Recap: 'The Hustle Is Real'




For female entrepreneurs, the hustle is constant and ever-changing as businesses expand and evolve with time. Last week, we brought together four hustlers to discuss building a brand in the ecommerce space at our Los Angeles tradeshow and in turn they doled out some amazing business and life advice! ‘The Hustle Is Real’ when it comes to launching and scaling a digital brand. Lucky for you, our panelists got real about marketing budgets, the responsibility that comes with being a woman business owner, awesome office spaces, and so much more! Below, we’ve recapped some of our favorite tidbits from Margaret Kleveland (CEO/Co-Founder, DÔEN), Ellen Bennett (CEO/Founder of Hedley & Bennett), April Uchitel (CEO of Violet Grey), and Ashley Merrill (CEO/Founder of Lunya Co.). Want in on our events in NY, LA, and Dallas? Sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of the page!

“More than ever, you need to give a sense of what’s important to you as a brand.” - april uchitel

Violet Grey may now be known for their strict ‘Violet Code’ and highly coveted storefront, but it began as an online magazine, created to fill a void in the discussion surrounding luxury beauty and skincare products. As Violet Grey has scaled, they’ve managed to sell high end products while maintaining a singular voice that resonates with millennials and baby boomers alike. April says their continued success is due to knowing what matters to them as a brand and letting those ideals guide their online presence.

“When building a digital marketing team, finding people you trust enough to give creative freedom to is a huge gift.” - Margaret Kleveland

DÔEN is known for their strong content and immersive campaigns. Through DÔEN’s beautiful imagery, we’ve gone to a secluded cabin in the woods, spent time feeding sheep, frolicked in sculpture gardens, and took many trips to dreamy beach side towns. What’s the key to their incredible success in the digital marketing space? Finding a few key members who saw and executed Margaret’s grand vision with care and precision.

“I truly believe you need both traditional and digital marketing. People want the real connection; they want to look you in the eye and see there’s a real person behind the company.” - Ellen Bennett

Hedley & Bennett didn’t start out headquartered in a massive facility featuring a bright yellow slide and tree-house, but hard work and a lot of hustle got them there eventually. Not only does Hedley & Bennett outfit thousands of restaurants around the world, they also host events in their own space in partnership with a variety of high-profile companies. Ellen swears by these events as a necessary element of expanding a business - even one that mostly resides online.


“We have a lot of successful women on this panel and a lot of women here in the audience. One of the things I think about is are we giving money back to the next generation of female entrepreneurs?” - Ashley Merrill

If you’ve been in Los Angeles in the last few months you’ve most likely seen a Lunya billboard cheekily advertising the brand’s exceptionally comfortable sleepwear. Aside from designing things to sleep in that are actually cute (and functional!), Lunya is creating a community based out of their shops in Santa Monica and New York’s LES and supporting numerous female-centered charity projects. While scaling her own success, Ashley is continuing to build upon the next generation of women-owned businesses.

Thank you to our panelists for sharing their infinite wisdom and to Lady & Larder for serving up some delicious treats! Sign up below and hear about all of our events first!