For a long time, I’ve wanted to share with you creators, dreamers, and doers who I think you should know. The ones that inspire me and blow me away by their ingenuity and passion. Therefore, I’ve decided to share a series of interviews I’ve done with some free-spirited women with a rad, entrepreneurial dream! I think these women are doing a fantastic job of making things happen.
So with great pleasure, Let me introduce you to lifestyle and fashion blogger, Leslie, from One Brass Fox.
What’s your full name? Leslie Jamison Musser
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Topsfield, a sweet little town on the North Shore of Massachusetts. It’s about 25 minutes outside of Boston. My parents still live there and I adore everything about it. It’s suburbia with easy access to the city, the ocean, endless playgrounds, and hiking trails. As one of five kids, our house was never quiet and that’s the way we liked it.
Did you always have a dream starting your own website/lifestyle brand?
Well, I can’t say that when I was five and playing dress-up Barbie that I dreamt of a web-based lifestyle brand. However, circa 2005-2006, my sister shared with me the blog Cupcakes & Cashmere and that had me hooked. I adored the way Emily Schuman (author + founder) combined each passion in her life to form one cohesive, engaging, and entertaining website. She’s since grown that brand to be a clothing company with a soon-to-launch home décor line in the works. I still aspire to her authenticity, genuine voice, and unrelenting drive for success.
What did you study in college?
English Language & Literature. And no, I didn’t want to teach. That’s always the question people ask next! I just loved reading, writing, and felt it would be a versatile major.
Do you feel like you enjoyed school?
I adored my Middle School and High School years. But, looking back, I see college as a time I had to ‘get through’ and not the most treasured period of life.
When did you start your business? Tell me about it!
I started my blog + business in October of 2013. After just a month or so of being married, my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching television. I’d been keeping it inside that I wanted to launch this project. I carefully worded the idea to him and, true to my nature, within an hour the decision was made. I told him that I’d start that night, blog five times a week (except for holidays), and turn this into a business. I’ve not looked back (and never missed a day) since.
Where do you think your creativity stemmed from? Did you do a lot of arts and crafts growing up? Is your mom or dad really creative?
My dad is the very brilliant, cerebral type and my mom is one of the most stunningly thoughtful and creative people I’ve ever met. She’s an actress, singer, and had the tremendous knack for throwing my siblings and me the most amazing birthday parties. I have to give my creativity credit to her, both by watching her in action and experiencing her tireless encouragement.
Did you have any influences that encouraged you to be an entrepreneur?
As I mentioned before, the founder of Cupcakes & Cashmere, Emily Schuman, was inadvertantly a huge influence on my decision. I hope some day to meet her and share that story. Otherwise, my husband and family have been tremendous in this decision. My parents are willing to support out-of-the-box thinking, my siblings are thrilled to encourage it, and my husband is a saint in helping me execute my entrepreneurial spirit.
Tell me about a project or accomplishment in your business you consider to be the highlight of your career so far.
This past year I became an affiliate with the rewardStyle program. It was a tremendous accomplishment to be welcomed into their ranks. The top echelon of influencers get an opportunity to take part in their company. That felt like a major step in the right direction and a validation of the work that’s been done so far with one brass fox.
Growing up I always loved reading Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew. The mystery genre grabbed my attention at a young age. So I love how the ladies of “Stuff You Missed in History Class” bring to light these obscure, often mystifying stories. They’re educational yet enthralling all at the same time. And it makes my commutes fly by!
I’m not just saying this to hop on an overcrowded bandwagon. I am smitten by Adele. For years I’ve followed her career and learned every lyric imaginable. Come on, that chill-inducing voice just can’t be beat. She’s the diva of our generation. Too much? I’ll stop.
Green, but none of this neon stuff. I love a rich, emerald hue.
Describe yourself in three words to people who don’t know you. Capable, driven, loyal
Can you tell me two things I don’t know about you. (Any hidden talents?)
- I’ve sung on stage in Boston’s Symphony Hall twice
- I can recite every single line of the movie Liar, Liar
What’s your favorite thing about owning your own company?
I love the fluidity of a lifestyle brand in that I get to determine the direction. That doesn’t mean it’s wayward or just goes wherever my emotions take it; rather, it means that over time and through the years it will evolve and grow as I enter various life stages. That’s the bronze, silver, and gold lining of owning my own company.
What’s your favorite thing to order for brunch?
Oh boy, I’m either an egg white omelet kind of girl (hold the cheese) or a sweet potato hash brown lady. If you set either one in front of me I’m content for the day.
Favorite place in Boston?
For an indoor space I’m totally smitten by the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. That magical interior is always inviting, inspiring, and offering something new I’d never noticed before. As far as outdoor space, I’m partial to the architecture of the Christian Science Center courtyard. The columns, fountains, and wide open space feels a bit like a European piazza.
What companies inspire you?
I gravitate toward brands that offer a holistic approach. I’m always eager to learn of socially conscious companies that go beyond the product. Whether caring for their employees, offering micro loans in underprivileged areas, or investing in their clientele, these brands carry passion into multiple aspects of the industry. Off the top of my head I think of Everlane, Raven & Lily, and Good Society that emphasize fair trade production.
Name a dream brand you want to work with/partner with.
I’ve always set my sights on Anthropologie. Their endless creativity, ingenious products, and gorgeous styles constantly inspire me. I’ve also become enamored with AYR (their jeans are the best I’ve ever worn) and, interestingly enough, a lot of Australian brands such as SIR. the Label, Dept. of Finery, and Karla Spetic. Oh, also as a longtime goal: Jenny Packham. She designed my wedding dress and I’d love to slip into another of her creations.
Can you tell me one BIG goal you have for this year for your business?
I’ve heard many a time that each goal you set needs to be actionable, measurable, and achievable. And while I stringently adhere to the first two, I push my own boundaries on what’s achievable. I tend to shoot the moon and hope to get close. For better and for worse, I expect a whole lot. With that said, I’m wanting to quadruple my social followings. Yikes!
What’s your favorite business tip someone has ever given you about business/life?
Integrity is made evident from both action and inaction. While there are so many incredible facets of crafting my own brand, I’m constantly aware of how my actions (or lack thereof) will reflect on one brass fox. As much as I strive for success and work toward goals, the end objective is to be that person of integrity–that trustworthy, reliable, genuine personality to whom an audience (or consumer) can relate.
To see and hear more from Leslie, check out OneBrassFox.com or follow her rad instagram here!