“Knowing my limitations and putting faith in others has been one of the hardest lessons.”
Layne is an executive unicorn, walking on both the financial and creative sides of business. With an impressive eye for venture potential, she helped build and launch Mignonne Gavigan, while cultivating a team built on support and success.
Building the right team is key, but you need to know your people! Situational leadership is a must!
After graduating from Duke University, Layne began her career in investment banking. Always interested in design, and an Art minor at Duke, Layne met Mignonne through mutual friends and was immediately drawn to Mignonne’s designs. Seeing the potential for Mignonne’s unique designs and her commitment to building her brand, Layne decided to leave the finance world to help launch and build Mignonne Gavigan.
What tips do you have for other women who would like to start their own businesses?
LL: Once we started hiring employees, it was a massive shift of focus for us and a huge learning experience for me as an entrepreneur. So much more of my time and energy is now dedicated to managing people and making sure that not only are they contributing to the business’s success, but that the business is contributing to their success and their professional development as well. As the business has grown, I have been forced to take some chances in terms of delegating and relinquishing control. Knowing my own limitations and putting faith in others to execute has been one of the hardest lessons, but more than ever after the birth of my first child a few weeks ago, I’ve realized the value of having strong women on my team who have been able to support me and anticipate when and how I would need them to take control.
Do you follow a certain morning routine or daily schedule to maximize productivity and well-being?
LL: I live and die by a daily routine. When we first started the business, Mignonne and I were working from home and each others’ apartments, it was really difficult to have any sense of balance between home and work – which, in turn, snowballed into difficulty managing stress and “turning off” to recharge (and sleep!). When we got our first offices and started hiring, adherence to a schedule really helped me compartmentalize what was going on at work and helped me to maximize my time at home.
This 100% makes me more effective at my job and more recharged each day and each week. But everyone is different! To me, a routine is crucial and helps me to manage and anticipate the challenges ahead, short term and long term. But I have seen for others, often those who work in more creative roles and whose brains work in a different way, that a strict routine can also be limiting and restrictive. Everyone is different in this way.