We sat down with WIN Lab Miami entrepreneur, Leana Loh, to learn more about her advice for fellow founders and what inspired her company, Ginger Straps.
"When seeking advice, only ask or receive it from people that are where you want to be. Absolutely nobody else can direct you correctly. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business." - Leana Loh, Founder of Ginger Straps
Q. Tell us what prompted you to start your venture, Ginger Straps?
Growing up, I always wanted to create a product. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’ve always felt like [it would be] a creative product, but I had the desire to make a tangible item straight from my imagination. Out of pure necessity, Ginger Straps was born. I was borrowing a pair of high heels during a snow storm in New York and they wouldn’t stay on. I asked a girlfriend to borrow a pair of detachable bra straps and I strapped on the shoes. Developing the product didn’t begin for another year after that when I said to myself “why is it that women cannot attach a cute ankle strap to their existing shoes?” I went through a few prototype and product testing phases and now have a tangible product that attaches to heels, flats and wedges for comfort and accessorizing purposes.
Q. What has been your greatest success so far in your entrepreneurial journey and why?
My greatest success has been follow through. It’s like hearing a broken record play when people say they “have an idea”, but it’s an entirely different story when someone actually turns an idea into reality. I have a tenacious personality in general and never give up on anything, especially myself.
Q. What are your top three must-read content sources for entrepreneurs, e.g. websites, blogs, podcasts?
Tim Ferris (blogs, Tools of Titans – basically anything he puts out, because he quotes and interviews amazing people). Lots to learn from him.
Anything zen – getting into a space of meditation on a daily basis is an absolute game changer. And it’s a practice – one should never give up on this or think they should have a quiet mind, meditation is so much more than that.
How to Make Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Q. What is one of the most important things you have learned while building your venture?
Only take advice from people that are walking the ACTUAL steps you want to take. There is deep psychology behind opinions and advice from people close to you, friends or those that may have valid opinions, but the people that have “been there, done that” and are where you want to be is absolute best advice you can get. Second, super important, finances – but get help if it’s not your jam.
Q. What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
Learn, understand and manage your finances. I would NEVER recommend hiring out until you’ve sat there and entered every penny into a money management software (for example Quickbooks) yourself. Stick to the plan and you’ll then have no time to do it. Know your money. (I learned this the hard way).
Interested in joining the next WIN Lab cohort of women entrepreneurs? Head here to learn more about our application cycle!