
[08:35] Why Leslie decided that opening a franchise was the right decision for her and her path to being her own boss.
[12:35] How Leslie’s background in the hospitality industry and in sales helped inform her next steps as a small business owner.
[16:05] Why you should TAKE THE RISK! “In my heart [my job] no longer felt right. I knew it was time for something different.”
[17:45] What it means to have your husband as a business partner. How they divide up the responsibilities and make sure that they create a time together that doesn’t involve work.
[25:20] The pluses and minuses of being your own boss.
[30:00] Leslie discusses the importance of building a community at fab’rik.
[37:10] Becoming her own boss has allowed her more creative freedom – she gets the chance to try things out without having to first check with someone else or a company policy.
[41:00] The power of yoga in Leslie’s life – how she slows down and remembers to breathe!
[43:40] Leslie talks about what success will look like for her and the store.
CHAPTER BE QUESTIONNAIRE…
What’s your favorite quote, story or fact to tell at a dinner or cocktail party?
Probably the story of how I met my husband. Or how he proposed. Yeah, I’m that girl.
Worst work experience?
I managed a 22,000 sqft sports bar in Atlanta. We were located by the Dome in Atlanta and hosted SEC Kickoff and Championship parties. Imagine 22,000 sq ft filled with drunken SEC fans after a game….let’s just say it’s the reason I left hospitality forever.
What is your definition of success?
Loving what you do everyday, even on the worst days.
How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?
I am a true believer that a yoga class fixes most things…
How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?
Most of the time walking in circles. I have to make lists or I am a mess.
Ideal READING LIST – books that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
Favorite song with “be” in the title?
Let It Be Me by Ray LaMontagne
LINKS & RESOURCES…
- fab’rik | Denver
- fab’rik Instagram
- Aspen Grove
- Score – Mentoring for small business owners
Images via Chapter Be