On Hollywood, brand building, disrupting athleisure, and the female founder journey with Lyndie Benson of BleusaltFeatured
@lyndiebleusalt is Founder and Designer of Malibu-based fashion design firm Bleusalt, which creates high quality, luxury athleisure. Prior, Lyndie was an actress known for her role in Allie & Me. She was previously married to Grammy award winning saxophonist Kenny G, and she was instrumental in naming and branding his most successful albums. What are your main pieces of advice on effective brand building?The main advice I have on brand building has several components. The first and most important one is knowing who your target customer is. Another aspect, which I think is crucial, is having a mission statement. What do you and your brand stand for and what do you want to bring to the world and why? This is your brand's voice, and is something that needs a lot of thought. Your visual branding should effectively reflect these two components. Think really long and hard about each of these, and you will build a foundation you can count on for years to come.How do you evaluate potential partners and team members as you are building your business? That is a very important question. Everyone obviously looks for people who are great at what they do, are loyal, and who have their head in the game. But I also like to look for partners and team members who are big thinkers and those who under-promise and over-deliver. My whole team is like that.Looking at the next ~5 years, what are you most excited about at Bleusalt and/or elsewhere? I am most excited about continuing to build Bleusalt. I feel we have laid the foundation thus far and have a whole house to build. Until now, we were focusing on cultivating the perfect collection and are currently focusing on dropping a capsule collection around our line of seasonless basics, and from there we are moving to Bedding. Its divine!How did you overcome fear or doubt as you made the transition into entrepreneurship?Fear and doubt really are not a factor if you are fiercely passionate about what you are doing.Looking back on your life before becoming a founder, what are the main learnings you had that you can now apply to your role with Bleusalt? I have always been creative and that really has been applied to everything I have done: raising my two amazing boys, designing and decorating homes, my fine art photography, dressing my family and friends for fun, and even choosing album titles with my ex-husband of nearly 3 decades. Now all my creativity is focused solely on Bleusalt.How do you inspire your team to drive a continuous culture of innovation?Being inspired myself on a daily basis allows me to inspire my team. Everyone on my team knows I am open to and value all ideas, whether they can be executed or not. I encourage that culture in my team. How did you come up with the name “Bleusault”?Blue Salt is the ocean, and I spelled it BLEUSALT so we could have “USA” in the center. What was the most surprising challenge in building Bleusault?I think the challenge for me was getting to the point of feeling comfortable delegating, but it became easier as I assembled a great core team. You really have to trust that tasks and responsibilities will be handled with great care, and you can do that when you surround yourself with a great team.What is your favorite advice around negotiation for early stage female founders?I think it goes back to my point about NO FEAR. I think a lot of people go into negotiations or make decisions coming from a place of fear, and that is a big mistake. I also think being fair is important, as well as knowing that in a successful negotiation, each side has to give up something to make it work. It was wonderful to connect with Lyndie and learn more about brand building, Hollywood, and the female founder journey from her. Lastly, we wanted to give a shout out to Forbes8, which provides on demand video content designed for entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey.Lyndie Benson is Founder and Designer of Malibu-based fashion design firm Bleusalt. Since launching Bleusalt in November of 2017, Lyndie has become a vital force in creating her own category of elevated athleisure, turning Bleusalt into one of the most successful and trend-setting fashion design brands. Bleusalt's high-quality luxurious designs embody the raw beauty of nature, the spirit of the ocean, and an easy elegance and comfort. They have become a wardrobe staple for some of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces, queens, and princesses, and the Malibu-based celebrities. These celebrities felt an authentic connection to the brand, including Cindy Crawford, Kris Jenner, Lisa Rinna and Patrick Dempsey. Bleusalt consistently graces the pages of the world’s top fashion magazines including O Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, In Style, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, and many more.