No one knows what they are doing either. I have a list now of people who have accomplished extraordinary things in business, that have never studied their profession. They learned as they grew their business. The list is long and wide.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lyndie Benson. Lyndie is Founder and Designer of Malibu-based fashion design firm Bleusalt. Since launching Bleusalt in November of 2017, Lyndie has become a vital force in creating her own category of elevated athleisure, turning Bleusalt into one of the most successful and trend-setting fashion design brands. Bleusalt’s high-quality luxurious designs, embodying the raw beauty of nature, the spirit of the ocean, and an easy elegance and comfort, have become a wardrobe staple for some of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces, queens and princesses, and the Malibu-based celebrities who felt an authentic connection to the brand, including Cindy Crawford, Kris Jenner, Lisa Rinna and Patrick Dempsey. Bleusalt consistently graces the pages of the world’s top fashion magazines including O Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, In Style, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, and many more.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
This specific career path has to do with everything I live and breathe. However, it was far from a plan. I have always been creative and that really has been applied to everything I have done — Raising my 2 amazing boys, designing and decorating homes, my fine art photography, dressing my family and friends for fun. I combined my love of fashion with my creativity, and Bleusalt was created.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The most interesting experience that has happened to me thus far was in my first year of business, when we were trying to stay afloat after returning a whole production. It was certainly an experience. We didn’t have product for months and I kept the company afloat by the skin of my teeth.
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?
Well, I look at all mistakes as a learning curve. I have made so many but probably the biggest, and probably not that funny, was not knowing exactly the importance of what a Creative Director does — When I started the company, I gave that title to someone who was helping me because she asked for it — and then everyone thought she was behind all the creativity! When I started getting the strangest questions, I figured it out!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Bleusalt stands out as being in a category of its own as in ELEVATED athleisure- The category is more inspired by fine brands such as Loro Piana and Hermes rather than Athletic wear looking stylish. It’s more about elevated casual looks. The idea is to make you feel like you are in your sweatpants, but you actually look “put together.”
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We have so many exciting projects coming! Until now, we were focusing on cultivating the perfect collection and are currently in the process of adding Bedding. We believe in bringing a truly sustainable way of living into people’s lives. That is a paired down functional closet, it’s about the right basics and accessories to carry you through your life and that to me helps people live better in everything you do.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
I believe that every leader plays an important role in inspiring and motivating their team. I am always open to all ideas and encourage my team to think out of the box. Even if not all ideas can be implemented, my team members know that I value everything that they come to me with, and that I value what they contribute to the growth of my brand.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Managing a large team is not an easy task but can definitely be more efficient when you hire exceptionally talented executives to manage each department. Once you have that team in place, communication becomes more centralized and a business can run more smoothly and efficiently.
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 brilliant friend Cindy Crawford gave me some of the best advice at the start when I was coming to her with fires that needed to be put out and asking her advice…. after about the third time, she said to me “you know this happens everyday right? There will always be fires to put out, so just put them out and move on!” Best advice ever!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
One of my greatest pleasures is to be able to give back in any way I can. Best Buddies is a charity closest to my heart and I love to be able to participate in making the lives of others better.
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 🙂
If I could have lunch with anyone it would be Howard Schultz. I love his advice and to be able to have his undivided attention would be golden. One piece of advice he gave me, which was already amazing is, “it’s very hard to build up a brand and it’s very, very easy to tear it down!”
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
1-No one knows what they are doing either…
I have a list now of people who have accomplished extraordinary things in business, that have never studied their profession. They learned as they grew their business. The list is long and wide. I always thought that you had to go to college or get really, really accomplished at something before you can take your first step-so UNTRUE. I am a trained actor, which has zero to do with what I am doing now.
2-You can pursue a career in whatever you want to do — Whether you studied for it or not, if it’s in your heart, just go for it!
3-You can learn new things anytime in life- It is never ever too late — like ever!
I am learning now for the first time about how to run a business and I am 56 years old and have been in BLEUSALT college now for 3 years!
4- It’s Okay to trust yourself;
I used to listen to people who were accomplished and believe anything they had to say about my brand and business, now I do not. Now I listen knowing that I don’t HAVE to take their advice if it doesn’t feel right or feels true to my brand.
5- Being insecure about little things you think are big just ruins your energy and confidence — which is all what people actually see. No one actually cares about how your hair looks. Really, they don’t. So focus on what really matters.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
LIFE’S BEST LESSONS SEEM TO BE LEARNED AT THE WORST TIMES-
This quote is so true. It helps you grow rather than become a victim.
Thank you for all of these great insights!