Lauren Steinberg of Queen V: “Women need to support other women; We need to support one another and lift each other up instead of knocking each other down”

Women need to support other women. There is room for everyone at the top. Women can be mean to each other and can get very jealous. We need to support one another and lift each other up instead of knocking each other down. The more women at the top the better! As a part of our […]

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Women need to support other women. There is room for everyone at the top. Women can be mean to each other and can get very jealous. We need to support one another and lift each other up instead of knocking each other down. The more women at the top the better!

As a part of our series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Steinberg. Lauren, a Valley Girl at heart, was born and raised in Los Angeles. Growing up, she always had an entrepreneurial spirit and knew she was destined to start her own company, but never imagined it would be the first millennial-focused feminine wellness brand, Queen V. After graduating from The University of Southern California, Lauren landed her dream job, at the time, working on amazing brands, such as: Skinnygirl and Fabletics. She was thriving at work, but quickly realized the “boys club” environment that Hollywood had to offer and the traditional 9-to-5 wasn’t for her. Lauren knew she was meant for more and wanted to create a company that would empower her fellow females to find their voices and speak out! As the daughter of a gynecologist and fertility specialist, you could say that feminine wellness was always a part of Lauren’s life. As she grew up she started to develop infections “down there,” aka her Queen V. Lauren had no clue what was causing these problems, and after talking with her gynecologist and friends, she realized she wasn’t alone! After trying, and failing, to find healthy products to nourish her Queen V, Lauren noticed that nothing on the shelves was affordable, empowering or fun! So she set out to design a line of products that are natural, convenient, easy to understand, and beautifully designed. Lauren is determined to change the conversation around feminine health, because she knows that women shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about what’s going on with their Queen V. Lauren created the Queen V brand in hopes to empower women to become educated about their health and inspire them to use their voice to pursue something they are passionate about, because let’s face it when women feel their best, they can take on the world.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Queen V is a female-run and female-focused feminine wellness company. Queen V takes a really easy and fun approach to a topic that can be super confusing and embarrassing… trust me, I have been there.

3 in every 4 women will get a yeast infection at least once in their life and 25% of infections that women get are UTIs. This was astounding to me. I began looking for products that had better for me ingredients and were easy to use, affordable and effective, yet I couldn’t find anything that fit my needs. I know that when I feel good inside, I feel like I can take on the world. And I knew that if I wasn’t feeling good on the inside, other women probably weren’t as well. I wanted to change that! I became frustrated and decided to take matters into my own hands. This is when Queen V really began.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Pitching Walmart and getting a commitment for 11 products in the room has definitely been the most interesting part of launching Queen V. When I pitched the brand, I really only pitched my story and the ideas I had for products. I did not have final packaging or final fill. I think that my story and my passion combined with my age really influenced their decision to pick up the brand. Without Walmart, I don’t know where Queen V would be today.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Queen V launched when mercury was in retrograde so plenty of mistakes have been made! In the moment, the mistakes were not funny but looking back at them now, I can laugh. Many of the mistakes were due to operational issues. I won’t get into the crazy details but let’s not forget the many Nor’easters in 2018. We have nine manufacturers for 17 products and yes, it’s as difficult as you would think. This is the first company I have launched and I really did not understand why many companies have only one or two manufacturers. The reason we work with so many is because I wanted to make sure we had best in class manufacturers making each and every one of our products, and if I wasn’t able to find a one-stop-shop, that was ok. I decided not to take the easy road and instead, stand behind the efficacy of our products by choosing the person I thought would do the best job.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

I rely heavily on collaborative decision-making. I surround myself with people who have different strengths than myself and learn from them. From operations and logistics, to social media and product development, I am always leaning on those around me. I am lucky because my team is made up of all millennial women so I have a focus group right in front of me! I use this to my advantage.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

I’ve always been the type of person that wants to do everything on my own. I like to be in control and it was hard for me to let go of certain responsibilities once I realized I couldn’t do it all. However, I knew that I had a qualified team of smart women who were experts in their own field. Team work really does make the dream work. There are a lot of ups and downs with starting a business and it is so important to celebrate the small wins.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My boyfriend, Oliver Bogner, has always encouraged me to think big. He is always there for me when I need advice or just someone to talk to. It is so important to have an amazing support system especially when you are starting a business because there are so many highs and lows.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

What I have learned is that in order to run a successful business I need to be unapologetically myself and use my voice for those who may be afraid to use their own voices. Queen V is changing the conversation around health and wellness. Females feel empowered now more than ever and this allows us to harness that power and be heard. The availability of feminine hygiene products 10 years ago was one to two options if you were lucky. Today, women have options and that is so important. It’s also so important for women to mentor other women and to be good role models for younger generations. I am currently mentoring a young student and encouraging her to always have an opinion. Not being competitive with other women goes a long way.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

My journey with Queen V has been so crazy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not knowing has been a really fun part of running a business. I wish I had taken a few business classes in college but other than that I am actually really happy that I was able to experience everything and react to it in a way unique to me. There have been a lot of failures, but I learn from each and every one of them.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Women need to support other women. There is room for everyone at the top. Women can be mean to each other and can get very jealous. We need to support one another and lift each other up instead of knocking each other down. The more women at the top the better!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Dress for the part you want! Dressing professionally is very important to me. It makes me feel ready to take on the day and you never know when you are going to get called in for a surprise meeting!

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I have so many women that I would love to meet and get advice from. My top three would be Michelle Obama, Sara Blakely and Bethenny Frankel. I actually met Sara once and got a picture with her (it was a total fangirl moment)! I am constantly inspired by their work ethic, their individual stories and by the way they use their individual platforms.

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