Photo by Jessica Epstein

Lauri's Picks

Lauri Levenfeld

1. Who are you? Tell us about your business, charity or endeavor.

I am the Founder of The Women Project & Co-Founder of StyleArmy. I started The Moms Project to give moms & women relatable and inspiring stories, resources, and ways to network and interact. We are now broadening the site to engage all women as inspiration and to broaden the scope of stories and resources. I created THE PROJECT to bring together all of the above in full circle- creating opportunities to support and fund women in their entrepreneurial pursuits. My other company, StyleArmy, is a full service branding company focusing on fashion and lifestyle.

2. What is your best advice for someone with a great idea or starting their own business?

Be willing to ask for help and to make mistakes, try anything to make it work, and network like mad. Also its worthwhile to find a mentor who has done something similar or been successful in your field. I am always amazed at how willing and giving people are. You just have to ask.

3. Why did you decide to participate on The Project?

The Project is my way to be a conscious consumer and channel my buying into a productive means to contribute to others and to women striving for the same things that I am.

4. What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?

I love creating something new and seeing my ideas come to fruition. And especially, the freedom to work my own hours (even though they are long) and set time aside for my family.

5. What has been your biggest win? And biggest failure?

I feel extremely lucky that I get to do what I love and feel so passionate about daily. Both of my businesses surround me with incredibly inspiring, creative, and successful people.  I learn so much being in this company and I feel my business life has really enhanced and benefited my personal life as well. With Style Army, I get to live out all my fashion dreams with my incredible business partner, dear friend, and amazing stylist Mary Gonsalves Kinney (mom of three!) and a dream team of experts that encourage me and push me to be my best. With The Womens Project, it’s a lot of the same fun and on a personal level-I learn daily from the shares of our featured women and I have build this incredible extended family/community for myself and my family. Not to mention-even though all entrepreneurs work like dogs- we do have the flexibility to make our own schedules and on the days when my daughter is sick or needs a fun mommy-daughter day I can usually make this happen.

I would also say that the iphone has become a big fail for me. When my daughter is talking to me and my mind is elsewhere or I am fiddling with my phone looking at emails or instagram, I get a sick pit in my stomach.  I am really trying to be less instantly responsive with my work and if I have to lock my phone down in my office during “Harley-time”, that’s exactly what I am going to do.

6. Who or what has been the biggest influence in your career?

My parents, my husband and all the women in my life (*including my daughter Harley*).

Hari Dillon, the Founder of Vanguard was also was a huge influence in my life for his commitment to social equality and charity. He gave me my first job photographing Nelson Mandela, an opportunity that changed my life and outlook forever.

7. Tell us a little about the boutique collection you have curated for The Project.

I have curated a boutique for the Career-Savvy, Downtown Girl. Ladies who are rocking a career (in whatever field)- with individualism, creativity and style. This is a time for women to take a stand, stand out, ROAR,  and be true to themselves… expressing who they are, right down to the kick *ss booties on their feet!!