Lisa Wells spent 10 years doing in-house marketing and PR for some of America’s biggest fashion brands. Then, she decided to start her own firm in pursuit of more flexible hours (to spend with her family), and the option to work remotely (pre-Covid, no less.) Wells, based in New York, has been in business for 13 years now – and counting – with a bevy of luxury fashion brands among her clients.
Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.
Tell us more about how you started up.
My business began organically. Luckily, I was able to transition easily with a number of clients who joined me at the beginning, and stayed with me for many years.
How is your business different from others in your industry?
Simple: I serve as in-house counsel to mid-size brands that can’t afford or don’t want the services of a large agency.
Tell us about your biggest success so far.
My biggest success and pride is that all of my clients over the last 10 years have come from professional references from colleagues that I have worked with in the past. I’ve never advertised my business but have enjoyed steady growth from associates that I worked with before starting my consultancy. I’ve been working in this field for 30 years, so I have a lot of experience. Clients trust me with their brand’s communication strategies.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge at this juncture in the company’s history is how to effectively manage the demands of individual clients. I have to be more conscientious about how much time I can devote to each client in order to make sure that I am devoting my resources to them all equally. It’s a challenge to offer one-on-one services to multiple clients when you are just one person.
Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?
I have been extremely blessed to have the support of my family who helped me get the business off the ground. Both my father and my husband have helped me with the accounting side of things and gave me the confidence to pursue working for myself.
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
I wish that I had stayed true to my original plan and not taken steps off the path when I was not sure that I was headed in the right direction. If I had more confidence, I would have known that detours at the beginning are normal, and that with patience, the business would have prevailed. The advice I give now is to stay the course and have the confidence to know that you are on the right path. There will be setbacks and detours, but in the end, it will be worth it.
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
Now, I know from experience that [when the tough times happen], this too will pass. It’s about the long haul and not the short game.
What is your go to song to get motivated on tough days?
“Let It Be” by the Beatles.
Who is your most important role model?
My husband. He has shown me that believing in myself can be the most successful path to take. ◼