Lauren Maillian Bias
Founder & CEO, LMB Group
Lauren Maillian Bias is a serial entrepreneur; she is the Founder and CEO of Luxury Market Branding, a strategic marketing company, and is a Founding Partner at Gen Y Capital Partners, an early stage venture firm focused on investments in mobile and consumer facing technology enabled companies. At age 19, Lauren founded a boutique winery READ MORE »
Q: Please share with us the story of how your professional journey began and has brought you to where you are today.
A: My professional journey began as a passion project that I worked tirelessly on to turn into an internationally recognized wine brand. It taught me some life lessons, I of course made some mistakes, but thankfully the experience shaped the way I conduct business–ultimately making me more resilient and showing me the importance of being diligent. In more concise terms, it refined my entrepreneurial perspective and showed me how to operate and manage every facet of a business.
In the case of my first company, I learned how to effectively manage everything from manufacturing, wholesale, retail and logistics to marketing, branding, sales and human resources. It forced me to master multi-tasking and learn to thrive under immense pressure – it showed me that I could be the Chief Everything Officer of my professional endeavors. That in itself gave me the ability to believe in the pursuit of my passions and my ability to turn my interests into profitable ventures – it sparked my entrepreneurial spirit! Exiting the winery I founded, where I served as the Chief Operating Officer from inception until the brands’ acquisition, gave me a platform to start my marketing consultancy, Luxury Market Branding, where I brought my marketing and branding experience to other brands within the wine and spirits industry – and eventually, we branched out into hair care, skincare and fashion accessories as well. Soon, I found myself more and more immersed in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New York City and intrigued by the budding technology startup community in my backyard. Marketing consulting turned into startup advising and within that year, I was working towards building an early stage venture firm in New York City to support the community and ecosystem that I had grown to believe in so much.
Q: If a business has several, viable ways to grow and innovate, how do you pick the best road to take?
A: I like to refer to logic and trust my intuition at all times. Sometimes that requires changing your viewpoint to that of your customer, investor, or competitors, but the best road to take — the single decision you make at the time of that critical inflection point, should always feel good in your gut when you go to sleep. You can’t always go with what you think will be most profitable, you have to stop to consider the impact of your decisions on your company’s long term vision and mission – never undermine your integrity. Ultimately make the decision that gives you the most mileage, however you quantify mileage.
Q: What’s your best advice for an entrepreneur in an early/bootstrapping phase? Or in a growth/need to ‘now scale’ phase?
A: My best advice for an entrepreneur at any stage is to maximize your resources early on to gain as much traction and credibility as possible before seeking funding. The farther along you take your company with outside capital will ensure you the most control and equity stake as you grow. Secondly, build a culture where people want to work – empower your team to treat your company as if it were their own – give the players on your team a reason to become vested in the growth of your vision.
Q: What do you believe makes a great brand?
A: A great brand is made by having true connectivity between the target market and the mission, and overall expression of the brand. A great brand delivers what it promises and has customers and employees who believe in what the brand stands for and are proud to wear it, use it, and enjoy it. It’s this consumer/brand connectivity that drives engagement and loyalty that fosters the long-term success of consumer products.
ON Starting Out
Q: What are your top 3 tips for a woman entering the “real world” workforce?
A: Work harder than expected, do more than you’re asked, always be genuine.
ON Taking Risk
Q: How do you overcome feelings of insecurity, fear or discomfort when deciding to take a risk?
A: I always feel comfortable with the risks that I decide to take at the outset. It’s actually exhilarating at times! I take comfort in knowing that if for some reason I fail, that the experience was worth it regardless of the outcome, and that how I recover from a setback is what will really matter most — and I know no other way to bounce back than with grace and professionalism.
ON Giving Back
Q: Why is it important for every single person sharing this earth to give back in some capacity?
A: Simple – to whom much is given, much is expected. Success is nothing without a positive impact on others.
Q: How do you respond to the question “How has having a child changed your life?”
A: Of course it has and for the better! They bring meaning to every decision I make and inspire me to make them proud.